Wakacon Kava is one of the most ubiquitous brands of Kava available online, primarily due to the fact that it is sold on Amazon.com (at a good price, too!). Wakacon sells two types of Kava, the Fijian Waka [Amazon Link] and Fijian Lawena [Amazon Link]. Both of these Kavas are of the traditional variety, and made up of ground roots, which are made into a tea, and traditionally strained through a strainer bag or other straining method, and then drank. In this article, I will do a Wakacon Kava Review, specifically of the Fijian Lawena, look closely at this type of Kava, identify its effects, consider who it is good for, and whether or not it is worth purchasing.
Wakacon Kava Review – Fijian Lawena Kava
I purchased a 1lb bag of Wakacon’s Fijian Lawena a few months ago off of Amazon.com. The Wakacon Kavas are among the cheapest Kavas on the market, which is certainly a selling point, especially given the significant rise in Kava prices over the last few years. In this section I’ll describe my preparation process and the effects of this Kava, but first some general comments.
There are a couple of important factors to consider when drinking Kava tea, especially for those who have not tried Kava before. These are reverse tolerance and an empty stomach. Both are discussed below.
Many new kava users may pick Wakacon’s Fijian Lawena or its Fijian Waka Kava as a first time choice, due to the relatively low cost of these Kavas, and to the ease of purchase through Amazon.com. Upon preparation and ingestion of these Kavas, they may not feel any effects whatsoever, or perhaps a mild numbing of the tongue. This is due to reverse tolerance.
Essentially the body gradually gets used to the presence of Kavalactones, and begins to process them more effectively. It may take several Kava sessions before users truly experience the effects of Kava. As long as you correctly follow the preparation instructions, you will successfully expose yourself to Kava, and even if you don’t feel the effects the first one, two, or more times you take Kava, eventually you’ll have a breakthrough, and hit that blissed out, mellow, relaxed feeling that Kava provides.
It’s best to have an empty stomach when drinking Kava, and to refrain from eating for 4+ hours before drinking your Kava tea. Having an empty stomach can make a significant impact on the Kava experience, so plan ahead before you drink your Kava.
Wakacon Lawena Kava Preparation
For this Kava session, I had not eaten for at least four hours prior to starting the session. I used the Aluball to make my Wakacon Lawena. The Aluball is my preferred method of making Kava, and I like it much more than the traditional Kava strainer bag [Amazon Link] method that is commonly used, and which I used for years. The Aluball is much cleaner, quicker, easier, and all around better!
Once produced, using either a traditional strainer bag, or an Aluball, this Kava will stay in the fridge for up to 3 days. Though with the Aluball, it’s easier to produce on demand.
First Wash Preparation Method
- Place 3 tablespoons of Kava root powder in the Aluball.
- Place Aluball in Plastic Cup
- Add 8oz of hot water from the tap (approximately 130′ F)
- Shake for two minutes
- Pour out liquid into cup (many like to use a shell)
Second Wash Preparation Method (30 minutes later)
- Add 8oz of hot water from the tap (approximately 130′ F) to the plastic container with the Aluball and Kava inside
- Shake for two minutes
- Pour water into a glass
- Empty out Aluball in the trash, and add 1 fresh tablespoon of Kava
- Place Aluball back in plastic container, and pour water back in
- Shake again, for two minutes
- Pour into a cup
As with all powdered, non instant/Micronized kavas, straining in some way is always recommended, if for no other reason as to minimize Dermopathy.
Wakacon Fijian Kava Effects
In this section, I will consider the taste, and the effects, of this Kava strain.
Immediately upon drinking the Wakacon Fijian Lawena, I notice that it is, well, not as bad tasting as many of the other Kavas on the market. It certainly does not taste good, but it has a pretty mild, peppery taste that goes down without much thought. I am used to the taste of Kava, but most of the time I prefer to have a chaser of carbonated water after every few gulps of Kava, and I ignore the taste as much as possible until it’s gone. I dislike sweeteners or other additives in my Kava, and prefer to just get it down as quickly as possible, and to chase with carbonated water until the flavor is gone.
