While it’s entirely possible to order kava in Canada, it can be a bit of a pain.
You can legally buy and use kava (Piper methysticum) if you live in Canada, but it’s hard for vendors to sell it. Only capsules and tinctures are widely available; the rest needs to be imported from the US or New Zealand.
I live in Canada and have a lot of experience importing this herb from various vendors around the world. Here’s everything you need to know about sourcing kava products in Canada.
Table of Contents
- Best Kava Brands in Canada
- Is Kava Legal in Canada?
- How to Buy Kava in Canada
- What’s The Cost of Kava Root In Canada?
- How Long Does it Take For Kava to Arrive in Canada?
- What Happens If My Order Doesn’t Arrive?
- Kava Powder In Canada
- Kava Capsules in Canada
- Kava Tinctures in Canada
- Key Takeaways: Where to Buy Kava In Canada
Best Kava Brands in Canada
- The Kava Roots (#1 Source In Canada)
- Wakacon (Amazon)
- Kalm With Kava (Imported From USA)
- The Kava Society (Imported From New Zealand)
Is Kava Legal in Canada?
Kava is legal to buy and use in Canada. The bottleneck comes down to companies selling the herb.
In order to sell kava, each product must be registered with Health Canada. Unfortunately, Health Canada has only been approving registration for kava capsules and tinctures and has yet to approve any kava root powders.
Canadian residents are legally allowed to import kava for personal use only. The limit is a 3-month supply of kava — but the Canadian government hasn’t offered any specific details about what constitutes a 3-month supply.
Most people shouldn’t have any trouble ordering kava into Canada as long as it’s within a reasonable quantity. The border will likely stop shipments containing several pounds of kava at a time.
To avoid problems, I recommend you keep your orders to 3 lbs or less.
How to Buy Kava in Canada
You can order kava online and have it delivered — just be aware that the cost of shipping is going to be quite high, so it’s best to order in bulk to get the best value for your money.
The best Canadian source of kava is The Kava Roots.
But because kava isn’t technically legal to sell in Canada, no credit card processor will serve companies selling kava. You should expect to have to pay for your order with an E-transfer or Bitcoin.
If you want to pay with a credit card, you’ll need to buy your kava through Amazon or companies based out of the US.
Tips For Ordering Kava in Canada:
- Keep the total quantity of kava to 3 lbs or less (A Reasonable 3-Month Supply)
- Bulk order kava (over 1 lb) to save money on shipping
- Order from within Canada for fast shipping or from the US for the best cost-effectiveness
What’s The Cost of Kava Root In Canada?
Kava is more expensive in Canada than it is in the United States. And there are some good reasons for this.
The main reason is that the Canadian government doesn’t allow for the sale of kava. It’s legal to buy, use, and possess, but there are no Health Canada Approved kava root products on the market. This means there aren’t a lot of companies willing to sell kava in Canada, which results in less competition and higher prices.
Secondly, kava is heavy. You need about 10 grams per person for a dose, so it only makes sense to sell relatively large quantities at a time (usually around 225 grams) or more. When you factor in the cost of international shipping on top of this, the cost goes up even further.
Shipping rates range from $10 CAD up to $70 or more.
What’s The Cheapest Source of Kava in Canada?
The source of the cheapest kava in Canada depends on what you consider cheap.
If you want to buy kava with the least amount of money possible, go for The Kava Roots.
This company is based out of Canada (Vancouver Island) and offers a flat shipping rate of $11.21 CAD. You can order a small, ½ lb bag for $42 USD ($53 CAD) + $11.21 Shipping. This is the cheapest kava available in Canada.
However, if you want the most cost-effective, rather than cheapest kava, it’s better to look at the cost per gram or cost per standard 10-gram dose.
The most cost-effective way to order kava in Canada is to place larger order sizes from companies like Kalm With Kava (USA) or The Kava Society (New Zealand).
If you’re only ordering ½ pound bags, this isn’t worth it — the cost of shipping is essentially the same as the cost of the kava itself. But if you’re ordering quantities of 2 lb or more, the shipping suddenly becomes pretty reasonable.
Amazon Canada vendors like Wakacon are also pretty affordable. You’ll get free shipping with Amazon Prime, but the cost of kava is a little more expensive to make up for this. This brand will arrive the fastest, but if you’re okay to wait a week or two, Kalm With Kava is better quality and has much more selection.
Check out the chart below where we’ve broken down the cost for bulk orders of kava, including the cost of shipping.
Estimated Cost of Kava in Canada From Top Brands
|Kava Brand||Shipping||Recommended Order Volume||Total Cost||Cost per 10 g Dose|
|The Kava Roots||$11.21 CAD Flat Rate||2 lbs||$179 USD ($227 CAD)||$2.50 CAD|
|Kalm With Kava||$34.10 USD Flat Rate||2 lbs||$152 USD ($193 CAD)||$2.12 CAD|
|The Roots of Happiness||$62.80 USD (Based on Weight)||2 lbs||$182 USD ($230.83 CAD)||$2.54 CAD|
|The Kava Society||$69 NZD||2.2 lbs||$238 NZD ($209 CAD)||$2.30 CAD|
|Wakacon (Amazon)||$0 CAD||1 lb||$97 CAD||$2.14 CAD|
How Long Does it Take For Kava to Arrive in Canada?
