Best Kava

Best Kava: Find the Perfect Cultivar

Finding the perfect kava for one’s specific needs can be overwhelming. There are numerous varieties, each with unique effects. Each kava cultivar offers distinct benefits. Therefore, it is essential to choose the right one for a given situation.

Whether it’s a desire to relax after a long day or to enhance social interactions, we have the perfect kava. If it’s the need to reduce anxiety or experience euphoria, we can help. Our kava can also improve sleep, boost cognitive function, relieve pain, or elevate  mood.

Below, we provide a detailed guide to help in selecting the best kava for each scenario. We use only the finest selections available.

Kavalactones: Understanding the Effects of Kava

Kavalactones are the active compounds in kava that determine its effects. Six major kavalactones contribute to the unique characteristics of each kava cultivar(4):

Kavain: Known for its uplifting and euphoric effects, it is prominent in heady kavas.

Dihydrokavain (DHK): Contributes to relaxation and anti-anxiety effects.

Methysticin: Has sedative and muscle-relaxing properties.

Dihydromethysticin (DHM): Known for its sedative effects, it is often found in heavy kavas.

Yangonin: Interacts with the brain's cannabinoid receptors, contributing to mood enhancement and relaxation.

Desmethoxyyangonin: Similar to yangonin, it enhances mood and provides mild euphoria.

How Kavalactones Interact with Your Body

Kavalactones exert their effects through several mechanisms:

GABAergic Activity: Kavalactones, particularly DHK and DHM, interact with GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) receptors in the brain. GABA is an inhibitory neurotransmitter that reduces neuronal excitability. By enhancing GABA activity, these kavalactones promote relaxation and reduce anxiety, contributing to the heavy, sedative effects of certain kavas.

Dopaminergic Activity: Kavain and yangonin affect dopamine pathways. Dopamine drives the brain's reward and pleasure centers. These kavalactones can increase dopamine levels, leading to feelings of euphoria and mental stimulation, characteristic of heady kavas.

Cannabinoid Receptors: Yangonin interacts with cannabinoid receptors and is similar to the active compounds in cannabis. This interaction helps in mood enhancement and provides a sense of calm and relaxation.

Muscle Relaxation: Methysticin and DHM possess muscle-relaxing properties. These compounds contribute significantly to physical relaxation. They are responsible for the muscle-melting effects typical of heavy kavas.

Heady vs. Heavy Kava

Heady Kavas:

Effects: Mentally stimulating, uplifting, and euphoric.

Ideal For: Social situations, enhancing mood, and daytime use.

Key Kavalactones: High in kavain and yangonin, which promote mental clarity and happiness.

Heavy Kavas:

Effects: Sedative, relaxing, and muscle-melting.

Ideal For: Reducing anxiety, promoting sleep, and nighttime use.

Key Kavalactones: High in dihydrokavain (DHK) and dihydromethysticin (DHM), which provide deep relaxation and sedation.

Best Kava for Relaxation

Qila Leka: This single cultivar from Taveuni Island, Fiji offers a balanced yet slightly heavy experience. It's versatile for both day and night use. It provides a smooth and relaxing effect that helps relieve stress and promote a calm mind and body.

Its relaxing effects are primarily because of its high levels of DHK and methysticin. This combination ensures a soothing experience without overpowering sedation(5).

Best Kava for Socializing

Kelai: This heady kava from Epi Island, Vanuatu, is perfect for uplifting mood and enhancing social interactions. It provides a pleasant and slightly euphoric effect. This makes it ideal for socializing and easing social anxiety without causing sedation.

Kavain and yangonin are the key kavalactones contained in Kelai. They promote mental clarity and euphoria. Kelai's unique combination of effects enhances sociability and conversation(2).

Best Kava for Anxiety

Dokobana Waka: Sourced from Natewa Bay, Fiji, this kava cultivar is particularly effective for reducing anxiety and promoting relaxation. It has heavy and muscle-melting effects, making it perfect for winding down at the end of a stressful day.

The high levels of DHK and DHM in this kava contribute to its strong anti-anxiety and sedative properties. Dokobana Waka induces deep physical relaxation. This makes it useful for those dealing with high physical stress or tension(5).

