Of the many different forms in which you can take kava, concentrated kavalactone paste is the most high-tech and arguably one of the most efficient ways to get a potent dose of kavalactones. Companies produce kavalactone paste using a modern high-pressure carbon dioxide extraction technique that can be performed at the low temperatures required to preserve kava’s fragile active compounds. The result is a very sticky, molasses-like resinous kavalactone paste with an 80% or more concentration of active compounds. 84 kavalactone paste, with a concentration by weight of 84% kavalactones, is one of the most potent forms of kava on the market.
Unlike whole kava root or powders, high-density kavalactone paste is not soluble in water. Kava is traditionally prepared in its whole root form by chewing the root to break down its starches and then soaking it in water to release kavalactones. While kavalactone paste does this step for you, to get its active effects it must either be eaten straight — not the best option for many people because of its bitter taste — or dissolved in a fatty liquid such as coconut milk. Some people also “spike” their kava drinks with kavalactone paste to give the brew an extra kick and speed up the onset of kava’s effects.
Kavalactone paste excels as a potentiator of traditional kava brews due to its high concentration of kavalactones and additional phytochemical ingredients. The best supercritical carbon dioxide extraction methods obtain the full range of the kava plant’s chemical constituents, not just the kavalactones, resulting in a full-spectrum kava extract that replicates the experience of consuming the fresh roots. (As with all kava products, you should only buy those made from the plant’s roots, never the toxic stems and leaves.) Full-spectrum kavalactone paste will give you an experience similar to what you’d achieve from a traditional brew. Some studies have shown that the additional phytochemicals in the kava plant (or a full-spectrum kava kava paste) may have protective effects when taken as a whole.
Another benefit of choosing kavalactone paste is that you don’t have to take very much to get the same effects as an entire bowl of a potent kava brew. Kavalactone paste concentrates the effects of fresh kava, so a one gram dosage of kavalactone paste is equivalent to about 28 grams of fresh shredded kava root; the best kava kava paste products will have a concentration of about 84-85% active kavalactones by weight. The FDA recommends that a person’s daily dosage of kavalactone paste should not go beyond four pea-sized servings of paste, and most people need to take far less than that for a rewarding experience. One or two pea-sized dollops of kavalactone paste, taken alone or as a booster shot to a kava beverage, are enough to achieve notable empathogenic and euphoric effects. This makes kavalactone paste the way to go for kava consumers who want to stretch their supply and make it last for a longer amount of time.
So how long will kavalactone paste give you benefits like these? In a whole dried root or powdered form, kava can last for years without losing any of its potency if it is stored in an airtight container. Infusions such as mixed kava drinks and water-based decoctions will last from a few weeks to a few months if they’re properly refrigerated. Kavalactone paste will last in a cool, dark place in a sealed container for at least one year without losing any potency, and will only decrease in potency slightly after that! It is in a very stable form, making a container of kavalactone paste a great, long lasting investement for the kava lover.
High-concentrate kavalactone paste is a potent and convenient way to enjoy kava, both for newbies who aren’t sure it will work for them and seasoned kava drinkers looking to add a bit more spice to their kava drink of choice. With its high concentrations of kavalactones and speedy onset, kavalactone paste is one of the most convenient and affordable introductions to this social lubricant of the South Pacific. Now that’s something to drink to!