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How Long Does Kava Last? And How Long Does It Take For Kava To Kick In?

People who drink kava often report feeling a strong wave of psychoactive effects, as well as feeling relaxed and calm. The effects usually last for around 1.5 to 2.5 hours. It is important to note that the effects of kava vary depending on how much is consumed, and that reverse-tolerance may occur, meaning that it may take multiple days of drinking kava before the desired effects are felt.

Additionally, the effects of kava will last for different durations, depending on the amount of kava you consume, and the frequency with which you consume it. For example, some people like to drink kava regularly over the course of an afternoon, which tends to produce a pleasant, low-level buzz, and not an acute, intense sensation.

Read what real kava users have answered when asked about this on the subreddit r/kava. You’ll see that people generally report that the feeling from kava lasts for around two hours.

We think going to real kava users to answer this question is one of the best ways to provide information on this topic because 1) there is not a lot of reliable scholarship on both the question of how long kava lasts, and how long it takes to kick in, and 2) everyone has a different kava routine, and more importantly different tolerances. Therefore, going to a forum of kava users and sampling their answers is going to be the most helpful way to answer your search.

When I first drink it it’s like a strong wave comes over me, this is the first night that I drank enough to fill residual effects after that. It’s pretty nice. I was sad last time [because] the feeling left me so quick.

I kneaded 3 tablespoons in 8 oz of warm water and was able to drink half of it over the course of 45 minutes or so. Definitely felt a buzz but it was short lived. Another 45 minutes later, I felt relaxed, but not buzzed.

There are some residual effects you will feel for awhile. The rush is very short lasting.

I usually drink 16 to 24 oz., and I feel it for about 1.5 to 2.5 hours.

I tried kava for the first time tonight, instant dehydrated Nene from Gourmet Hawaiian Kava. It says to mix 1 teaspoon with a glass of water. I mixed it with 5 oz. of chocolate milk and chased it with something else. It was so fine it didn’t dissolve well, had little globs. I did get a little numb tongue and liked the feeling but it only lasted for about 20 minutes. I was in a really good mood and more interested in small things than usual.

I’ve had sessions where I felt nothing at all and others where I felt it strongly for at least an hour afterwards.

You have to drink many days before getting the real effects. Kava has something called reverse-tolerance, so you have to let your brain get used to kava before feeling the effects. Once you get there, it usually last around 2 or 3 hours. Never drive under kava because it really feels like drinking alcohol. Always drink it on an empty stomach. Because if you eat and then drink kava, you’ll get diminished effects.

It lasts 3 or 4 hours for me.

As you can see, everyone has a slightly different experience. The issue is multivariate—as we said above, the effects of kava last for different durations depending on how much you take, how often you’re taking it, and what’s more, if you take it on an empty stomach, and possibly your bodyweight and tolerance level with kava itself.

It’s also inconsistent for how long kava takes to kick in. Unfortunately, there is no one answer, because everyone is different. Your best bet is to start slow, and go from there.

Want to read more about kava? We got you covered—

About the author

Holden Desalles is a journalist in the new wellness space, covering topics such as CBD, adaptogens, and nootropics. He was formerly a staff writer at the millennial lifestyle website Thought Catalog.

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