Benefits of Kava for Sleep – Devin Burke and Cameron George of TruKava Interview

Devin Burke

Welcome to another episode of Interviewing the Experts. I’m super excited for today’s guest, Cameron George, who is a researcher, writer, entrepreneur, and the founder of Tru Kava, a company that is striving to set the industry standard for quality, safety, and education around kava within the mass markets. And since discovering the amazing effects of traditional kava during his own chronic illness, which we’re gonna talk about today. Uh, Cameron spent many years investigating every aspect of kava and has collaborated with many of the most prominent experts in the world within the fields of kava research in historical kava use. And I met Cameron at a biohacking conference a couple weeks ago and was blown away by his expertise and his product. And, and I’m so excited to share with you his knowledge on kava and how we can use kava to improve sleep. So welcome to the show, Cameron.

Cameron George

Aw, thanks man. So glad to be here, man.

Devin Burke

Yeah. So let’s, let’s first just start off really basic with what is Kava. A lot of people listening to this probably have no idea, they’ve never heard of Kava before. So can you just, let’s just kind of ease into this conversation with you, starting off with sharing, like, what is Kava? What is Kava? Yeah.

Cameron George

Oh, no, exactly. Kava is a stress relieving plant-based, uh, elixir, basically, you know, it’s, it’s sort of a full, you know, natural constituent mixture that’s prepared from the roots. It’s a drink that’s prepared from the roots of a, uh, a plant, you know, a shrub like plant, uh, that grows exclusively in islands in the South Pacific called Piper Mathum. And, you know, Piper, you know, literally is Latin for, for pepper, and it’s in the Pepper family, just like black table Pepper is Piper Nigra. This is Piper Mathum. So the word literally means intoxicating pepper. Um, it got that name back, you know, decades ago, basically. But it’s, it’s, it got that reputation from an anthropological standpoint of being a, you know, a truly viable, sort of safe, natural alternative to drugs and alcohol as Westerners saw it. But indigenous people in the islands have been consuming it safely, uh, for over 3000 years.

And they consume it virtually in every context in the same context, you know, that we consume alcohol or coffee in our culture. Right. So, I mean, it really has helped to build out the social and and economic fabric of all of these Polynesian islands over in the South Pacific. So, when I say Polynesian islands, I mean, I, you know, island chains like Fiji, uh, one, you know, right next to it, that actually is where Kava first, uh, you know, was traced back to, and that’s, that’s one called Vanuatu, um, Tonga, Samoa, Papa, new Guinea, and even Yes, Hawaii, which obviously that’s the place where, you know, most of us are most familiar with. And so Kava certainly grows there as well too. So, I mean, it’s been consumed forever and it’s helped to shape the social fabric of these islands. And, you know, it’s, it’s, it’s consumed basically, like I said, in every context.

Like we would consume alcohol anywhere where people are sort of getting together to sort of connect and open up, um, and sort of build a sense of, um, community and, you know, personal interconnection and camaraderie. Uh, so circumstances like weddings, funerals, spiritual ceremonies, social gatherings, uh, so I mean, it’s, it’s this broad spectrum wide widespread, you know, wide spectrum use, uh, natural product. Uh, that’s, that’s, that’s really, really helped to create a healthy mental, uh, and, and emotional fabric and a sense of community and, you know, both individuals and in, uh, in the, in the cultures of these islands, uh, as a whole. So, um, it’s had massive relevance to, um, you know, the history and the shaping of the communities and, and the tribes in these islands, these tribes that turned into communities later on. Um, you know, as we, you know, you know, sort of moved into the modern era, but, um, from an anthropological standpoint, uh, you know, decades, you know, even hundreds of years ago, you know, whenever from all over the world started visiting these islands, um, we saw it for its context outside of, you know, just the, you know, sort of, you know, building sense of community aspect.

Because es you know, especially as we started to sort of, you know, trickle into the modern era where, you know, we started to see a lot of the, um, a lot of the manifestations of modern culture and, you know, modern industrial culture, especially when we, you know, once we went into the industrial revolution and on and down into the technological revolution where we, you know, developed a lot of environmental based induced illnesses, you know, chronic illnesses, what we see as chronic illnesses today that really weren’t a part of the lives of, of indigenous people and ancient cultures as much. They had a lot of problems with, you know, just lifespan, uh, and, you know, and sort of like acute illnesses, right? You know, they couldn’t save themselves from a severe infection or, you know, like a severe accident where they, you know, got hit by something or fell out of a tree or got attacked by a tiger or whatever.

Um, but, uh, a lot of the indigenous peoples all around the world, including the islands of the South Pacific, come out of sort of modern culture and embracing the idea of better living through chemistry and, you know, fully diving into exclusively the pharmaceutical model of, of, you know, modulating disease. Uh, and, and also the whole advent of chemical agriculture and things. So, you know, all of the factors that have really contributed greatly to the explosion of chronic degenerative conditions that we have today. Um, you know, but basically, so, you know, because we have so many of these chronic stress-based conditions, all of the neurological disorders that are stress-based, um, all of the autoimmune disorders that are stress-based, um, kava is ha ha has now sort of been rediscovered as a sort of very powerful acute and chronic intervention for modulating and processing stress in the human body.

Devin Burke

So, so thank you for that <laugh>. I everyone sit tight because you’re gonna learn more about kava than you ever probably could have imagined just in that one, uh, set, you know, uh, bit there. Um, how, how, why has it taken so long for kava to sort of come into modern society and start to be used as, as a medicine? Like, you know, obviously it’s been, like you mentioned, it’s been used in the South Pacific for over 3000 years. It’s, you know, what, what do you feel like why is now most people still are, don’t know what kava is, they’re just discovering, it’s kind of being rediscovered as you mentioned. And you, you kind of went into a little bit of that, but I’m curious, you know, what, what do you think or what, what have you seen has been the, the reason why this sacred medicine that has so many benefits that can help people with all these modern day illnesses? Why has it been, you know, up until like really recently that people now are just starting to, to discover the benefits and understand like, this is a powerful medicine that can be used to heal?

Cameron George

Yeah, no, it’s, that’s a, you know, fantastic question. And actually it’s a question that’s, that’s, that’s relevant to almost every natural therapeutic intervention that we’re starting to see sort of, um, you know, trickle into the public consciousness today. Because, you know, most of what we’re finding now, um, you know, from, from a natural, um, therapeutic intervention standpoint in, in the worlds of either functional medicine or this advent of, of this sort of space that we call biohacking today, where people are learning how to change the environment in and around them to gain greater control over their biology, um, uh, all the therapeutic interventions from all the nutritional interventions to, um, all of the, you know, you know, the plant medicine interventions to, you know, even the adaptogenic herbs and down into the technological stuff that’s kind of harnessing, you know, advents of nature in sort of like a technological sort of, you know, potency, amplified, um, you know, whether it be the biohacking like, you know, devices or whether it be stem cells or some of these things that are coming, that whole category of interventions today that are really kind of being ushered in, um, as a result of, you know, the, the pharmaceutical model model, you know, sort of failing, you know, to address the chronic conditions that we’re talking about.

And it’s not, you know, you know, really great for anything besides symptom management. Um, you know, basically that whole category of, of natural interventions, you know, really, like, every single one of those things that I just named are nothing new besides the technologies. They’re just rediscoveries of something that has been used either ancestrally in isolated parts of the world, that has really come about through years of direct experience in, in, you know, direct use with these substances. You know, you know, back before we even had, you know, the means and metrics to, you know, you know, measure things like scientifically and see it in terms of parts, most of the greatest, you know, discoveries in, in history or, you know, you know, you know, that come out of the healing arts or, or therapeutic, therapeutic interventions are all things that have been discovered over, um, you know, decades, even centuries, sometimes thousands of years of direct experiential use.

