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What does Kanna do to make you feel more alive

what does kanna do

Everyone nowadays is looking for healthier ways to relax and unwind from the stresses of modern life than with synthetic and manufactured drugs. As a result, all-natural plant-based alternatives are becoming increasingly popular. Kanna is one such plant getting a lot of attention thanks to its safety profile and its centuries-long usage by indigenous communities for medicinal, social and ceremonial purposes. Let's go deeper into what Kanna is, how it works and why it might be beneficial to learn more about this magnificent plant.

What is Kanna?

Sceletium tortuosum, or Kanna, is a succulent plant with slender white and yellow blossoms native to the desert regions of South Africa and Namibia. Kanna has historically been associated with the traditional customs of the indigenous Bushmen and Khoi of southern Africa.

The Bushmen and Khoi have worked with Kanna, also known as Channa or Kougoed, for everything from pain relief and mood enhancement, to increased stamina and rituals.  Because Kanna is so powerful, while also being safe, sober and non-addictive, it is making its way into the mainstream of herbal remedies. 

In addition to the whole plant, it is also possible to work with extracts of Sceletium tortuosum. The extract can be made in different ways but generally involves drying the plant and extracting the alkaloids via a solvent like ethanol. The solution then becomes rich with alkaloids. It is eventually filtered, and the solvent evaporated out. Extracts tend to be much more concentrated than the Sceletium tortuosum herb, and can come in varying strengths, depending on your source and the amount of alkaloids present. The extract can be found alongside the herb as a powerful therapeutic aid. Historically, Kanna's psychoactive effects on elevating mood and calming anxiety have made it highly sought after. However, research suggests that it may also be useful for pain management and appetite control1 in addition to effectively reducing stress, elevating mood, and supporting cognitive function in the brain2 by enhancing serotonin reuptake3 and bolstering the mechanisms of attention and memory.

What does Kanna do?

When taken as a natural remedy, Kanna can help you relax and become more in tune with yourself, others and the environment around you. Kanna supports a sense of well-being. It helps reduce stress and anxiety, resulting in a more balanced mood.

Kanna helps with improving executive and cognitive function by increasing alertness, focus and concentration while calming the body at the same time (see footnote 3). Additionally, Kanna can help with sleep4, as it activates receptors for melatonin in addition to relaxing the body and mind. This means that Kanna is ideal for those looking to reduce stress levels while still feeling alert and energetic.

Kanna can also be a great aphrodisiac5, as it can help to increase sensitivity to touch as well as increase libido, making it possible for those who ingest it to experience greater pleasure with themselves and their partners.

Finally, Kanna may make it easier to manage painful or uncomfortable physical sensations by reducing inflammation and relaxing the muscles. (see footnote 3)

How does Kanna make you feel more alive?

Kanna's robust benefits can be attributed to its alkaloid composition. It contains more than 35 known alkaloids, including mesembrine and mesembrenone, which are responsible for its positive effects on the body and mind. 

Mesembrine is a natural serotonin reuptake inhibitor and a natural serotonin releaser (see footnote 2)  thanks to its ability to turn on a protein called VMAT2 (Vesicular Monoamine Transporter 2), which moves neurotransmitters out of cells. Serotonin is a key neurotransmitter associated with feelings like happiness, calmness and focus. 

GABA, opioid, cholecystokinin, and melatonin receptors are also activated by Kanna (see footnotes 3, 4) , contributing to its sedative, feel-good and anxiolytic effects, its and ability to reduce excessive cravings, counteract gastrointestinal inflammation and improve sleep quality.

Furthermore, the mesembrenone in Kanna increases energy use in the body by inhibiting an enzyme known as PDE4 (phosphodiesterase 4). Because of this, Kanna has the special ability of both grounding you down and lifting you up at the same time. (see footnote 2)

How do you collaborate with Kanna?

Kanna can be consumed in many different forms, including powder, tincture, extract, chews and capsules. You can collaborate with Kanna daily in microdoses, or ceremonially in larger doses. For some people, it can take time for the effects of Kanna to be felt, so you may need to “prime” your system by working with it consistently over a few weeks (in doses designed for daily usage) and then taking a break for a week to notice what has shifted for you. 

The journey may well be worth the effort. Kanna has the potential to help you find clarity, balance and an openness to life’s possibilities.

Feel yourself with KA! Empathogenics

With KA! Empathogenics Kanna Chews and Tincture, you can tap into the power of Kanna. KA! is made with 100% plant ingredients to help you focus, relax and be more open-hearted. 

The KA! Kanna Chews’ unique patent-pending formulation combines the potency of Kanna with synergistic ingredients including snow lotus, acmella, lavender, mint and acacia gum. This powerful, synergistic combination creates an enhanced experience that can help you increase your overall well-being. The alcohol-free sublingual Kanna Tincture has the perfect combination with transporting sandalwood, antimicrobial Acmella, liver-loving Milk Thistle and neuroprotective Ginger. The super plants in this formulation help improve organ function and support the immune and nervous systems, while optimizing mental and emotional well-being. Take your life to the next level with KA! and re-discover yourself. 


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.

1Bennett, 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.;

2Brendler, 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.

3Harvey, A. L., Young, L. C., Viljoen, A. M., & Gericke, N. P. (2011). Pharmacological actions of the South African medicinal and functional food plant Sceletium tortuosum and its principal alkaloids. Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 137(3), 1124–1129.; Olatunji, T. L., Siebert, F., Adetunji, A. E., Harvey, B. H., Gericke, J., Hamman, J. H., & Van der Kooy, F. (2022). Sceletium tortuosum: A review on its phytochemistry, pharmacokinetics, biological, pre-clinical and clinical activities. Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 287, 114711.;Terburg, D., Syal, S., Rosenberger, L. A., Heany, S., Phillips, N., Gericke, N., Stein, D. J., & van Honk, J. (2013). Acute effects of sceletium tortuosum (zembrin), a dual 5-HT reuptake and PDE4 inhibitor, in the human amygdala and its connection to the hypothalamus. Neuropsychopharmacology, 38(13), 2708–2716.; 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.; 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; Bennett, 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.;

5Brunetti, 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.

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