Kanna, or Sceletium tortuosum, is a mood-altering herb originally used by the Khoikhoi people from South Africa. Kanna is also known as ‘Channa’ and the Dutch called it ‘Kougoed’ when they arrived in South Africa, which loosely translates as ‘something to chew on’. The most important effects of kanna are relaxation, mental invigoration and deepening of social contact. In higher dosages, it may produce mild visions and euphoria. The kanna used in products sold at oneGee is cultivated responsibly and in a controlled environment at professional farms in South Africa. This guarantees the quality of our products and a consistency in terms of their effects.
The traditional South African ‘Kougoed’ was produced by letting the harvested plant ferment in the sun. Research has provided evidence that fermentation had substantial transformative effects of the alkaloid profile of the plant, contributing to the variety of its effects. It’s also been shown that by crushing and drying the plant, similar transformations take place.
The most prominent alkaloids in kanna, mesembrine, mesembrenone and mesembrenol function as SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors). You might have heard about SSRIs in the context of pharmaceutical antidepressants or natural alternatives such as St-John’s wort. These alkaloids are also known to interact with a number of other, mood-regulating, neurotransmitter receptors or enzymes, such as PDE4 enzymes and GABA and HTP-5 receptors.
EFFECTS OF KANNA
In general, kanna elevates your mood: at first it makes you feel more active and sociable and after a while more mellow and relaxed. Also, in lower doses kanna acts more as a stimulant, in higher doses as a sedative. Kanna also enhances the effects of alcohol and cannabis. Originally it was used as an appetite suppressant and users have also reported a higher sensitivity to touch and an increased sexual desire. In endurance sports, kanna is sometimes used to mitigate the strain of continued exercise. Kanna is not hallucinogenic.
In terms of elevating your mood, kanna works best when you’re engaging in activities that already release serotonin. Kanna does not produce serotonin on its own, it only inhibits its reuptake. Kanna is effective in reducing mildly depressive feelings but keep in mind that these feelings could also be caused by a lack of sleep, social activities or exercise, food intake or lack of exposure to sunlight. If you are thinking about alleviating persistent symptoms of depression with kanna, it would be wise to consult a physician first.
HOW TO USE KANNA
Smaller doses of kanna can be used as a snuff. Ingesting kanna orally requires higher doses and is usually done by brewing tea and drinking it on an empty stomach. The effects take longer to appear but are felt over a longer period of time. In addition, you can chew kanna together with a piece of gum or let is sit under your tongue for a while. We do not recommend taking a second dose of kanna when you feel the effects wearing off. oneGee also offers kanna extracts which vary in their potency and can be used in different ways.