Unveiling the Potential of Legal Microdosing: Kanna’s Time-Honored Use in Indigenous Healing and Ceremonies for Depression, Anxiety, and Beyond

Kanna: The Remarkable Succulent with Centuries of Indigenous Use and Modern Health Studies

Kanna, also known as channa or kougoed (scientific name: Sceletium tortuosum), is a succulent adorned with delicate white and yellow blooms, native to the landscapes of southern Africa. Revered by the indigenous San people for generations, this lesser-known plant medicine is now gaining popularity worldwide, thanks to recent studies supporting its numerous mental and physical health benefits. Until recently, sourcing quality and standardized Kanna extracts beyond South Africa was challenging, contributing to its relative obscurity in global markets. However, with its diverse range of potential advantages – from inducing euphoria in larger doses to acting as an antidepressant in smaller ones – Kanna is capturing the attention of the wellness and psychedelic communities.

Joseph Santiago, the founder of Microdose Bros, fondly recalls his life-changing encounter with Kanna over a decade ago. “That first experience completely transformed my life,” he shares. “I realized in that moment that if others could experience the same profound effects, it could bring immense healing and positivity to the world.” The non-addictive and non-toxic nature of this plant extract further reinforces its potential as a promising avenue for well-being and therapeutic exploration.

Where Does Kanna Come From?

Kanna finds its roots in the arid expanse of the Karoo, a region situated in the southern and western parts of the African continent. The plant holds deep significance in the traditions of the indigenous San and Khoikhoi peoples, who reside in present-day South Africa and Namibia. For centuries, these communities have cherished and utilized Kanna for various purposes.

In modern times, the majority of Kanna extract available in the market is cultivated within the borders of South Africa. This cultivation ensures a sustainable supply of this remarkable plant with a rich cultural heritage, making it accessible to a broader audience interested in its potential benefits.

The History of Kanna:

The San People’s Reverence for Kanna: A Plant Medicine Enriched with Cultural Significance

Among the indigenous San, a nomadic hunter-gatherer community in South Africa, Kanna holds a place of profound importance within their rich heritage of plant medicine. Interestingly, Kanna shares its name with the Eland antelope, a significant figure in their culture representing abundance, fertility, and love. This connection between the plant and the symbolic animal adds to its spiritual significance.

The versatile properties of Kanna have been embraced by the San throughout generations. As an adaptogen, it has been known to alleviate hunger, thirst, and fatigue, proving to be a valuable ally in challenging environments. Additionally, the plant’s usage extends to facilitate trance states, aided by practices like fasting, drumming, and dance, allowing the San to access altered states of consciousness.

Remarkably, Kanna continues to be an integral part of the San people’s lives, supporting wellbeing across all stages of the life cycle. Elders who regularly use Kanna are noted to exhibit increased lucidity and enhanced cognitive functions, reflecting the plant’s positive impact on their mental acuity.

While the exact origins of the San and neighboring Khoikhoi’s knowledge of Kanna’s properties remain uncertain, historical records trace its well-established use as far back as the 1600s, documented during a Dutch expedition to the Karoo region. This enduring tradition stands as a testament to the enduring value of Kanna as a treasured plant medicine within the San culture.

The Age-Old Practices of Kanna

The Time-Honored Ways of Using Kanna

Kanna, with its leaves, stems, and roots naturally rich in oxalates, undergoes traditional fermentation before consumption due to its challenging digestibility. Among the San community, this remarkable plant plays a pivotal role in various aspects of life, from easing the discomfort of colicky babies to supporting the physical and mental well-being of hunters.

San mothers exhibit a nurturing touch by blending a drop of fermented Kanna with breastmilk to soothe colicky infants. Meanwhile, hunters employ microdosing techniques, chewing on a braid of fermented and dried Kanna throughout the day, to alleviate hunger, thirst, and fatigue, while fostering heightened stamina, a positive mood, and improved mental focus.

Although the most prevalent method of Kanna consumption involves chewing, other approaches include smoking or insufflation (snorting). The plant’s natural pain-relieving and adaptogenic qualities, accompanied by minimal side effects, make it a cherished ally for the overall health and vitality of the San people throughout their entire life journey.

In more substantial doses, Kanna takes on a ritual role for the San, joining fasting, dancing, and drumming as an aid to shamanic practices like divination and spirit communion. This spiritual application enhances the deep-rooted significance of Kanna within the San’s cultural traditions, connecting them to their ancestral beliefs and wisdom.

