Kava vs CBD: Lately, CBD is getting all the attention as the latest and greatest, natural health supplement out there for treating numerous health conditions. But there’s another lesser-known healing herb on the block—kava—that deserves some kudos, too.
You’ve probably heard all the hype surrounding CBD, but what about kava?
Both compounds are safe, plant-based supplements that help alleviate pain, anxiety, depression, and sleep disorders. However, despite the shared health benefits, there are also important differences to consider when choosing your preferred herb.
Which one should you use?
Let’s break it down...
What Is CBD?
CBD is a non-psychoactive extract from the cannabis plant (hemp). It’s one of the primary cannabinoids, along with CBG, CBN, and CBC, which interacts with the endocannabinoid system (ECS)—a complex messaging system that controls many vital bodily functions.
Cannabidiol helps stimulate the ECS, which promotes homeostasis (balance) throughout the body, managing pain, stress, sleep, memory, mood, and immunity.
So, CBD is a whole-body-focused compound that alleviates a lot.
What Is Kava?
Kava is an herbal remedy made from the roots of the Piper methysticum, a plant originating from the Pacific Islands. Kava contains potent compounds called kavalactones that enhance the brain’s neurotransmitters—serotonin and dopamine.
Serotonin elicits feelings of happiness, calm, and focus, while dopamine produces feelings of motivation, productivity, and reward.
Therefore, kava’s healing power is more brain-focused, delivering effective results for neurological issues, such as anxiety and insomnia.
So, Kava helps your brain remain calm and content.
Let’s break it down even further...
Kava vs CBD Health Benefits
Both kava (a normal dose) and cannabidiol made from hemp (not marijuana) are considered non-psychoactive, so they won’t make you high.
Here’s what kava and CBD will do:
Kava (Piper methysticum) has the potential to:
- Promotes feelings of calm and wellbeing
- Induces feelings of euphoria
- Improves sleep quality
- Enhances mood
- Reduces stress
CBD and Hemp (Cannabis sativa) has the potential to:
- Promotes relaxation
- Improves sleep
- Reduces pain
- Decreases anxiety
- Regulates immune function
- Reduces inflammation
- Relaxes muscles
- Boosts mood
Despite some overlapping health benefits...
CBD products deliver greater, all-over healing that helps regulate the function of multiple systems (cardiovascular, immune, digestive, and metabolic), while kava produces stronger results for specific neurological (brain-related) issues.
Are Kava and CBD Safe?
Yes! Kava and CBD are safe, herbal remedies with minimal negative side effects.
For years, kava and cannabis were deemed unsafe, banned by the government, and then unbanned due to unfounded safety concerns. Although cannabis research has been far more extensive, recent clinical trials have shown kava is also safe to take.
That said, cannabidiol and kava can cause side effects if taken in high doses or combined with certain meds and supplements.
Potential side effects include...
- Low blood pressure
- Digestive issues
- Gastrointestinal upset
- Dry skin
- Dry mouth
- Digestive issues
Always check with your doctor or pharmacist to avoid potential interactions.
What’s the Right Dosage?
That depends. CBD and kava dosages vary widely, depending on the plant’s strength, method of consumption, and an individual’s weight and tolerance.
The typical CBD dose is 20mg, taken as often as needed throughout the day for relief. For some, 3mg of cannabidiol is enough, while others might need 75mg or more to achieve the desired results.
Remember, you can’t overdose on CBD!
A typical daily dose of kava is around 10 grams of raw root powder or 140-210 mg of pure kavalactones. Again, amounts vary among individuals. Side effects can occur if you consume more than 1,000mg of kavalactones per day for a prolonged period.
Like any substance, moderation is always best until you reach the “sweet spot” of healing that works best for you.
Can You Mix CBD and Kava?
Yes, BUT don’t.
The effects of kava and CBD are so similar that taking them together could be too much of a good thing. You might feel too sedated and too dizzy to function. Plus, kava lowers blood pressure, which could drop too low when combined with CBD.
Don’t risk it.
Again, start with a low dose of one or the other at a time, and gradually increase it over time.
Kava and CBD are safe, herbal remedies that deliver many healthful benefits. Overall, CBD provides better whole-body support, while kava produces more brain-focused results.
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