So all the plant medicines certainly fall into that category. So we saw, you know, you know, a perfect example of exactly what’s happening with kava now that’s happened in the last few years is with cannabis. Mm-hmm. You know, we’re kind of in the middle of this plant renaissance because there’s a lot of these plant medicines that are being rediscovered today that now we’re subjecting them to the scrutiny of the scientific lens and finding out what had been seen in the anthropological accounts for, you know, for years and years past. Um, you know, we’re actually starting to like actually look at what the mechanisms been said by indigenous people scientifically. But it takes time for that to happen because a lot of times, uh, we tend to, you know, especially like in modern culture, there are period of time where we fully embraced, um, you know, pharmaceutical medicine and everything that’s just, just exclusively technological.

And we, we kind of started to dismiss things that are natural because we didn’t see them as, as, as, you know, very acutely powerful. Uh, and we didn’t see them as, as scientific. We saw them sort of as just benign parts of, of like ancient life. But now we know that that’s not true. So basically, you know, the, you know, the situation with kava and how it’s finally being unpacked now is, is similar to cannabis. Cannabis, the effects of cannabis and hemp and C B D and everything that’s exploding in the marketplace. And the scientific community today has been there for thousands of years, and it’s gone through its periods of not only being unknown, but it’s gone through its periods of having unnecessary strikes and its reputation, um, and being drastically misunderstood, which usually comes from either, you know, power structures and politics and economics having a vested interest in it, not being, or just ignorance and misperception.

But kava is the same exact story. Um, you know, you know, cannabis, the effects were always there. And it was only about eight or nine years ago that it started because we started to be able to pull apart, um, and, you know, distinguish the safe ways of using cannabis and the safe parts of the plant and the safe types of the plant versus, you know, you know, the ones that are actually, uh, you know, not as safe or like chronic everyday use possibly. So it, there’s just nuance. We discover the nuance, and it’s the same thing with kava. You know, we’ve had this, this sort of rediscovery of kava, uh, you know, because there have been some, some nuances in how to correctly use kava, uh, you know, over, over the past, you know, 20 or 30 years. Um, so, you know, basically now, you know, we’re kind of in this stage where, you know, we’re starting to reexamine a lot of these things and starting to distinguish, you know, the best ways of using them, which are really the ways that they’ve been used by indigenous people for a long period of time. And it takes time to actually reexamine those, look at them from a scientific standpoint. And once we do, we’ve found that what the indigenous people have been saying, um, you know, about it, has been, you know, virtually mostly true. Wow. Uh, and so it’s been sacred to them, and now we’re starting to rediscover it.

Devin Burke

So let me, let me just make sure I’m tracking with you. So essentially, this has been used for thousands of years. It has an incredible healing potential, um, but because of modern medicine, it’s sort of been suppressed and, and now there’s a, there’s a rediscovery and there is some science. Now there’s, and I wanted to ask you about this around some of the scientific studies that are, you know, coming about around kava and the power of kava, but essentially it’s been suppressed essentially this, this medicine that’s been used for thousands of years has been over, over, uh, you know, it’s been suppressed by the pharmaceutical industry, and it’s now having this resurgence because the pharmaceutical industry is failing us, or people are starting to realize that, you know, medications that are synthetic, you know, have very strong side effects that are dangerous. And so now there’s a resurgence of looking to nature again for, for really healing. And this is where kava is, is playing a role and, and coming back into modern mainstream consciousness. Is that, is that right?

Cameron George

Yeah, that’s absolutely right. It’s, it’s, it’s been, it’s been suppressed to some degree, but also it’s just been misunderstood as well too because, um, you know, a lot of times you can’t get the right answers to any question if you’re not even asking the right questions, or you don’t even know where to look to even find the right questions, right? So there’s kind of like a lot of unknown unknowns, right? Like there’s, it’s not even known unknowns in, you know, you know, in the sense that people are just looking in the wrong places. There’s a lot of ethical, um, you know, uh, scientists and researchers out there that have just sort of been given the wrong model and to only look under certain stones, you know, meaning only look to certain pharmaceuticals for answers and to not really look at anthropological accounts and what has actually been proven out safe as a therapeutic agent for thousands of years. So basically ignorance misperception as well.

Devin Burke

Well, uh, it’s, it’s, it’s fascinating to me. I, I, I’m, I’m really, I wanna know a little bit more about your personal story, cuz obviously you know a lot about this. You, you know, you, you, you’ve built an entire company around Kava, uh, which I, which I’m excited to talk about. But tell us a little bit about, like what, what got you so passionate about Kava? Like, I know you, you shared a little bit about, um, you know, your struggle with chronic illness, but it, can you share a little bit about, like, was that what got you so interested in using Kava? Can you share a little bit about your story and, and how this kind of came, how, how you became such an expert on, on a, a, a root medicinal, uh, beverage from the Polynesian Islands.

Cameron George

You know, just like so many people that, that dial in on something that’s very, very specialized and very, very specific. It didn’t come out of me waking up one day, you know, in my late teens, early twenties and saying, you know, I’m just gonna, I’m gonna travel, you know, you know, around the United States, outside the United States, around the world, and I’m gonna dive into therapeutic plant medicines that are made from roots in remote islands, corners of the planet. It’s like, that was like the farthest thing from my, my consciousness whenever I was <laugh>, you know, whenever I was a young adult. Um, so it wasn’t that it, it was, it was kind of a, you know, a discovery that came out of necessity, right? Which is where a lot of things come out of now. I mean, you know, my story of how I got into it is such a long, drawn out process that’s been absolutely, uh, you know, amazing, you know, you know, terrifying, you know, difficult at times, but extremely meaningful.

Um, uh, and so I’ll give you kind of the small sort of truncated version here. But, uh, you know, basically, you know, we call it, you know, from, you know, where I’m kind of, you know, from the functional medicine community as a pain to purpose journey. Uh, it started with me getting extremely sick in my early twenties. I mean, I was one of these, these people that at the time wasn’t so common, but now is becoming more common as we’re moving into this age of, you know, you know, epidemics of, of autoimmune disorders and these really kind of unexplainable syndromes that are neurotoxic based, environmental based. But, you know, you know, back then I was kind of like one of these, uh, you know, we call ’em canaries in the coal mine, where, uh, I just had kind of the perfect storm of, you know, factors occur in my life, susceptible genetics, probably I was probably susceptible to, uh, you know, in the right way genetically to, uh, you know, having the predispositions and then got hit with a bunch of traumas and stressors back to back to back to back toxic exposures.

I was in a moldy apartment, you know, like, uh, you know, you know, black mold infested apartment, got put on a bunch of pharmaceutical drugs, had several amalgam fillings. A lot of the things, you know today that kind of fill up a person’s toxic stress bucket, which is a metaphor that we use in, in the world of functional medicine for describing how people get sick today. It, it really is a, is is an accumulation of stressors and traumas that fill up and then, and that, and that turn on bad genes and send you into the expression of your genetic weakness, which today is all the autoimmune spectrum disorders, all the neurological disorders, the psychiatric disorders. So basically, I had this series of things happen in, in my early twenties. It was prescribed a bunch of pharmaceutical drugs like amphetamines, antidepressants, and a bunch of things that really, you know, wrecked me completely, was in a moldy apartment.