Shipping in Canada is notoriously slow and expensive. The Canadian Postal service is a for-profit organization, unlike the US Postal Service, which is heavily subsidized by the US government.
The fastest shipping in Canada is to order kava from Amazon — you’ll usually receive your order within about five days if fulfilled by Amazon directly. If the seller is sending direct, you may have to wait up to 3 weeks to get your order.
If you’re ordering from Canadian companies, like The Kava Roots, you can expect your order to take between 5 and 10 business days to arrive.
If you’re ordering your kava from the United States (Kalm With Kava or The Kava Roots), delivery could take up to 3 weeks.
If you decide to order your kava from New Zealand (The Kava Society), deliveries can take a very long time — I’ve waited a month and a half in the past when ordering from this company.
Needless to say, you can’t really be in a rush when ordering kava in Canada. It’s better to think long-term and place larger orders that will last you a long time and minimize the dent shipping makes in the cost of the order.
If you want your kava right away, just go for the Wakacon Kava on Amazon.
What Happens If My Order Doesn’t Arrive?
It’s very unlikely for your order to get stopped at customs unless it’s too large. I’ve found the sweet spot is between 1 and 3 lbs of kava. I have never had an issue with orders this size, and it’s still large enough that it’s worth the cost of shipping.
Larger orders may get stopped at the border. Kava is legal to buy in personal quantities (defined as a 3-month supply), but it isn’t legal to wholesale and resell it. If border officials believe you’re going to resell the kava (AKA, your order is too large) — they may hold your package and ask you to come pick it up in person from the airport.
Most of the time, this isn’t an issue. It’s just a bit of a pain. Head down to the airport and explain why the order is so large (trying to minimize the expenses of shipping) and be adamant that the order is for personal use only.
I would argue that 1 lb of kava is enough for one month, so any orders that contain 3 lbs or less should be compliant with Canadian law.
In some rare cases, or if you have a particularly large order, the border officials won’t believe you and will either return the package to the sender or have it destroyed. You’ll then need to contact the vendor to either get another order shipped or a refund. Most kava vendors won’t return your money for products discarded at the border.
Kava Powder In Canada
Kava root powder is the simplest and least processed category of kava products you can buy. They’re made by simply cleaning, drying, and powdering the kava roots directly.
Powdered kava root is also the closest product available to traditional kava drinking.
Traditionally, kava was prepared from fresh roots that have been mashed into a pulp — but fresh kava doesn’t have a long shelf-life and is therefore not available outside the Pacific islands where kava grows naturally.
Powdered kava is popular within Canada but can be expensive because of its higher weight and volume compared to capsules or tinctures.
You can also use micronized kava powder — which is the same as raw kava powder, but it’s been ground into an ultrafine powder and had the fibers removed. You don’t need to spend the time straining and mixing micronized kava, so it’s much easier to prepare.
Related: How to prepare kava root powder.
Kava Capsules in Canada
The most widely available form of kava in Canada is capsules. Health Canada has approved dozens of different kava capsule brands, which can be bought at virtually any health food shop, and in the vitamin sections of most big box stores.
Make sure you pay attention to the kavalactone content on these capsules. There are a few brands that have kavalactone concentrations that are too low to be of any use. Ideally, each capsule should contain between 70 and 200 mg of kavalactones each.
You can order kava capsules on Amazon or from online supplement shops.
A few decent brands include:
- NOW Supplements
Kava Tinctures in Canada
Kava tinctures are also readily available in Canada. Look for products that use vegetable glycerine or oil instead of alcohol. Alcohol-based tinctures are not a great idea for kava as the combination of alcohol and kava can stress the liver.
It’s also a good idea to check the kavalactone content of tinctures before you buy. Much like capsules, there are a lot of brands that sell really low potency tinctures that simply aren’t worth the money.
Aim for kava tinctures that contain at least 50 mg of kavalactones per milliliter of oil. One full dropper is equal to 1 milliliter of oil.
You can figure out the potency of your kava tincture by dividing the total kavalactone content of the bottle by its volume. Most kava tinctures come in standard 1 oz (30 mL) bottles and contain around 1500 mg of kavalactones each. Here’s what the calculation would look like for this example:[1500 mg kavalactones] ➗ [30 mL] = 50 mg per mL
A few decent kava tincture brands in Canada include:
- Herb Pharm
- Gaia Herbs
Key Takeaways: Where to Buy Kava In Canada
The easiest place to get kava if you live in Canada is to order it on Amazon or pick up some tinctures or capsules at your local health food shop.
If you’re looking for the lowest cost but high-quality kava root powder, check out The Kava Roots — this company operates on Vancouver Island and offers flat $11 shipping Canada-wide.
If you’re willing to spend some more money upfront for an even better deal on high-grade kava, order 2 or 3 lbs of kava from US companies like Kalm With Kava or New Zealand suppliers like The Kava Society. Shipping will be expensive, but the overall cost per 10 g dose is cheaper overall when you order this way.
Did we miss anything? Where do you source your kava for delivery to Canada?