Drug info - Kava Kava in Canada?

Discussion in 'Kava-Kava' started by computergod, Mar 7, 2005.

  1. computergod

    computergod Newbie

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    I know that it isn't legal, but I was thinking of trying to order it anyways, just to see if it will make it.

    Anyone else have experience in ordering it from Canada?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 23, 2007
  2. QGdoxl

    QGdoxl Gold Member

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    70% Kava Tar Extract (piper methysticum)

    Produced with high quality Kava, It is unlikely you will
    find an extract of this quality on the normal health food market.

    This extract is produced using unique C02 extraction methods to achieve a
    superior quality end product. Valuable for use in many applications including
    but not limited to health foods, massage products (anti inflamatory/pain
    releiving properties)and anti stress formulas

    is this what you are looking for? Sold on a canadian web site
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 23, 2007
  3. computergod

    computergod Newbie

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    UPDATE

    It arrived. Customs didn't open and inspect the package, I'm not sure that I would have received it if they did.

    {Read the rules. Posting sources is not allowed]Edited by: Alfa
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 23, 2007
  4. gotxp

    gotxp Newbie

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    SWIM actually saw KavaKava in one of his smaller health stores, the owner said they got it from the states, and although it technically isnt legal they still sell it. This has been the only place I saw it, but he was thinking of ordering some, glad to hear Customs let it through for you.
     
  5. Pinkavvy

    Pinkavvy Platinum Member & Advisor

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    Kava is legal in the u.s. but illegal in canda, therefor discussion of importing it into canada is incriminating, computergod; please look up and use the word SWIM.
     
  6. Bajeda

    Bajeda Super Moderator Platinum Member & Advisor

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    It is definitely banned by HealthCanada in the domestic market, but can you import the substance? I haven't seen anything suggesting complete illegality yet.
     
  7. Ontherooftops

    Ontherooftops Titanium Member

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    I live in BC and is pretty sure its legal here. SWIM think's he's seen it in some pretty square, straight shooter type, supplement stores. Said supplement stores also sell pure ephedrine as a diet pill though, even if it is labeled as a decongestant, which is illegal.

    I know that some local suppliers he goes to sell kava quite openly and has bought it without having to order it off of any site numerous times.

    I am quite surprised to hear this, is You sure kava is illegal in all parts of canada or is it a provincial law?
     
  8. Powder_Reality

    Powder_Reality Gold Member

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    As far as I can tell, kava is banned by Health Canada for human consumption. If this is the case, it would explain why health food stores are being forced to stop carrying such products, and also why some stores are still getting away with selling it.

    Since kava is sold exclusively as a food product/supplement/drug, it would be hard to explain any other reason to be selling it. However, I haven't heard of anyone being prosecuted for possessing/distributing kava in Canada, so I'm guessing that it isn't technically illegal.

    My guess is that kava is in the same situation as nitrous oxide: not for sale for human consumption, except for medical purposes with a valid license. However, the difference between kava and nitrous is that nitrous oxide actually does have a valid use outside of the medical community: food preparation (case in point: nitrous oxide chargers for making whipped cream).

    So here's my best interpretation of the legal situation regarding kava in Canada: it's probably legal to possess, but not legal to consume. It's not legal to sell kava for human consumption, but the laws don't appear to be enforced too heavily and no fines will likely be issued (probably just a warning). If a legitimate use can be proven for the sale of kava, there's probably nothing that Health Canada/police can do; however, all kava products that have been prepared for human consumption are considered to be banned.

    This is the closest thing to an explanation of the legality of kava in Canada that I've been able to come up with so far.

    Update: I recently visited a couple local health food stores. Both places carried kava root powder capsules and sold them openly. The owner of one of the stores even acknowledged the fact that it had been banned by Health Canada. When SWIM asked him if he was legally allowed to sell small amounts, he just shook his head and told SWIM that he was lucky to have even been able to find it for sale. He didn't go into detail about the legal situation though, and I didn't pry. This just makes the whole legal situation of kava even more confusing to SWIM.
     
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2007
  9. depsoul

    depsoul Silver Member

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    I also have seen it in health food stores and buys it regularly =]
     
  10. insaniac

    insaniac Silver Member

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    SWIM emailed Natural Health Products Directorate (branch of Health Canada) and received the following response:




    I got a follow up from NHPD


    Truthfully, there response is unsatisfactory. I'd like to reply to this but wanted to know what some on here had to say first.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 12, 2007
  11. NeuroChi

    NeuroChi is not his mind Platinum Member & Advisor

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    A friend of mine over there has seen Kava for sale in head shops and a convenience store. Like salvia divinorum, it says "For incense use only" on the package.
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2010
  12. Hover

    Hover Silver Member

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    Kava is not illegal in Canada in the sense that there is no legislation against it and it is neither scheduled nor regulated, unlike the situation in some European countries. From 2002 to 2004 its status had been changed from supplement to drug, likely because a substance has to have drug status for the government to fund research pertaining to it. It has since reverted to supplement status without explanation, but one is to assume that HC received evidence that kava's reported potential for liver toxixity in healthy individuals had been exaggerated. Embarrassment over the hype created by HC over the whole affair in 2002 appears to be the main reason why the no-sale order hasn't yet been officially lifted. There shouldn't be any problems with Customs for importation but it can also be found right here in Canada, a certain Mr Google may help ;)

    Hover added 188 Minutes and 41 Seconds later...

