Kava is getting more and more popular every day among individuals seeking a natural way to relax. In fact, kava bars are opening everywhere, and many people prefer them over regular bars. Kava users report that kava can help them relax and socialize at the same time, without the typical issues that alcohol brings.
But there is a problem that some people come across when taking kava for the first time: kava reverse tolerance. But what is kava reverse tolerance? Is it possible to avoid or prevent it? How to cope with it? In this article we’ll respond to every one of these questions, so keep reading below to find out.
What Is Kava Used For?
The root of the kava plant has been used for centuries in ceremonial and social gatherings in the South Pacific area. But the plant has other uses and effects, that some people compare to those of alcoholic beverages. Some of the main uses of kava include:
- Mood elevation
- Anxiety relief
- Social anxiety relief
Additionally, the root of the plant has sedative effects and can be used to ease the symptoms of some conditions of the nervous system.
Although kava is, in most cases, safe to use, you should stay away from it if you suffer from any liver condition, as it has certain levels of hepatoxicity. Additionally, it is not recommended for pregnant women or during breastfeeding.
Tolerance, Dependence, and Withdrawal
Tolerance is a term that is associated with medicines, alcohol, or drug use. So, what is tolerance? When someone uses a substance for a period of time, their system will get used to it. Consequently, the person will need higher doses of the substance to be able to feel the same effects. Moreover, tolerance also happens when the same dose of a substance produces fewer effects after continuous use.
There are two tolerance subtypes:
- Cross-tolerance: This happens when someone develops a tolerance to a substance, they will also develop a tolerance to other similar substances of the same group.
- Reverse tolerance: This happens when the individual needs a lower dose of a substance to experience the same effects.
On the other hand, when someone develops a tolerance to a substance, they can also develop dependence. There are various types of dependence:
- Physical dependence happens when the system needs a certain amount of a substance to be able to function correctly.
- Psychological dependence occurs when the individual needs a dose of the substance to feel pleasant effects or to avoid the unpleasant effects of withdrawal from the substance.
- Social dependence occurs when someone feels the need to use a substance to manifest their belonging to a social group.
Finally, withdrawal can be defined as the physical and psychological unpleasant symptoms which appear after discontinuing the use of a substance, or after reducing the dosage drastically.
What Is Kava Reverse Tolerance?
Kava owes its properties to the kavalactones that are present in the plant, especially in the root. These kavalactones act on the nervous system, reducing stress and anxiety, and producing a pleasant effect. But, in some cases, individuals who drink kava for the first time (or first few times) won’t experience any effects when drinking kava. This situation is known as kava reverse tolerance.
Although it is not clear why kava reverse tolerance occurs, some people believe that the system must build up kavalactones to be able to feel kava’s effects. On the other hand, other theories say that it is a psychological problem. Nevertheless, in most cases, this situation is temporary, and most people will overcome it after drinking kava a few times.
How to Avoid Kava Reverse Tolerance?
And now to the big question: how to avoid kava reverse tolerance? Is it possible? Unfortunately, the answer is no. There is no way to avoid or prevent kava reverse tolerance.
So, what can you expect if you experience this problem? Basically, if you experience kava reverse tolerance, you’ll just need to wait until this condition goes away. However, since every individual is different, it is not possible to determine how long you’ll need to wait until you experience the breakthrough. Whilst some individuals just need a few days to break through, others may need weeks to get over kava reverse tolerance. So, if this is your case, don’t worry, it will happen eventually.
The right way to correct this situation would be to continue drinking kava or a few days (or weeks) until you feel the effects. Regarding the dosage, it is not possible to determine a right kava dose, as everyone reacts to it differently. But it is better to start on lower doses and build up over time. But, be careful, although kava is not an addictive or dangerous substance, it may have some impact on your liver, so don’t overdo it. And, if you suffer from a liver condition, it is better to just stay away from it.