Malcolm feelings, like I said, toxic exposure, a bunch of things. The bottom fell out. I got extraordinarily sick with one of these neurotoxic spectrum kind of disorders, and at the time it wasn’t near as common. And so it was very difficult to find any answers. And I got no answers from just like the standard allopathic framework. Of course, I exhausted that whole model, which was partly actually what made me sick, you know, kind of treating the symptoms and going and taking the drugs, the medications and stuff. Um, and, you know, chronically, those kind of drugs end up being a disaster in most cases. You end up at least ending up in a worse place than you started, which was what, what kind of even got me, you know, you sort of realigned to looking for, you know, medicines that, that are more biologically compatible with our biology, which come from our natural ecology through which we come from.

Um, you know, but anyways, so got put in all the drugs. My system sort of got obliterated, ended up with massive gut issues, ended up in one of these, these, these autoimmune conditions where I was, I became extremely sensitive and highly, you know, reactive to almost everything that I was coming into contact with at one point. Meaning I developed massive food sensitivities, supplement sensitivities, sensitivities to chemicals, fragrances, and it got so bad, you know, basically it’s, it’s, you know, they call it multiple chemical sensitivity, but you really, it’s like bad autoimmune where you’re, you’re so toxic and you’re, and you’re so sick down the autoimmune spectrum that your body can’t tolerate or adapt to hardly anything. And, you know, basically what the reactions could look like was they would be either anaphylactic reactions or I would go into full blown convulsions and s you know, wow.

Um, which got, you know, you know, horribly terrifying because they started out relatively mild, and I didn’t know how to rest this process at its source to heal my body. I didn’t know that I needed to reconstruct my gut, didn’t know I needed to work on my microbiome. I didn’t know that I needed to detox. I didn’t know that I needed to, you know, get rid of bad cells in my body and to do some fasting and different things. I didn’t know any of that. Uh, and so, you know, basically it was a long odyssey of taking all the drugs, going down the allopathic model, getting worse, almost dying, and then going sort of towards alternative functional medicine and integrative medicine, traveling the country, trying different therapies and meeting doctors. That helped give me a system that I could actually get my life back over time.

And it took years, but part of my process was I had to interrupt the reactive pattern that was going on that was keeping me sick, because every time I would react, it would cause inflammation. And I got to where I couldn’t even tolerate the therapies and foods that I needed to get well, right? Hmm. So I had to interrupt that cycle. So at a time when I was on heavy doses of benzodiazepines and other drugs and things to kind of mitigate the convulsions, right. You know, the seizures and things. So that was how I got on that. I got horribly sort of addicted to these, and that’s a disaster that made it even worse. So I got to a point where I had a lot of at my disposal, but I needed to find an exit strategy away from the drugs and to calm my nervous system down so that I would stop reacting.

I could start tolerating foods, I could start sleeping and start to actually recover and integrate the things that I was learning. Um, so I needed, I knew at this time, this was like years down the line. So I had spent probably about six or seven years leading up until this point where I was just doing nothing but scouring medical and scientific literature and, and, and talking to doctors and researchers and scientists. So this is, this is a long process. By the time I got to this crucial point trying to get off these drugs, I knew that I needed to find a natural or plant-based alternative to, that I could help to, you know, to, to prop up the same receptors that are being hit by these drugs. So I could safely transition and I could stop reacting. So basically the pathway of greatest interest was this GABA pathway in the body.

And GABA is a neurotransmitter, the pathway that’s like the breaks of the nervous system, it counteracts adrenaline and glutamate, and these, these pathways that cause convulsions and that, and that, you know, keep you from sleeping and stuff like that. Um, and so basically, um, I looked at every natural compound that was available and the scientific literature, and I, you know, kava kept coming up. I kept reading about kava and the anthropological accounts and so on. And I had already tried kava actually, or what I thought was kava, like, you know, two or three years prior. Um, because kava is available in a form that’s actually not true. Kava, I found out later it’s available in a form called Kava Kava, which is an extract form in the United States. And I got it. And it’s not even widely known or, but, but it is in the, in, in the health community.

And it didn’t do much, you know, for me it was like mildly sedating, but for me it was kinda like shooting a BB gun at a freight train, right? <laugh>, it just, it wasn’t enough to, to, you know, to take care of, you know, some of the issues or certainly not enough to get off certain drugs. Um, so I, I kind of wrote it off, but I was confused because what I was reading in the literature was so powerful, and what I was reading in the anthropological accounts was so powerful, and it was like this sacred substance to the islanders, and, and it was like this, this, this entheogenic substance too that was minorly psychedelic and had all these psychological benefits. I’m like, I didn’t get any of that. So it wasn’t until I came into contact with an indigenous islander from the South Pacific, um, who I got to know pretty well from a supply chain standpoint.

And he was like, have you tried Kava? I said, yeah, I’ve tried kava. You know, it didn’t really do much. He’s like, well, what’d you try? I told him, he sort of chuckled and, and said, well, that’s not kava. Like, that’s, that’s kind of a joke to us. Like, you know, the westerners think that they’re doing something, it has to be prepared in this certain way if it’s not, it doesn’t have all of its constituents there. And he didn’t really describe it like that scientific, basically, um, or not anywhere close. It’s like a small shade. I’m like, okay. So he started sending me some of the fresh roots. He was even sending me some of the fresh frozen roots sometimes, but I’d get the dried roots as well of a really high quality set of strains. He was sending them to me, and he gave me instructions of how to prepare it and all this kind of stuff.

And so we started preparing it, and I was pretty instantly blown away. I was like, this is like night and day. This is, this is like very, like, effective. I was really, really massively surprised within a few days. I mean, I was starting to get a massive reduction in my reactions. I was being able to tolerate things, you know, you know, within like, you know, a couple weeks I was like, you know, most of my, you know, you know, regular convulsions and like, reactions to supplements were like reduced by like 85%, you know? Wow. The calcium type of stuff. And so it, it was really amazing. And then in a, in a very short amount of time, it was, it, it was, it was like, it was giving me far more benefit than the benzodiazepines were, as far as being able to tolerate stuff and was able to transition away from only, you know, you know, using that as a strategy right?

To control my convulsions. It was just more efficient. Um, and so, you know, so basically I was, I was now in a position where it was like a miracle to me. Hmm. Because it, it was like, that gave me the leverage to all of a sudden I could tolerate all these foods, I could sleep. And so I started to gain a lot of my weight back. I started to, to progress in the healing process. I started to integrate all these strategies and was able to fast for longer periods of time cuz of some of the metabolic effects. So there was, there was a lot of things that I was all of a sudden just able to do. And so that put me on the path to eventually getting my life back. So that’s, that’s general, that’s, that’s the truncated version of basically how I got into it. Once I got into it, that threw me into this direction of then jumping full force and figuring out how we could bring this in its true form and create a context in the modern marketplace we could integrate this into Western culture.

Devin Burke

Wow. Yeah. So, uh, uh, I mean, thank you for, thank you for doing the work. I mean, and for, it’s, it’s, I always, it’s always so inspiring to hear somebody that literally turns their pain into purpose. And now that purpose is to give other people the tools to heal. And it sounds like kava was the missing piece in your healing journey, that when you really got your hands on some quality kava, that really was the thing that allowed you to come back from your deathbed from having convulsions and, and not being able to, you know, tolerate food or water or anything to being able to, you know, start to heal. I feel, I feel like that’s kava was that, that sort of a turning point, if you will, for you. And now, now pretty much what you’re doing is sharing that gift with other people.

