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Noble Vs Tudei Kava - Megathread

Kapmcrunk

The Kaptain (40g)
KavaForums Founder
If you have a question or want to discuss the Noble/Tudei issue, please post it here. We've got quite a few little side threads going that have managed to veer off to this type of discussion instead of the one the original poster had submitted. It happens. Not a big deal at all. It just seems that we should at least have a megathread where members can converse (respectfully) about the issue.

So....
Edit: I'll be moving over discussions located in other threads.
Post your noble/tudei discussions here
 

Edward

Aluballin' in the UK
Kava Vendor
That's what someone told him in a pm. I think the context he wrote that in is that Doug has given positive reviews of kavas that we more or less know to be tudei or at least mixed with tudei. To that extent you would have to go out on a limb to say that you don't "trust" the reviews because you can't use them to choose a kava if non tudei is your total aim. Personally I love the reviews and find them useful because although I want to stick to noble kavas as much as possible I still appreciate reviews of kavas that I know more or less are noble. It's not that you can't trust the reviews as such, Doug is just giving his personal opinion of the kava he's drinking, but it is the case that if you are sensitive to tudei and want to avoid it you would have to do a bit more research because Doug doesn't seem to have a problem with drinking tudei kavas. Simple as that really. I think if the new reviews talk in more detail about test results, etc then they will be a lot more complete and useful. I can't wait.
 

tifftrip

Kava Curious
Exactly. It was just a reaction cause somebody said "Kavasseur seems to like Tudeis". So for me, I can´t use those Reviews anymore. Sorry for this. But this was also not the Topic.

All these last Comments here in the last 12 Days or so, are off-topic.

And you Edward, sorry but you still seem to, not get the Point of what long Term Health Problems I am talking about.
 
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Kojo Douglas

The Kavasseur
I take issue with the fact that because I have enjoyed some Tudeis, or Kavas that have been "spiked" with Tudei according to some random samples that have been tested, that my reviews are not to be trusted. The implication is that my experience isn't relevant, and that somehow my reviews are "misleading." There are countless threads on this board where "testers" themselves argue about the relevance of chemotype profiles, color test results, the side effects of non-Noble Kava, and the uncertainty we should attach to the non-Hawaiian Kava supply chain. My reasons for staying away from such assumptions is that 1) most of these developments occurred in my absence, while I was doing humanitarian work in South Sudan, Ethiopia, and Ghana, and 2) because I have yet to hear a cogent argument against Tudei that is based on anything substantial.

The implication is that islanders have "selected" for pure, Noble varieties of Kava over generations and that "Tudeis" have been left in the wild because they are undesirable and thus unhealthy. While this might be based in facts related to Vanuatu Kava culture, and Kavas that spread into Polynesia, I have yet to see any anthropological evidence for this claim. In fact, my own experience in Melanesia leads me to believe that some Tudeis are consumed on a daily basis and that their effects are desirable.

Furthermore, there is no hard evidence that Tudeis are unhealthy. There have been experiences that suggest that they are more likely to cause undesirable side effects than Noble kavas. I have received many emails claiming that Noble kavas also caused hangovers, dehydration, and anxiety. I think much of it comes down to body chemistry and personal preference. The suggestion that "most" Kava sold on the market is Tudei, but not labeled as such, has led to an all-out witch hunt against Kava vendors. Entire lines of Kava have been pulled from the market to satisfy this fringe demand for Kavas that "pass the test."

Now, let me be clear. I am going to do Kava reviews that take the Kava tests into consideration. But I am only going to do it so that I can provide an opinion on what makes these Kavas different, if it all anything, in my actual experience with the Kavas. This is not an endorsement or refutation of the Kava tests. It is simply a way of taking them into consideration and seeing if they translate into anything during my actual Kava experience.

As of now, I have no compelling reason to believe that there is "good Kava" or "bad Kava." I personally think the difference is as relevant as the difference between lager and stout, red wine and white wine, etc.
 

Byron

Newbie
A 2014 study (authored in part by Ed Johnston), entitled "Measuring the Chemical and Cytotoxic Variability of Commercially Available Kava" concluded that "the assortment of commercially available kava products vary widely in chemical composition and cytotoxicity level. Certain kava cultivars and preparation methods may produce products that vary broadly in both their toxicity and their efficacy and thus a rapid and easily applied method to characterize and classify kava products would be beneficial to consumers."

