cooking and cbd

The Complete Guide to Kava Drops & Kava Extract Tinctures

You may have heard about buying kava as a natural pathway to relaxation. Kava has been used in the Pacific Islands for centuries to enhance ceremonies, induce calm, and bring people together in social harmony. In this guide, we’ll take a look at kava and what makes it so special for wellness seekers all over the world – specifically kava extracts and kava tincture drops.

These are quickly becoming two of the preferred ways to use kava. Because it’s a liquid, these drops (or tinctures) are portable, easy to use, and work quickly.

Kava Liquid Extracts Vs Kava Extract Powders

Liquid kava extracts are not to be confused with powdered kava extracts, though they are similarly made. Kava drops or tinctures are reduced further, removing the plant material – like root fibers or powders. Separating the active compounds from the rest of the plant material makes a more compact and versatile form of kava that can be used in a variety of ways.

  • No powders to measure
  • No gritty texture, less earthy flavor
  • Easier to digest for tummies sensitive to plant fibers
  • Quick, portable, and easy to use
  • Often quite potent – so you don’t need much!

Because kava can make you feel more relaxed and socially at ease, kava extracts are taken anytime one wants to experience a relaxed state or before social engagements. Knowing these properties of kava and how it makes you feel can open up myriad applications in your life – from better sleep, to stress reduction, to comfort at work, to just enjoying your Saturday with the family. If you are unfamiliar with kava or what kava does, or if you need to refresh your memory on this herbal wonder, let’s start there…

What Is Kava, Kava Kava, or Kava Root?

All kava comes from Piper methysticum, a perennial shrub native to Pacific Islands like Fiji, Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, and Tonga. In this tropical region kava goes by many names (like grog or ‘awa), is part of important cultural practices, and in many cases is a profitable export.

Traditionally, kava is used in powdered form to create a milky drink that is shared in small groups. Visitors to the region reported a variety of psychoactive effects of the substance and this curiosity has led to Western use of kava as an herbal supplement or for medicinal purposes. Its purported sedative or anxiolytic effects can be quite useful when kava is used properly.

One creative way Westerners have applied a more modern approach to kava use is to reduce the kava to a concentrated liquid form. Now, you can get the tropical bliss of Fiji Kava right at home by using these potent kava extract drops.

In fact, in the US you can find many kava-based products:

  • Kava Powders or Kava Root – We recommend this Fijan & Tongan Kava by Kats Botanicals.
  • Kava Capsules – Some powders are packed into capsules or tablets for easy consumption.
  • Kava Kava – Dietary supplements in tablet or capsule form. Can be found in health food stores, pharmacies, and grocery stores.
  • Kava Tea – This milky drink made with kava powders can be made at home or ordered at a kava establishment
  • Kava Tinctures or Kava Extracts – These concentrated tinctures come in a small bottle with an easy dropper for dosing. They can be ordered from a wellness company or found at a health and wellness store.

Did you knowThere may be a kava bar near you? Kava bars are popping up all over the US! These establishments are often more relaxing than the somewhat unhinged merriment of alcohol bars. Kava is just a different vibe. Do a quick Google search today and see if there’s a kava bar near you!

Because kava can be an acquired taste, kava extracts, or kava tincture drops, are gaining popularity. It’s a quicker, easier, and more versatile way to take kava. Let’s take a look at kava extracts and how they might be that new island vibe you’ve been seeking!

What Is Kava Liquid Extract?

Kava liquid extracts are concentrates of kava’s active compounds, minus the plant material and root fibers. They can be more palatable, easier to digest, and are quite versatile to use. These extracts usually come in liquid form in a small tincture bottle. The bottle’s dropper makes it easy to add the potent drops to drinks, foods, or simply take it by mouth.

Kava extracts can be made from any kava plant materials that contain active compounds, which are most concentrated in the lateral root fibers of the plant. In kava, these tiny botanical activists are called kavalactones.

What Are Kavalactones?

By “active compounds” we mean the parts of the plant that cause changes in the way a human feels. Kind of like cannabis or some CBD products that have THC and other molecular active compounds, kava has tiny kavalactones which make a big impact when ingested. The psychoactive effects you feel from kava come from the combination of kavalactones as they work synergistically in your body.

Did you know – Some kavalactones can make your lips, tongue, and throat feel tingly or numb? This is likely the work of one kavalactone; kavain. If you don’t like this feeling, you can use kava extracts with a swallow-and-chase method to reduce the time the kavalactones have contact with your mouth. Read more in our Guide to Kavalactones.

Types of Kavalactones

There are six main kavalactones which vary in combination and concentration depending on the region of kava plants from which they are extracted.

  • Methysticin
  • Dihydromethysticin
  • Kavain
  • Dihydrokavain
  • Yangonin
  • Desmethoxyyangonin

Though kavalactones can be synthesized in a lab, it is thought that these synthetic kavalactones “do not induce the same physiological effects as the natural raw extract.” (Kava: The Pacific Elixir, pg 66, Lebot, Merlin, Lindstrom).