Best Kava for Euphoria

Gorgor: This kava offers a balanced effect that enhances mood and provides a sense of well-being. It's perfect for those looking to lift their spirits and reduce stress. The balanced mix of kavain and yangonin along with other kavalactones provides both mental stimulation and relaxation.

Gorgor fosters a sense of happiness and contentment. This makes it ideal for occasions necessitating an emotional lift(2).

Best Kava for Sleep

Melomelo: This Vanuatu kava is a heavy cultivar, perfect for promoting deep relaxation and aiding sleep. It is well-suited for nighttime use to help achieve a restful night's sleep. The sedative effects are primarily due to its high levels of DHM and methysticin.

Melomelo's potent sedative properties make it a reliable choice for those struggling with insomnia or restless nights. It ensures a deep and uninterrupted sleep(6).

Best Kava for Cognitive Enhancement

Temotu Purple: Known for its mild and gentle effects, Temotu Purple kava enhances mental clarity and emotional stability. This makes it suitable for situations requiring focus and cognitive enhancement. It provides these benefits without causing heavy sedation.

The presence of kavain and yangonin help to support mental clarity and cognitive function. Temotu Purple is useful for tasks requiring sustained mental effort like studying or detailed work without the risk of overstimulation(1).

Best Kava for Pain Relief

Damu: Celebrated for its potent analgesic properties, Damu kava is effective for muscle relaxation and pain relief. It is a balanced cultivar, offering a mix of both heady and heavy effects. This makes it particularly beneficial for post-workout recovery and relieving muscle soreness. Methysticin and DHM contribute to muscle relaxation and pain relief.

The kavain and yangonin in Damu enhance mood and well-being. Damu contributes to alleviating physical discomfort and uplifting mood. This makes it a comprehensive solution for both physical and emotional wellness post-physical activity(6).

Best Kava for Enhancing Mood

Puariki: This kava cultivar offers a balanced effect that enhances mood and provides a sense of well-being. It's perfect for those looking to lift their spirits and reduce stress. The combination of kavain and desmethoxyyangonin enhances mood and provides mild euphoria.

Puariki's balanced profile suits various situations including casual evenings and more stressful days. It ensures a consistent uplift in mood without overwhelming effects(1).


Select the appropriate kava cultivar to tailor the experience to fit specific needs. Whether it’s relaxation, social enhancement, improved sleep, cognitive function, pain relief, or mood enhancement, we’ve got it covered. Explore our carefully curated selection to find the perfect kava for any lifestyle. Enjoy the unique benefits that each cultivar has to offer.



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2. S. 'Apo' Aporosa, Hakau Ballard, Rishi Pandey, Mary Jane McCarthy,
The impact of traditional kava (Piper methysticum) use on cognition: Implications for driver fitness, Journal of Ethnopharmacology, Volume 291,
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3. Bian T, Corral P, Wang Y, Botello J, Kingston R, Daniels T, Salloum RG, Johnston E, Huo Z, Lu J, Liu AC, Xing C. Kava as a Clinical Nutrient: Promises and Challenges. Nutrients. 2020 Oct 5;12(10):3044. doi: 10.3390/nu12103044. PMID: 33027883; PMCID: PMC7600512.

4. Bilia AR, Scalise L, Bergonzi MC, Vincieri FF. Analysis of kavalactones from Piper methysticum (kava-kava). J Chromatogr B Analyt Technol Biomed Life Sci. 2004 Dec 5;812(1-2):203-14. doi: 10.1016/j.jchromb.2004.07.038. PMID: 15556499.

5. Khan A, Akram M, Thiruvengadam M, Daniyal M, Zakki SA, Munir N, Zainab R, Heydari M, Mosavat SH, Rebezov M, Shariati MA. Anti-anxiety Properties of Selected Medicinal Plants. Curr Pharm Biotechnol. 2022;23(8):1041-1060. doi: 10.2174/1389201022666210122125131. PMID: 33480339.

6. Goldin D, Salani D. Calm Down With Kava: What Clinicians Need to Know. J Psychosoc Nurs Ment Health Serv. 2022 Dec;60(12):17-24. doi: 10.3928/02793695-20220523-02. Epub 2022 Jun 30. PMID: 35763396.

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