The study does say that aqueous extracts were basically not toxic, while ethanol extracts could be toxic. And this was not a human or animal study--they just used cells in a lab.
 

Kojo Douglas

The Kavasseur
I believe this is specifically related to foreign chemicals used to produce extracts, candies, supplements, and other products that claim to be Kava. This is quite separate from the Noble versus Tudei discussion. I wholeheartedly condemn products that use an ethanol base. I typically avoid reviewing Kava products that are not pure root powder or fresh Kava, with exceptions from trusted vendors like Paradise Kava or Kava Candy.
 

Edward

Aluballin' in the UK
Kava Vendor
But Doug, remember the guy who saw your review of a kava so tried it and got sick for two days while you didn't? Ok it's something to do with his body chemistry but it turns out the kava is a tudei variety. That's the point you seem to be missing although saying that I want show you respect for the work you have done. Some people are getting bad results from certain kavas that you have drunk and enjoyed. Of course there isn't much you can personally do about that but the big question that isn't yet answered is if that would happen with a noble kava? In other words how many noble kavas that you personally drink and enjoy would make other people ill for two days?
 

Byron

Newbie
Here's a recent study that describes the chemical differences between noble, medicinal, two-days and wichmannii varieties. They found a clear difference between noble and two-days. The study concluded that "the FK/KL ratio permits an unambiguous identification of noble kavas and exclusion of two-days kavas in exported material. We propose that this ratio could be used as an estimate of extract quality to guaranty the safety of kava. The HPTLC methodology described here offers a cost efficient technique (20 tracks per plate with only 10 mL of solvent) to screen numerous samples for rapid and efficient routine analysis of kava to be used for the preparation of the traditional beverage in the Pacific but also as raw material for western pharmaceutical and nutraceutical industries."
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0308814613018086
 

Kojo Douglas

The Kavasseur
But Doug, remember the guy who saw your review of a kava so tried it and got sick for two days while you didn't? Ok it's something to do with his body chemistry but it turns out the kava is a tudei variety. That's the point you seem to be missing although saying that I want show you respect for the work you have done. Some people are getting bad results from certain kavas that you have drunk and enjoyed. Of course there isn't much you can personally do about that but the big question that isn't yet answered is if that would happen with a noble kava? In other words how many noble kavas that you personally drink and enjoy would make other people ill for two days?
Thanks Edward. I think it is important to remember that this was an anecdote. The person who made the post correlated their experience with a Kava that was categorized as Tudei. But as I said before, I have had emails from people concerning Kavas that were classified as Noble and that made them sick, hungover, anxious, etc. I myself have drank Noble kavas and had unpleasant side effects, and drank labeled Tudei Kavas and had no problem. What is to be made of all these "outliers?" Yes, we have indigenous knowledge and a history of selection for certain varieties. But does that make other varieties irrelevant? There are many beer drinkers who would never touch Bud Light. There are people who hate gluten. There are meat eaters who say meat should only be prepared one way. But these are cultural constructions, boundary distinctions, etc.

I'm an anthropologist, and I've thrown back shells of Tudei with Solomon Islanders. I tend to look for more nuance in "categories." Yes, the chemotypes have a scientific basis, and surely I'd like to do reviews keeping this in mind, and seeing what it translates to it in real Kava experiences.
 

Edward

Aluballin' in the UK
Kava Vendor
Fair enough. There are certainly still a lot of unanswered questions about kava. What do you think about the idea that tudei contains more elements that are toxic to your liver and so that is why it is not drunk so much and is actually banned from being exported? You can see from a new kava drinkers point of view how they could read all of the opinions (maybe not evidence but opinions at least) of the "scientists" and everyone else and come to the conclusion that they should be striving to drink noble only?
 

Kojo Douglas

The Kavasseur
Yes, I can certainly empathize with that approach. And obviously, I would always warn people to stay away from "natural high" sales pitches.
 

CactusKava

Phoenix, AZ
Kava Vendor
I take issue with the fact that because I have enjoyed some Tudeis, or Kavas that have been "spiked" with Tudei according to some random samples that have been tested, that my reviews are not to be trusted. The implication is that my experience isn't relevant, and that somehow my reviews are "misleading." There are countless threads on this board where "testers" themselves argue about the relevance of chemotype profiles, color test results, the side effects of non-Noble Kava, and the uncertainty we should attach to the non-Hawaiian Kava supply chain. My reasons for staying away from such assumptions is that 1) most of these developments occurred in my absence, while I was doing humanitarian work in South Sudan, Ethiopia, and Ghana, and 2) because I have yet to hear a cogent argument against Tudei that is based on anything substantial.

