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Is Kava a Drug?

Updated: Nov 19, 2023

The drug found in kava is called 'Kavalactones'. It is mildly sedative.

The ADF (Alcohol and Drug Foundation), Australia; classifies kava as ‘depressant drug’ because it slows messages transmitted between brain and body. In the United States, kava has never been a controlled substance under the Food and Drug Administration, the Federal Controlled Substances Act or New York State regulations.

Now kava is neatly packaged in pouches as 'traditional grind', bottled as pills and even pre-mix bottled drinks and widely used for stress, sleeping problems and to relax muscles.

For us, our fathers and forefathers have grown and consumed kava and continues to be a valued part of our traditional ceremonies.

What does kava taste like?

Kava has an ‘acquired taste’ but we all know that’s what people say when something does not taste pleasant. But after 25 plus years of consuming kava, I can now tell when it needs a bit more water, which country it is from and if of Fijian origin, which island it was sourced from.

First time I tasted wine I thought it had an ‘acquired taste’. I no longer think that after consuming copious amounts over the years but am still a long way off from knowing which grape and region a bottle is sourced.

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