The chemical constituents of Kanna are thought to induce both mood-elevating and anti-anxiety effects. There are four psychoactive alkaloids that have been identified within kanna, these are:
This is the central alkaloid contained in kanna. There is a debate over wether mesembrine is a actually a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), or just mimics its function. Mesembrine is a mild inhibitor of phosphodiesterase 4 (PDE4).
Mesembrenone acts as a more balanced version of Mesembrine, but is found in smaller quantities. It is a weaker SSRI, but a stronger PDE 4 inhibitor.
Not much is known about mesembrenol, other than it is psychoactive.
This is another alkaloid that was discovered in Kanna. Unfortunately, alsp very little is known about it - other than it is psychoactive.
The total alkaloid content of Kanna is roughly 1.5%