|Summary sheet: Kanna|
|Common names||Kanna, Channa, Kougoed|
|Routes of Administration|
Sceletium tortuosum (also known as Kanna) is a succulent plant commonly found in South Africa. Many of its psychoactive effects are similar to but less intense than the effects of empathogens such as MDMA. It can be administered orally, insufflated, subilingually, smoked, or chewed.
Kanna is sometimes used as an anti-depressant as a replacement for pharmaceutical anti-depressants. A pharmaceutical company owns a patented extract of kanna called Zembrin which may begin to be prescribed for depression, anxiety, insomnia and other psychiatric disorders in the future.
- 1 History and culture
- 2 Chemistry
- 3 Pharmacology
- 4 Subjective effects
- 5 Toxicity and harm potential
- 6 Legal status
- 7 See also
- 8 External links
- 9 Literature
- 10 References
History and culture
This History and culture section is a stub.
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Kanna was used by South African pastoralists and hunter-gatherers to enhance their mood and increase their energy.
The active compounds in kanna are mesembrine, mesembrenone, mesembrenol, and tortuosamine. It is believed that mesembrine and mesembrenone are responsible for the majority of kannas effects.
The VMAT2 inhibition produced by kanna is thought to be responsible for the effects of kanna as a stimulant and euphoriant, due to the increase of dopamine and noradrenaline. The potent SSRI activity and PDE4 inhibition are thought to be mainly responsible for the antidepressant, anxiolytic, and sedating effects produced by kanna.
|SERT||1.4 nM||27 nM|
|PDE4||7800 nM||470 nM|
|This subjective effects section is a stub.|
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Disclaimer: The effects listed below cite the Subjective Effect Index (SEI), a literature which relies on collected anecdotal reports and the personal experiences of PsychonautWiki contributors. As a result, they should be taken with a healthy amount of skepticism. It is worth noting that these effects will not necessarily occur in a consistent or reliable manner, although higher doses (common+) are more likely to induce the full spectrum of reported effects. Likewise, adverse effects become much more likely with higher doses and may include serious injury or death.
- Physical euphoria - This is generally described as a warm, relaxing, light sensation throughout the body.
- Sedation and Stimulation - When snorted and smoked, kanna is typically stimulating, however other routes of administration may be sedating (especially orally)
- Appetite suppression
- Pain relief - Kanna is reported to have mild pain relieving effects
- Temperature regulation suppression
- Increased perspiration
- Tactile enhancement
- Dry mouth
- Headaches - Headaches are commonly experienced on kanna, however they are usually mild and only experienced at strong or heavy doses.
- Nausea - This effect is mild and usually does not result in vomiting. Nausea produced by kanna usually passes after a few minutes after it starts. It can be avoided using 5-HT3 antagonists like ginger and limonene, and usually subsides after about 2 weeks of use.
- Heartburn - This can be avoided with 5-HT3 antagonists like ginger and limonene, and usually subsides after about 2 weeks of use.
- Stomach bloating - This can be avoided with 5-HT3 antagonists like ginger and limonene, and usually subsides after about 2 weeks of use.
- Diarrhea - This is milder when compared to the other unpleasant gastrointestinal effects of kanna. This can be avoided with 5-HT3 antagonists like ginger and limonene, and usually subsides after about 2 weeks of use.
- Increased or Decreased heart rate
- Pupil dilation - This effect is usually mild
- Vasodilation or Vasoconstriction
- Motor control loss - This effect is mild and is only experienced at very high doses.
- Anxiety suppression - This effect is often compared to a common dose of a benzodiazepine. Some users do not experience a reduction of anxiety.
- Anxiety - This effect is uncommon, but is sometimes experienced when kanna is taken without priming.
- Analysis enhancement
- Wakefulness or Sleepiness
- Immersion enhancement
- Empathy, affection, and sociability enhancement
- Cognitive euphoria - This effect is most intense when insufflated and chewed and least intense when taken orally.
- Emotion enhancement
- Dream potentiation
- Disinhibition - This effect is usually mild
- Increased sense of humor - This effect is comparable to the humor enhancement experienced on psychedelics
- Language suppression - This effect occurs at high doses, typically when smoked or chewed. It often results in mildly slurred speech, and difficulty structuring sentences.
- Thought organization
- Motivation enhancement
- Unity and interconnectedness - While on kanna, some people may experience a feeling of strong connection to and appreciation for nature.
- Thought acceleration or Though deceleration
- Focus enhancement or Focus suppression - Kanna can enhance focus as well as suppress it. It is most strongly enhanced with smoking and snorting, less enhanced and sometimes suppressed when chewed, and often suppressed when taken orally.
