How Long Does Kava Last? | Botanic Tonics

How Long Does Kava Last? | Botanic Tonics

Reviewed by Erin Berthold

High-quality kava kava, also known as kava, is a good-feels gift for those looking to enhance their wellness with plant-based perks. The potential relaxing and mood-elevating effects of kava can last about 3–6 hours.[1,2]

Derived from the Piper methysticum plant (native to the South Pacific Islands) and packed with calm-inducing kavalactones, both kava pills and kava tonics serve as healthful long-term alternatives [3]. Learn more about the effects of kava and the benefits of kava consumption, or jump straight to the section most relevant to you.

  • How Does it Take to Feel the Effects of Kava
  • How Much Kava Should You Take? 
  • Can I Take Too Much Kava?
  • The Potential Benefits of Kava   
  • Insights Into Kava Onset, Experience and Duration
  • Exploring Kava: A Comparison with Other Substances

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How Long Does it Take to Feel the Effects of Kava?

Kava extract can be found in different supplement forms, including kava tea, capsules, and other kava drink mixes such as tonics.

Curious about the effects of consuming kava? Let’s dig a little deeper into the question of how long does kava last? The answer depends on several factors, such as:

  • The strength of the dosage
  • Whether you’ve eaten recently
  • The presence of other medications in your system
  • Your body’s metabolism

Generally speaking, you can expect to feel kava’s effects within 15–30 minutes after ingesting it. This means that you can strategically time your dosage to leverage its potential benefits.

How Much Kava Should You Take?

It is important to note that kava extract comes in a variety of forms, including:

  • Tonics
  • Capsules
  • Teas
  • Tinctures

 The exact potency of these products can vary widely whether you’re deciding between kava pills vs drink products, which is why it’s so important to read the labels before ingesting any kava-infused supplement. 

Whatever kava product you ultimately choose, be aware that most experts agree that the ceiling for your daily dose is around 250 milligrams.[4]

Are kava capsules effective like tonics? That depends. How often you take kava and how many times a day will play a role in your intended effect: 45 to 80 milligrams three times a day can help maintain good vibes, and 180 to 250 milligrams before bedtime can help you slumber deeply.[5]

Additionally, it's important to consider your individual metabolism. Metabolism can vary from person to person, affecting how quickly substances are processed and eliminated from the body. As a result, the effects and optimal dosage of kava may differ among individuals.

That said, there’s no one dose for everybody. (Or, every body.) Folks on the petite side should carefully monitor their kava intake and start with smaller daily amounts before increasing their dosage. 

Can I Take Too Much Kava?

Though people have ingested kava on the regular for hundreds of years, it’s best used in moderation. Excessive kava intake can affect every body differently.[6]

To ensure a safe experience, you can manage the effects of high kava consumption by:

  • Limiting your daily dosage: It is important to adhere to the recommended dosage provided by the manufacturer and avoid exceeding it. Moderation is key to avoid any potential adverse effects.
  • Using it in the short-term only: Long-term, excessive use of kava can lead to adverse effects on the liver. Therefore, it is advisable to use kava supplements for short periods rather than as a daily or prolonged regimen.
  • Never mixing it with alcohol: Combining kava with alcohol can increase the risk of adverse effects and potential liver damage. It is crucial to refrain from consuming alcohol while using kava supplements.

    In addition, ask your doctor if the kava product you choose is compatible with your existing medications. We always say it’s smart to get the go-ahead from a professional before trying a new supplement.

    The Potential Benefits of Kava

    From drinking kava tea to consuming kava powder, all types of kava supplements can have mood, focus, and relaxation benefits. But these potential kava supplement benefits sound too good to be true, right? Not quite. Here’s the science behind how it happens.  

    Locked within each kava plant is an abundance of molecules called kavalactones, a class of compounds that activate your impulse to snooze and sleep.[7] But kava can ease you into other areas of your life, too:

    • Kava can help reduce stress – Numerous studies have found that kava consumption can ease feelings of occasional anxiety and provide short-term relief for things like the dreaded Sunday Scaries.[8]
    • Kava can act as a social tonic When you’re attending an event, a kava tonic can usher in waves of cool, calm confidence—without the morning hangover.

