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Kavalactone properties and description

Hello all - can anybody describe the properties of the six kavalactones simply? I am having a hard time following, I know certain drinkers have preferences for potency of each, etc. All thoughts or wisdom would be appreciated, thank you!
 

Mo'iety

Kava Enthusiast
Here's what I've gathered from my research:

1. desmethoxyyangonin - "mystery kavalactone". Generally the scarcest of the 6 kavalactones in most kava root and not much is known about its effects or pharmacology.
2. dihydrokavain (DHK) - "heavy" kavalactone. Effects include sedation, muscle relaxation; moderately long-lasting.
3. yangonin - "heady" and "edgy". Stimulation, energy and euphoria; can cause anxiety in some people. Known to be a ligand at the CB1 cannabinoid receptor, but whether this plays a role in subjective effects is unknown. Also shown to have the most potent MAOI activity of the 6 kavalactones.
4. kavain - the main heady kavalactone. Kicks in quickly and for a short duration, effects are mental relaxation, euphoria, feelings of well-being. Shown to bind to the GABA receptor but at an atypical site (not the GABA nor benzodiazepine binding site). Known to block voltage-gated sodium and calcium channels.
5. dihydromethysticin (DHM) - very sedating and long-lasting, can cause nausea. The likely culprit behind the next-day sluggishness after a large kava session. DHM is generally pretty low in noble kavas since it's generally the most undesirable kavalactone and has been selected against over the hundreds (or thousands) of years of kava domestication.
6. methysticin - another "mystery kavalactone" at least for me. I don't really know what it contributes to the effects. Known to act a sodium channel blocker/antagonist (along with kavain).
 
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TheKavaSociety

New Zealand
Kava Vendor
Here's what I've gathered from my research:

1. desmethoxyyangonin - "mystery kavalactone". Generally the scarcest of the 6 kavalactones in most kava root and not much is known about its effects or pharmacology.
2. dihydrokavain (DHK) - "heavy" kavalactone. Effects include sedation, muscle relaxation; moderately long-lasting.
3. yangonin - "heady" and "edgy". Stimulation, energy and euphoria; can cause anxiety in some people. Known to be a ligand at the CB1 cannabinoid receptor, but whether this plays a role in subjective effects is unknown. Also shown to have the most potent MAOI activity of the 6 kavalactones.
4. kavain - the main heady kavalactone. Kicks in quickly and for a short duration, effects are mental relaxation, euphoria, feelings of well-being. Shown to bind to the GABA receptor but at an atypical site (not the GABA nor benzodiazepine binding site). Known to block voltage-gated sodium and calcium channels.
5. dihydromethysticin (DHM) - very sedating and long-lasting, can cause nausea. The likely culprit behind the next-day sluggishness after a large kava session. DHM is generally pretty low in noble kavas since it's generally the most undesirable kavalactone and has been selected against over the hundreds (or thousands) of years of kava domestication.
6. methysticin - another "mystery kavalactone" at least for me. I don't really know what it contributes to the effects. Known to act a sodium channel blocker/antagonist (along with kavain).
A good list. I'd just add the following comments:
DHK to me is like "a delayed ignition kavain". It slowly builds up, never gets as sharp as kavain, but keeps burning for longer. The best example of a DHK kava is Melo Melo.

Methysticin seems like a quicker/sharper version of DHM. It also sometimes carries over to the next day (in my experience), it's also a bit more "groggy".
 

Kapmcrunk

The Kaptain (40g)
KavaForums Founder
Here's what I've gathered from my research:

1. desmethoxyyangonin - "mystery kavalactone". Generally the scarcest of the 6 kavalactones in most kava root and not much is known about its effects or pharmacology.
2. dihydrokavain (DHK) - "heavy" kavalactone. Effects include sedation, muscle relaxation; moderately long-lasting.
3. yangonin - "heady" and "edgy". Stimulation, energy and euphoria; can cause anxiety in some people. Known to be a ligand at the CB1 cannabinoid receptor, but whether this plays a role in subjective effects is unknown. Also shown to have the most potent MAOI activity of the 6 kavalactones.
4. kavain - the main heady kavalactone. Kicks in quickly and for a short duration, effects are mental relaxation, euphoria, feelings of well-being. Shown to bind to the GABA receptor but at an atypical site (not the GABA nor benzodiazepine binding site). Known to block voltage-gated sodium and calcium channels.
5. dihydromethysticin (DHM) - very sedating and long-lasting, can cause nausea. The likely culprit behind the next-day sluggishness after a large kava session. DHM is generally pretty low in noble kavas since it's generally the most undesirable kavalactone and has been selected against over the hundreds (or thousands) of years of kava domestication.
6. methysticin - another "mystery kavalactone" at least for me. I don't really know what it contributes to the effects. Known to act a sodium channel blocker/antagonist (along with kavain).
Would you mind if I added this information to our FAQ? With attribution to your username of course.
 

Alia

'Awa Grower/Collector
R. Hansel wrote in PACIFIC SCIENCE Vol. XXII July 1968-- Characterization and Physiological Activity of Some Kawa (kava) Constituents.
You can search and whole paper shows up. 21 pages. Nice detail.
Not included in this paper is a summary of DMY-
"Desmethoxyyangonin is a reversible inhibitor of MAO-B, it may have important therapeutic value for treatment of neurodegenerative disorders and Parkinson's Disease. Desmethoxy yangonin protects LPS or LPS/D-GalN-induced damages in cell or liver tissues mainly through de-regulating IKK/NFκB and Jak2/STAT3 signaling pathways".
My favorite word here is-- "protects"!!
 
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Mo'iety

Kava Enthusiast
A good list. I'd just add the following comments:
DHK to me is like "a delayed ignition kavain". It slowly builds up, never gets as sharp as kavain, but keeps burning for longer. The best example of a DHK kava is Melo Melo.

Methysticin seems like a quicker/sharper version of DHM. It also sometimes carries over to the next day (in my experience), it's also a bit more "groggy".
Interesting. I was always under the impression that DHK was more sedating than M. And kavas with 42---- (like Borogu) usually feel more sedating to me than ones that start 46---- (like Mo'i). (Though this doesn't necessarily have to relate to the chemotype.) But if DHK is qualitatively like a slow-burn K and DHM like the slow-burn M, maybe the methylenedioxy ring (of M and DHM) is what contributes to "heaviness" and the lack of double-bond (of DHK and DHM) just slows down the relative pharmacokinetics.
 

Ryan-H

Newbie
This is some good content! It really makes me wonder if yangonin is the problem kavalactone for me, the one that gives me insomnia. I always thought that I was just super sensitive to kavain, but I loved Fu'u and it never affected my sleep. Most noble kava will keep me for sleeping for 14+ hours. This gives me something to work with. Thanks!
 

ThePiper

Kava Lover
Damn I miss Fu'u. in fact I miss every Tongan BKH strain. RIP Kula, Fu'u, and Akau.
Sorry to derail. It does seem that some Tongan kavas have a unique clean mellow euphoria factor that doesn't show in other strains that are high in kavain.
 
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Palmetto

Thank God!
Papa Kea makes me edgy, but it's 462xxx.

I tend to think of Methysticin as a sociability enhancer with relaxation leading to sedation. I feel it is underrated among kavalactones.
 
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