- Novelty enhancement
- Increased libido - Kanna is sometimes used as an aphrodisiac due to its libido & tactile enhancing effects as well as its vasodilating effects. This effect is not experienced in all users, and for some it may suppress libido in a similar way to common pharmaceutical SSRIs.
- Increased music appreciation - This effect is mild
- Enhancements - Audio can sound much cleaner and sharper while on kanna than when sober
The effects which occur during the offset of a stimulant experience generally feel negative and uncomfortable in comparison to the effects which occurred during its peak. This is often referred to as a "comedown" and occurs because of neurotransmitter depletion. The comedown experienced with kanna is less intense when compared to that of other stimulants, and is only experienced at high doses. Its effects commonly include:
At low doses kanna often results in an "afterglow" which results in mild and generally positive effects a few hours after the peak has passed. Its effects commonly include:
- Psychedelics - Kanna can reduce the anxiety and other negative effects experienced on psychedelics, as well as intensify the euphoria. Kanna may decrease the effects of psychedelics due to its serotonergic effects.
- Cannabis - Kanna is reported to have strong synergy with cannabis. Commonly reported effects from this combination are intense euphoria, less anxiety, and intensified visual effects.
- Caffeine - Kanna is reported to have synergy with caffeine, resulting in stronger stimulation with decreased anxiety.
- Alcohol - Kanna is reported to have strong synergy with alcohol, resulting in strong feelings of euphoria.
Toxicity and harm potential
This toxicity and harm potential section is a stub.
As such, it may contain incomplete or even dangerously wrong information. You can help by expanding or correcting it.
Kanna is not known to be toxic on its own but it may be toxic when mixed with other substances that interact with serotonin or PDE4.
It is strongly recommended that one use harm reduction practices when using this substance.
A lethal dose of kanna on its own is not known to have occured, however it may be dangerous and even lethal when mixed with other substances.
Tolerance and addiction potential
Kanna is known to have a "reverse tolerance", similar to serotonergic antidepressants and kava kava, where in order to experience the strongest and most theraputic effects, a person must have taken kanna recently. This is often called "priming" and usually takes about a week of daily priming to experience the most intense effects. After about week of priming, continuing to use kanna at the same dose will not cause an increase or decrease in tolerance to its psychoactive effects.
Psychological dependence can be experienced with kanna, however is much less intense than the psychological dependence experienced with other stimulants such as amphetamine, and antidepressants such as fluoxetine. According to the manufacturers of Zembrin, kanna does not cause withdrawal symptoms, however some anecdotal reports describe mild physical withdrawal symptoms similar to, but less intense than the withdrawal symptoms experienced with SSRIs and stimulants.
This dangerous interactions section is a stub.
As such, it may contain incomplete or invalid information. You can help by expanding upon or correcting it.
Although many psychoactive substances are reasonably safe to use on their own, they can quickly become dangerous or even life-threatening when combined with other substances. The list below includes some known dangerous combinations (although it cannot be guaranteed to include all of them). Independent research (e.g. Google, DuckDuckGo) should always be conducted to ensure that a combination of two or more substances is safe to consume. Some interactions listed have been sourced from TripSit. Combinations with the following substances can cause dangerously high serotonin levels. Serotonin syndrome requires immediate medical attention and can be fatal if left untreated.
- MAOIs such as syrian rue, banisteriopsis caapi, 2C-T-7, αMT, phenelzine, selegiline, and moclobemide
- Serotonin releasers such as MDMA, 4-FA, methamphetamine, methylone and αMT
- Selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors (SSRIs)
- Serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) such as tramadol and DXM
This legality section is a stub.
As such, it may contain incomplete or wrong information. You can help by expanding it.
Kanna is not known to be controlled, regulated or illegal in any country except for the United States as well as the United Kingdom.
- United States: Kanna is uncontrolled in the United States by federal law. This means all parts of the plant and its extracts are legal to cultivate, buy, possess, and distribute (sell, trade or give) without a license or prescription. If sold as a supplement, sales must conform to U.S. supplement laws. If sold for consumption as a food or drug, sales are regulated by the FDA.
- Louisiana: Kanna is a controlled substance in Louisiana. It is not controlled anywhere else in the United States.
- United Kingdom: Kanna is illegal to produce, supply, or import under the Psychoactive Substance Act, which came into effect on May 2016.
- APA formatted reference
Please see the citation formatting guide if you are having trouble properly formatting citations.
- Gillman, P. K. (2005). Monoamine oxidase inhibitors, opioid analgesics and serotonin toxicity. British Journal of Anaesthesia, 95(4), 434-441. https://doi.org/10.1093/bja/aei210
- Psychoactive Substances Act 2016 (Legislation.gov.uk) | http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2016/2/contents/enacted