If you are considering including kava as part of your routine, or if you just want to enjoy its benefits occasionally, you may want to learn about the product first. You may want to know the history of kava, the effects of it, the kava half-life, and how long it will last in your system in total.
Every substance has a life. Meaning, how long you can feel its effects. The life of a substance is determined by how long it takes for the body to cleanse the substance from your system. This includes cleansing from the kidneys, liver and any other body processing.
Because every substance has a life, it also has a half-life. In order to understand kava half-life, we must first understand what a half-life is.
What is Half-Life?
The time it takes for a substance to lose half of its life or half of its effects is considered the half-life of that product. It is the amount of a drug and its concentration that is reduced by exactly one half.
For example, when a person takes an aspirin and it typically has an effect that lasts four hours, the half-life is two hours.
All products, even herbal remedies like kava, have a half-life.
Kava comes from the root of the piper methysticum plant in the South Pacific Islands. The root is pounded into a powder that can be mixed with water and strained. The strained liquid is consumed and gives you a relaxing and calming effect.
Kava gives you mental alertness while at the same time you feel tension in your body fade away. Kava gives you a positive attitude and an interest in being social with others. Different varieties of kava can produce different effects.
Some varieties are created to help you sleep better, while others are developed to energize you.
Kava and alcohol are often seen as similar, but this is not true. In fact, some are replacing alcohol with kava. This is because kava does not offer any of the negative effects alcohol offers. While alcohol clouds your judgment, kava keeps your mind alert.
Alcohol produces hangovers in some people, however, kava has not been associated with hangover symptoms.
Kava contains compounds such as kavain, lactones and pyrones. There are a variety of chemotypes that make up each strain of kava. Those that begin with kavalactones such as dihydromethysticin and Dihydrokavain are considered to give the best effects.
Kavalactones can be arranged to produce sedative effects that help you sleep. They can also be arranged to produce a physically calm effect but mental energized effect. Or, you can use a strain that helps you feel physically energized but with a clear mind.
It is important to know for sure which strain of kava you are consuming so you can know exactly what to expect to feel physically and mentally. Although the kava half-life generally remains the same for different strands, it does differ between noble and tudei kava.
In general, kava remains in your system for about 18 hours. This means that the kava half-life is 9 hours. This is great if you are consuming noble kava.
Noble kava is considered top quality kava. It is made from the root of the kava plant only.
You must beware of some suppliers who sell ignoble kava, also known as tudei kava. Tudei kava is made from the stems and leaves of the piper methysticum plant. This type of kava does not give you positive effects.
Tudei kava can produce effects such as nausea, vomiting, and hangover like symptoms. These effects can last up to two days or 48 hours, giving it a kava half-life of one day or 24 hours. This is a half-life you want to avoid.
The better strands of kava are consumed orally in a brief period of about ten minutes it is absorbed into the digestive system. It enters the blood stream quickly after that.
You can expect to feel the maximum effects of kava between 1.5 and 2 hours. Meaning, within two hours you will feel kava at its strongest, at its climax. If you are taking kava to help you sleep, you can expect to be heavily sedated after one hour.
If you are taking kava to feel relaxed but remain awake and aware, you can expect to be at your most relaxed, yet aware, state within two hours.
Although the climax is around two hours, the half-life remains around 9 hours. After this you can expect the effects to lessen over the next few hours. Traces of it can be found in your system, however, for 18 hours.
This means you can receive the benefits of kava on varying levels for many hours.