And I, I want to talk about benzos because, you know, I help people sleep all over the country. And oftentimes people, as I’m sure you’re aware of, they’re, they’re taking benzos, they’re taking, you know, all kinds of drugs to help them sleep. And I, I wanna explore a little bit how, how people can, and I know you’re not a medical doctor, so disclaimer here, but I would love to explore how people that are currently taking benzos and other sleeping medications to help them sleep, how they can transition, um, to, to using Cava in a safe way. Like what, what would go, how, how would that work? I mean, how, can you talk a little bit about the, maybe the chemistry around how it affects the GABA receptors in the brain and sort of maybe kind of have a comparison for like, how, how, how this can help people on benzos, because obviously it helped you

Cameron George

Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Yeah, no, totally. There’s, there’s a lot of, there’s a lot more science that needs to be unpacked to fill in some of the mechanism gaps. But we know all of the general mechanism cuz you know, yo kava is actually one of the most well studied plant medicines or herbs in the world outside of cannabis gin sing, Rishi Mushroom, a few of these all stars. They just have massive amounts of studies behind them, but has been explored for a long time in the scientific community. Um, you know, mainly, you know, to differentiate, you know, and clear up some stuff around, around quality in which parts the plant needed to be used in certain things. But it’s, um, a lot is really understood about, you know, generally about its mechanisms. And then we have tons, tons of direct experiential sort of clinical observation data, you know, anecdotal accounts, which are valuable.

And you put all of these different forms of evidence, you know, you’ve got anecdotal accounts, you’ve got direct experience, you’ve got the scientific mechanisms, you know, and all of those are forms of evidence that you use to sort of build your case. And, uh, there’s nothing really more powerful than direct experience, honestly, because there’s always very, even though we do need double blind placebo controlled studies, we do need a lot of these things to give it a highest level of credibility. But basically a, as we’ve subjected it to the scrutiny of this scientific lens, we’ve started to prove out what the indigenous people have been saying forever about how, uh, it works in, in different types of language. So basically, um, and obviously, you know, you know, we can’t make any, you know, direct health claims and, you know, certainly can’t, you know, tell people to come off of their medications.

And that’s not what we’re doing. I, what what we do is we share our experience about what we know about the science and what we’ve seen people do. And then people can make their own, you know, decisions. If they want to do this, of course, speak with their, you know, you know, physician to try to work exactly how they can, you know, strategize. Because coming off of benzodiazepines and drugs is a very, very tedious situation. Yes. That, you know, benzodiazepines, opiates, uh, these are both drugs that coming off of them if done improperly can be incredibly dangerous and in some cases lethal. Uh, and so there is a process there, but there’s, there, there always has to be room for, um, you know, the individual to be able to make decisions and to listen to their body and to try things that are going to give a, a, a, a higher percentage of perceived benefit, um, with the, with the littlest, with, with the smallest amount of risk is possible, right?

So you’re, you’re mitigating risk. And so that, you know, kava fits into that category because it’s well demonstrated to bind to the same receptors as these benzodiazepines and many others. Um, it’s, it’s well demonstrated to do it in a way that’s non depletable, meaning it doesn’t deplete the system like a benzo does. And lead to having to use more to constantly stimulate that receptor to get more, you know, to use more of the same substance, to get the same effect, which is what happens with drugs. Um, you know, and because we know this, there’s, there’s a pile of evidence that that makes it a, a good strategy to look at and to work with. Um, you obviously, you know, if a person makes their own decision to do that. Now, in my personal experience and what we’ve seen clinically now reproduced many, many, many, many times, the main, like I had mentioned before, the main area of interest in the brain are these GAVA receptors.

Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, but there’s more receptors than just that. Kava is probably one of the most complete and full spectrum neuroprotective substances that we find in the scientific literature. I mean, cannabis is in there, but kava honestly hits on every neuroprotective and, and stress adaptive mechanism that we know of almost, right? The GABA system that that shuts down adrenaline and stress hormones and glutamate. Glutamate is like excitatory causes seizures and stuff. Um, it needs to be carefully regulated, becomes toxic if it’s too high, too high amounts. Um, it’s a sodium and calcium channel blocker, which is, which is the same mechanism that a lot of anti-seizure medications use. And you know, the significance of that is that, you know, during states of stress and trauma, you get this hyper, hyper influx of these, of these minerals of these electrolytes into the cell, like calcium, which rev up the cell and keep it going and cause this ex cytotoxic response.

And it’s part of that sort of excitatory thing that can lead to panic attacks and seizures and toxicity and different things. You know, there’s that mechanism. It’s a profound anti-inflammatory Cox two inhibitor, just like, you know, you know, Tylenol or ibuprofen, but non-toxic, um, it upregulates the, the brain’s, um, antioxidant systems like glutathione and things. Uh, so it’s, it’s protective across the board. And all of those protective mechanisms help the body in the neurological system readapt while it’s in a transitional period of trying to, you know, sort of reacclimate itself to its own natural production of chemistry. Because what you’re doing when you take pharmaceutical drugs, because pharmaceutical drugs are foreign molecules that are usually isolated from nature, but synthesize, they essentially trick the body by being compounded in, in a certain shape that fits into receptor that basically tricks the receptor to do something we want it to do immediately.

Right. And that can be good, right? If you’re talking about, you know, general anesthesia or pain meds after a surgery or something acutely mm-hmm. <affirmative> chronically, it’s a disaster because eventually the body recognizes that this is foreign <laugh> and then starts to try to adapt. So it starts to shut down its own production cuz it says, whoa, whoa, something’s going on here we didn’t do. And just like if I were to walk into a factory and go to the fifth step on an, on an assembly line, which, you know, our brain and neurological systems is essentially like a really complex assembly line because it’s a continuum of different systemed biological processes that work in steps, right? So if I were to go up to an assembly line in a factory and go down to step five, right, like in a canning facility, or I was to go down after it was can, we’re putting the lids in the cans and just start taking the lids off the cans or changing something, it would mess up the whole assembly line and then the other people down the line and the next step would start to try to adapt by putting more cans on it or taking the lids off or whatever, you know.

So you see it’s a, that’s a good analogy because you can mess up the whole, you know, synergistic flow of the machine, which is the body by intervening long term in this way. So with drugs, you’re like, so like, okay, let’s take a benzo for example. You know, a benzo works on that GABA system and essentially what it’s doing is it’s going and it’s hitting the GABA system and in, you know, pushing that button to where it’s increasing the flow of ions or, you know, the flow and efficacy of that system is essentially kind of an agonist where it’s massively having an influx or pushing that GABA button. But it’s not, it’s not, doesn’t work with the system where it’s like teaching the whole assembly line how to efficiently produce the final product, which is gaba it’s, it, it’s intervening in just pushing more or dumping more of what we have in its stores.

So basically it’s using up what you have. So, so you get the effect, but it’s sort of like borrowing from tomorrow to pay for today. Like it’s like your brain has a bank account of chemistry and you can, you can spend from tomorrow just like, I can go get a credit card today and I can spend, I can buy a car with a credit card, I’ll be paying interest on it and then it’s gonna screw me over tomorrow because it doesn’t, I still have to pay for it. The money has to come from somewhere. Right? And so, and so basically with drugs, you’re tricking the body into using up its stores. So you get an instant effect, but because you’re not feeding it at its base, you’re not, you’re not correcting that problem. In fact, you end up in debt with your body’s own chemistry.

So you gotta pay for it and you will pay for it because now you’re twice as anxious tomorrow without the drug if you take the drug today because now you have less of your own natural gaba, which you were already probably low in. Right. To be able to handle it. So, so that analogy, you know, the, the assembly line analogy with what, how drugs work and how systems work and the bank account analogy is good for understanding <laugh> how, how, how what we’re doing. Cuz a lot of people don’t know that with drugs, right? They don’t understand, they take a drug and they just say, oh, it gives me this good. Right? But they don’t understand if they really understand what a drug is and that it’s not, it’s not solving a problem. It’s basically just charge credit. Right?

Devin Burke

Yep. Love this analogy.

