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Kava Cultures

Kojo Douglas

Kava Connoisseur
There are a lot of Kava Cultures out there developing at pretty rapid paces. They have different back stories, contexts, purposes, agendas, etc. For the purposes of this discussion, I want to focus on the two main Kava cultures that exist here in the US.

In the continental US, we seem to have two core Kava Cultures existing side by side. Sometimes I scratch my head when I see posts from the Kava "culture" that I don't belong to. I realize there's a lot of overlap here, but these really seem to be two disparate things for the most part.

1. Our Kava culture. The one we see here at Kava Forums, in the Kava Lounge on FB, and on my Kavasseur blog. Kava to us in a way of life - a ritual that we partake in to help manage anxiety, joy, sleep, and positive social relationships. We celebrate the nuances and diversity of Kava. It's endlessly interesting. A new cultivar from Vanuatu is available? Sign me up for the hype train.

2. Kava bar culture. Or not just Kava, but Kratom, sugary sodas (I never understood this), strobe lights, and really annoying Instagram accounts with scantily clad patrons. These people seem to have evolved from the "legal high" community. There are a lot of positive stories about recovery, community, etc. that I feel are inspiring and mostly a good thing. But there is also a lot of toxic behavior, taunting, a mixture of politics and Kava, and a kind of "drink you under the table" mentality. I've visited and interacted with this culture, and it feels very foreign to me. I feel like some of these bars are better than others, but for the most part there is a similar clientele and motivation.

It seems like these things even break down along with what Kava people drink. I for one would never think about ordering from Kavasutra.

What are your thoughts on why this difference exists? It's not simply "where Kava bars are" versus "where Kava bars aren't" because I lived close to a few Kava bars in San Diego some years ago and I never saw a need to go to them. Those people knew nothing about Kava - including how to make it and drink it with respect.
 

ThatDankK

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The culture here is mainly about kava helping us all overcome different things that trouble us in our lives

The other culture is about having fun/having a good time

Both cultures are different and respectively, for different people with different wants and needs. Neither are wrong, its just different people drinking kava for different purposes

I am in both scenes, although most of the time I use it medicinally, but its also fun and enjoyable to drink it when you go out places like a bar or a party etc. A lot of the older guys and gals likely don't/wont understand some of this culture because their young dumb and fun go out and live life days are behind them. Different strokes for different folks
 

fait

Position 5 Hard Support
I've probably typed this elsewhere, but if there's anything I like doing is repeating myself, so here goes:

I got into drinking kava because I'm very much into geography. Even if I'll never meet any Pacific Islanders that drink kava, learning about and consuming kava has been more of something I drink recreationally than medicinally. By drinking an approximate grog to what they drink in the South Pacific or Hawaii, I am participating in a tradition different from my own and I revel in this. It's difficult for me to see eye to eye with people who focus on what kava can do for them and not care about where the kava comes from and who drank it centuries before them. It probably helps too that there aren't any kava bars in my area. I would check a website and/or reviews out if one did open up, but if they sell kratom, I wouldn't go.

Something that parallels social drinking [of alcohol] is who kava is consumed with. If it wasn't for the Kava Forums, I have very few people offline I drink kava with. Many find the taste too disgusting and aren't taking much notice of the effects, being much more subtle than booze. But the social aspects of kava-drinking is apparent and it's a reason I keep drinking kava. I can socialize better. Sadly many of my friends would rather keep on drinking alcohol. All the power to them as long as they keep their livers in good shape.

Lately though in these unprecedented times, anxiety has been up, so kava has helped many times on the rougher days.
 

krunkgod

Kava Enthusiast
You couldn't pay me to have a kava session with typical kratom bar bro's. Those people ruin any sacredness that kava sessions carry. I really pray they aren't the final downfall to kava because of glorifying it for all the wrong reasons.

I'm infinitely grateful that this community exists in the exact form and fashion it does now. I don't think you could even find a person here who would compare in the slightest to the average kratom bar bro's. We all seem to have a deeper connection to kava than most, and understand how truly unique and special this experience is.
 

Kavacus

Kava Curious
In my experience with kratom, the effects are opioid-like and that appeals to many. Kava Collective in San Diego once was kava and kombucha only, with a mellow vibe that I liked. When they started offering kratom the vibe certainly changed-it’s also a stimulant in low doses and after you have a certain amount comes the relaxing opioid like effect. In their case I think it was just another way to get some more money flowing. It’s still a great place. But yeah, I’m not a fan of the party atmosphere like at, say, Kavasutra in Denver. But at least they had kava,so to each his own!
 

