Ahh, those lazy, hazy crazy days of summer are finally here. The perfect time for backyard barbecues and watching vibrant orange sunsets with a relaxing drink in hand. But if you’re looking to trade in your usual light beer for something more herbal, look no further.
We offer several alternatives that can help you relax and get into that soft summer feeling.
“You cannot hate with kava in you,” said biologist Tom Harisson in his book Savage Civilization based on his expedition to the Western Pacific in 1933-9934. Many would agree with this statement, as kava helps release tension from the mind and body.
So what is kava exactly?
Kava (Piper methysticum), is a tall evergreen shrub in the pepper family native to the South Pacific Islands.
Traditionally, kava has been used as a ceremonial drink, consumed to help people feel relaxed during rituals and social gatherings. These rituals were said to strengthen ties among groups, reaffirm status and enhance interaction with spirits.
How does kava work?
The active compounds in kava are known as kavalactones. These account for 3-20% of the root’s dry weight. So far, 18 different kavalactones have been isolated and identified.
However, only six of them — kavain, dihydrokavain, methysticin, dihydromethysticin, yangonin, and desmethoxyyangonin — are responsible for about 96% of the plant’s therapeutic activity.
Studies show that kavalactones may help lower anxiety and pain and improve insomnia. Kavalactones appear to work by affecting the brain’s neurotransmitters — mosty GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid), which decreases nerve activity.
Does kava help with anxiety?
Many people report that kava helps with anxiety. Research is promising in this area as well.
In a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study, researchers examined the effectiveness of kava on people with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD).
A total of 75 participants were enrolled in a 6-week trial of a kava extract versus placebo. The findings showed a significant reduction in anxiety for the kava group compared with the placebo group.
In another review of seven clinical trials and 645 people, a kava extract was found to be an “effective symptomatic treatment option for anxiety.” Safety and tolerability were also good, with no drug-related adverse events, according to the authors.
The fact that kava helps with anxiety is good news for many people searching for a natural alternative to pharmaceutical anxiety medications, which can be full of side effects.
Delta-8 is a cannabinoid that occurs naturally in most cannabis strains, but usually only in trace amounts. It is structurally similar to Delta-9 (typical THC), and therefore exerts similar effects — but to a lesser degree in most people.
For example, both delta-9 and delta-8 bind to CB1 receptors; however delta-8-THC seems to have a reduced affinity for these receptors.
Therefore, delta 8-THC may be more stable and less potent. It has been described as a “middle ground” between hemp, CBD and delta-9-THC. It has also been estimated to be anywhere between half to two-thirds as potent as delta-9.
According to PotGuide.com, “Delta-8 can be psychoactive for some consumers, just less so than delta-9. A good way to think about it generally is something like the ‘Weed Light’: many of the effects and benefits of delta-9, though toned down a few steps.”
“It is still euphoric and stimulates appetite. It can energize or relax the consumer depending on the larger terpene and cannabinoid profile, similar to delta-9. And yes, it can induce some of the typical heady, psychoactive experience.”
For many, however, Delta-8 may come with fewer unwanted side effects (like paranoia and anxiety).
“While many people use cannabis to help with social anxiety, delta-9 effects tend to be too racy or hard to focus under certain circumstances. When clarity is higher on the priority list, a regular cannabis consumer might reach for delta-8 above delta-9,” according to PotGuide.com.
Kratom (mitragyna speciosa) is a tropical evergreen tree indigenous to Thailand, its surrounding countries, and New Guinea. The plant has been used for millennia in traditional medicine and in social and religious contexts.
Red vein kratom, a darker reddish-brown color, is made from the most mature leaves and is typically linked to more relaxing effects compared to the white, green or yellow varieties.
We offer Red Bali, Red Borneo, Red Maeng Da, Red Malay and Red Thai.
Borneo kratom, in particular, is known for its pain-relieving and anxiety-reducing qualities. Red Vein Bali, or Red Bali, is another popular strain. It offers dependable pain-relieving and mood-boosting effects.
How does kratom work?
Kratom contains at least 37 different alkaloids, a class of naturally-occurring compounds that contain primarily nitrogen atoms. The two main psychoactive components in kratom that are responsible for its effects are called mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine (7-OHMG).
Both of these active components are found only in Mitragyna speciosa, but other analogues have been identified, including speciogynine, mitraphylline, paynantheine, and speciociliatine.
As the kratom plant matures, different levels of alkaloids build within the leaves which ultimately impacts the kratom’s overall effects. The particular harvesting and drying process can also affect the alkaloids. For example, sun exposure levels can impact the final color and alkaloid content.
Where does Siesta Botanicals’ kratom originate?
Our kratom is sourced from deep in the heart of Borneo, Indonesia on the banks of the Kapuas River. In 2019, we had the pleasure of visiting farmers and seeing the authentic care and love that goes into cultivating the plant that has been integral to their culture for centuries.
Passionflower is an old folk remedy for anxiety.
Passionflower tea may help relieve insomnia and anxiety by potentially boosting levels of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) in your brain. GABA lowers brain activity, which may help you relax and get better sleep.
A study of 41 healthy adults found that drinking passionflower tea offered sleep benefits for participants “with mild fluctuations in sleep quality.”
In another study of 36 people diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), researchers found that passionflower extract helped reduce anxiety as much as medication (Oxazepam) but without the extra side effects.
Passionflower should not be taken during pregnancy as it can induce contractions. It may also cause drowsiness or rapid heartbeat in some people.