Kanna is the dried plant, Sceletium tortuosum, which originates from South Africa. Some herbs in the world are highly beneficial for humans, and Kanna is one of those. As a stimulant, people who take Kanna experience less anxiety and have an elevated mood. They may feel euphoric, happy, excited, and – most importantly – they have less stress and tension.

In South Africa, indigenous people to the region have been using Kanna for hundreds of years. Old hunter gatherers would use Kanna to make them feel better and act as an appetite suppressant (which was vital considering many of them had no idea where or when their next meal was coming!).

If you’ve been experiencing stress in your life or wanting something to help you feel better overall, read on to see why Kanna might be the perfect herb for you!

Is Kanna Legal Everywhere (Including the USA)?

Before discussing the benefits of Sceletium tortuosum’s plant material, it’s essential to know its legality. Some substances that alter your mood are illegal. Fortunately, unlike cannabis sativa, Kanna is legal everywhere – including the USA! 

One main reason that it is legal is that it doesn’t make anyone high, and there are no known side effects. There’s no evidence of cancer, alterations in blood pressure, or other illnesses coming from Kanna’s use. It’s safe to use, has no adverse effects, and won’t alter your mental state significantly.

Although Kanna grows naturally in the South African region, you can find it in almost any part of the world. Most people in the US would order Kanna from a website. In South Africa, you can obtain Kanna from many more places, including street vendors, supermarkets, and wholesalers.

What Do People Who Take the Sceletium tortuosum Plant Feel?

At low doses, Kanna is a stimulant that tends to free people from anxiety and stress. People tend to feel more secure about themselves, have higher self-confidence, and experience reduced inhibitions. Some people like to take Kanna before a stressful situation, like a job interview, to help them feel relaxed and at ease. 

Some users feel that Kanna improves meditation and inner peace. Rather than worrying about the hustle and bustle of the outside world, stress reduction lets people focus on themselves. Some people also experience heightened sexual arousal, although that is less common than the other effects.

At higher doses, the Kanna plant begins to act as a tranquilizer. Users feel super relaxed. The tensions and stresses of the world have left their bodies, and, now, all they want to do is sleep. 

Kanna is never psychoactive, no matter how much you take. You will not get high taking Kanna. You’ll only feel relaxation and a general elevation of your mood!

How Does Kanna Work?

People who take the Sceletium tortuosum plant report that it improves their moods and lowers their anxiety levels. Fortunately, science corroborates what people feel! This plant does make people feel better as it has some subtle but beneficial effects on the brain. 

The best study that looked into how Kanna worked was called “Acute Effects of Sceletium tortuosum (Zembrin), a Dual 5-HT Reuptake and PDE4 Inhibitor, in the Human Amygdala and its Connection to the Hypothalamus.”

In this study, researchers from South Africa, Canada, and the Netherlands looked at 16 healthy participants to determine the effects that Kanna had on their mental state. Researchers gave a perceptual-load emotion-matching task to each participant. 

They found that participants’ reactions to fearful faces were less intense after taking Kanna than without it. Kanna is an inhibitor of both PDE4 and 5-HT reuptake in the brain. PDE4 regulates the body’s response to inflammation, so inhibitors reduce that inflammation naturally. 

Colloquially, 5-HT is better known as serotonin. You may have heard the term SSRI before (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor). SSRI drugs are anti-depressants and work by selectively reducing the uptake of serotonin, which allows it to stay active in your body for longer. Kanna has two alkaloids, in particular, mesembrine and mesembrenone, that act as serotonin reuptake inhibitors. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that it does elevate people’s moods. It’s effectively a non-prescription anti-depressant!

Moreover, researchers found the effects of the Sceletium tortuosum plant most pronounced in the amygdala, which is responsible for the processing of emotions. You could describe anxiety as worrying about stimuli that aren’t genuinely dangerous. Given this, it would make sense that a substance with anti-depressant qualities that affected the amygdala would reduce anxiety by making things seem less of a threat. Of course, since it’s also a serotonin reuptake inhibitor, you also get all those benefits!

The science backs up what users have felt all along – that it is a fantastic herb with potent alkaloids that make you feel better without getting high!

How Long Do the Effects of Kanna Last?

The duration of Sceletium tortuosum‘s effects depends mostly on how you ingest it in the first place. Smoking will give you the results as soon as possible. You’ll feel them probably within the first five minutes of smoking. However, since you felt them faster, you’ll also lose them quickly. If you smoke Kanna, you might only feel less stress, tension, and an elevated mood for a couple of hours.

On the other hand, if you ingest Kanna orally, you might feel its effects for a few hours. The beginning also comes later. What might be 5 minutes to effect by smoking it, it might take an hour or so before you feel the effects of Kanna taken orally.

If you’re looking to use Kanna for a specific event (e.g., to reduce your anxiety giving a public speech), you’ll want to begin consuming it at least an hour beforehand if you’re not smoking. That way, you’ll provide the herb enough time for your body to absorb it and begin working.

Kanna: The Little-Known Plant That Works Wonders

In the Western world, not too many people know about Kanna. However, that doesn’t mean that this South African wonder isn’t fantastic. Kanna is a tremendous anti-depressant with anxiety-reducing qualities. It reduces people’s stress and tension and gives them a much-needed mental health boost. 

Available in leaf or powder form, you can smoke it, put it under your tongue, snort it, or take it orally as part of gums and other food-like products. You can even eat Kanna on its own. The choice is entirely yours!

If you’re looking for something to relieve anxiety and make you feel better, try Kanna today. There’s a good chance that it will improve your spirits!