What is Kanna?



Kanna this & Kanna that...well what IS Kanna? Join us today as we explore this curious plant and its mental & physical health benefits! 

Kanna is a mood-altering plant that is found natively in South Africa. Kanna contains alkaloids that work as serotonin reuptake inhibitors; leading to enhanced moods and a euphoric state of mind. 


Kanna, also known as Sceletium Tortuosum, is a succulent plant found throughout South Africa. In African languages the plant's name Kauwgoed means "Chew Good" or "Something to Chew." Its use is traced back to South African hunter-gatherers who used Kanna as a mood-altering plant during prehistoric times. 

Kanna can be used in a multitude of ways...Chewed, snorted, vaporized, capsules, teas, and tinctures are just a few mediums in which Kanna can be ingested. 

Nowadays the medicinal world is very interested in the use of kanna. A pharmaceutical drug called Zembrin utilizes kanna to reduce stress & anxiety; and it t will be interesting to see how Kanna is used in the medical industry in the future.  


Effects of Kanna

Kanna is used medicinally & recreationally by people from all different walks of life. According to different user experiences, Kanna has been described as natural MDMA as the effects are reportedly similar. MDMA causes the body to release more serotonin while Kanna blocks the reuptake of serotonin. Or in other words, Kanna binds to serotonin vectors and temporarily deactivates them. This causes a warm, euphoric feeling, increased speech & energy as well as a general openness to the world. While at the same time users experience a general relaxation/sedation giving an all-around lift to the body and mind. 

A common misconception is that Kanna is a psychoactive plant and makes one hallucinate or "trip." While higher dosage amounts can increase the effect there is no psychoactive part of the Kanna plant and therefore no physical way to hallucinate. 

Bushmen in South Africa used Kanna as a way to increase alertness in every day life and even suppress the feeling of hunger. They also used Kanna to reduce stress and anxiety. Its even reported that the Khoi and the San Bushmen used Kanna as spiritual medicine to achieve visions. 



Kanna contains alkaloids such as mesembrine that help improve mood and has antidepressant effects. These ingredients act as serotonin reuptake inhibitors and have the same effect as SRRIs such as Prozac. These alkaloid are found in the steam, leaves, and flowers of the plant. Mesembrine has the ability to keep serotonin in your brain for longer, this plays a huge role in your overall mood and feeling. Additioanlly, Kanna contains mesembrenone and tortuosamine which both act as serotonin reuptake inhibitors as well. 

Ways To Use Kanna

There are several ways in which you can utilize Kanna, and each one has their pros & cons. For example, smoking or vaporizing Kanna can have a more euphoric effect while drinking Kanna tea can have a milder more sedative effect. Sniffing Kanna has the fastest action and gives a shot of energy and alertness. However, the traditional way of ingesting Kanna is by chewing. One can chew the stems, leaves, and even flower to access the plants benefits. 



It can be difficult to generalize dosage as it depends on the quality of Kanna used. If you have no experience with Kanna, it is wise to start at a low dosage and work your way up. 

How you ingest Kanna also affects the dosage and overall feeling. While vaping or smoking Kanna, one will find a much more intense experience in comparison to making a tea for example. Everybody is different so make sure you dip your toes into the world of Kanna before diving head first!


Kanna and the use of Kanna has been around for thousands of years and it doesn't look like its slowing down anytime soon. We recommend the use of Kanna but be sure to consult your doctor beforehand or if you experience any side effects.




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