What is the Kava Bar Age Limit? | Botanic Tonics

What is the Kava Bar Age Limit? | Botanic Tonics

Reviewed by Erin Berthold

Many kava users take this natural supplement as an alternative to caffeine or alcohol. Additional benefits of kava consumption may also include enhanced mental clarity, occasional reduction of anxiety, and more. With its popularity rising, some cafes and bars have even been opting to serve kava alongside espresso and cocktails.

With the caveats and restrictions placed on the consumption of caffeine and alcohol, it’s natural to wonder if there’s a kava age limit. Likewise, with traditional bars being restricted to those 21 and up, you may be curious if there’s a kava bar age limit as well.

There is no official kava bar age limit regulated by law—which makes it up to the kava bar owner to decide who can enjoy it and how. Read on to discover age limits for using kava, entering kava bars, and how to use kava responsibly. 

How Old Do You Have to Be to Drink Kava?

Most people wait until they are a teenager to try their first cup of coffee. This isn’t because there are laws prohibiting children from consuming caffeine, but because of social customs and medical recommendations.

In much the same way, the United States has no laws dictating what ages can and cannot use kava. Unlike drugs, such as alcohol or opiates, kava is not considered a controlled substance or given a classification by the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA). Hence, there are no legal statutes governing its personal use.[1]

In fact, kava has been in use long before the DEA (or even USA) existed.

The Historical Use of Kava for Ceremonial Purposes

The kava plant originates from the remote islands of the Pacific Ocean, such as those belonging to the modern nations of Tonga and Vanuatu. Here, kava culture is historically (and contemporarily) important for its role in various rituals and ceremonies.

These events serve many important functions, including:[2]

  • Gathering the community in a social atmosphere
  • Providing a place to practice the language and customs of the local culture
  • Enjoying the relaxation, focus, and bliss of consuming kava

In a way, these types of ceremonies are the original kava bars. However, the type of clientele separates them from the modern image of a bar.

It is documented that elders would take their young sons to these ceremonies to meet the community and experience kava.[3] Hence, there have historically been no age limits on the use of kava, either.

So, is Kava for Everyone?

Since there are no formal limitations on using kava, does that mean anyone and everyone should take it? Not necessarily. There are a few modern recommendations concerning who should steer clear of the supplement for safety reasons:

  • Minors – Much like coffee shouldn’t be served to growing children, potential kava takers should wait until they’re at least 18 to try it. Even with a supplement as wholly beneficial as kava, users should be mature enough to fully understand what they are taking and the effect it may have on their bodies.
  • Pregnant people – Kava is widely used as an alternative to caffeine and alcohol. As such, it should be treated like caffeine and alcohol for pregnant people and be avoided while pregnant.[4]
  • Those who are breastfeeding – Once again, like alcohol, caffeine, and other substances that may be transferred through breast milk, kava should be avoided until your baby is weaned off of breastfeeding.

If you’re not a member of these specific groups, kava is a superb way to rejuvenate your mind and relax your body. And, If you enjoy the unique sensations kava provides, perhaps giving a kava bar or cafe a whirl would be up your alley. 

How Old Do You Have to Be for a Kava Bar?

So, what is a kava bar? Like the Polynesian kava ceremonies that predate them, kava bars are places to enjoy a kava beverage and socialize with other fans of the supplement. They’ve been popping up across the United States since the early 2000s and have seen a steady rise in popularity since then.[5]

When you enter a kava bar, you’ll encounter a menu with options featuring the herbal supplement. Mixes that would usually contain coffee or alcohol, such as cappuccinos and cocktails, are instead backed by a healthy serving of kava extract.

The term bar conjures mental images of bouncing basslines, chatty social circles, and an all-adult clientele. While some kava bar concepts follow a similar formula, others are more akin to cozy coffee shops. 

Regardless of their style, the question remains: Is there a legal age restriction on who can enter kava bars?

The Three Types of Kava Bars

The answer to this question depends on which of the three types of kava bars you’re surveying. 

As mentioned, kava isn’t a regulated substance, and there are no legal parameters limiting its personal use. Consequently, kava bars fall into a similar legal category. 

The proprietors of kava-serving cafes and lounges are free to invite anyone they please into their businesses. So, does that mean that people of all ages are welcome at every kava-centric establishment?

Not exactly.

