Kava: How Long The Effects Last For

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One of the most common questions that we get are “how long do the effects of kava last” and “how long until kava wears off?” Well fortunately we have all the answers below.

While the kava glow can last for a day or more most kava drinkers will notice the effects wearing off after 1-3 hours. After this time a person might feel happier and more relaxed for upwards of a day and this is called the ‘kava-glow.’

The team here at kava-bula always tell newer kava drinkers to expect to feel the effects of kava for about 2-3 hours after drinking the root. During this time people will often feel more relaxed and focused. Well here is everything you need to know about how long kava lasts and how long it will take to wear off.

What You Need to Know About the Kava Timeline

When you first start drinking kava it is important that you know about the kava timeline. This timeline is how long you will feel the immediate effects of kava for.

Knowing this timeline is important because it can allow you to better understand how your body interacts with the kava root. Many people think that kava is similar to alcohol and that is simply not true. While alcohol will be out of your system in about two hours kava will last much longer.

Kava has two main time windows in which it interacts with your body. The first window is immediately after drinking the kava. This is when people feel relaxed and euphoric. The second feeling is a general feeling of happiness called the ‘kava-glow.’

Here on the islands we always let people know what to expect. This allows everyone to be able to enjoy the drink at their own pace. As such there are really two timelines that you need to be aware of when you start drinking kava.

The First Kava Time Line: 1-3 Hours

When you first drink kava you will notice the effects hitting you after about 10 minutes.

You should start to feel relaxed and willing to socialize with people more. Don’t worry, these feelings are normal for kava drinkers. Kava is a drink that is designed to cause people to relax.

Even though these feelings will start about 10 minutes after you first start drinking kava it will take about 1-3 hours before the effects fully start to wear off.

This timeline will differ from person to person and on how much kava you have drunk. The general rule of thumb for the time it takes for kava to wear off is 35 minutes for every shell (8 oz) of kava.

During this time we recommend that you do not drive or operate heavy machinery. Kava is not the same as alcohol in that it impairs your ability to drive but it is better to be safe than sorry.

Normally after we give a person a shell out here on the islands we also encourage them to sit down and enjoy a video game or talk with their friends. This gets people to communicate and hang out. Also, it gives them time to let the kava work through their system.

The Second Kava Time Line: 1 Day

After the immediate effects of kava have started to wear off you might experience what we call the ‘kava-glow.’

This kava glow is when you feel happier and less stressed for the next couple of days. Often this is caused by kava relieving the amount of stress you feel on a daily basis. It takes a couple of days for your stress to build back up to normal levels you know.

Having a ‘kava-glow’ is a good thing. Many people love the aftereffects of drinking kava. We get reports and recommendations from our customers all the time. As a result of this, we have grown into a massive kava family.

How long the ‘kava-glow’ lasts is based off how much kava you have drank along with how long you have been drinking kava. If you drank kava only once before and had very little then chances are you won’t experience the ‘kava-glow.’ On the other hand if you have been drinking kava for multiple years and had a decent amount you might kava a ‘kava-glow’ that lasts for several days.

It all depends on the person but the average time frame for this ‘kava-glow’ appears to be around 1-2 days after drinking kava.

What Determines How Long the Kava Effects Will Last For?

There are several factors that determine how long the kava will last in your system. Depending on the type of kava, the place you buy it, and your physical activity you might find that kava will hardly last anytime at all.

What Kind of Kava You Use in Your Brew

One of the major factors that determine how long the kava will last in your system is the type of kava that you chose to make your kava drink with.

There are two types of kava; Tudei and Noble. The effects of these kava types are completely different and have different timelines.

The Tudei kava should be avoided because it can cause you to feel the kava effects for a long time (5-12 hours) and have unpleasant side effects. This is because the Tedui kava was used by Shamans to commune with the spirits on the Islands. It is essentially a massive sedative. Chances are you will not encounter this type of kava however as it is rarer to come across and makes for a bad drink.

A vast majority of kava you will encounter at bars or online will be the noble blend of kava. This blend of kava is less potent than the Tudei kava and makes for a better drink as it does not have bad side effects. Also, the time length for a drink using noble kava is significantly lower at around 30 minutes.

For 99% of kava drinkers worldwide they drink the noble blend of kava. If you happen to come across authentic Tudei kava then it should be avoided unless you know how to brew it properly.

How Strong the Kava Drink Is

Another major factor for how long the kava will stay in your system is strong the kava drink is.

Generally speaking for every 8oz of kava you drink you can expect to feel the effects for about 30 minutes. This is with a standard drink and not one that is heavily mixed with kava powder.

If you have a strong kava drink then for every 1 gram of kava you consume you should drink about 1 oz of water. So if you get yourself a drink with 12 oz of kava that would be a very strong drink that should be out of your system in about 45 minutes.

If you are at a bar and don’t know the exact amount of kava used in your drink then just plan to have to stop feeling the effects of the kava after about 35 minutes.

How Physically Active You are

If you are super active then you will have a higher metabolism. This means that the kava will work its way through your system faster. Ultimately, this means that the kava will hit you faster and you will stop feeling the effects sooner.

Some of the guys here at Kava-Bula are surfers. Unlike me, they are in great shape. When we drink kava they can only handle a couple of shells before being done because of how fast their metabolism is. They simply burn through the kava faster than others.

The Quality of the Kava

What makes kava work and gives us feelings of happiness and stress-free is the number of kavalactones present in the kava.

Kavalactones are a class of carbon compounds that act as a sedative and relaxants. Certain kava batches have a higher number of kavalactones than others.

Unfortunately, there is no way to test each batch of kava leaving the islands. Sometimes you will get a drink of kava that is simply super strong. This is because that batch of kava has a higher number of kavalactones present in the kava root.

Normally this is not an issue if you drink the noble kava powder. If however, you are trying to drink the Tedui type of kava then you might want to start off with only a small bit of kava to test and see how strong the batch is.

The Reverse Tolerance of Kava

Here is a cool fact about kava, it has a reverse tolerance.

That means the more kava you drink the more likely you are to feel the effects of that kava. Also if it is your first time drinking kava then chances are you will not feel much. If you drink a decent amount of kava (1 shell a week) then chances are you will feel stronger effects than somebody who only drinks 1 shell of kava a month.

This is one of the major things that impacts the question of how long the effects of kava last for. If you have a lower tolerance due to drinking the root more often than others then kava might last longer for you.


There you have it. Hopefully, this article answers the question for you on what to expect regarding how long you will feel the effects of kava for.

As always an answer like this is that ‘it depends.’ Kava as a whole is very hard to predict when it comes to time lines. Everybody reacts differently to the kava. Generally, however you can expect to feel the immediate effects of kava for about 30 minutes to an hour after you drink the kava.


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