Heady Kava vs. Heavy Kava

Heady Kava Vs. Heavy Kava: What does that mean?


You're looking to buy a noble kava because you heard that it might be able to help you sleep. It may help you relieve anxiety, and stress, or be a great social beverage as an alcohol alternative. It can be all that, but it also depends on what kind of kava you get.

You will find kava described in reviews as heavy, heady, or balanced. You might even see ones that say they lean a certain way but later on, morph into something else. 

Below I'll explain what people mean by these terms and a bit on how to possibly identify them yourself.

First, it's important to say this because you need to know it. Our bodies can react to kava differently. When a review says a kava might be one way, it might not be enough for you right then.

You can quickly determine how much kava it takes for you to get krunked, as it might require quite a bit! It's no biggie, just be aware that these variables are a thing and you'll be ready for them. 

Next, below, we'll discuss chemotypes in all 3 types. Chemotypes carry the numbering sequence 123456. Each number represents the name of different compounds called kavalactones. Those kavalactones are:

  • Desmethoxyyangonin (DMY)
  • Dihydrokavain (DHK)
  • Yangonin (Y)
  • Kavain (K)
  • Dihydromethysticin (DHM)
  • Methysticin (M)

A chemotype mix will look like this 423651. The farther to the left, the chemotype number is (like 4), the higher the percentage it is relative to the ones on the right. When you find a mix you like and see the percentages.

You can learn to choose kavas you haven't tried before based on your favorite chemotype mix. It's not completely infallible, so it'll be worth going out of your range to try new ones. But it's a decent start if you haven't tried any of a vendor's kava. 


Kava plant

Heavy Kava

People seeking full-body relaxation often seek out a heavy kava. The perfect heavy kava will melt you into where you are. Make you feel extremely relaxed and can easily make you fall asleep. You will feel heavy kavas more in your body than in your mind. 

If you're studying or out with friends, this kava isn't for you at that time. 

If you've had a tough day, and need a bit of help to unwind. If you're not going anywhere anytime soon a heavy kava might be perfect for you. 

Kavas that are higher in chemotypes 2 and 6 are usually on the heavier side. Chemotype 5 can be an indicator as well. However, a chemotype of 5 that is too high can result in negative effects like nausea.

What is a hangover you may ask? If a chemotype has a 5 in the far left it feels like the bad effects of alcohol. Because that kava powder is tudei kava.

Heady Kava


Are you looking for a kava that is less sedative and more stimulating? A heady kava can help loosen you up for social situations.

A heady kava would even be great while studying or doing anything creative. 

Heady kavas affect the mind more so than the body likely producing euphoric or uplifting effects. 

Kavas that are higher in chemotypes 4 and 3 are more likely to be farther to the left in heady kavas. 


Balanced Kava


This kind of kava is as the name implies. Somewhere in between heavy and heady. These kavas are fantastic for beginners because they tend to not give you too much either on one side or another. 

Most balanced kavas have a different chemotype mix. So it's difficult to pin down an exact chemotype that will constitute a balanced one. That said, there might be a ratio between two or a mix of two that will be more telling.


List of Heady and Heavy Kava from Vanuatu

Ahouia Tanna 426531 Heady
Amon Tanna 246513 Heavy
Asiyai Aneityum 246531 Heavy
Bir Kar Santo 246513 Heavy
BirSul Santo 246531 Heavy
Biyai Aneityum 426531 Heady
Borogoru Maewo 425361 Heady
Borogu Pentecost 423561 Heady
Gegusug Gaua 246531 Heavy
Ge vemea Vanua Lava 245631 Heavy
Ge wiswisket Gaua 246513 Heavy
Kelai Epi 423516 Heady
Leay Tanna 246351 Heavy
Melomelo Ambae 245361 Heavy
Melmel Pentecost 246531 Heavy
Miela Emae 426351 Heady
Naga miwok Vanua Lava 246351 Heavy
Olitao Emae 245631 Heavy
Palarasul Santo 246531 Heavy
Palasa Santo 246531 Heavy
Paliment Emae 426351 Heady
Nikopia (Pia) Tanna 423516 Heady
Poivota Santo 243561 Heavy
Pualiu Tongoa 246531 Heavy
Puariki Tongoa 423156 Heady
Sese Pentecost 245631 Heavy
Silese Malekula 423651 Heady
Urukara Santo 426531 Heady

Kava and tanoa with cups

The Effects of Heavy and Heady Kava on Your Happiness and Relaxation


Drinking kava is a simple experience. Finding good information on the internet can prove to be difficult.

Chemotypes and kavalactones can be difficult to understand. If you know what each kavalactone means and how they feel for you, you are way ahead of the game. Most people do not.

It takes a lot of trying various types of kava. Not only that, it takes a vendor willing to post their "certificate of analysis" per batch. For that information to be trustworthy. Right now, Art of Kava is leading the industry in that kind of transparency.

Hopefully, you're drinking glass is full of kava and no amount of alcohol is in sight. The effects of kava are wonderful. The rabbit hole of knowledge about the kavalactone mix called chemotypes is deep.

If you're seeing this at the beginning of your kava journey, you will now know what to look for. If you have any questions, please feel free to connect with us on the chat feature on the website

Explore More: Check out these related articles for further reading!

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Does Kava show up on a drug test?

How to prepare Kava?

What is Kava?



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