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The fermented roots and leaves of the South African bush Sceletium tortuosum are the constituents of this traditional vision-inducing entheogen and inebriant. Thanks to the wonders of the Internet, you can buy kanna here for entheogenic inebriation anywhere you like. Now that’s a vision worth celebrating!

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Kanna Extract 100:1 (Nine Mile Botanicals)

Kanna is a powerful supplement made from the dried and fermented roots and leaves of the Sceletium tortuosum tree. Native to the Cape region of South Africa, kanna has a long and rich history of traditional use among the native cultures of South Africa. This potent extract by Nine Mile Botanicals preserves all the natural properties of kanna in a highly concentrated form. Get yours here.

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Information About Kanna (Sceletium tortuosum)

Information About Kanna (Sceletium Tortuosum)

Thinking of making that first venture into the world of kanna, but a little unsure of where to start? You’re certainly not alone. With so many different varieties available on the market today, it can potentially be a bit tricky. We’ve put together a guide that will give you a better idea of what this herbal powerhouse can do.

What Is Kanna?

What Is Kanna?

Kanna comes from the Sceletium tortuosum plant. Also known as channa and kougoed, it is made from the dried and fermented roots and leaves of the plant. Available in various forms, from powdered extracts and capsules to teas and even honey, the effects are mostly universal—with each type offering an uplifting, euphoric, and substantial high. Some even state that kanna has a similar high to that of cocaine or alcohol, but without the hangover or adverse effects associated with them.

The History of Kanna

The Sceletium tortuosum plant is native to South Africa and has a long history, having been used there for thousands of years. Traditionally invoked in rituals and ceremonies, the local Khoekhoe people of South Africa would use kanna as a vision-inducing drug. Kougoed derives from Afrikaans and literally translates as “something to chew”.

The Khoekhoe would crush the plant, juicing it and then leaving it to ferment in bags made from the skins of animals. After being left for three days, the bags are then stirred and left in the sun for a further five days to continue the fermentation process. Once done, the roots resemble chewing tobacco. At this point, the roots and leaves of Sceletium tortuosum are ready to chew. When mixed with saliva, it can make for a potent effect when swallowed.

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What Is The Best Way To Consume Kanna?

Kanna also has a history of being used recreationally in South Africa, much like you’d go for a drink or smoke with a friend. Those who used it socially often did so to awaken their animal spirits, filling them with joy and laughter and even getting light-headed and giggly. Those who overindulged, however, experienced loss of consciousness and delusions, similar to the effects of alcohol.

The Dutch would soon make their way into the history of kanna. In 1662, explorer Jan van Riebeeck began trading in South Africa with local tribesmen, bringing Sceletium tortuosum to Europe. Kanna’s initial use outside of South Africa was as a mood-booster and tension-reliever due to its uplifting effects. By 1685, Willem Adriaan Van der Stel, the governor of the Dutch Cape Colony of South Africa—the area containing Cape Town—found out that the natives would travel great distances to gather the best samples of Sceletium tortuosum. This discovery allowed the Dutch to get the best kanna available. To this day, you can still find kanna being sold in the shops of Cape Town, and it is ingrained in the history of the region.

What Are the Effects of Kanna?

What Are the Effects of Kanna?

Kanna can have varying effects depending on dose and the individual taking it. On one side, it can offer some stimulating, uplifting, and euphoric qualities. However, it is also known to have some relaxing effects. Although in the 1600s it was used as a means to boost the mood, the science behind this is unfounded, and the effectiveness is debatable. It is believed that the psychoactive effects of kanna might be caused by its active ingredient, the alkaloid mesembrine.

That being said, there have been both animal studies and human studies on healthy adults to investigate Sceletium tortuosum's influence. These have included an exploration into kanna's influence on mood and on executive function. However, research has not been in-depth enough to find anything conclusive.

For the average user, the potency of Sceletium tortuosum really depends on the method you use to ingest it (but we’ll get to that shortly.) In smaller doses, most users will notice a light buzz with an increased sense of well-being. Increasing the dose will begin to usher in the plant's relaxing effects. While not couch-locking like particularly potent cannabis strains, kanna will allow you to relax and unwind for a long time. Although used in the past as a means to experience visions, kanna does not have any hallucinogenic properties, and is not considered a psychedelic.

Adverse effects associated with kanna are minimal and entirely dependent on the dose. It is also known to act as an appetite suppressant. That said, its use as an appetite suppressant is actually seen as beneficial to some.