The implication is that islanders have "selected" for pure, Noble varieties of Kava over generations and that "Tudeis" have been left in the wild because they are undesirable and thus unhealthy. While this might be based in facts related to Vanuatu Kava culture, and Kavas that spread into Polynesia, I have yet to see any anthropological evidence for this claim. In fact, my own experience in Melanesia leads me to believe that some Tudeis are consumed on a daily basis and that their effects are desirable.

Furthermore, there is no hard evidence that Tudeis are unhealthy. There have been experiences that suggest that they are more likely to cause undesirable side effects than Noble kavas. I have received many emails claiming that Noble kavas also caused hangovers, dehydration, and anxiety. I think much of it comes down to body chemistry and personal preference. The suggestion that "most" Kava sold on the market is Tudei, but not labeled as such, has led to an all-out witch hunt against Kava vendors. Entire lines of Kava have been pulled from the market to satisfy this fringe demand for Kavas that "pass the test."

Now, let me be clear. I am going to do Kava reviews that take the Kava tests into consideration. But I am only going to do it so that I can provide an opinion on what makes these Kavas different, if it all anything, in my actual experience with the Kavas. This is not an endorsement or refutation of the Kava tests. It is simply a way of taking them into consideration and seeing if they translate into anything during my actual Kava experience.

As of now, I have no compelling reason to believe that there is "good Kava" or "bad Kava." I personally think the difference is as relevant as the difference between lager and stout, red wine and white wine, etc.
Your reviews are just that -- reviews. I think the problems arise when people mistake your anecdotal experimentation for objective, scientific research. I'm not saying that you portray your reviews as such, but that others take them in that light. This might be because we're starting to lean so heavily on @Deleted User 's testing, using hard data to to try and identify effects. Since you're such a massive figure in the kava world, newbies probably assume you carry the same ideologies as the rest of us.

There are countless threads on this board where "testers" themselves argue about the relevance of chemotype profiles, color test results, the side effects of non-Noble Kava, and the uncertainty we should attach to the non-Hawaiian Kava supply chain.
I think you bring up a really great point here, and I'll be the first to admit that I pick and choose which data I agree with. Personally, these days, I only truly pay attention to the acetone test and how I like the taste and effects. Overall KL% is, to me, the biggest pitfall of testing and consumer confusion. The methods of testing are not standardized yet (@Deleted User is working on this with various scientists, thank goodness) , so some vendors list their kava at upwards of 20%, while others are sitting in the 5% range. However, they very well might be just as potent as the other, so something else must be at work to make the effects similar.

Additionally, I've seen countless times where a "heavy" kava seems heady to consumers, or vice versa. I personally don't trust chemotypes as an indicator of actual effects because of this. The excuse "everyone reacts differently to different things" is way too commonplace to truly agree that chemotypes and KL% are the end-all of effects. You just have to try various kavas and see what suits you best.

So why do I trust Garry's work then, if I have these issues? He's driving progress forward, and attempting to come up with standards that make sense to accurately reflect the types of kava we're drinking. Tudei kava caused some very bad experiences for me, and so I avoid it. His noble/tudei testing hasn't failed my stomach yet, and so I pay full attention to the tests he's performed.

What I'm most excited about is the forward thinking of the scientists in the community to try and explain the outliers like "What does FK-A do? What does FK-B do? What other chemicals does kava have that we don't know about yet?" Garry is very close to these discussions, and they'll open up a whole new world in kava. I'll be there for when those discoveries come to light.
 

Zac Imiola (Herbalist)

Kava Connoisseur
I'd like to add that the only reason there was such harshness at you kavassuer is because not a month before your re arivall there was the kkrus incident which got things hot.
 

Edward

Aluballin' in the UK
Kava Vendor
Harshness at the Kavasseur? Surely not, how can you be harsh about anyone that krunked? :) There are some classic moments in the clips, especially on one, not sure which one off hand, I'll have a look.
 

Edward

Aluballin' in the UK
Kava Vendor
The slightly worrying thing though is that I am slowly getting used to those sort of doses myself... mix it strong and chug it...
 
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