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Kava Side Effects Does kava cause memory impairment?

Discussion in 'Health & Wellness' started by ThePiper, Aug 4, 2019.

  1. ThePiper

    ThePiper Kava Enthusiast

    I'm still in my 20's and have been experiencing very mild but somewhat troubling memory impairment in the last couple of months. I started noticing it only recently after my girlfriend brought it up with some concern. Its mostly things like forgetting what I was going to say or came to a place to do, as well as remembering what someone told me or who did what. Maybe this is a normal progression of the stress of living and working as an adult with anxiety, but I do wonder if the state that kava puts me in isn't just causing me to gloss over things that people say to me a little more and causing a lack of recall later on when I am not drinking kava. I drink small amounts of kava throughout the day and a medium sized amount at night. It could be a symptom of a hundred different things though.
    Anyone else get this?

    Edit: I actually feel like I perform better on writing and things that require focus when I am using a little kava because it quiets the mind so I don't know what to make of it. maybe I'm using too much before bed, since the memory backup program of the brain runs during sleep.
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2019
  2. Henry

    Henry . Moderator The Kava Society of New Zealand

    one user posted this a while ago:

    "The pharmacological activities of kava resin and pyrones do not appear to be explained by any significant interaction with GABA or benzodiazepine binding sites. In fact, most of its sedating properties come from blockade of voltage gated sodium and calcium channels, by doing this it sort of indirectly blunts the effect of glutamate, the main excitatory neurotransmitter in the brain (gaba is a metabolite, and opposing neurotransmitter of this system), as glutamate effects sodium, calcium, and potassium through voltage gated channels. It does this however, without affecting long term potentiation (how memories form), which is why no matter how krunk you become you always can remember it, never black out etc. This is why it's the only sedative on the planet that won't turn you into a complete idiot in large amounts."
  3. kavakarma

    kavakarma Kava Enthusiast

    It's all about sleep if you ask me, memory is about stress and sleep. Get your rest, sir!

    I drink bowls of kava nightly and my memory is excellent, seems unaffected by it. Consciousness is interesting. There are a lot of spiritual plants out there. Hard to say any two affect memories the same. This is a good subject.
  4. Zaphod

    Zaphod Kava Enthusiast

    Memory is complicated and their are many different types of memory for example:
    Kava may or may not effect some or all of these, and may effect them only while having KLs floating around your brain - but not afterwords. I find my short term memory can be definitely be hindered when I am full on krunk, but at the same time I have never "blacked out" like an alcohol where the memories are not even formed. I don't think there is enough supporting data to say kava does not impact memory - but in general I would say no I have not experienced any real negative impacts.
  5. Kapmcrunk

    Kapmcrunk The Kaptain of Crunk KavaForums Founder

    I've consumed my share of memory damaging compounds, and honestly kava hasn't' struck me in a way that would tell me it's affecting my memory. I can't think of a time after drinking my grog where I lost connection with reality. Not being able to stand, yes, but loss of consciousness, no, never. I think age, stress, and sleep quality probably have more to do with it.

    Something that could lend a bit towards the hypothesis of memory impairment would possibly be dehydration. I know dehydration can cause drastic changes in consciousness, and quite markedly reduce your cognitive and motor skills, so...there may be something to it on that end of the spectrum.
    Intrepidus_dux likes this.
  6. jim lahey

    jim lahey Shamanic Herbalist

    Sleep and stress are huge!!!! I use kava at least every other day, kratom on weekends, pot daily till I die, mushrooms twice a month. The biggest factor to my memory is stress and sleep, good food, good friends and family. I'm going through hell at work right now and I feel dazed mon-Friday but on weekends with enough sleep and no stress, I feel amazing.
  7. ThePiper

    ThePiper Kava Enthusiast

    Exactly ;)

    Kidding of course. But yeah it may not be the kava. I had been getting more sleep than usual during this time period that I noticed this and had less stressors to deal with in my daily life. But anxiety is a constant in my life so I think that is a big factor. Its a little early to call it but I think i may be turning a corner on this. It seems like more of a companion affect to the mental fog of anxiety than a standalone problem. Anxiety can even cause me to hesitate when telling someone what my JOB position is... It's ridiculous, but a lot of you guys who have anxiety (particularly social/generalized) probably know exactly what I'm talking about. I think it's just been bleeding over into the parts of my life that are more anxiety free and that is the cause for the fog.
    Intrepidus_dux and Kapmcrunk like this.
  8. Krunkie McKrunkface

    Krunkie McKrunkface Kava Enthusiast

    fwiw, kava improves my long term memory. Shellie noticed the same effect
  9. Go Krunk Yourself

    Go Krunk Yourself Kava Enthusiast

    Haven't noticed anything. Benzo's basically deletes my memory / perception of time so compared that to Kava doesn't even come close. Every session and time on Kava in public seems quite vivid.