No matter your aim, it is best to start with a smaller dose and slowly work your way up. Each person will have a different “sweet spot” at which the desired effects will occur. So go slow and enjoy the effects that kanna offers.

How to Use Kanna?

There are numerous different ways to ingest kanna, and it’s available in all sorts of forms for this reason. The traditionalists out there may want to experience kanna in its most primal form, chewing the fermented roots to get that authenticity. Or, if looking for a contemporary method, you can always load up your vaporizer and enjoy kanna that way.

Each method will have its own dosing guidelines. As we know, every person has their personal level of tolerance, and while some will feel slight effects, those with low tolerance will be much more affected.


Vaping Kanna

Buying powdered kanna extract will allow you to load up your vaporizer. Whether you use a desktop or portable vape is entirely up to you.

Finding the right dose is critical. As a rule of thumb, those looking for a lighter effect should use about 25mg of kanna extract. For medium effects, load about 40–60mg, and for the strongest, use anywhere between 100–250mg. The optimal temperature for vaping kanna is 188°C. This will allow you to get the most flavour out of your kanna. While these are suggested amounts, you can control how much you’re dragging by taking fewer and shallower pulls. This will give you a chance to gauge the effects as they happen, allowing you to stop when you feel you’ve had enough.

Although perfectly suitable for vaporizing on your own, many users tend to vape kanna in a social situation with friends. The effects of vaporizing kanna are much more relaxed than other methods. This allows for conversation to flow between friends, channelling the traditional social side of the Khoekhoe people.


Snorting Kanna

Said to be one of the most fast-acting and potent ingestion methods, snorting kanna can be a great way to experience its effects immediately. Using a finely powdered extract will allow you to snort with ease. A light dose is around 50mg, whereas a moderate dose is anywhere between 50–100mg. Those looking for heavier doses can go from 250mg all the way up to an extra-strong 500mg. Again, it is worth starting small, noting the effects and then increasing the dose from there.

Many state that the effects of snorting kanna are more or less instantaneous, overall offering a much more potent, euphoric, and stimulating effect than other methods.


Chewing Kanna

As mentioned, this is the ultimate way to experience the traditional Khoekhoe method of ingesting kanna. Much like chewing tobacco, you can purchase shredded kanna leaves and ferment them at home using a technique similar to that of tribesmen, although you’ll be using an airtight container instead of a bag made from animal skin. You can also purchase pre-fermented leaves that are ready to enjoy immediately.

Whichever method you choose, it is then just a case of chewing the leaves. Doses of around 50–150mg will produce subtle, light effects. Those looking for a moderate effect can chew 200–400mg. For the most potent effect, a dose of 600–1000mg will do it. Kanna does not have a particularly strong flavour, and many state it has a subtle taste of liquorice. If you don’t want to chew kanna on its own, you can mix it with a piece of chewing gum for more flavour. Chewing and swallowing the saliva can provide a euphoric and slightly intoxicating effect generally lasting 1–2 hours.

Sublingual Consumption

Sublingual Consumption Kanna

Sublingual consumption is another way to ingest kanna. This method involves placing kanna under the tongue and holding it there for around 15 minutes to be absorbed into the bloodstream. The area under the tongue offers a much faster and direct route to systemic circulation, bypassing the first-pass metabolism in the liver.

The effects of sublingual consumption are similar to that of chewing, providing energetic and euphoric bursts coupled with mood elevation. Those looking for lighter results can ingest 50–100mg. For more moderate effects, 200–400mg will do the trick. For the strongest effects, anywhere above 400mg will undoubtedly lead to more intense experiences.

Kanna Tea

Kanna Tea

Another way to experience the effects of kanna is to brew a tea. You can purchase premade teas, but it is straightforward and rewarding to create your own. With just a few ingredients and about 15 minutes, you can have your tea ready to go. Drinking kanna tea offers a relaxing effect that also has a pleasant flavour. Many report that kanna tea has a similar taste to green tea, but this can be tailored by adding flavour enhancers such as honey, lemon, or even sugar.

The effects of kanna tea are less potent than the other methods listed, but it makes for a perfect drink to enjoy at any time of day. Those wanting lighter, subtler doses can opt for 200mg. For a medium effect, 400mg is advised, and anywhere above 800mg will produce the strongest effects.

Making kanna tea is as simple as placing the fermented leaves into a hot water filled saucepan, then adding some lemon juice to allow kanna’s active ingredients to be absorbed into the water. Brew for 15 minutes and then strain into your cup. That’s all you need to do to enjoy kanna tea.

