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Random Severe Panic / Anxiety with Kava

Valyn

Kava Curious
Hello,

I know there have been threads about this topic but I wanted to make sure my situation is understood.

I began Kava in February 2021. Like a lot of people, I felt nothing at first, even after straining a cup of root into a bowl and then chugging it.

After a week or two, I did the same thing but with a little less powder but still a lot, maybe 8 tablespoons (don't do this) in a cup of water.

I was sitting on the toilet and boom it hit me and I felt great, euphoric, relaxed, and went for a hike. This effect lasted for about an hour and it was one of my best experiences and has happened a lot of times since then.

Long story short. I've eventually gone from 8 tablespoons to 6 to 4 to 2 per shell in 12oz of water.

75% of the time, I feel relaxed if I space out my shells by at least 20 minutes or so; I sometimes do a second wash so I get about 3 shells with another two tablespoons for a morning kick.

However, for whatever reason, I feel like I am getting intense anxiety if I use EITHER HEADY OR HEAVY KAVA.

I don't know what's going on when I am only using two tablespoons in a shell and spacing them out by 20 or so minutes. Other times the experience is great and I simply lay down in the forest after a hike.

I will try a concentration with a Heavy Kava as the main component, which I am currently doing with Solomons. I can't imagine going down to one tablespoon per 12 oz of water since it seems like nothing. Should I eat something before? I do drink caffeine but it is usually 6 hours before my session. I also drink Kava on an empty stomach.

I'm not going to say anything misleading or wrong about kava. it's done some great things for me in the past, but there's nothing more terrifying than being in the middle of the woods and feeling like you're going to have a heart attack or die because you had a shell too early or because you had two tablespoons rather than one. Also, it was around April 0f 2021 when I drank like 21 tablespoons of Kava in a day, and I still did not feel any side effects (the combination was the black bag of Wakacon and KWK Borongoru). This of course was a morning and evening session but it still shows that something is going on the longer I drink it, or I have to change the way I consume kava.

The only medications I take right now are gabapentin and valium which I am tapering from, but this was already resolved in a different thread and these medications are supposed to relax more than anything before or after kava.

On the bright side: I made a Tongan and Solomons mix this morning - 4 tablespoons - double wash - about 4 shells total and felt fine.
 

Krunʞy

Kava aficionado
Admin
Have you gone back to the brands you started with and experienced similar results?

In general and generally speaking, there are no guarantees all kava experiences will be enlightening and magical. Sometimes we have off days, sometimes we need a break and other times it has nothing to do with kava and more likely something in our lives we may be ignoring and/or not realizing it is giving added anxiety. I obviously am generalizing a lot of "maybes".

I would try a logical approach from when your experiences where once good, start there again (maybe not excessively since you are clearly on the other side of RT) and walk back through the original path you took, more or less and try and pinpoint the problem.

Some people will outgrow kava, it's not a bad thing, I call it progress, we are not meant to stay stationary, whether it be in self care or in our journeys through life. Bottom line, re trace your steps and see where you may have strayed from what was working initially.
 

yestothat

Kava Curious
The potency of kavas in the market seem to vary considerably. 1 tablespoon of a seller's kava can be significantly weaker/stronger than 1 tablespoon of another seller's kava. My rule of thumb is to go super slow and easy when trying a new product, meaning - when I receive a new kava product, I make a batch and drink 1/2 a shell and wait 30-45 minutes. Then take the next chug and wait. All the while paying close attention to how my body is reacting and how I feel.

21 tablespoons of kava is A LOT of kava to consume within 24 hours. Wakacon's Waka that comes in a black bag is VERY potent, and made me feel anxious. 2 tablespoons to a shell seems a little strong for me.

I've found after consuming kava for 12+ years that sometimes 1 tablespoon, 1/2 a shell or even 1/4 shell can turn a super relaxing chill to wide-eyed anxiety. All the kava you drink during a session can build up slowly without you feeling any effects at all for a while and then all of a sudden take effect and leave you shaken and jittery. The key is to stick to one product and know what it does to your body.

Taking gabapentin and valium along with kava is a not a good idea. Combining diazepam (Valium) with substances can lead to very bad results.
 
Last edited:

fueledbykava

Kava enthusiast
Hello,

I know there have been threads about this topic but I wanted to make sure my situation is understood.

I began Kava in February 2021. Like a lot of people, I felt nothing at first, even after straining a cup of root into a bowl and then chugging it.

After a week or two, I did the same thing but with a little less powder but still a lot, maybe 8 tablespoons (don't do this) in a cup of water.

I was sitting on the toilet and boom it hit me and I felt great, euphoric, relaxed, and went for a hike. This effect lasted for about an hour and it was one of my best experiences and has happened a lot of times since then.

Long story short. I've eventually gone from 8 tablespoons to 6 to 4 to 2 per shell in 12oz of water.

75% of the time, I feel relaxed if I space out my shells by at least 20 minutes or so; I sometimes do a second wash so I get about 3 shells with another two tablespoons for a morning kick.

However, for whatever reason, I feel like I am getting intense anxiety if I use EITHER HEADY OR HEAVY KAVA.

I don't know what's going on when I am only using two tablespoons in a shell and spacing them out by 20 or so minutes. Other times the experience is great and I simply lay down in the forest after a hike.

I will try a concentration with a Heavy Kava as the main component, which I am currently doing with Solomons. I can't imagine going down to one tablespoon per 12 oz of water since it seems like nothing. Should I eat something before? I do drink caffeine but it is usually 6 hours before my session. I also drink Kava on an empty stomach.

I'm not going to say anything misleading or wrong about kava. it's done some great things for me in the past, but there's nothing more terrifying than being in the middle of the woods and feeling like you're going to have a heart attack or die because you had a shell too early or because you had two tablespoons rather than one. Also, it was around April 0f 2021 when I drank like 21 tablespoons of Kava in a day, and I still did not feel any side effects (the combination was the black bag of Wakacon and KWK Borongoru). This of course was a morning and evening session but it still shows that something is going on the longer I drink it, or I have to change the way I consume kava.

The only medications I take right now are gabapentin and valium which I am tapering from, but this was already resolved in a different thread and these medications are supposed to relax more than anything before or after kava.

On the bright side: I made a Tongan and Solomons mix this morning - 4 tablespoons - double wash - about 4 shells total and felt fine.
So I haven't researched this, but based on what I know about pharmacokinetics, what MAY be happening here is that kava is affecting the same CYP (human cytochrome) enzyme(s) responsible for metabolizing your medications, resulting in changes to your anxiety levels. You generally want to treat kava like you would grapefruit and not take it if you're on medications that follow the same metabolic paths that kava is known to inhibit in the body.
 
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