Cameron George

Yes. Yeah. It’s

Devin Burke

Exactly, this is an amazing analogy. It’s, it’s right. You know, I love analogies, I love metaphors cuz it just simplifies it for people and it’s like, yes. Oh, okay, now this makes sense. And, and so I know with kava like benzos, you need to take more and more. You’re depleting the GAVA receptors. You’re, you know, that’s how they become habit forming and addictive. Now kava has a, my understanding has a, a reverse tolerance.

Cameron George

Very amazing. Yeah.

Devin Burke

So, so let’s, let’s talk about like, so let’s talk about, now that we understand what, you know, we have some great analogies. We understand what benzos are doing to our bodies in chemist in chemistry. Let’s talk about what Kava does and how Kava does pretty much does the opposite of that with the same effects, similar effects. Yeah.

Cameron George

That’s, you know, and so that’s, you know, that’s great that we’ve got it set up there. So, you know, if people have some context a little bit now what the pharmaceutical is doing, this is what separates pharmaceutical drugs from these plant medicines, right? So the plant medicine that I kind of touched on earlier, um, is, you know, know plant medicine instead of being like a single molecule that was synthesized in a lab or just taken from nature and we’re trying to get this short term effect to trick the body. Like I talked about, a plant medicine is actually a full living organism. And we as humans are full living organisms. And if you think about it, the same intelligence, you, no matter what you believe in as far as where you know, what shapes reality and what shapes, you know, you know, the, the, the, uh, the network of the human body.

We know that the human body is a network mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And we do know that there is an intelligent system in this planet, a self-governing system that runs not only the natural ecology, but that runs your body too. That’s why you don’t have to tell yourself to breathe or tell yourself to, to blink your eyes or tell yourself to do these things happen naturally. There’s an intelligence, you don’t have to tell a cut on your leg to heal. Right? <laugh>, uh, so there’s this intelligence there and plant medicines are living organisms that have the same systems intelligence. So from a scientific standpoint, instead of one, you know, little like compound that tricks the body, it’s a whole system just like, you know, all the different systems in our body, there’s all these different cell types. It’s a system, it’s a full assembly line, in other words.

Hmm. So it’s not a person coming into the assembly line changing one thing. It’s an assembly line that helps to basically teach a larger assembly line how to work, or it syncs with it, right? It, it syncs with those things. And so it’s something that has within it all of the information, all of the biochemical steps that, that are already shaped by this intelligence, which is the natural ecology that shape the human body. So, so you know, when you find plants that, that are a, a good fit for the human body, they’re biologically compatible, right? So they weren’t made by like, you know, a human that just didn’t understand a full system like our body’s full system and ripped off one compound. It’s something that’s already shaped by the, by, by the natural ecology. So people can start to understand that, especially today where there’s more of an interest in understanding, you know, sort of the realignment with nature, especially in this field of biohacking and people that are interested in, and you know, that reintegration principle, so basically kava being a plant medicine, um, and being one that, you know, that is fully compatible.

It’s very complex. It’s got a bunch of different synergistic active constituents that work with the body in ways that we can’t fully understand everything that I said. Right. You know, just then is, you know, you know, was sort of a, you know, you know, a general overview or philosophical understanding and we can’t understand all of its parts because there’s too many. But we know that the parts are a system. So basically when that comes into your body, um, that system as a full capacity sort of assembly line, um, it, it works on all of these different systems without tricking the body or causing the body to down-regulated its production. So it’s able to activate the GABA system while communicating with all of the systems that help to refuel it at the same time and to feed it. Right? And because just goes back to the assembly line metaphor.

It teaches all of the people in the assembly line, not just the person dumping the the thing or putting or taking the cap off the can, but it teaches, you know, the people of how our how, how the people and machines who are shaping the can to reshape more cans. And so it actually has this effect of, of of this, this therapeutic effect of rehabilitating and strengthening what creates that final product, the GABA or the relaxation, um, you know, as, as it actually does the actual, you know, final product itself. So it’s, it it it’s working on multiple different levels, right? Um, so, you know, which is so cool. So what we find in the scientific literature now that we understand that, um, is that, you know, kava, basically what we know about it is that it offers similar acute therapeutic effects on that relaxation and GABA system while giving a bunch of other, you know, protective benefits.

Um, but it also helps to rehabilitate that system over time because of all the, you know, layers that it’s working on. So what we find actually now in the scientific literature over time when people take traditional kava that’s really traditional is we see an increase in gaba receptor density, the amount of gaba that you actually have, which is amazing because normally, you know, something that gives you an instant effect. It’s doing what I said, you know, you know, earlier it’s borrowing from tomorrow to pay for today you’re just charging on credit, but this is actually replead the system while giving you this big upregulation in release that’s acutely powerful and beneficial like a drug would be. Hmm. So this is really fantastic. This is plant intelligence right here. Um, and it’s, it’s extraordinarily complex plant intelligence. So, so basically the reverse tolerance effect that you just, you know, alluded to basically is instead of, um, you know, getting the most prominent effect the first time you take it, like with a pharmaceutical and then getting less and less of effect because you’ve be, because you’re basically, like I said, and you have to mm-hmm. <affirmative> put more cash in to get the same effect. This is retting. And so you actually need less of the same substance over time to get the same effect to a certain degree and then it levels off. But, um, so that’s basically what the reverse tolerance is.

Devin Burke

So let me, let me just break this down for people listening to it. So essentially medications deplete us. They, they’re, they’re, yes, they’re essentially depleting and what natural plant medicine, in this case we’re talking about covet, what it does is it builds up the system and you actually, as you take it, you actually need to take less of it to get the same effect versus with on the other side of that, with medication, it’s actually you need to take more of it to get the same effect. Is that what you’re saying?

Cameron George


Devin Burke

Amazing. And, um, so, so let’s talk about, I I wanna shift gears and talk a little bit about sleep because obviously, you know, this has big impact on people that have insomnia, that people have issues getting to sleep, staying asleep. Cameron, can you share a little bit about how people that are struggling with insomnia are struggling with their sleep? How kava can, can play a role in supporting their mind body systems to connect to that innate intelligence so that they can, they they can retrain their bodies to rest and their minds to relax?

Cameron George

Sure, sure. Yeah. So the same, you know, so our circadian cycles that, you know, that regulate our wakefulness and sleep are the same systems that are wired into our stress response, right? Because they’re wired into our, our cortisol response, which is supposed to wake us up in the morning, and really they’re wired into that fight or flight response, which is supposed to make you awaken alert. Um, which is an evolutionary adaptation that that gets us to run away from a threat like a tiger, you know, in the early stages of human evolution. Um, and so basically anything, any especially natural substance that helps to retrain and, and, and ref and, and sort of defuse an over accentuated stress system by upregulating certain chemicals, downregulating others, reteaching the body and rebalancing the body, hormonally and chemically is also going to help with your sleep cycles as well too.

Generally, especially one that directly targets the stress system because usually the disruption in sleep happens, uh, an overly sympathetic dominant system. And what that means is the sympathetic is the fight or flight. It’s like a different modes, two modes, basically of the nervous system. It’s like a switch. There’s a sympathetic, which is fight or flight that’s meant to basically help you survive if there’s, if there’s a threat present and then there’s rest and digest, which is the parasympathetic. And the parasympathetic is what helps to is, is is what we need, you know, to shift into. It’s the mode we need to shift into at night. It’s the mode we need to shift into while we’re eating to digest. It’s the mode we need to shift into for rest and recovery so that we can have the energy to spin whenever we need to go fight or flight when we need to, you know, you know, get a task done whenever we need to survive from something.

