How to take kanna , also known as Sceletium tortuosum and the more potent Sceletium emarcidum, is a plant native to South Africa that’s historically been used for its calming and euphoric effects. It’s currently becoming increasingly popular among mental health professionals thanks to its mind-clearing qualities, particularly in the wake of anxiety and stress. The plant contains alkaloids, including mesembrine, that help to boost mood and activate feel-good chemicals in the brain.
While there’s not a ton of research on kanna, a small trial in rats did show that mesembrine may have antidepressant properties. But, more research in humans is needed to really determine its effectiveness. Despite that, anecdotal reports suggest that kanna helps with anxiety and depression. It can also promote feelings of relaxation and calmness, reducing stress levels and improving cognitive function.
It can be taken as a powder, in capsule form, or in tinctures. It’s recommended that people experiment with the different methods to find what works best for them. Sinisi recommends trying a low dose and then gradually increasing it until the desired effect is achieved. It’s important to note that kanna acts like an SSRI, limiting the reuptake of serotonin and resulting in higher brain levels of the chemical. Therefore, people who take SSRIs or MAO inhibitors shouldn’t use kanna as it could trigger a dangerous serotonin syndrome.
Another way to microdose kanna is to take it as a tincture, which is an extract of the plant’s dried leaves and flowers dissolved in alcohol. It’s easy to drink and is a great alternative to powders, which can be taxing on the stomach and digestive system. Hearthstone Collective’s Latreille says that a kanna macrodose usually lands between 30 and 60 mg of mesembrine, but it’s always best to start low and go slow.