    Just to add to my previous post above, Canadians should be made aware that a no-sale order from Health Canada does not constitute a legal ban. It amounts to a strong advisory to the consumer that a certain product may carry potential health risks either because its properties have not been assessed properly (kava falls into this category) or because it could be contaminated with a toxic ingredient. The toxic ingredient in question is often a prescription drug, in which case the no-sale order is justified by existing regulations and scheduling. An example of this occurred over a decade ago when a shipment from China of herbal sleeping capsules sold in health food stores in Ontario and Quebec had been found to contain a healthy dose of flurazepam (Dalmane). If I recall correctly they we called Sleeping Buddah and were probably very worthy of their name.

    Hover added 43 Minutes and 8 Seconds later...

    You cannot expect Health Canada to issue a statement in clear terms over an issue in which HC had made fools of themselves. ;)

    If You reads between the lines however he/she will learn that:

    1- HC avoided using the expression "no-sale order" instead they used "advisory". This can be construed as "it is possible that we had goofed in 2002". I agree, it is indeed very possible.

    2- "there is no ban on Kava kava in Canada". This quite unambiguously states that kava is perfectly legal in this country, period.

    3- "Kava is an acceptable ingredient in the formulation of an NHP". That's quite different from they claimed back in 2002. Translation: we have obtained evidence that this product is safe.

    4- "however, appropriate evidence must be submitted in support of its [any supplement] quality, safety and efficacy".

    This means they already have "appropriate evidence" (see #3) but don't want to clearly admit it. Basically it's damage control over an issue that made HC look ridiculous not because of the no-sale order, but by their stubborn insistence for years after 2004 that kava was a health risk despite publishing carefully crafted ambiguous statements to the contrary.

    The statement quoted by You was used by lawyers to advise US kava exporters that shipping the product to Canada was legal. I'm sure the Canadian Border Services Agency received a much more clearer note about kava's legal status as it's not even mentioned on their website anymore.

    HC will very likely eventually lift the no-sale order after issuing labeling guidelines but many retailers don't pay any attention to the order anymore knowing they can't be prosecuted for selling kava. Uppity health food stores and most pharmacies still don't stock kava products but that's mostly due to PR reasons. They don't want their mainstream clientele, who are usually not the type to read Health Canada's confusing statements, that they are selling a dangerous product.

    Just my opinion :)
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2009
  13. Hover

    Hover Silver Member

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    Just to add to this neverending Canadian saga over kava, a cursory search of US based supplement suppliers websites including the most serious ones indicates that all of them without exception will now readily ship kava kava capsules to Canada, in sharp contrast with the situation up until 2007 where none would send it here even though the ban on import had been lifted in 2004. According to kava blogs what happened is that some US suppliers simply got tired of Health Canada' s ambiguous attitude, had an attorney call the regulation agency's own lawyers and demanded that simply tell if, yes or no, kava cold be exported to Canada. While HC did not make its answer public (what a surprise) the fact that all these suppliers now ship the stuff to Canada clearly labeled, and that Customs never seized a speck of kava extract, speaks volumes.

    I'm beginning to think there's more to it than meets the eye in Health Canada's apparently childish refusal to publicly declare that kava is perfectly legal. After all, managers who typically run such agencies could possibly not be completely unknown to the pharmaceutical industry which is quite large in this country. What if people started using kava and found it better than pharmaceutical sleep aids or, horror, to some of those benzos dispensed by the millions? Qui pro quo as they say perhaps, you scratch my back I scratch yours? I don't know but it's tempting to believe there's a rational explanation, one called profit, behind HC's otherwise senseless attitude.

    Lay on the line dangit.
     
  14. Bula-Babe

    Bula-Babe Newbie

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    I met these two Canadian Geese live in Canada and who said they order Kava and have it shipped to their nest regularly without incident.

    These Canadian Geese can, according to the rather vague Health Canada advisory, import a 90 days supply for their own personal use. These two geese are drinking 2 cups of kava per day (kava root mixed with water) and apparently order 4 pounds at a time.

    The shipments of kava come through customs without problems and it says clearly on the package what it is and there has not been a problem for them recieving their orders.

    They recommend using a pure kava root from a reputable source. I've heard some US based stores avoid the hassle of shipping to Canada but the Geese have purchased high quality Fiji and Hawaiian Kava to remind them of the warm tropical weather so missing in Canada!
     
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