How to Use Kava Drops & Kava Tinctures

Using kava tincture drops is easy, especially if you are familiar with using CBD drops. But in case you’re not, let’s break down just how simple kava tinctures can be to incorporate into any lifestyle. Dependent on the manufacturer, there will be a recommended daily dosage. Your product may advise not to exceed a certain amount per serving, or per day. Keep these dosage recommendations in mind as you spread out the use of your tincture drops over the course of your day. Also, keep in mind that kava works best on an empty stomach, so take it thirty minutes before a meal or between meals.

To use your kava tinctures, squeeze the dropper to release the desired amount of drops into your mouth or into a non-carbonated beverage and drink. Do not touch the dropper to the inside of your mouth to prevent any contamination.

Here are some ideas of when and how you can use your kava extracts.

  • Morning Dose – Enjoy a dose of kava with your favorite morning beverage. Note: Kava actually may boost caffeine so keep this in mind when you are enjoying your morning coffee.
  • Midday or Afternoon – Beat the afternoon stress with a dose of your kava extracts.
  • Evening – Wind down or ready yourself for a better night’s sleep with a dose of kava extracts.
  • Before Social Events – Take a quick dose before you socialize!

Kava Drops Instead of Alcohol

One exciting application for kava extracts is to use these drops before events where one might normally consume alcohol. Using kava drops instead of alcohol may be a preferred way to have fun and socialize without the worry of some of the negative effects associated with alcohol use. However, it’s still a good idea to suspend driving a motor vehicle until you know how kava affects you.

Other Important Information, Q & A on Kava Extract Use

How is kava extract made?

Kava extracts are made by pulling the kavalactones from the rhizomatous root fibers using a solvent like ethanol or CO2. The extracts can be left in powdered form, to function as highly concentrated powders (vs traditional kava powders,) or they can be further reduced (pressed) to remove the plant material and leave the kavalactone content. Then, the kavalactone content is added to a carrier liquid and bottled into small bottles with a dosing dropper. While it is possible to make your own extracts at home, the exact kavalactone content is difficult to determine outside of a manufacturing facility with access to lab equipment.

Kava drops and kava tinctures: Are they the same?

Pretty much. It may differ among manufacturers. Some manufacturers may label any liquid kava concentrate as a “tincture.” Others may call lower-potency drops “tinctures” and higher-potency ones “extracts.” They are used the same way and differ in their strengths. (Always read product labels!)

Kava drops vs kava powder: Which is best?

If you want to experience kava traditionally with its texture, flavonoid content, and island-inspired social vibe, then by all means make some kava tea and share it with a friend! If you just want to chill out a bit and move on with your life (no muss, no fuss) – tincture drops can keep you on the move with ease. It’s just a matter of preference. Remember there are other factors aside from the form of kava you ingest – like your body’s sensitivity to the plant matter, how much time you want to spend preparing your kava, and the product quality and strength.

What Does Kava Do?

Kava appears to be relatively helpful as a calming agent but has not been officially approved for the treatment of these medical conditions. Consult a health care provider before using kava or any other botanical supplement to help you with any underlying stress or sleeping issues, especially if you are taking any medication. Discuss your desires to use kava as part of your natural wellness care and ask your doctor what amount of kava is safe for you to take.

How Do I Choose a Reputable Kava Provider?

The quality of your kava goes a long way. In an unregulated industry, it’s easy to get swayed by inferior products or suppliers. Look for a reputable website with a history of authority on kava (and other supplements), transparency about the sourcing of their kava imports, and thorough testing procedures to provide you with the best kava products. For premium kava powders, try Kats Botanicals Kats Kava Blend or Kats Kava Fiji. Kats Botanicals is an authority on a wide selection of premium botanical products.

How Many Kava Drops Should I Take?

When it comes to the dosage of your kava liquid drops, it’s very important to read the manufacturer’s instructions on your product. This gives you a baseline for an average adult dose based on the product’s strength. You may adjust this amount up or down to find your sweet spot dose of kava. Start small until you can mindfully observe how the kava extracts affect you. Avoid taking kava in combination with alcohol.

Written By Staff

The staff writers for Kats Botanicals have been researching and writing about Kratom products for more than 5 years, and have a combined experience of over 35 years of writing in the healthcare and supplement industry. The team has a keen understanding of the topic, remain current on all FDA and industry news, and use their expertise to generate engaging and informative content to help educate consumers on Kats Botanicals’ products. Each article is fact-checked and includes sources to scientific data to ensure readers receive the most up-to-date and accurate information possible.

Reviewed By Justin Kats

Justin Kats, founder of Kats Botanicals reviews and approves all content before releasing it for posting on the Kats Botanical website. Justin has been a tireless advocate for the benefits of Kratom since 2012. As a champion for botanical therapy, Justin created a Facebook group where more than 12,000 people discuss botanicals, and Kratom. He has also assisted more than 80,000 customers since the inception of his business and works directly with a single source farmer to ensure the purity of the products he sells. He also performs rigorous lab testing because he understands what it takes to get a high-quality and safe product to market.

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