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What's the recommended Kanna dosage to reap its benefits?

Kanna Dosage

Do you need that extra cup of coffee to cope with work deadlines, stress and anxiety? Have you longed for something natural to alleviate your mental health woes without the jitters and sleeplessness? Enter Kanna: an ancient medicinal plant from South Africa that holistic medicine practitioners and now doctors are exploring as a possible antidote. Yet before jumping in head first, knowing the right Kanna dosage for you is essential—let's dive deeper. 

When should you take Kanna?

There are no “shoulds” when it comes to working with Kanna! Kanna is a versatile and gentle plant that is suitable to take whenever you feel like it. It is non-toxic so you can take it daily if you wish to regulate your nervous system. Here are some other attributes that make Kanna extra special:  it’s an empathogen1 (increases feelings of empathy and connection), a euphoriant2 (produces feelings of joy), an anxiolytic3 (releases stress and tension), an adaptogen4 (regulates your nervous system) a nootropic5 (protects and ups your brain health), an aphrodisiac6 (we know you know this one), a hypnotic (see footnote 4) (induces healthy, natural sleep) and is ergogenic7 (enhances physical performance, stamina). Experiment with different times of day and various dosages and situations in your life to find what works best for you, but do note that Kanna gives you grounded energy, so avoid taking right before bed. Below are a few ways you can incorporate Kanna into your life.

✨ In the morning before a busy day or big presentation to help you ground.

✨ Mid-afternoon a few hours after lunch when you need an energetic pick-me-up.

✨ For an added boost of inspired creativity and focus throughout the day.

✨ Instead of having alcohol after work, as Kanna has been referred to as “onse droë drank” (meaning “our dry drink” in certain Khoi-descendent cultures in South Africa).

✨ Before meditation to instantly presence your mind, body and spirit.

✨ Before bodywork like massage, deep tissue work or fascia-releasing therapies.

✨ With your partner or friends since Kanna eases communication, softens social edges and can enhance intimacy.

✨ With family to enhance mood and increase openness.

✨ With yourself to really feel your feelings and re-establish that sacred relationship with you.

✨ With a group to cohere the shared field.

✨ Before a tough or deep conversation to center you in your feelings and create more empathy for others.

✨ Before solo or team sports. There's a reason the Bushmen would chew on Kanna's roots to sustain and focus their energies during multi-day hunts.

✨ Before yoga to create more body-centered awareness. 

✨ In nature to help you tune more deeply into the natural rhythms of life.

Kanna dosage and tips

While we tend to put a lot of emphasis on dosage, there are many factors that influence your experience. 

Here are some general points of guidance: 

  • Herb vs. Extract When sourcing Kanna make sure to identify whether it is the actual herb (typically fermented) or an extract, as Kanna extract is much more concentrated. (The dosages referred to below are for Kanna extract.)
  • Dosage Finding your optimal dosage is a personal journey because we are all different. It requires feeling and noticing the effects of Kanna physically, emotionally and energetically over a repeated period of time. Kanna products intended for regular use generally range from 15 mg to 50 mg per dose. While exact numbers vary based on the formulation, ingesting around 90 mg or more at one time would be considered a ceremonial dose and having a trusted guide present to support the journey may allow you to go deeper with all Kanna has to offer. A general safety guideline is not to ingest more than 6 mg per kilogram of body weight per day, or 420 mg for an average human adult. 

  • Alkaloid Content The potency of Kanna is dependent on the quality of your source and the alkaloid content. Look for a source that is transparent about its alkaloid and mesembrine content. 
  • Ingestion Method Kanna can be found in different forms. The method in which you ingest Kanna (e.g sublingual vs. chewing) can affect the strength, onset and duration of the experience (somewhere between 1 and 13 hours). Regardless of method, the subtle effects of Kanna taper off gently without any crashing feeling or negative side effects.
  • Set and Setting “Set” refers to your mindset and your “setting,” the physical environment you are in while cohering with the plant medicine. Both set and setting can greatly influence your experience. We recommend always taking Kanna with intention and gratitude in a comfortable, safe indoor or outdoor space (especially in nature) and trying it at different times in various settings to feel how your body and consciousness respond. Experiment, iterate and evolve with it.

Kanna and microdosing

Microdosing is the practice of taking very small doses of a chemical compound to achieve ongoing advantages, such as elevated creativity and productivity. Microdoses are mostly derived from substances that mimic serotonin or dopamine neurotransmitters in their molecular structure.

For those interested in microdosing with Kanna, somewhere between 10-50 mg would be an appropriate daily dose for the average adult. If you are particularly sensitive to substances, we recommend starting at 5 mg and adjusting from there. You can try taking Kanna for five days in a row and then taking two days off, or taking Kanna daily for a month consecutively and then taking one to two weeks off. 

In general, it is best to start with a lower dose and increase from there, if necessary, to find your sweet spot.

Utilizing mild extracts such as KA! is a great way to enter the microdosing realm gently. The Kanna alkaloids within are potent yet manageable, making it easy to plan your doses accordingly. When taken in small amounts, Kanna can be used as a supplement to improve focus and increase productivity and creativity without any significant psychoactive effects. Additionally, its use may produce a calming, stress-relieving effect without associated sedation.

Ultimately, with its anti-inflammatory properties8, neuroprotective effects9, and antidepressant capabilities (see footnote 2), Kanna could prove beneficial when taken in small doses. Knowing your limits is essential—listen closely to your body's cues as you explore this natural remedy.