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What Types of Kanna Are Available?

We’ve taken a look at the different ways you can use kanna. And, as we’ve alluded to, there are many types of kanna available to cater to the numerous ways you can enjoy it. Some can be combined or substituted, for example powder and extracts if you are vaping. How you choose to ingest kanna is entirely up to you. Again, it’s worth mentioning that you should find doses and methods that suit you. This may take a little experimentation initially, but will be worth it in the long-run.

Kanna Shredded Leaves

Kanna Shredded Leaves

The shredded leaves of Sceletium tortuosum are one of the most accessible ways to experience its effects. The leaves give you the freedom of taking kanna in almost any way you prefer. Most of the time, packs come ready to be fermented at home. All you need to do is crush the leaves and place them into a sealed container. Leave them to ferment for around 7–8 days, but open the container every day, allowing the leaves to air out for a short time.

You’ll see the fermentation taking place as the leaves begin to darken and turn brown. Once fermented, it’s merely a case of drying the leaves. This can be done by leaving them in direct sunlight for five days, or you can dry them in an oven at a low temperature of 80°C—being careful not to leave them in too long.

Once you have your leaves, the possibilities are endless. You can chew them straight away, brew a tea, or you can make your own powder by finely grinding them.

Kanna Powder

Kanna Powder

Those looking to forego the fermentation and preparation route can purchase kanna powder instead, which is essentially just powdered plant material. Available in various concentrations, kanna powder has numerous uses. You can snort, combine with gum and chew, or you can even add it to food. The only limit is your imagination. Ingesting doses of kanna powder is arguably one of the easiest and fastest ways to feel its effects.

It is also possible to purchase kanna powder in capsule form for a natural, energetic buzz you can take anywhere, at any time.

Kanna Extracts

Kanna Extracts

Highly concentrated kanna extracts offer a more potent effect than that provided by kanna powder. Often available as a finely ground extract, its uses are very similar to those of kanna powder. Whether used as a snuff or loaded into a vaporizer, it allows complete freedom of ingestion to the user. The most common kanna extract is 10x, meaning it is ten times more potent than the standard kanna powder. This is one for more experienced kanna users. Smaller doses will provide a burst of energy, whereas larger amounts will often provide a more sleepy effect.

Much like the kanna powder, it is possible to purchase kanna extracts in the form of capsules. It can even be found in some tinctures, or as an added ingredient in some CBD oils.

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How to Grow a Kanna Plant

How to Grow a Kanna Plant

Growing Sceletium tortuosum is also a viable option. This way, you’ll have access to your own kanna in no time. While Sceletium tortuosum is indigenous to the South African region, it is also something you can look to grow at home. Seeds are available to purchase online, though you can also grow Sceletium tortuosum from cuttings.

Kanna plants can be grown at any time of year. However, for best results, it is advised to grow your plant in a warm and bright environment. This will allow Sceletium tortuosum to flourish. You can also bring your plants indoors in the colder months.

To begin, simply place your seeds or cuttings in clay pots filled with porous soil. This provides a similar soil consistency to its natural habitat, giving it a helping hand in its growing cycle.

While it is easy to grow, Sceletium tortuosum can be susceptible to pests such as snails, aphids, and spider mites. You can combat this by using an insecticidal soap spray that won’t damage the plant, but will deter pests from bothering it further.

Insects are not the only risk with Sceletium tortuosum. It also has the potential to develop a virus as well, especially if you have several plants at once. Kanna virus can impact and impede growth. Keep an eye out for discoloured and pale white blotches and lines on the leaves, as these are an indication of the virus. Although there is no cure, you can look to remove the specimen that is infected to save your other plants.

It may sound like there are plenty of things that can go wrong with growing Sceletium tortuosum plants, but they are generally effortless to care for and require minimal watering and maintenance. Just keep a keen eye out during the growing cycle, and you’ll be reaping the leaves and roots from them in no time—ready to be fermented and used how you’d like.

Where to Get Kanna?

Although you can grow your own Sceletium tortuosum plant, there is an easier option available. Kanna, in whichever form or type you are after, is available right now to order from the Zamnesia store. Whether you’re looking to experiment with the powdered or extracted forms, or want to experience the historical and traditional methods of chewing the leaves or trying kanna rapé, Zamnesia has got you covered. Place your order today and get your hands on some kanna. Just remember to take things slow and find a dose and method that suits you, and you can’t go wrong.