Citation: 4d. "Better Than a Bottle of Wine: experience with Kava (ID 11728)". Erowid.org. Apr 10, 2007. erowid.org/exp/11728
Having recently given up (mostly successfully) alcohol consumption, I was alarmed to find myself heading for the store to buy the bottle of wine that can usually put me in a protected place for an hour or two before I do something stupid or fall asleep.
I decided to go all out and make a strong (for me) concoction of Kava, having used it daily numerous times to help with my particular sensitivity to social situations.
As a supervisor in a coffee shop I have observed the obvious 'social enhancement' effect of a pill or two of this stuff, which helps me be nice to people in a retail position which I've occupied for six years.
I was hoping that I could achieve a marijuana-like high while listening to music.
I bought Nature's Way Kava Kava which had capsules containing 400 mg of Kava each. I took 16 capsules and emptied their contents into my favorite mug. I added a little water and a little sugared tea, just enough to make a kind of slurry. I did not have to stir the contents as the powdered stuff mixed easily. I took it to my room where I dimmed the light and set up my speakers on my bed in a configuration that in the past has allowed the best imaging. I am a musician and have loved the way marijuana opened up music to where I could hear things people had done that I never noticed before.
This stuff tastes like crap. Actually, the taste is not bad at all, it's the FEEL. It feels so horrible, all these little particles in your mouth. I had brushed my teeth previously with no toothpaste to cause the small cuts that would allow better penetration of the drug.
It was 11:15 pm and I had to be at work at 4:15 am. This whole process was chosen because I was in a bad mood and knew that if I didn't take care of myself I would be in the same mood in a few hours, when I had to work an 8 hour shift.
I swished it around in my mouth and spit it back in the cup. I realized it would have felt a lot better with less water and more spit-- the spit perhaps would have made a kind of syrup where the water made a slurry. And the syrup would not feel so bad.
After doing this at least 5 times and feeling nothing I decided to start swallowing this stuff. My concern was that in my stomach the release to my blood stream would be slower and I would be sleepy at work but at this point I didn't care, I had to get high. My throat made a retching sound as my stomach flipped over. I don't know why this stuff is so unappealing to my body. Perhaps the pure root would be more bearable. I had a feeling that this manufactured, powdered form was an insult to a great plant.
I started to feel something about 15 minutes into my ritual. I decided whatever happened I couldn't take any more Kava. I had swallowed about half. One thing I realized is important about the ritual is that after swishing it in my mouth and spitting it out there is a good deal left in my mouth. It makes my mouth numb and so forth and seems to begin seeping into the bloodstream while I try not to retch and prepare myself for the next dose.
There seemed to be a very slight glowing quality to things that can happen with marijuana though this was less pronounced, yet it seemed to be as 'real' as the marijuana experience. I began listening to music as planned and was enjoying the music more than I expected, though I still had no feeling of 3 dimensional audio perception that I have gotten with pot.
About 30-40 minutes later I could tell that I had indeed gotten 'stoned' on Kava. Not only was I extremely mellow and relaxed and things were slightly glowing but time started to be slower like with pot (nowhere near as pronounced, though) and the music, lo and behold, started to come to me in 3d. I remember noticing little things that the musicians and producers would do, I remember not perceiving it so rationally as I always do. As a musician with my own studio I get so sick of the thinking part of my mind constantly analyzing music, I like how pot takes that away and I hear the pure intentions of the artist. This was happening now.
I was listening to Laibach's interpretation of the Beatles' 'I ME MINE' and recognizing a point where a single violin falls in pitch from a high place, a kind of beautiful waterfall 'here we go to the next place' kind of conveyence, where before my mind had only seen the technique, recognized it as a musical convention often used in neo-classical music, but never had a heard it as intended, as the beautiful catalyst that I now heard. In the Beatles' rendition of the same song, I remember hearing all this violin and organ stuff on the right side that I never noticed before, I remember perceiving the raw intention of the song, hearing the three-dimensional guitar on the left side and the well-recorded centrally stationed drums and how the whole thing was tied together. Before, I had always been like, 'That's a nice, well-done song.' I couldn't get into it, now I was definately in it in a way that I remember with pot.
While it was not as powerful as pot it was definately pleasant and mind-altering and way better than freaking wine. If only it tasted like wine!
I slept at 2, got up at 4 and went to work. I made sure to eat a hot meal with protein and vegetables and I drank a large tea-drink with 3 different kinds of ginseng. I also had a cup of coffee that morning.
I was fine, all day, got off work at 12:30, went home and slept till 3.
Kava is definately great for social anxiety, which I've had all my life. I also take St. John's Wort regularly as I have a tendency toward depression and I believe it helps keep me off the alcohol.
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