How often can you take Kanna?

Based on the available research, Kanna ingestion is considered safe and well-tolerated for most people. Studies found no adverse effects on liver or kidney function and does not affect blood pressure or heart rate. You can read more about this here, here and here

Additionally, Kanna has a long history of traditional daily use by the indigenous Bushmen and Khoi people in southern Africa and Namibia. Kanna is non habit-forming and non-addictive with no tolerance build-up.

However, scientific research on long-term Kanna use has not yet been conducted and individual experiences can vary. As with anything, it is advisable to pay attention to how your body responds and check with a medical professional if any health concerns arise from regular intake.

One thing to note is that it can take between 5-30 days to adequately “prime” your system with Kanna to experience the fullest spectrum of benefits. So regular use can be beneficial so that you can feel into deeper layers of the plant and yourself, fine-tuning when and how you work best with one another over time. 

Everyone’s genetic make-up is unique and every body is different, so finding the optimal Kanna dosage and frequency is a personal journey. We recommend taking KA! Chews or Tincture for a few days at different times and in various settings to feel how your body responds. You might find that you need a little less or a little more than a full dose, but be sure to not exceed 3 chews or 60 drops in one day. Since full benefits unfold with continuous usage, we recommend taking 1 chew or 20 drops daily for a month before pausing for a week to reflect. You can then resume again. Notice if Kanna seems to influence your perceptions, temperament or how you relate to others. Any shifts will likely be gentle, not jarring or overwhelming. Cultivating curiosity and presence can support a deeper listening to the magical gifts of Kanna. Embrace Kanna with an open mind and heart for the best experience.

Get the natural support you need to feel your best

Our KA! Kanna Chews and Tincture are designed to bring balance and joy into your life while aiding in mental clarity, cognitive focus, creativity and more—all without the potential risks associated with many other artificial substances.

When taken responsibly and mindfully, Kanna can be an excellent tool for calming your mind and lifting your spirits naturally. Get the support you need to feel your best with KA! Empathogenics.


WARNING: Do not use Kanna or KA! products in conjunction with Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors (MAOIs), Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs), Serotonin-Norepinephrine Reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) or Central Nervous System (CNS) depressants without medical supervision by a qualified healthcare professional. If you are currently taking prescription medications or have any pre-existing medical conditions, please speak with your doctor or healthcare professional before using Kanna or KA! Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking professional advice because of something you have read here or on the website.

Disclaimers: Any content in this article and the KA! Empathogenics website is for educational and product information purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for medical advice. Information and statements regarding herbal supplements in this article and on the website have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

1Siegel, J. Z., & Crockett, M. J. (2013). How serotonin shapes moral judgment and behavior. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences1299(1), 42–51.

2Gericke, N., & Viljoen, A. M. (2008). Sceletium—a review update. Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 119(3), 653–663.

3Gericke J. Ph.D. Thesis. North-West University; Potchefstroom, South-Africa: 2019. Evaluating the Antidepressant-Like Properties of Sceletium Tortuosum, Alone and as Adjunctive Treatment; Carpenter, J. M., Jourdan, M. K., Fountain, E. M., Ali, Z., Abe, N., Khan, I. A., & Sufka, K. J. (2016). The effects of sceletium tortuosum (L.) N.E. br. extract fraction in the chick anxiety-depression model. Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 193, 329–332.

4Luo Yangwen, Wen Jing, Kanfer Isadore, Yu Pei, Patnala Srinivas. Sceletium Tortuosum: Effects on Central Nervous System and Related Disease. Journal of Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Sciences. 2020 Jun; 10(6): 151-160

5Brendler, T., Brinckmann, J. A., Feiter, U., Gericke, N., Lang, L., Pozharitskaya, O. N., Shikov, A. N., Smith, M., & Wyk, B.-E. V. (2021). Sceletium for managing anxiety, depression and cognitive impairment: A traditional herbal medicine in modern-day regulatory systems. Current Neuropharmacology, 19(9), 1384–1400.

6Brunetti, P., Lo Faro, A. F., Tini, A., Busardò, F. P., & Carlier, J. (2020). Pharmacology of herbal sexual enhancers: A review of psychiatric and neurological adverse effects. Pharmaceuticals, 13(10), 309.

7Hoffman, J. R., Markus, I., Dubnov-Raz, G., & Gepner, Y. (2020). Ergogenic effects of 8 days of sceletium tortuosum supplementation on mood, visual tracking, and reaction in recreationally trained men and women. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 34(9), 2476–2481.

8Bennett, A. C., Van Camp, A., López, V., & Smith, C. (2018). Sceletium tortuosum may delay chronic disease progression via alkaloid-dependent antioxidant or anti-inflammatory action. Journal of Physiology and Biochemistry, 74(4), 539–547.; Manganyi, M. C., Bezuidenhout, C. C., Regnier, T., & Ateba, C. N. (2021). A chewable cure “Kanna”: Biological and Pharmaceutical Properties of Sceletium tortuosum. Molecules, 26(9), 2557.;

9Brendler, T., Brinckmann, J. A., Feiter, U., Gericke, N., Lang, L., Pozharitskaya, O. N., Shikov, A. N., Smith, M., & Wyk, B.-E. V. (2021). Sceletium for managing anxiety, depression and cognitive impairment: A traditional herbal medicine in modern-day regulatory systems. Current Neuropharmacology, 19(9), 1384–1400.

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