So, you know, so basically kava, um, you know, because it works on these GABA systems, because it works on the serotonin systems as well and the dopamine systems and helps to sort of balance brain chemistry and, and hormones and things, it does help to sort of interrupt that pattern and down-regulate the sympathetic nervous system and up-regulate and rehabilitate a damaged, parasympathetic nervous system. And so, you know, over time it becomes much, much easier to shift into deep sleep, but also acutely because you get such a powerful quick upregulation of GABA and, and serotonin as well. Um, it helps to, to very quickly even acutely, you know, before you’re like, you know, rehabilitated it, it helps you know, very quickly, you know, to shift you into getting deeper sleep and deeper REM cycles. And that helps in the recovery as well too. So it’s a feedback loop.

Devin Burke

It’s kind of, so I, the, I like the analogy here cuz it’s, it’s like if your stress switch gets stuck on kava can be like, uh, WD 40 that allows it to switch back off.

Cameron George

Yeah, exactly. Yeah. And, and

Devin Burke

I’ve, I personally, I’ve I’ve been taking Tru Kava your kava oil since, uh, since the show and I’ve noticed I, my sleep has improved drastically. Like not. And I’ve, I’ve been experimenting with, with all different types of supplements and all different types of biohacks for sleep and you know, I I um, the area that I struggle the most in my personal with sleep is, is deep sleep. And since taking the kava oil with actually something else I’m gonna ask you about, um, because I know kava is synergistic with other herbal remedies, which I want to talk about, but I’ve noticed a difference in quality of sleep and that has led to a difference in fo in more focused feeling more, you know, energized during the day. Just even a little bit more delta deep sleep or REM sleep Makes, makes a big difference. And so this leads me into my next question cuz I think this is just fascinating how, how this works, but, so I’ve been using your kava product, true kava oil with, uh, hops, a hops tea beverage.

And I noticed when I combine the hops tea and it’s like the, it’s, it kind of tastes like a beer, but it, there’s no alcohol in it with the kava there, there’s something going on when I pair both of ’em together. Yeah. Can you explain what’s going on? Because this is like adding this combo of the hops with the kava oil <laugh>. I’m like, when I do, when I do one, I notice a difference when I do the Cobb oil, I’ve definitely have noticed a difference in the quality of sleep. Um, you know, it’s great. And now I’m adding in this hot beverage with the co oil and all of a sudden I’m noticing even more of a difference. Can you explain like why that’s happening or what’s going on there? Do you have any idea? Sure,

Cameron George

Sure. I mean, yes. I mean, generally, so, so kava actually stacks very, very well with, with, with many of these other, you know, more subtle herbs sort of in the gaba inducing wheelhouse, right? Okay. So that includes valerian root, passionflower, lemon bombs, skull cap hops, and even some of the amino acids or like just taking straight gaba or taking tine or theanine. And then, you know, a couple of the more powerful ones actually that you may want to look into and try is magnolia bark extract, which contains a, a, you know, a a a ligon called, um, called Honky, which is a, is which is a GABA inducing agent. It’s very powerful. And then there’s a Chinese herb called Ziziphus. Uh, it’s a seed extract. Um, that’s, that’s very powerful as well. Those two are my favorites to stack with kava even more so than hops and some of the other ones.

Um, you know, so basically how most of these things work is, you know, several of ’em act as GABA transaminase inhibitors. And so, you know, just like in neutropics, a lot of people are taking choline esterase inhibitors that, that, that basically means it prevents the breakdown of this neurotransmitter acetylcholine. If it’s a choline esterase inhibitor, if it’s a GABA transmitter, RASE inhibitor, um, then it prevents the breakdown of GABA once it’s being induced. But it does it, these plant medicines do it in a natural way that doesn’t like cause a traffic jam or imbalance your system. So basically, you know, several of these things act as GABA transaminase inhibitors. So they allow the GABA that’s being accentuated or induced by something like kava to stick around longer mm-hmm. <affirmative> and you get a compounding effect. But, but then also, uh, you know, several of ’em help to, um, help with the upregulation of certain systems that actually produce an intracellular amounts of these compounds like, like GABA and other that whether it be serotonin and some of these other ones, uh, that are, that are synergistic.

So a lot of these compounds act as kind of like the gas that helps fuel the production of more neurotransmission, like GABA help us stay around for longer, and then kava sort of acts as a little bit of the gas, but then it acts as the accelerator, right? Hmm. So it’s like you’re putting more gas and then you hit the accelerator, then you get more of an effect, right? Um, because kava really activates the receptors that make the bioavailability and speed up everything in that wheelhouse, um, to kind of go. And so that’s, that’s pretty, you know, sort of a good analogy for that I think is why you get this compounding effect on this inhibitory system. So the, you know, you know, so basically, I mean, anyone who, who wants to experiment, who has trouble with sleep sometimes kava, the, the, the thing I like about kava is it’s the most powerful really in all of those, those compounds, those herbs.

Um, and it keeps working a lot of these other herbs, if you use them by themselves because the way they work, they’ll work for a few nights and then you kind of get tolerance to them a little easier. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> kava because of the way it modulates the whole system, it keeps working. But if you use these things with it, if you cycle and say use valer root with kava for like a few days and then cycle a passion flower and then cycle to lemon balm, then cycle the, you can do some of these things and you can get a compounded effect. Um, you can also dose magnesium with it as well too. So there’s a lot you can dose cbd b d with it, that’s synergistic. So for people in more extreme scenarios, we like to sometimes stack a lot of these things. Kava to me is the base of the sort of anxiolytic plant medicines, right? Of course there’s cannabis sometimes that’s, that’s bidirectional, it’s hit or miss. But as far as these things that go straight for the breaks, which is the gaba kava is, is really, it’s kind of at the top of the mountain and then you sprinkle in some of these other compounds around it to help bring it out more.

Devin Burke

It’s amazing. I I mean it’s, it’s truly amazing what plants can do <laugh>.

Cameron George

It really is,

Devin Burke

It really, I, I want, and I want, I wanna talk about, you know, tru Kava, I wanna talk about the products that you offer. Um, you know, obviously you mentioned, you know, quality is a, is a big, uh, thing that in, in the supplement industry, it’s definitely not, you know, regulated. There’s a lot of crap on the market and unfortunately people try things like, you, you, your experience was you went and you tried kava and you didn’t have the effects because you had a poor product quality product. So can we just jam on a little bit like what makes true kava true kava and, and then Let’s talk a little bit about, well, how can people that have sleep issues, how can they start to incorporate this to help them? Yeah. You know, how, how do you take it? How much do you take it? When do you take it? So let’s, um, let’s jam on that. So first I wanna hear a little bit about the quality. What makes Tru Kava Truca, and then let’s get into like some, Hey, how do people actually use this that are having sleep issues?

Cameron George

Cool. A hundred percent. Yeah. So just like I alluded to earlier, um, with all plant medicines, this is the case. But especially with kava, because it’s, it relies heavily on this entourage effect of keeping all of the active constituents ingredients together. If you start to separate the constituents out poor extraction methods, then you lose a lot of its depth of experience in potency, uh, with kava. And that, that, that’s true for all plant medicines, but especially for kava like kava, if you extract it the wrong way, it can kill most of the effects. Okay. So basically what, what, you know, we had to do with True Kava was to try to capture that experience of the full traditional kava experience, capture that with certain extraction methods that we had to develop and then stabilize it in, in, you know, ready to use end user products.

Right. The, the, the, you could just take, because the problem with the traditional prep is just like I alluded to earlier, you have to prepare it. I didn’t really go into that mm-hmm. <affirmative>. But basically you have to like, take this root powder, that’s the, the roots of this plant, and you have to put in a strainer bag and get a, squeeze it into a bowl of cold water for like 30 minutes. And it’s like, it takes like a long time. It’s messy as heck. And, and then you end up with a bowl of essentially muddy.

