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Noble Kava vs. Tudei Kava: Which Kava Variety is Better?

Noble Kava vs. Tudei Kava: Which Kava Variety is Better?

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Kava, hailed in Hawaiian folklore as a divine gift sent from the gods, is celebrated for its mood-enhancing and uplifting properties. Yet, its effects have many subtleties, as it is far from a homogeneous species. There are actually hundreds of known kava varieties scattered across the expanse of the South Pacific. This rich diversity means that not all kava experiences are created equal.

If you’ve ever considered partaking in this revered shrub, you’ve likely been overwhelmed by the multitude of options available, but usually, the choice boils down to Noble Kava vs. Tudei Kava. So, which one is best? 

Noble kava is widely regarded as the superior choice because it's safer and has more agreeable effects. But don't just take our word for it. Below, we compare the two main types of kava, including their distinct effects and safety profiles based on scientific research.

What is Kava?

kava kava plant leaves up close

Kava, also known as kava kava, is a traditional beverage made from the roots of the Piper methysticum plant native to the South Pacific Islands. The kava plant remains a culturally significant crop in Fiji, Samoa, and Tonga, where it’s long been part of various ceremonies and rituals. It's shared during celebrations of marriages, births, and even political events. 

But kava is not just reserved for special occasions. For many Pacific Islanders (and now for enthusiasts around the world), enjoying this plant is a soothing daily ritual. Kava extract has been incorporated into other products as it offers a safe, natural way to unwind. Kava wraps you in its warm embrace to fill you with contentment, relaxation, and social enablement. 

What are the Effects of Kava?

kava powder

Kava is beloved mainly for its calming and social effects. While frequently compared to alcohol, it's best to think of kava as a non-alcoholic drink with unique effects on the mind and body. 

As Dr. Aporosa, a Research Fellow at the University of Waikato in New Zealand, explained, "Kava relaxes people [but] unlike alcohol, it does not disinhibit the user or cause intoxication, lead to violent behavior, or markedly affect the drinkers' cognitive abilities and functioning."

Instead, kava's effects tend to encourage:
  • Happiness
  • Chattiness
  • Clear headedness
  • Relaxation 
We can link all these effects to a naturally occurring compound in kava: kavalactones. Kavalactones are definitely the kava plant's star players and the primary active chemicals. 

Kava's warm, relaxing effects kick in when these kavalactones interact with your brain's neurotransmitter systems, particularly influencing the GABA system. This is the same system that is influenced by alcohol, which is why there is a close association between the two.

What are the Different Types of Kava? Noble Kava vs. Tudei Kava

pacific islander scooping traditional kava drink from.a basin

Considering you'll find kava grown by hundreds of Pacific Island communities across a landscape as rich as it is ecologically diverse, it should be no surprise to find out there are 200 known cultivars of kava

Similar to how every strain of cannabis comes with a different combination of cannabinoids and terpenes, each type of kava (also referred to as kava chemotypes) has a unique chemical profile of kavalactones. Subtle differences in kavalactone concentrations create nuances in what you'll experience from one variety to the next.

Outside the South Pacific, you'll usually only find two types available: noble kava and tudei kava. 

Noble Kava

Noble kava is widely recognized as the superior of the two because it has measurably higher levels of a kavalactone called kavain, which is known for its pleasant, relaxing effects. 

Noble kava comes on with less intensity, and the effects have a shorter duration than tudei types. While, for some folks, these characteristics may not sound ideal (after all, don't most people look for more powerful and longer active experiences?), the beauty of noble kava is that the effects are overwhelmingly positive. Importantly, side effects are rare; when they do happen, they’re generally pretty mild.

Tudei Kava

Tudei kava, which you'll also hear called two-day kava, is largely considered a lower-quality kava. While the experience is more intense, it frequently comes with unpleasant and lingering side effects. Some islands actually ban the export of tudei kava because of its more negative outcomes. 

Why is there such a difference between noble kava vs. tudei kava? Tudei contains much less kavain and has higher levels of compounds called dihydromethysticin and dihydrokavain, which can lead to "overpowering and/or unpredictable effects such as nausea and headaches that can last multiple days," — hence the "two-day" designation.

Noble vs. Tudei Kava: Which is Better?

If you weigh the qualities of noble kava vs. tudei kava, one clearly comes out as the winner: noble kava. 

Not only are its effects shorter-lived (i.e. no “hangover”) but they’re also much more pleasurable. Even scientific researchers agree, emphasizing that "noble cultivars produce a more desirable and safer experience" compared with the lower-quality tudei types.

For these reasons, Hometown Hero relies exclusively on high-quality noble kava for our formulations, including our Kava + THC Dark Chocolate Bar and Kava + Ashwagandha Dark Chocolate Bar. Relaxing, uplifting, and, importantly, predictable, noble kava is the stuff dreams are made of.

Noble Kava: A Relaxing Ritual for Everyday

two young women enjoying dark chocolate bars infused with kava

The choice between noble kava vs. tudei kava is abundantly clear: Tudei kava might offer a more intense experience, but it's noble kava that stands out thanks to its superior quality and much more enjoyable effects. 

Traditionally, this is also the case. Noble kava, with its enhanced kavalactone profile and gentler, more social effects, has long been the preferred option for daily drinking. And, when the experience is so positive, why mess with tradition?  

Ready to embrace all that noble kava has to offer? Our noble kava-infused offerings are designed for mental clarity, amplified connections, and deep relaxation. Explore our range of kava treats and discover the perfect beginning for a new daily ritual.

Until next time, happy exploring, and mind your mind.

FDA Disclaimer: The statements made regarding these products have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The efficacy of these products has not been confirmed by FDA-approved research. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. All information presented here is not meant as a substitute for or alternative to information from health care practitioners. 

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