ThatDankK

̿̿ ̿̿ ̿̿ ̿'̿'\̵͇̿̿\з= ( ▀ ͜͞ʖ▀) =ε/̵͇̿̿/’̿’̿ ̿ ̿̿
In my experience with kratom, the effects are opioid-like and that appeals to many. Kava Collective in San Diego once was kava and kombucha only, with a mellow vibe that I liked. When they started offering kratom the vibe certainly changed-it’s also a stimulant in low doses and after you have a certain amount comes the relaxing opioid like effect. In their case I think it was just another way to get some more money flowing. It’s still a great place. But yeah, I’m not a fan of the party atmosphere like at, say, Kavasutra in Denver. But at least they had kava,so to each his own!
I've done Kratom a few times and believe it has a place, MEDICINALLY in infrequent uses such as having pain that NSAIDs can't quell but I am strongly against promoting something for recreational use when it can cause mild/moderate addiction with frequency, especially on the opiod receptors.
 

Kavacus

Kava Curious
Absolutely agree-it certainly has abuse and addiction potential. I don’t recommend taking it, I was just putting my 2 cents into the OP’s discussion.
 

AlexisReal

Kava Enthusiast
I've done Kratom a few times and believe it has a place, MEDICINALLY in infrequent uses such as having pain that NSAIDs can't quell but I am strongly against promoting something for recreational use when it can cause mild/moderate addiction with frequency, especially on the opiod receptors.
I took Kratom daily 4 weeks a year ago. Up to 13 grams.

In only that time I developed physical addiction. I had to stop cold, as my digestive system could not tolerate the Kratom and it would have killed me to carry on.

I had some horrendous wirhdrawals for 4 days.

But it was unbelievably helpful for my general anxiety disorder in fact more so than any other medicinal herb or substance I have experienced before and in terms of mood uplift as well.

It also took away much of the general aches and pains in my body from chronic fatigue and gave me energy and made movement comfortable and easy.

As well as having an abnormally low body temperature which stops me sleeping all winter long every year another effect of kratom is to significantly raise body temperature and help with sleep and I was getting the best quality sleep of my life while I was using it but I had to stop it in order to continue living basically.

But ultimately- Kratom is physically addictive, which is usually bad news, while kava is not thank god and bless it for that.
 
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krunkgod

Kava Enthusiast
I took Kratom daily 4 weeks a year ago. Up to 13 grams.

In only that time I developed physical addiction. I had to stop cold, as my digestive system could not tolerate the Kratom and it would have killed me to carry on.

I had some horrendous wirhdrawals for 4 days.

But it was unbelievably helpful for my general anxiety disorder in fact more so than any other medicinal herb or substance I have experienced before and in terms of mood uplift as well.

It also took away much of the general aches and pains in my body from chronic fatigue and gave me energy and made movement comfortable and easy.

As well as having an abnormally low body temperature which stops me sleeping all winter long every year another effect of kratom is to significantly raise body temperature and help with sleep and I was getting the best quality sleep of my life while I was using it but I had to stop it in order to continue living basically.

But ultimately- Kratom is physically addictive, which is usually bad news, while kava is not thank god and bless it for that.
One of the major problems I've noticed with kratom is it has A TON of side effects. People claiming their testicals have shrank,chest pain,seizures (which are really common) body temperature issues,digestive issues as you mentioned. If you read into it, apparently it messes with your adrenal glands pretty heavily which would account for a lot of those things. Go look on /r/quittingkratom and see the myriad of side effects people are listing. Funnily enough most of the kratom community wont acknowledge this. They want to think their opiod dirt powder is completely fine to consume and a gift from god.
 

babesugarbunny

Kava Enthusiast
I can only agree with what have been said of kratom. My experience is that you don't need many weeks to get a horrible withdrawal. The big contrast between /r/kratom and /r/quittingkratom is also a big sign of how strong the dependency is. The kratom community sees their herb as something that only has positive effects and that it's a positive contribute to their life. Then after some years the same people end up in /r/quittingkratom talking about how it has ruined who they were. I find it really weird that some bars serve both kratom and kava, because of these negative effects the first one has on people.
 

Kapmcrunk

The Kaptain (40g)
KavaForums Founder
@Kojo Douglas I’ve read and re-read your post a number of times and I think it boils down to one word: Respect.

We respect this plant for its cultural importance, its medicinal importance, and its recreational importance. The difference between a common kava/kratom bar atmosphere and the atmosphere here is that we understand these differences and we respect them on an individual level.

Ultimately the american bar scene is by standard very disrespectful to kava unless proper care is taken because every normal cultural action that has been gained through millennia of alcohol consumption are being applied to kava and that's not the way it works.
 