Since kava bar owners are free to open their doors to whomever they see fit, they can also place age restrictions on who can and cannot come in. In general, kava bars follow three different types of age guidelines for their customer base:

  • Adults only – These spots tend to have a more social vibe to them. Some kava enthusiasts seek to replace the atmosphere of a conventional bar and the alcohol consumption that comes with it. Hence, these spots are reserved for the adult crowd and minors are barred from entering and trying a kava tonic. 
  • Come one, come all – Young or old, anyone is welcome in these kinds of kava cafes. Their menus will often even contain other types of kava-free beverages to cater to customers who aren’t yet quite old enough to try the supplement. 
  • Minors must be accompanied – Like PG-13 movies, some kava cafes require minors to be in the company of an adult guardian when entering. These establishments also often offer alternatives to kava so the whole family can enjoy a drink while mom and dad reenergize and relax. 

Kava has the potential to both mellow and invigorate, meaning some feel relaxed and recharged and others become inspired to socialize after drinking it. Regardless of how you enjoy kava, there’s a bar or cafe suited to your style. 

And, if your style is classic yet ageless, you may be thinking: “You have to be how old to drink kava? In other words, is there an age when you should stop drinking kava? Let’s take a look.

Is There a Maximum Age to Take Kava?

There is no upper age limit for enjoying kava. As you age, taking kava offers a variety of potential benefits that can improve your quality of life, including:

  • The potential for relief – Kava is known for its ability to rejuvenate the mind and relax the body. It can help alleviate some of the discomforts from the physical ailments we develop as we age.
  • A social atmosphere – Kava’s relaxing effects create an inviting and inclusive atmosphere. There’s no ceiling for age in the kava community and all lovers of the supplement have a home in a kava house. 
  • Less wear on the body – As we age, substances such as alcohol take an increased toll on our bodies. Taking kava doesn’t result in impairment, harm your liver, or cause a hangover, meaning pure rejuvenation without needing to be revived the next day.

As with any supplement, consulting a doctor beforehand is recommended if you have other major health concerns. And, if you’re interested in giving kava a go, it’s recommended to consider trying it at home first.

How to Try Kava at Home Safely

Kava is widely available outside of establishments that specialize in serving the supplement. Thus, many people opt to try kava in their home before heading to a kava bar. Taking kava for a test run at home presents a couple of upsides:

  • Understand its effects – When you first take kava, you’ll see just how relaxed or social it makes you. Then, once you understand how it affects you personally, you’ll get a better idea of the type of environment you want to be in when taking it. 
  • Save money – Like getting coffee at a cafe or cocktails at a lounge, the atmosphere makes up much of what you’re paying for when you head to a kava bar. Trying it in your home lets you give kava a go for a fraction of the price.

For kava beginners, it might take your body some time to get used to the effects. You may wonder, what does kava taste like? Does it change the way you feel? The extract on its own can leave some with a bitter taste in their mouths and others with a bitter feeling in their stomach. For this reason, a tonic or capsule form of kava is best suited for beginners.

Try Premium Kava Supplements from Botanic Tonics

Whether you’re a seasoned kava veteran or looking to try it for the first time, quality makes a significant difference when it comes to kava extracts.

At Botanic Tonics, we source genuine Noble kava directly from the remote islands of Vanuatu in the South Pacific. Our products are expertly refined to deliver the purest, most blissful kava experience possible.

feel free tonic combines the rejuvenating effects of kava with other ancient plants in one holistic drink. To sweeten the deal, a frequent accompaniment of Polynesian kava ceremonies, pineapple juice, tops the tonic with its fruity essence. Simply sip straight or mix it into your favorite beverage to feel the benefits of kava consumption in a short 15 to 20 minutes.

If you’re solely after its bodily benefits, feel free kava capsules pack all the power of kava on the go. Once the vegan shell dissolves in your stomach, the sensation of kava will begin to flush over your body.

If you’re trying to ease discomfort, bolster your mind’s capacity to focus, and enhance yourself holistically, kava can supplement your lifestyle in all these ways and more. 


Drug Enforcement Agency. Kava. https://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/
The Journal of Polynesian Society. The past before us: a brief history of Tongan kava. https://www.researchgate.net/
The Mayo Clinic. Pregnancy nutrition: Foods to avoid during pregnancy. https://www.mayoclinic.org/
Tampa Bay Times. This City is the Kava Capital of the U.S. https://www.tampabay.com/

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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