Kanna: A Natural Cure for Depression?
2 min

Kanna: A Natural Cure for Depression?

2 min
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If you have been looking for an alternative way to treat depression, then you may want to consider looking into kanna.

Quite understandably, many people suffering from depression are concerned about the profiteering mind set that is behind the conception of the pharmaceutical anti-depressants they take, and what implications this may have into the side effects they experience. It is for this reason that many turn to alternative treatments. If you have been looking for an alternative way to treat depression, then you may want to consider looking into kanna.


Sceletium Tortuosum grows in parts of South Africa where it looks back on a long history of traditional use. In low doses, the herb has been used as an appetite suppressant when walking long distances. In higher doses it stimulates euphoria and a distinct inebriation, although never becoming hallucinogenic. Kanna has been used as a local remedy for many things, including anxiety and depression, for generations.

Indigenous tribes such as the Khoikhoi regard Kanna as a sacred herb, associated with relaxation and deep states of meditation. As a result Kanna is consumed during religious ceremonies.

The herb‘s effects for naturally treating anxiety and depression have been so astounding, that it naturally raised the interested of big pharma. HG&H Pharmaceuticals has moved in South Africa and obtained the commercial rights for cultivation and export. While this has crushed small cultivators, it has led to a large scale supply of the herb.


Many of the common pharmaceuticals antidepressants are SSRIs, which work by inhibiting the re-uptake of serotonin, thereby increasing the available amount of serotonin. While there is still limited scientific knowledge available, it seems Kanna is a natural SSRI. Mesembrine, one of the psychoactive molecules found in Kanna, has been shown to mimic the mechanism of Prozac and Paxil. Since Kanna shows a whole range of active ingredients, there‘s just not enough research available to fully understand how it works. However, it‘s safe to say that Kanna doesn‘t just work through one single compound, but through a combination of many.

Other compounds found Kanna are thought to inhibit Phosphodiesterase-4 (PDE-4) receptors within the body. This actions has been shown to prevent psychosis, reduce anxiety and promote mental clarity. Much like the indigenous tribes who have always praised its use, western professionals are now comparing its effects to a state of meditation. Its calming effects are said to give a clearer outlook on life. Since the effects of Kanna are immediate after consumption, it is particularly useful in treating episodes of acute depression or anxiety.

Like all things drugs, we‘d like to highlight the importance of proper dosage and responsible use. While there are no reports of overdosing on Kanna, taking too much has been compared to snorting a line of cocaine, providing a rushing stimulation. Kanna should never be combined with MAOIs. Kanna has not been found to be addictive, and side effects are reportedly minimal.

Kanna definitely is a very interesting and promising herb to have in the stash box. It shows reliable pharmaceutical value, without some of the really nasty side effects that some of the synthetic pills can produce. We‘d love to hear more about what it does, so if you have a story to share - please let us know!

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