Kanna is the common name for the plant species Sceletium tortuosum, which is native to South Africa. It is a succulent plant that has been used for centuries by the indigenous people of South Africa as a traditional medicine. The active compounds in kanna include mesembrine, mesembrenone, and mesembrenol, which are thought to be responsible for the plant’s potentially profound effects on mood and anxiety. Some people use kanna as a natural remedy to help relieve symptoms of stress, anxiety, and depression.
The Calm Leaf is thrilled to offer authentic kanna to those seeking out a natural form of relief. The plant is known to be mildly intoxicating, especially when taken in doses of 25mg or higher, and can lead to feelings of euphoria, offering something of a mild buzz that can last for several hours.
What is Kanna?
Kanna, also known as “Sceletium tortuosum”, is a succulent plant native to South Africa. Traditionally, the indigenous peoples of South Africa have used this plant for its mood-enhancing and stress-relieving properties. The plant contains several alkaloids, including mesembrine and mesembrenone, which are believed to contribute to its psychoactive effects.
How is Kanna Harvested?
Here's how the Kanna plant is traditionally harvested and prepared:
- Selection of Mature Plants: Mature Kanna plants are chosen for harvesting because they contain a higher concentration of active alkaloids, the compounds responsible for the plant's effects. Harvesters typically look for plants that are healthy, well-developed, and are in the right stage of their growth cycle. This is often done during the drier seasons when the alkaloid content is believed to be higher.
- Harvesting: The process usually involves cutting or uprooting the entire plant or parts of it. The most commonly used parts are the leaves and stems, although the roots can also be used. If the whole plant is not uprooted, care is taken to allow for regrowth, ensuring sustainability. This might include cutting stems in a way that doesn't damage the central core of the plant.
- Fermentation (Optional): Traditionally, the harvested plant parts are then prepared through a fermentation process. This involves bruising or crushing the plant parts and then allowing them to ferment by storing them in bags or containers for a certain period. It’s believed that fermentation helps in enhancing the mood-altering effects of Kanna. However, not all modern preparations use fermentation.
- Drying: After fermentation, or immediately after harvesting for some preparations, the plant parts are laid out to dry in a shaded area with good air circulation. Direct sunlight is usually avoided to prevent the degradation of sensitive alkaloids. This process could take several days, depending on the climate.
- Storage or Further Processing: Once the plant material is dried, it can be stored for future use or ground into a powder for various applications.
- Sustainable Practices: Considering the increasing commercial demand for Kanna, there's an emphasis on sustainable harvesting practices. This includes not overharvesting wild populations, encouraging the cultivation of Kanna to meet commercial demand, and possibly re-planting in areas where the plants are harvested from the wild.
How is Kanna Consumed?
Kanna can be consumed in various forms, including chewing the leaves, smoking, vaping, tinctures, extracts, powder, capsules/supplements, and teas or beverages.
What are the Effects of Kanna?
The effects of Kanna can include mood elevation, stress reduction, increased relaxation, and enhanced sociability. Some users also report increased energy and focus.
Do Kanna Strains Exist?
Kanna is not a cannabis plant, and therefore, discussions about "strains" as they are known in cannabis culture (like Sativa, Indica, and Hybrid varieties) aren’t applicable. Now, there could be variations in the plant's chemical composition based on where it's grown, how it's harvested, and how the Kanna is prepared. These differences could affect the user's experience, but they aren't categorized in the same way cannabis strains are.
Is Kanna Legal?
The legal status of Kanna varies by country and region. In some places, it is legalized, while in others, it may be regulated or prohibited. Here in the U.S., it’s federally legal, but on a state level, it can vary, so you need to check with your state’s guidelines regarding this.
Is Kanna Safe?
Kanna is generally considered safe when used responsibly. However, excessive consumption or combining it with other substances can lead to adverse effects. It is important to consult with your doctor before using Kanna, especially if you have underlying medical conditions.
Can Kanna Be Addictive?
Kanna is not typically considered addictive, but some people may develop a psychological dependence on it if they use it excessively.
What are the Potential Benefits of Kanna?
Kanna is still being studied for its properties, but so far, some research suggests that Kanna may have antidepressant effects due to its action on serotonin receptors. However, it should not be used as a sole treatment for depression, and medical advice should be sought for serious mental health conditions. Kanna may have anxiolytic (anxiety-reducing) effects for some individuals, but its use for anxiety should be approached cautiously and under medical supervision. Also, some people have used Kanna for appetite suppression, but there is limited scientific evidence to support its effectiveness for weight loss.
What are the Potential Side Effects of Kanna?
Common side effects of Kanna can include nausea, dizziness, and headache. Some individuals may experience mild euphoria or sedation.
How Long Do the Effects of Kanna Last?
The duration of Kanna's effects can vary depending on the method of consumption, but effects typically last for a few hours.
Can Kanna Be Used Recreationally?
Some people use Kanna recreationally for its mood-enhancing effects, but it should be used responsibly and in moderation to avoid potential adverse effects.
Can Kanna Interact with Other Medications?
Kanna may interact with certain medications, particularly those affecting serotonin levels. It's essential to consult a healthcare provider before using Kanna if you are taking any prescription medications.
Is Kanna Safe for Pregnant or Breastfeeding Women?
There is limited research on the safety of Kanna for pregnant or breastfeeding women, so it is advisable to avoid its use during these periods.
Is Kanna Research Ongoing?
Research on Kanna is ongoing, but it is still relatively limited. The scientific community continues to study its effects, safety, and potential medical applications.