AlexisReal

Kava Enthusiast
One of the major problems I've noticed with kratom is it has A TON of side effects. People claiming their testicals have shrank,chest pain,seizures (which are really common) body temperature issues,digestive issues as you mentioned. If you read into it, apparently it messes with your adrenal glands pretty heavily which would account for a lot of those things. Go look on /r/quittingkratom and see the myriad of side effects people are listing. Funnily enough most of the kratom community wont acknowledge this. They want to think their opiod dirt powder is completely fine to consume and a gift from god.
I do agree with you 100% actually. Your words and points resonate entirely withbkymown feelings and impressions about it.

I just always find it such a shame, when something from nature does actually genuinely help certain conditions and ailments- anxiety, general pain, depression, fatigue, and especially arthiritis from what I hear.... comes with SUCH a sting in the tale, and boy can it be a sting as well.

I totally get what you are saying about the whole culture of denial etc too.

You put it well, and I support all that you say about kratom.

I still can't help wondering if it has a place however.
 

AlexisReal

Kava Enthusiast
@Kojo Douglas I’ve read and re-read your post a number of times and I think it boils down to one word: Respect.

We respect this plant for its cultural importance, its medical importance, and its recreational importance. The difference between a common kava/kratom bar atmosphere and the atmosphere here is that we understand these differences and we respect them on an individual level.

Ultimately the american bar scene is by standard very disrespectful to kava unless proper care is taken because every normal cultural action that has been gained through millennia of alcohol consumption are being applied to kava and that's not the way it works.
Mate I'm real sorry I did not read those two newer posts until I replied to this gentleman in my post above.

I had been meaning to, just to wrap it up. If you want to delete that post please go ahead.

No more derailing from me I swear.
 

JohnMichael

Kava Synchronized
My personal kava story meshes pretty well with your first category. Certainly, my wife and I are drinking recreationally as well as medicinally. I also like the thought of connecting with an ancient culture. Though I am a pretty thoroughgoing naturalist/materialist, I even try to sit and listen to ancestral voices from time to time, as we sip kava. This is our fifth year of drinking kava about four days a week, though sometimes more. And we have four kava bars within 45 minutes of us (we live on Sanibel Island, southwest FL), with one bar being much closer. But we've never been to one. I really do need to go check one out. The spirit just hasn't impelled us yet.

In about an hour we'll be drinking some Kelai. We are in Missouri now, so only brought three cultivars. Thanks for the topic. Mike
 

AlexisReal

Kava Enthusiast
So I figure to add, on track- I simply use Kava daily for anxiety, depression, positive mood lift, stress management, physical pain relief.

But I also use it recreationally. I love the euphoria ans blissful state of consciousness it can bring.

I would love to visit a kava bar but none in UK I am sure.

Today I drank my first 16 gram shell of WoW in sudden baking sunshine.

My 2nd Aluball of 16 grams Kelai really krunked me. Very nice and dreamy.

So I love that complete detachment Kava repeatedly gives me from intense suffering levels at times.

I also view Kava as a subtle psychedellic plant medicine. It can he clarirying and revealing to my thoughts and feelings.

So I use it therapeutically in this way because I have always had a natural interest in the healing potential of psychedelics in general as well as plant medicines of course.
 
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krunkgod

Kava Enthusiast
I do agree with you 100% actually. Your words and points resonate entirely withbkymown feelings and impressions about it.

I just always find it such a shame, when something from nature does actually genuinely help certain conditions and ailments- anxiety, general pain, depression, fatigue, and especially arthiritis from what I hear.... comes with SUCH a sting in the tale, and boy can it be a sting as well.

I totally get what you are saying about the whole culture of denial etc too.

You put it well, and I support all that you say about kratom.

I still can't help wondering if it has a place however.
I definitely think it has a place, I'm not entirely against it as I take it too on and off. The issue I have is when no one will acknowledge the negative in it. If more people did that I'd have no problem with it.
 

AlexisReal

Kava Enthusiast
My personal kava story meshes pretty well with your first category. Certainly, my wife and I are drinking recreationally as well as medicinally. I also like the thought of connecting with an ancient culture. Though I am a pretty thoroughgoing naturalist/materialist, I even try to sit and listen to ancestral voices from time to time, as we sip kava. This is our fifth year of drinking kava about four days a week, though sometimes more. And we have four kava bars within 45 minutes of us (we live on Sanibel Island, southwest FL), with one bar being much closer. But we've never been to one. I really do need to go check one out. The spirit just hasn't impelled us yet.

In about an hour we'll be drinking some Kelai. We are in Missouri now, so only brought three cultivars. Thanks for the topic. Mike
Hey mate, really hope you enjoy the kelai. I would love to hear a simple line or two of your thoughts on it. Be enjoying my friend!
 
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