Can You Drive After Drinking Kava? | Botanic Tonics

Can You Drive After Drinking Kava? | Botanic Tonics

Reviewed by Jamal Bouie

You've probably already heard about the soothing super powers of kava, the traditional South Pacific drink that helps you relax, unwind, and de-stress after a long day. But you may be wondering, can you drive after drinking kava? While it may seem harmless, there are a few factors to consider before getting behind the wheel. In this article, we'll dive into the effects of kava on driving, explore how it compares to alcohol, and provide safety tips for driving after consuming kava. So, let's buckle up and hit the road to uncover the truth about driving after drinking kava.

What is Kava?

Kava, also known as kava kava, is an herbal beverage made from the roots of the kava plant. It has been used for centuries in the South Pacific as a traditional drink known for its relaxation-inducing properties. Now that you have an understanding of what kava is, let's explore kava’s effects on the brain and body.

Understanding Kava's Effects

The kava root is known to have potential sedative and calming properties. These properties interact with certain neurotransmitters in the brain, promoting a sense of relaxation and tranquility. While these effects can vary from person to person, it's still important to be aware of the potential impact kava use can have on your driving skills.

Kava and Driving

A comprehensive study conducted by the University of Waikato delved into the effects of kava consumption on driving. The study involved 20 participants who were given the task of consuming 3.6 liters of kava within a six-hour period. Their neurological function was meticulously evaluated, and the results were compared to a control group consisting of 20 participants who refrained from consuming kava.

The findings of this recent research shed light on a noteworthy aspect of kava's impact on driving: its significant influence on temporal order judgment. Temporal order judgment refers to the brain's ability to accurately maintain the sequence of events. Given these findings, it becomes evident that exercising caution is of utmost importance when consuming significant amounts of kava and contemplating driving. Impaired reaction time and compromised decision-making abilities resulting from kava consumption pose risks to safe driving.[1]

Therefore, it is strongly recommended to wait until the effects of the kava supplement or tea has subsided before taking control of a vehicle to prioritize the safety of oneself and others on the road.

It is crucial to emphasize that the amount of kava in 3.2 liters is 50 times higher than the quantity found in a single 2-ounce bottle of our feel free kava tonics. It is important to note that feel free tonics, at the recommended dosage, does not present any threat to driving or impair judgment. With that being said, do not consume more than 1 serving at a time and no more than 2 servings per day. It is important never to over consume kava as it could be detrimental to your health and safety. 

How Long Does the Effect of Kava Last?

The duration of kava's effects can vary depending on factors such as the individual's metabolism, dosage, and how it’s prepared. Generally, the effects of kava may last for a few hours. 

Kava vs Alcohol

While kava and alcohol are different substances, they both have the potential to impair driving ability.[1] It's important to recognize that kava can have sedative effects similar to alcohol, albeit milder. However, combining kava and alcohol is not recommended, as it can intensify the impairing effects and pose significant risks.

How Botanic Tonics Can Help

At Botanic Tonics, we prioritize your well-being and safety, which is why all our kava supplements, tonics, and extracts are made with premium kava root ingredients. While we offer a range of high-quality kava products, we strongly emphasize responsible consumption. One 2oz bottle of feel free contains 210mg of kava per serving. With this information, you now can make informed decisions when enjoying the benefits of kava. 

Driving After Kava: The Bottom Line

When it comes to driving after consuming kava, safety should always be the priority. While kava use is renowned for its relaxing and occasional anxiety-reducing properties, its sedative effects can impair your ability to drive safely and cloud your mental clarity. Remember to allow sufficient time for the effects to wear off, consider having a sober driver, and be mindful of dosage. By following these safety tips, you can enjoy the benefits of kava while ensuring a safe journey. At Botanic Tonics, we're here to support your well-being and provide you with high-quality kava products. So, relax, unwind, but always put safety first when it's time to hit the road.


1. University of Waikato. Study on Kava and Drinking. 


About The Author

Jamal Bouie Botanic Tonic

Jamal Bouie

Jamal Bouie is an accomplished professional with a Bachelor’s Degree in Chemistry from Lemoyne-Owen College in Memphis. Currently, he is pursuing his PhD in Biomedicine at Salus University. Jamal has worked in several industries; he began his career in pharmaceutical manufacturing and transitioned to the cannabis industry, where he specialized in analytical testing and manufacturing, playing a vital role in ensuring product safety and compliance. Now, Jamal has turned his attention to the dietary supplement field, combining his scientific acumen with his passion for health and wellness.

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