Does Kava Tea Make You High? Yes, Eventually

Can Kava Make You High?

Having heard about a Kava Tea high that was apparently similar to being drunk but without the loss of control that alcohol produces, I decided to give it a shot. I enjoy alcohol but the waste line certainly doesn’t. I was also looking for something that would not induce that morning-after agony.

How to get high on Kava Tea
Can You Get High On Kava Tea?

Alcohol Alternative

My first foray into Kava Tea, having heard about it through an article at io9.gizmodo was to search through some of the kava forums. I was looking for an alcohol alternative that didn’t do any of the bad stuff. I suppose it was like looking for the Holy Grail, probably wasn’t going to happen but I thought I’d give it a try.

Seeing Kava tea described as an alcohol substitute in some of the forum posts, with folks talking about feeling drunk, high or as the kava connoisseurs call it “krunked”, and it started to look like I had found a substance with some potential. Add into that that this root of the “Piper Methysticum” plant (Intoxicating Pepper – sounds promising, right?) was a naturally occurring psychoactive that had been used by Polynesian Islanders for thousands of years, apparently with little to no side effects and the case was made for a trial.

Squeezing The Root

I had heard all about the supposedly disgusting taste of imbibing the root, so attempted, after picking up a bag of Paradise Kava’s 100% Lateral Root Borogu Kava (apparently a good noble kava – recommended over the more-edgy Tudei varieties) to make the kava drink taste better by adding some chocolate milk. The taste turned out not to be as bad as the embarrassment of having to ask my wife for a pair of her stockings in order to squish the root’s natural goodness into a bowl of receiving water. Imagine squeezing putty in a big muslin bag and this is how you get the active kavalactones into the water out of the root powder.

As you squeeze, the water goes murky until it becomes literally mud-coloured, with a fine oily sheen at the surface (apparently this is good as it means the natural Kava oils are being extracted out of the pulp well).

Downing The Brew

Once I had a good bowlful of this (quite pleasant, woody smelling) concoction – I think I used around 4 tablespoons of powder to half a litre of water, I screwed up my nose (expecting the worst from the taste) and proceeded to neck the whole bowl down in one. So it wasn’t the nectar of the gods that was for sure. Although I’m sure the chocolate milk helped – this was no Ambrosia. It did taste kind of peppery and earthy, quite thick also (I think I had made a “strong batch”) but I kept it down without a problem.

I went to sit down and relax, having heard that the best thing to do to reach the state of blissful euphoria so often mentioned in the same breath as Kava Tea, was to “Listen to the kava”.


Well, I kept listening, but nothing happened! Honestly, absolutely nothing. So much for this alcohol alternative! This Kava tea was not making me high; not immediately, not 15 minutes later, not at all.

I hit the forums again, ready to denounce this lie, this myth. Ready to condemn and berate all these fibbers with their tales of calm euphoric bliss and cloud-floaty mental meanderings. But then something caught my eye. In the midst of the Newbies part of the forum, I was seeing the same response from other intrepid traveler on the kava journey. Why hasn’t it worked for me? Why did I not get the Kava High. What is Reverse Tolerance? And there, before I even knew what it meant was my answer. Check out my article about Kava reverse tolerance, what it means, how you can get over it and why it may put so many newcomers off this wonderful herb.

So, What Does A Kava Tea High Feel Like?

Suffice to say, I eventually did find out that Kava tea can make you high, but that was a matter of three weeks later! Read my follow-up post on what a Kava Tea high feels like.

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