Kava Effects: How Long Do They Last For

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People from around the world are being introduced to kava. One of the most popular questions we get asked here at Kava-Bula is “how long does the kava effect last for?” Well, the answer is different between all people but this article will present the 3 most common timeframes for the kava effect.

When you try kava for the first time you can expect to have kava last for a little while. For immediate effects, kava will last for around 30-50 minutes after you drink it. After this, you might notice a calming effect for around 1-2 days. Finally, there are long-lasting calming effects of kava that last around one or two weeks before finally subsiding.

The team here at Kava-Bula each has their own timelines for kava. Some people notice that it only impacts them for around one or two hours while others will experience a calming effect for several weeks. Typically we tell people here on the islands that for the first time trying kava to expect little effect and around 20 minutes of a calming feeling.

Let’s jump right in ya; here is everything you will ever need to know about how long the effects of kava last for.

The Immediate Effects of Kava Will Last About 20-50 Minutes After the Drink

After you get done drinking your first glass of kava you should start to feel the relaxing effects. These immediate effects will last about 20-50 minutes and after about 30 minutes will start to subside.

This is the first effect of kava that many people enjoy. They often find themselves in a more relaxed state of mind and willing to socialize with the people around them.

After about 50 minutes these effects will pretty be much gone. Many people describe this 50-minute timeframe as a relaxed moment but this is not the only timeline for kava drinkers.

These kava effects can range from sleepiness and relaxation to psychological feelings of happiness and euphoria. However, it is important to note that during this entire time people are cognisant and fully aware of themselves and their surroundings. Compared to alcohol where people become agitated and upset I think kava is a better option.

Of the guests we have served about 20-25% of them will only experience this timeframe. After the immediate effects of kava have worn off they won’t be relaxed anymore. However, a majority of other people will feel the effects of kava for significantly longer.

Some People Experience Kava Calming Effects Lasting for 1-2 Days

Some people will experience a kava ‘afterglow’ that lasts for several days. These effects are often the feeling of happiness, stress-free, and relaxation.

During this time period, we often have guests come back just to tell us how great kava is. They won’t order another shell or drink but instead just talk with us about how kava has been a great way to meet and socialize with new and old friends.

This kava afterglow is what most people experience. It will stick around for one or two days and you will generally feel better about life. The team here at Kava-Bula takes great pleasure to help people discover kava and enjoy it responsibly; both in person and to people like you over the internet!

Even though this kava afterglow lasts for 1-2 days it is not the longest time frame for how long kava effects can last for. The longest by far is 1-2 weeks after taking the kava drink and is an extension of the kava afterglow phase.

Kava Effects Can Last Upwards of 1-2 Weeks After Drinking Kava

This is by far the longest that kava effects can last for. Some of our guests here on the islands have experienced kava effects that last upwards of 1-2 weeks before finally subsiding.

These kava effects are largely a continuation of the kava afterglow phase where people just generally feel happier about their lives. During this 1-2 week final phase our guests report feeling happier and more relaxed in their lives.

Most of the time their work productivity improves as well. I for one get better sleep for several days after I drink kava; although I am not sure if that’s normal for everyone. Several of our guests have experienced this as well.

A study done in 2015 by the National Center of Biotechnology Information found that kava can be used to treat chronic anxiety and actually help people feel more relaxed for weeks after drinking it. This makes sense as many people tell us that kava has been one of the greatest additions to their lives in recent years.

How Much Kava Do You Have to Drink to Feel the Effects

How much kava do you need to feel the effects

How many kava drinks does it take the start to feel the effects? Well this depends on your tolerance level but the above chart is what we have seen from the average first-time kava drinker here on the islands.

Normally a first-time kava drinker will need to drink at least 2 ‘shells’ or drinks of kava to start to feel the effects of kava. Any more than that and the kava drinker runs the risk of not enjoying the experience. This is normally where I tell beginners to stop as they should know how their body reacts to the relaxing kava effects before progressing.

However, the above graph is just for a normal kava drinker. Kava is rare and as you drink more of it you will actually start to develop less tolerance for it. This means that as you drink more kava you actually need less to feel the same effects; so long as it is prepared properly.

So I would say that to accurately answer this question on how much kava beginner would need to feel the kava effects. Try out two kava glasses of around 8-12 oz each and see how you feel.


That about covers it for the question of “how long do the effects of kava last for.”

As always the answer is that “it depends.” There are simply too many variables that go into the number of kava drinks it will take before you feel the effects and how long they would last. The average length of time that kava will last is around 1-2 days but there are outliers on both ends of the spectrum.



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