Can You Get High on Kava Kava?
A plant that can get you high? You don’t say? The root of this tropical flora, once synthesized into a medicinal form, has been consumed for ages as a sedative, anesthetic, and euphoriant all at once.
You’ll see folks touting a Kava beverage as an alternative to alcohol (though, without the taste of a smooth glass of good whiskey). Sound too good to be true? I was also skeptical, so I decided to do some research to find out if this stuff was the real deal.
Does it Have Therapeutic Benefits?
Researchers have noted that the calming effects of Kava Kava are similar to many pharmaceuticals, like Valium. Because of this, it has been used as an anti-anxiety aid.
Kava doesn’t create the kind of brain fog that some medicines do, so it is highly valued for those seeking a natural alternative to treat some of their issues. Kava can help induce sleepiness, so those with sleep troubles also find considerable use from using the plant and its extracts.
Additional uses include muscle relaxation and controlling spasms.
Kava Kava is a plant, and the roots have been used in traditional medicine as a multi-purpose solution for various mood disorders and as a general tonic to help people relax. It can induce sleepiness, reduce muscle tension, and cause a slew of other effects on the body.
The root is known to contain many specific chemicals, like kawain, dihydrokawain, methysticum, etc.). The most potent active ingredients, however, are the kavalactones contained within the root.
Research on these compounds shows that they have pain relieving properties in addition to the many positive benefits that the Kava Kava plant provides.
More on Kava Kava
The Kava plant has been used for over 3,000 years for it’s medicinal benefits in cultures of the Western Pacific Islands like Fiji, Hawaii and Polynesia. It’s been used as a mild sedative and painkiller for generations. In fact, most of these island cultures value kava very highly, and it’s a part of many important rituals.
It’s usually consumed as a drink, which is traditionally made from the bark of the kava plant and coconut milk or water. The bark of the plant is either chewed or ground up and combined with a bit of water to form a sort of paste. It’s then dropped into either coconut milk or water and taken immediately. Today, it’s also available in pill form, which seem to provide the benefits of kava without the work of preparing it traditionally.
Recreational Use Of Kava Kava
You’ve probably already stumbled across mentions of this herb on some assorted health forum somewhere. It’s got a reputation for the calming effects that it purportedly induces, and, since it’s still legal in the United States, many have designed to give it a try to see what all the fuss is about.
The FDA has concerns, which is understandable, but they haven’t gone as far as outright banning it yet. This has led to some interesting developments, like Kava bars where a drink containing a concentrated form of the plant are served in a social setting.
I don’t think I’m quite ready for a sojourn down to one of these spots, but the Kava high is one that seems intriguing, so I decided to do some more digging.
What Does Reddit Have to Say About Kava Kava?
Kava Kava has its proponents. One rather blunt user gave a rather impassioned testimonial:
“I took about 1500mg of some Kava Kava from drug emporium. For a while at the beginning, it seemed like it wasn’t going to work. 2-3 hours later, my vision is spending, my body is warm, I can hardly keep my eyes open. Closing my eyes feels really good, ya dig? This shit got me high as ballsfuck.”
Some user expressed concerns about taking it due to potential organ damage:
“Just received 50 grams of Mo’i Instant Kava from gourmet Kava and whoever has looked up kava has read the cases where it causes liver damage and people have died. I don’t want to die so what is this about should I take it?”
Commenters, however, seem dismissive of the liver damage angle:
“The liver toxicity thing is a myth. We know that a few people might have gotten an idiosyncratic allergic reaction to kava (think people who are allergic to almonds – this doesn’t