      Insights into Kava Onset, Duration, and Aftereffects

      Initial Effects of Kava 

      You may experience a slight numbing sensation in your mouth and lips when drinking kava. This is followed by feelings of relaxation, reduced occasional anxiety, and stress relief. Some people feel more sociable, while others enjoy a peaceful state of mind. Importantly, kava may provide occasional anxiety relief without cognitive impairment or significant sedation[9].

      Peak Experience 

      The peak effects of kava usually occur within 1 to 2 hours. During your peak, you may feel very relaxed and tranquil or have an increased appreciation for your surroundings. Kava may also enhance mental clarity and focus, ideal for those who need to stay alert while reducing stress and occasional anxiety.

      Gradual Decline and Aftereffects

      Following the peak effects, the intensity of kava gradually declines over several hours. Most users return to their normal state within 5 to 8 hours. Some may experience an "afterglow" effect, feeling calm and content even after the initial effects wear off [10]. 

      Exploring Kava: A Comparison with Other Substances

      Let's explore how kava differs from these substances.

      Kava vs. Alcohol 

      Kava and alcohol both help with relaxation, but they work on different parts of the brain. Kava may help with relaxation without impairing cognitive or motor functions like alcohol does. Unlike alcohol, kava isn't addictive or associated with severe withdrawal symptoms. It’s not recommended to combine kava with alcohol since this increases the risk of liver toxicity.

      Kava vs. Kratom 

      Although kava and kratom both help with occasional anxiety relief and mood, they affect different brain receptors. Kratom affects opioid receptors, which can lead to addiction if used excessively. Kava, on the other hand, interacts with GABA and glutamate receptors. Kratom's effects can also vary in duration, whereas kava's effects are more consistent.

       Kava vs. CBD 

      Both kava and CBD have calming properties, but they work differently. Kava acts on the central nervous system, while CBD interacts with the endocannabinoid system. Kava tends to have a more immediate and pronounced impact, while CBD's effects are milder and gradual. The duration of CBD's effects depends on the consumption method. 

      Enjoy Feelings of Calm and Focus with Botanic Tonics

      The kava kava plant-based solution is for those looking to live and rest easy. Typically, kava will last 3–6 hours following consumption, but it’s advised to take kava supplements in moderation—at least until you learn how the plant affects your body.

      At Botanic Tonics, we craft feel free kava tonics and feel free kava capsules to enhance your everyday life with relaxation, productivity, and focus. Our uniquely fruity formula blends earthy, spicy, and sweet tones that can be consumed on the regular. And we’ll ship it straight to your door. 

      You’d be remiss not to pursue bliss with Botanic Tonics.

      shop feel free capsules


      [1] Nutrients. Kava as a Clinical Nutrient: Promises and Challenges. 

      [2] Neural Regeneration Research. Neuroprotective properties of kavalactones. 

      [3] Kava Guides. Kava Duration — How Long Does It Take & How Long Will it Last? 

      [4] Neural Regeneration Research. Neuroprotective properties of kavalactones. 

      [5] Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice. The effectiveness and safety of Kava Kava for treating anxiety symptoms: A systematic review and analysis of randomized clinical trials. 

      [6] Phytotherapy Research. Contaminant hepatotoxins as culprits for kava hepatotoxicity--fact or fiction? 

      [7] Science Direct. Textbook of Natural Medicine. 

      [8] Kava Kava. 

      [9] Alcohol and Drug Foundation. Kava Information. 

      About The Author

      Erin Berthold Botanic Tonic

      Erin Berthold, PhD

      Erin Berthold is the R&D Director at Botanic Tonics. She holds her PhD in Pharmaceutics from the University of Florida. There she studied the interaction potential between mitragynine and cannabidiol, two compounds from complex natural products. She is passionate about developing creative and alternative options for individuals suffering from substance use disorders.

      Erin earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 2011. Prior to going back to obtain her PhD, she worked in manufacturing, quality control, engineering, and quality assurance roles across regulated industry at pharmaceutical, medical device, and dietary supplement companies.

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