Citation: August. "Extracting and Smoking Kava Kava: An Experience with Kava Kava (exp11382)". Erowid.org. Dec 26, 2001. erowid.org/exp/11382
After a recent report of someone having success smoking Kava Kava, I decided to test this potential. I enjoy the effects of Kava Kava, although it takes fresh Kava Kava from online suppliers for me to get any real effects. The health food Kava Kava in bottles just seems very weak, probably due to age and shelf-life.
I formed a plan. If this prior report showed success from emptying powdered Kava Kava from health store capsules, then I would try a stronger concoction. After referencing Kava Kava and it's kavalactones in the Merck manual (from a previous oral experiement), I'd found that they were all readily soluable in acetone.
Taking an ounce of fresh Vanuata Kava Kava (well okay, a month old, but I had it stored well) and placing it in a jar, I covered it with just enough acetone to bring the level up, that is make just a little of the Kava Kava powder float. I then sealed the jar with a lid and shook it for a solid two minutes. Having a plug-in coffee cup warmer (wow what a great idea!), I placed the sealed jar of acetone soaked Kava Kava on it for about 10-15 mintues. I did this in a vented area, the bathroom by an open window, fan blowing the vapors out. Of course while sealed there was little if any vapors. Acetone is kinda hard not to smell, think concentrated Nail Polish remover.
The jar was quite warm so I took it off the coffee cup warmer and set it aside, removing the appliance for better work space. I put a 'dust mask' on and, using a towel, slowly opened the jar. When the oxygen (air) hit the solution, it began to bubble and boil. This continued for almost 2 minutes then settled down. I then took the hot acetone/Kava Kava powder and poured it (with the help of a spoon for all the powder) into another jar with a coffee filter in place.
The resulting acetone was bright yellow, much like Syrian rue extract. I poured this into a pyrex baking dish and using a hair dryer I proceeded to help the evaporation of the acetone. I kept the hair dryer a couple of feet from the dish as I stood on the opposite side of the fan still donning my dust mask. Acetone is a rapid evaporater and within 5-10 minutes I had it down what resulted in a fine yellow powder on the dish with spots of more brownish oily resinous material.
I left it alone for a couple hours to ensure all acetone evaporated. I even spread the resin out evenly in case there was any acetone still trapped. After a couple hours there was no trace of acetone smell and quite a bit of the Kava Kava smell, but not as strong as pure powder. Now, thinking, how will I get this into a smokable form, I placed about a half a gram of pure powder Kava Kava in the dish and sprinkled just a tad of basil leaf for good measure (and to ensure a substrate that stuck together and didn't fall through a screen of a pipe). Using my fingers I smeared the powder/Basil leaf around until it 'picked up' all of the extract. There seemed to be about 5 bowls worth.
My wife and I proceeded to smoke it out of homemade 'steamroller' type pipe. After only 2 hits, I indeed felt the familiar calming effects. We continued to smoke the extract throughout the night. Later that night I drank a glass of red wine and it certainly synergized. It was all I could do to sit there and watch TV.
The effects were nearly identical to the 1/2 cup Vanuata Kava Kava 'milkshakes' I used to make, without having to endure all that peppery taste. It obviously works. However, I have decided that I would not do this very often due to anything that is smoked is not good for the lungs. It did prove that smoking kavalactones is effective however. The effects were far beyond placebo.
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