For newbies, the Wakacon Lawena kava would be an excellent Kava to start with to ease into the taste.
After about two minutes, my tongue became fairly strongly numb, and I began to feel the pleasant effects of the Kava washing over me. The Wakacon Lawena produces relatively mild euphoria and a general sense of blissful calm in the quantity I drank. The effects were quite pleasant.
Within five minutes of drinking, I was already feeling quite mellow, and the light in the house looked quite different. Ten minutes later, I was feeling waves of pleasure floating through the body, with extremely relaxed muscles and reduced anxiety. Twenty minutes later, breathing, and focusing on the breath, felt wonderful. Essentially, the Lawena by its nature produced the relaxed-body sensation that I would feel if I were meditating, with a goal to scan my body for several minutes and search for any tension to release.
This is a good kava to combine with meditation.
Given that this Fijian Lawena has a fairly relatively high quantity of Kavain in it, followed by Methysticum, the mental effects are not insignificant. It is a “heady” kava, but is not super potent in general. There was no sense of being spaced out, confused, or foggy-headed during the experience, and while the quality of light was impacted by the Kava, the experience of music was not as heavily altered as is the case with some of the other Kava strains available.
After one hour, I was experiencing some fairly significant sense of relaxation and well-being with the Lawena kava. The overall experience was quite rewarding, though not as intense as what can be found with several other brands of Kava on the market.
After about two hours, I was ready for sleep, and like all Kavas, the Lawena has a sedative nature, and encouraged a pleasant sleep.
The Bottom Line
The Wakacon Fijian Lawena [Amazon Link] is a great Kava for those who are starting out on their Kava journey, and want a relatively inexpensive Kava that is a “real” Kava (i.e. not poorly made extracts or weak Yogi tea bags). The Lawena has a taste that newbies should be able to handle, and significant pleasant effects on the body and the mind. It is also a good Kava to use to break through the reverse tolerance barrier, due to its low cost.
Regular Kava drinkers may find its effects on the weak side, but the price is such that one can always make another batch to produce a stronger effect. It is a good Kava to purchase in bulk and to keep around for when the choice Kava is running low, and has a use case for both those who are new to Kava and for those who have a good deal of experience.
Lawena Kava Quality Control
With all Kavas sold online, there is a significant concern as to whether a specific brand is made up of “Noble”, or high quality, Kava root, or the lesser quality “Tudei” root. While the generally accepted opinion of Tudei Kava is in flux, it has typically been considered a lower quality of Kava, and is undesirable. For example, Vanuatu, where Kava originated, has a ban on the export of Tudei Kava, but it is certainly possible that Tudei gets mixed in with Noble Kava upon export, as once it is mixed, it is very difficult to tell Tudei from Noble Kava without testing.
The good news is that Wakacon’s Lawena Kava has a badge on the back of the bag stating “Kava tested by the University of the South Pacific, and found to be Noble Kava”. The University of the South Pacific is a real university in Fiji, and we have no reason to doubt the authenticity of Wakacon’s claims.
The Fijian Lawena kava is made up of lateral roots (“waka”) and crown roots (“lawena”).
Kavalactones are the active chemicals in Kava tea, that produce the pleasant, warming, numbing feelings upon ingestion. There are several different types of kavalactones, each of which do different things. Different strains and brands of kava, from different origins, have varied kavalactone profiles, which in turn impact the perceived effects of the Kava.
The Wakacon Fijian Lawena Kava has a chemotype of 462351, with a predominance of Kavain and Methistycin, not wholly unlike a Hawaiian strain. The Lawena has the following Kavalactones in it, according to a University of South Pacific analysis posted on Wakacon’s website:
The total quantity of Kavalactones found in 100g of root is 5.1g, which makes this Kava a pretty mild one in terms of potency.