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Ideal Kava Strain?

Discussion in 'New Members Forum' started by BillyG, May 12, 2019.

  1. BillyG

    BillyG New Member

    I'm looking into buying my first kava, but I'm not completely sure where to start. Everything I've read seems to say that it will vary in effects, yet this isn't being well documented by vendors, so I'm hoping to get some help here.

    I want something to drink during the day that won't put me to sleep, and make social situations easier. I don't have any real social anxiety, but I am generally more reserved and would like to make it smoother for myself. (I enjoy being an introvert but sometimes wish my extroverted side would show more). I've also read that kava can increase creativity, which greatly appeals to me as a musician, though this seems little mentioned so I'm not sure how common it is. Aside from these desires I would like one that's more potent, as I don't plan on using it everyday, more just on occasion.

    As a side note I am hypothyroid and take synthroid (levothyroxine). Haven't able to find anything about it in combination with kava, just one reddit post stating no interactions. It's a hormone so I wouldn't expect anything, but if anyone knows about this please let me know.

    Anyway, I'm looking for advice on the best strain for me, any help is appreciated.
  2. fait

    fait Position 5 Hard Support

    It sounds like you'd want something in the heady category. Many kava varieties that are grown in Fiji and Hawaii are usually heady or balanced and only on occasion sedative.

    Kalm with Kava has a great guide on looking for the right kava for you and will of course promote recommendations from their product line: https://kalmwithkava.com/buy-kava-best/ You could use this guide to look at other vendors as well. I've found most vendors I've browsed do a good job telling you if a kava is heady, balanced, or heavy. Sample packs are your friend. You could potentially try different heady or balanced kavas and see how they work for you. Vendors I have had experience with that I personally recommend include the aforementioned Kalm with Kava, along with Bula Kava House, Gourmet Hawaiian Kava, and Kavafied. If you live in New Zealand or are otherwise willing to pay a lot of shipping, the Kava Society has very good kava as well.

    Regarding kava strength, the effects of kava are layered and you typically want to have several cups of kava. These aren't big 8 fl oz cups, more like 5-6 fl oz, but that's just me. You can drink more or less per cup. The important part here is "multiple cups" and you space each one out. The euphoric components of kava onset right away but wear off quickly while the sedative effects take considerably longer to kick in but they have the longest duration. With each cup, you renew the effects of the root you're drinking and they stack onto each other so you're feeling it stronger than the first time. Your "kava session" can have as many cups as you want and you can space each cup out how you like. Unless you're working with micronized or instant kava, you don't really benefit much from having "just one cup of kava," even a strong one.

    But everyone's mileages vary. Maybe someone who knows how to make one strong cup of kava to rule them all can take your hand and guide you that route.
    Kapmcrunk likes this.
  3. BillyG

    BillyG New Member

    Thanks for the reply. I think I'll go with the KWK sample pack, though I'm also looking at the Bula Kava Nangol powder.

    One other thing I'm wondering about is the difference between powdered root and micronized. I've read on separate sources contradictory info on the potency of the two, maybe it's just a personal thing.
  4. fait

    fait Position 5 Hard Support

    Micronized kava is dried kava that's more finely-ground. This allows one to simply measure some kava, mix it with water, then drink. I've generally heard micronized kava (in excess) can cause stomach irritation but this mostly has to do with how well the kava is peeled. A well-peeled kava that's micronized shouldn't cause issue. I haven't personally had micronized, so I'm going by others' posts I've read.

    Medium grind is where you need a strainer bag to knead the kava in so that you don't get any of the indigestible solids that would make you sick from drinking. With more prep required with preparing medium grind, it's cheaper to buy and you get more of a selection than you would with micronized or instant kavas.
    BillyG likes this.