And so from a taste standpoint, p you know, you know, people in the niche area of, of like biohacking are totally all over it, though they’re fine with it, but to make it available to the masses, people don’t like the taste. And it’s amazing that people won’t consume something if it tastes bad, no matter how good the effects are. Yep. Uh, and, and just the time of preparing it, it’s one thing to do it one night, but to do that every night on the go, it’s not good. So yeah, in the past you had to do that to get those effects. So we had to develop these methods of capturing that full constituent mixture in these end user products. So basically we started with our oil, which is the most subtle product. It’s all purpose. Take it any time of the day. It’s not too overly strong.

Kind of more runs in the background. Even kids can take it in large dosages. So it’s, it’s the baseline for sort of food product. We don’t use any solvents to extract it. Solvents are the quickest way to denature cava, solvents like ethanol extraction and, and you know, you know, worse like, like, like acetone and stuff. We use, you know, a combination of pressure and water and different things, but, and then stabilize it in a certain way to where we’re able to capture that, that matrix in our oil. And then we’ve got shots, you know, that we, in, which is the true cava shot, the oil is called kava plex. That’s our full spectrum oil. Kinda like CBD oil just with kava. Um, the shots is the true Cava shot that’s basically like the drink just condensed down into a two ounce form. So you can take higher dosages with less volume and uh, you know, you don’t have to pay a, you know, for shipping on that.

And then, you know, coming soon we have our true Kava drink that we had showcased at the biohacking conference. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, where you and I, uh, first talked, that product is gonna be released fairly soon, both in, in regional retail. And, you know, we’re looking at online options as well. And that’s like a carbonated drink that’s like a full-blown alcohol alternative. Really amazing that one carries much of the euphoric benefits that really bring that sort of alcohol without the drunkenness type of feel and it out the addiction, no hangover type of thing. So, um, you know, the complex oil is more of like a, like a therapeutic daily supplement. The drinks are more of like an alcohol alternative and the shots are like the drinks. So those are our three products. Those are basically what we do. So the, the, the main differentiating factors is how we prepare it, that it’s actually traditional kava.

It’s not these kava extracts. Um, and then, you know, the other two things are, you know, every batch that we use, uh, you know, for, for every run of each one of our products is third party lab tested both for industrial and biological contaminants. So they’re third party lab tested for quality and safety and, you know, everything is tested as well to make sure that we have a hundred percent root material, which we didn’t really have time to go over. But that’s important cuz the roots are the only consumable parts of the kava plant. If you consume the, the leaves and stems of the kava, it can actually be mildly toxic. Wow. And which has led to some, some reputation issues that you’ll find on the internet about liver toxicity with kava, which only happens if you, if you consume the wrong parts of the plant.

So, so everything is tested to make sure we have the right parts of the plant, the correct strains, which that’s another thing. There’s many strains of kava and we have certain daily use strains that we use. Um, you know, and then it’s third party lab tested for, you know, contaminants. And then we have our extraction method to get the full spectrum out of it. Um, so those are our sort of, you know, you know, quality metrics that, you know, that, that we use that you wanna look for. And unfortunately that there’s really no one else out there that’s doing even anywhere close to any one of those things right now. We, you know, we hope that that changes as the, as the kava market around the world in, in the United States really starts to take shape. And this come, you know, starts to become a core part of the culture in a safe way that we can experience sociability. Hmm. Um, you know, that’s non-addictive and that doesn’t lead to the kind of mental and physical neurosis that alcohol and illicit substances can, uh, use. So that’s basically what’s different about ours and, and how we approach it. Uh, and, and, and, you know, what’s important to look for.

Devin Burke

So, so what I hear you saying is you start with a really quality product. You make sure that the extraction methods don’t denature that quality of the product. And then you, you created three different forms as of now for how people can, can reap the benefits, um, without having to spend 30 minutes squeezing a bag of, uh, root powder and making their kitchen all messy. You just made it super simple for people either open up the can, open up a shop or, or use the oil, uh, without having to, you know, ship in, uh, roots from, uh, the Polynesian Islands. So thank you for that. Yeah. Um, yeah, I think it’s really important to, to, you know, to, to talk about, you know, the, if there is any contraindications as well. You know, I know that that kava before I met you and, and listened to you on some other podcasts as well as, you know, our conversation we had at the, the conference, you know, i I was under the misperception or conception that Kava did was to, could be toxic to the liver that it was, you know, potentially dangerous for people to take it.

Um, can you just speak, are there any contraindications fort if you are taking high quality products like the ones that you produce at Tru Kava, are there any contraindications should people be concerned about, um, using any of these products?

Cameron George

So pretty much all of the known contraindications with kava are, are relative to its, its quality and how it’s sourced from. And all of the, all of the, you know, you know, the bullet points that I just kind of named with, with what we do on our products, and that was actually one thing on the conversation earlier that we were talking about what is held kava back ignorance and misperception. Um, obviously, you know, political and, and you know, you know, economic, you know, you know, agendas by certain, you know, companies obviously that would be competitors in the space and such, all that kind of, you know, political stuff happens. Um, but also this, you know, this this liver toxicity misnomer, which was, is basically has been fully vetted out in the scientific literature. It’s, it was something that happened in the early two thousands where a pharmaceutical company was actually trying to make a drug out of the active constituents in Cabo, which has always been the story, right?

Okay. If you see something therapeutic patentable version of it, you don’t wanna sell it in its natural form that you can’t patent. So they try to isolate its active constituents. So they try to take that living system and isolate its parts to make something that would be that lock and key thing that would turn it into something very different, right? Hmm. So it turns it from that full assembly line into that little, that little sneaky guy that goes in and screws up the assembly line that we talked about. Right? And, and, and so, so it’s, it’s just like you can’t, you know, you can’t buy, you know, or you know, you, you can’t create a caffeine pill ver with white caffeine powder and put it on Amazon and call it coffee. Right. Um, it’s not coffee. And actually people die from caffeine powder all the time from overdosing.

Like they go to the ER energy drinks that have synthetic caffeine in it. Yeah. They’re not like drastically unsafe, but you can overdose on it mm-hmm. <affirmative>, and you can go to the ER and it’s very hard to do with coffee. It’s very hard to do. Um, so because it’s just different, it’s the full food with coffee. Right? Same thing with with with Coca tea, which is a medicinal drink from Peru. Right. They drink, you know, you know, the indigenous people in Peru drink it as a a, as a medicinal substance that’s has the, you know, the side effect profile essentially of coffee. But, you know, but guess what? Its active constituent is one of them. Cocaine <laugh>. But, but, but when it’s in its plant form, it’s this totally different thing. You’re not robbing convenience stores. It’s not screwing your life up over the weekend.

Like, like, like synthetic cocaine, wood, or like the isolate, you know, powdered concentrated version. So that’s, it’s the difference there, right? So, you know, so this whole thing, you know, with, with, you know, safety issues in kava has been fully vetted out over the last 15 years. And even the W H O has taken a position on it. There’s really no, there’s no discrepancy about it in the scientific community anymore. It’s really just still circulates around the internet. It’s the same thing that, that had to be done with with cannabis, right? Mm-hmm. Making this distinction between marijuana and C B D, it’s like the difference between synthetically isolated, um, you know, you know, you know, kava like material from, from like the leaves and stems wrong parts of the plant with kava is as different as different could be from the traditionally prepared food drink made from the roots of the right.

It’s a totally different thing. So that was a quality control issue there. So basically most of the contraindications and answer to your question are going to be with quality issues. Right? Okay. And, and so if you get kava in its food form, the only contraindications, um, are possibly consuming large, large, large amounts, um, with alcohol, which that’s even just a theoretical thing because of, um, you know, basically because of, of the, you know, some of the, the, the active constituents in the roots that are, that are actually very, you know, medicinal and high dosages, but you know, the same enzyme, you know, that breaks down pharmaceutical drugs in the, in the liver and alcohol has to break them down. So if you take large amounts of that with alcohol, then you could cause some sluggishness in the liver and things. Possibly there’s that potential. But with the food form, everything is balanced.

