Kava Chemotypes refer to different combinations of chemicals present in the Kava plant. The chemotypes are represented with a six-number sequence corresponding to the primary Kavalactones desired in Kava. Even though there are 720 ways to rearrange the six numbers, only around 18 sequences have been found in Kava.

Among these eighteen different Kavalactones, only six are the dominant ones. The combination of these six Kavalactones determines the effects of Kava and helps identify, but does not determine, the origin of that Kava. 

Learning about chemotypes helps determine the expected effects of a particular Kava. Chemotypes are meant to be a guidance for the effects, but even considering chemotypes, users claim different preferences between vendors for the same chemotypes. This information should be used as a baseline to choose your next Kava batch.

The 6 Primary Kavalactones & Their Effects

Kava Chemotypes

Kava Chemotypes are represented as a six-digit number. Each digit refers to the Kavalactones in a specific Kava plant. The numbers are arranged from left to right, with the left being the most abundant kavalactone, and on the right being the least abundant. 

Example: A Kava that has 10% Kavain (K), 8% of the others, and 6% Methysticin would appear as 4….6.

There are specific chemotype sequences that are considered to be “Noble Kava”. Any chemotypes containing 2, 4, or 6 in their first 3 numbers of the sequence are considered Noble Kava. Meaning, a chemotype of 246… or 426… or 642 are considered Noble Kava strains. 

Similarly, Chemotype 465213 means that Kavain is the prominent Kavalctone in this plant while Yangonin contributes the least. Chemotypes only highlight the relative concentration of all combined Kavalactones in a plant, but the actual concentration of each independent Kavalactone is still unknown, which identifies the beverage’s potency. 

The chemotype alone cannot identify the effects of Kava. The relative percentage of each kavalactone and their interaction corresponds to the actual effect produced by that Kava. This is why we mentioned that people may have different preferences between vendors, even though the chemotypes are identical. 

An example of why Chemotypes don’t tell the full story :

Kava Chemotypes

The lab tests normally done do not measure each particular kavalactone %, only the overall abundance of each kavalactone, and overall average kavalactone percentage.

Still, chemotype can contribute to getting an idea about the impact related to different Kavas. 

Chemotype Characteristics

Chemotype can also help to identify the origin of Kava. However, there will be an overlap between Kava and their place of origin. For example, a Kava chemotype beginning with a “4” or “6” refers to Hawaiian Kava. Though we again stress that there is overlap, so it’s not a definite way of determining that source because Fijian Kava may also start with a 4.  

The chemotype sequence starting with a “2”, “5”, or “6” usually indicates it is Vanuatu Kava. 

Kava Codes for Heavy, Heady & Balanced Kava

Different combinations of Kava codes identify heavy, heady, and balanced Kava strains. Let’s discuss the codes for each strain.

Kava Codes for Heavy Kava

Heavy Kava strains have strong effects on the body as compared to the mind. These Kavas are helpful to relieve anxiety or muscular pain, facilitating better sleep. 

DMY (1)  and DHK (2) are the Kavalactones responsible for bringing these heavy effects in Kava strains. Kavain (4) is also found in heavy Kava varieties and is responsible for balancing the negative effects of other Kavalactones. 

There are Heavy Kava varieties with a lower concentration of Kavain, but they are not very pleasant as they produce unwanted side effects.

Chemocodes of Famous Heavy Kava Strains

  • 421635  Melo Melo Kava
  • 432165  Instant Kava
  • 241356  Premium Borongoru
  • 462351  Vula Waka Kava
  • 423615  Borogu Kava

Kava Codes for Heady Kava

In contrast to heavy Kavas, Heady Kava strains have effects on the mind. They produce euphoric effects. The heady Kavas make the consumer feel light or floating.  

The Kavalactones responsible for such characteristics in heady Kavas are Kavain (4) and Methysticin (6). These Kava strains have minimum side effects due to lower concentrations of DMY (1) and DHM (5) that cause nausea and vomiting. 

Chemocodes of Famous Heady Kava Strains

  • 436251
  • 245631
  • 426531

Kava Codes for Balanced Kava

Balanced Kava strains lie between heavy and heady Kavas. The Kavalactones of such strains are unpredictable and irregular. But usually, they have DHK (2), Kavain (4), and Methysticin (6).

Chemocodes for Balanced Kava Strains

  • 462135
  • 243561
  • 463251
  • 423156
  • 425316

Kava Chemotypes to Avoid

Certain Kava chemotypes should be avoided. When purchasing Kava, always choose noble varieties that begin with “2”, “4”, or “6” chemotype combinations. 

There are some bad Kava varieties called “Tudei Kava.” Such Kava varieties can cause unwanted side effects like nausea, hangovers, and vomiting that can last for a couple of days. Tudei Kava has a strong impact in the beginning that attracts consumers until they feel negative effects. 

Final Thoughts on Chemotypes

The knowledge of chemotypes is essential to choose the best Kava type for purchase. If you are also a Kava lover, then we have an exciting range of Nobel Kavas for you. You can visit our store and select the best type to enjoy the amazing feel of Kava.


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