Kava is a shrub native to the South Pacific. From Fiji to Tonga and the many islands in between, local communities have long transformed its roots into a relaxing drink that is served at ceremonies and celebrations.
Even outside of the Pacific Islands, many people have adopted kava as a relaxing daily ritual. Kava's unique effects, including happiness and a sense of well-being, offer a refreshing way to unwind. Plus, kava can make you feel more talkative and friendly, making it a great choice for get-togethers.
These qualities are largely attributed to a set of compounds called kavalactones. Kavalactones calm our brain by affecting our network of GABA receptors. Our GABA receptors interact with GABA neurotransmitters, which are like little chemical messengers that our bodies release to help reduce stress and improve mood. Kavalactones neatly integrate into this neurological system to enhance the effectiveness of all things GABA.
And according to the current body of research
into kava, kavalactones don't stop there. They also reduce the reabsorption of dopamine
, which is a hormone associated with the sensation of pleasure. They may even help reduce our body's stress response by influencing the reuptake of noradrenaline
All in all, kavalactones work through several biological channels to improve mood, promote relaxation, and clear the mind.
How Do Kava's Effects Compare to Alcohol?
A growing movement of people is swapping out a cocktail for a nibble of Kava + THC Chocolate
. But can kava replace alcohol entirely? Kava enthusiasts seem to think so because of the undeniable overlap in effects.
But let's break down the effects of kava vs. alcohol to find out exactly how comparable they are:
Similarities: Kava vs. Alcohol