And so it’s kind of self-regulating and it’s actually very good for the liver. Uh, you know, what we’re finding out now, so that’s even called into question. When you get the food form of kava, it actually has one of the best therapeutic effect to drawback ratios of any plant medicine that I’ve seen, which is why I love it, right? Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, because every plant medicine has, you know, there are some medicines that are very acutely powerful like psilocybin or like ayahuasca or like cannabis. But if you, if you use them too much, then you have contraindications, they can imbalance you a little bit. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> psychologically, you know, they’re not daily use, they’re not tonic herbs. You don’t wanna be drinking ayahuasca every morning with breakfast <laugh>. It’s, it’s not, it’s not, it’s not. It’s, please, please don’t <laugh>. Yeah. Yeah. It, it’s not a good thing, but, you know, but acutely it’s, it’s good.

Now on the other end, you’ve got the really subtle herbs, like the gin sings that you can take all, all day till the cows come home and they have a very low contraindication standpoint. Uh, but they’re, but they don’t have that acute power, you know, that like really gives you an instant, instant effect. Like, you know what I mean, like a, like a drug would kava is amazing cuz it’s kind of in the middle power, but a very, very low, uh, you know, contraindication sort of, you know, you know, spectrum of effects. Um, so the only things are, there’s a small percentage of people that can have, you know, allergic reactions to some of the constituents. But that again, mainly comes from the tannins and the root fibers that in our products we’ve mainly filtered out. Okay. Um, yep. So, you know, potential for allergies in a small amount of people, you know, mass cell activation, uh, in, in a small amount of people that the, you know, some people can get skin rashes if they have large amounts of over period of time. And then if you get poor quality stuff, then you can have all kinds of issues. Right, right. Inflammatory

Devin Burke

Issue. So yeah. So, uh, aside, setting aside the quality, if, if it’s quality stuff, it sounds like there’s very little contraindications besides somebody maybe that’s an alcoholic that’s taking large amounts of it based off basically. Okay. Um, so that’s, so we know it’s, it’s, it’s safe. It’s ef ef, how do you say that?

Cameron George

It’s, uh, efficacious. Yeah,

Devin Burke

Thank you. And, um, and now it’s, it’s qual there, there’s a easy way of, of getting a really high quality product. And I, and as we wrap up, I just wanna, um, ask, you know, for people that are interested in trying, uh, you know, one of your products specifically for sleep, whether they have issues getting to sleep or, or getting back to sleep, if they wake up, what would you recommend and how much, so it, would it be, hey sure. Try the oil to, you know, start with one dropper full, two dropper fulls. No, let’s, let’s do a shot like GE guide us a little bit on, you know, I, I haven’t, let’s say I have insomnia, I’m having issues getting to sleep, um, or staying asleep. Like what, what should I, where should I start?

Cameron George

Yeah, absolutely. So, yeah, you know, right now until the drinks are available, the two products that we have available are the oil, the complex oil, and the shots. So it all depends on what you’re trying to get out of it. If you’re looking for a daily tonic to kind of dip your feet into kava, the oil is best as a starting point for most people because, you know, first of all, from a cost standpoint and from a practicality, you’re gonna get, you know, you know, 30 doses in, in, in one bottle. So it’s like a month’s worth unless you’re taking higher dosages. I always tell people to start with one to two droppers full once a day of the oil, see how kavas gonna affect you, start to build up some of that cumulative effect that we talked about mm-hmm. <affirmative> and then move you, you can double or triple or even quadruple that because it’s in its food form. Okay. You know, so you kinda have to listen to your body and then you can kinda get the general effects of kava in a more subtle form. And then if you want more of the recreational social effects of kava or just that extra punch or, or that extra kick, um, on top of that, then I would recommend getting the shots. Okay. Um, you know, and start to sort of layer in some of those. But, but the oil’s a great starting place for, for most people

Devin Burke

In the onset time. So when, when should people take it at dinner with food without food?

Cameron George

The best time to take kava is generally late afternoon to early evening. However, people with anxiety and extreme conditions, people trying to get off of certain substances and things, you know, a lot of people tolerate it very well in the morning. People tolerate it very well at night. I would, I would say kava, all kava leads to a good sleep, but it, you know, these strains of cva are not gonna knock you out, which is good. They actually incremental clarity. So there’re can be a little bit of alertness that’s, that’s, that’s with it. So you don’t necessarily wanna take it right before bed. I would take it about an hour before if you’re gonna do that. Um, so it leads to a good sleep with your circadian rhythms, helps you kind of shift into it. Um, you know, some people can tolerate it right before, but I would start see how it affects you.

Devin Burke

Awesome. Well, Cameron, we could talk probably for another few hours about kava. We’re just scraping the surface here, and I appreciate all your, your, your expertise on the quality of the products that you’re creating on, on what you’re doing to share about this amazing plant medicine with people. Um, it’s, it’s, it’s amazing. I, I really, I can get behind it if it passes my test. I have very high standards for, for quality and, and things. And it passes my test. It’s helping me personally. So I’m excited to, you know, share about kava with the Sleep Science Academy members, people that are gonna be listening to the podcast and on video and YouTube. Um, where, where can obviously, is it true is the website, we’ll, I’ll put a link below. Um, and also you’re kind enough to extend a discount to, to people that listen to this, I think is 10%.

So you could use Devin 10 on checkout with, uh, with the products. Um, but thank you so much for, for what you’re doing, for having the courage to turn your, your, your pain and, and, and really into something that’s giving other people an opportunity to get outta pain and to find a way to, to really heal themselves in a natural way that doesn’t have all these downsides. So, appreciate you, um, your wealth of knowledge. I know that the people that are gonna listen to this are gonna be very, um, motivated to try the, you know, your products and to try cove out. And I’m excited for them because it’s, uh, it’s amazing. So, so thanks again for making the time and for, for what you’re doing in the world. I appreciate it.

Cameron George

Absolutely, man. Love being here. Um, you know, for any, you know, extra information. Yeah, it’s, it’s true., that’s t r u, not t r u e And you can find us on social media, you know, obviously Instagram at true kava and just t r u kava with everything. You search that and you’ll find all of our stuff, you know, more information about applications, how to use some of the literature and things like that. So, so yeah, I mean, this is, you know, our company is definitely more than just about selling product. This is an advocacy campaign and a movement that we’re trying to set around, you know, you know, you know, changing the culture in the way that we interact socially, um, and, and more of a, a, you know, a healthy context in offering, um, you know, basically this amazing therapeutic agent that has helped to, to successfully shape, um, you know, you know, the, the social fabric of the Polynesian Islands in a very healthy way and give them a sense of tight-knit community and give them a sense of interconnectedness to themselves and their local environment, which Kava does through its psychological effects as well.

So, you know, we’re very excited about it and I’ve, I’m just, you know, so happy, you know, to be here and help doing my part. Yeah.

Devin Burke

It’s clear that this is more than just a, you know, you selling products, it’s a mission and it’s, it’s very clear in, in how you’re communicating that. And I’m excited for the world to start to wake up to the power of kava and how it can create community and create openness and create, can, can help people, you know, heal, heal their bodies, naturally connect to their innate wisdom. So thanks again for that and I look forward to, uh, continuing to stay connected and continuing to see, uh, the amazing things that you, you bring into the world from, um, the researcher you’re doing. So thanks. Awesome man. Thanks so much.