Exploring the Scientific Aspects of Kanna (Sceletium tortuosum)

Kanna: A Botanical Treasure Trove of Alkaloids and Bioactive Components

Kanna, also known as Sceletium tortuosum, is a botanical wonderland with a wealth of alkaloids and diverse bioactive constituents. Among these compounds, mesembrine stands out as the primary psychoactive molecule in Kanna. Nevertheless, the plant boasts an intricate interplay of various components, including three other mesembrine-type alkaloids, polyphenols, terpenes, and other essential constituents, all of which synergistically contribute to the potency of a full-spectrum plant extract.

When it comes to assessing the strength of Kanna products, the mesembrine content, quantified in milligrams, serves as the benchmark for potency. This multifaceted botanical continues to captivate researchers and enthusiasts alike, as they delve into its fascinating array of compounds, unlocking the secrets behind its remarkable effects and potential therapeutic benefits.

Sceletium tortuosum Extract: A Multifaceted Aid in Serotonin Regulation and Depression Treatment

The extract from Sceletium tortuosum exhibits mild SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor) capabilities, contributing to the regulation of serotonin production while limiting its reuptake in the brain. Additionally, it acts as a PDE4 (phosphodiesterase 4) enzyme inhibitor, which has implications in the treatment of depression. Notably, in animal studies, Kanna extract has shown promising results in alleviating stress-induced anxiety and depression.

Furthermore, a study conducted in 2020 unveiled intriguing ergogenic (performance-enhancing) benefits associated with this botanical extract. The multifaceted properties of Sceletium tortuosum continue to attract scientific interest, shedding light on its potential therapeutic applications and enhancing our understanding of its effects on mental well-being and performance enhancement.

Zembrin: The Nutraceutical Form of Sceletium tortuosum Extract with Promising Clinical Trials

Sceletium tortuosum extract, in the form of Zembrin, is available as a nutraceutical product, offering a standardized alkaloid preparation. Numerous small-scale yet promising clinical trials have showcased positive transformations in mood, sleep patterns, cognition, and executive function when using Zembrin. Furthermore, a dedicated Zembrin study delved into the potent anxiolytic (anti-anxiety) properties of Kanna extract.

Despite these encouraging findings, Kanna’s overall efficacy and precise mechanisms of action remain subjects of ongoing investigation. A wide array of case studies, laboratory experiments, and animal trials continues to explore the potential benefits and deeper insights into this remarkable botanical. As researchers and scientists delve further into its properties, Kanna’s significance as a potential therapeutic agent may become even more evident.

Kanna’s Effects: A Comprehensive Exploration of Uses and Benefits

Kanna’s Effects: Bridging Empathy, Wellness, and Cognitive Enhancements

Some reports draw parallels between macrodoses of Kanna and MDMA due to their shared empathogenic properties, which foster feelings of empathy, openness, sociability, and connection. However, unlike MDMA, Kanna lacks the intense “speedy” amphetamine quality and overwhelming dopamine surge, resulting in a gentler impact on the body, even at higher doses.

Among the indigenous San people, Kanna has a long history of traditional use, known for its ability to alleviate pain, suppress hunger and thirst, and enhance mood, stamina, and mental focus. In modern times, Kanna extract is being investigated for its potential role in alleviating anxiety and depression, with the advantage of causing fewer side effects compared to pharmaceutical SSRIs.

The credit for Kanna’s adaptogenic, nootropic, empathogenic, and aphrodisiac qualities goes primarily to mesembrine, its primary psychoactive component. However, the diverse array of alkaloids and other plant constituents likely contributes to the overall effects of this fascinating botanical.

According to Joseph Santiago, Kanna exerts a “tonifying effect” on brain processes, enhancing synaptic efficiency in transmitting and receiving signals, and optimizing the concentration of essential neurotransmitters like serotonin. Yet, Kanna remains a gentle medicine that respects an individual’s agency, allowing them to stay connected to their true self while softening the impact of triggers in their experience.

Kanna Supplement vs. Kanna Tincture

Optimizing Kanna’s Bioavailability: Sublingual Tincture for Mental Well-being

When it comes to maximizing the bioavailability of Kanna, sublingual administration through a tincture proves to be an effective method. Santiago, the founder of Microdose Bros, considers their Kanna tincture as the “anchor” of a microdosing regimen designed to support mental health. This tincture blends Kanna extract with extracts of black pepper, l-theanine, and mint, enhancing its potential benefits.

Customers often find that merely three drops of the tincture are sufficient to bring about a shift in perspective and a sense of centeredness. Santiago suggests taking the tincture 15 minutes prior to yoga or meditation or whenever a subtle reset is needed. The effects of the Kanna tincture typically last for one to two hours, allowing for up to three doses throughout the day, if desired.

This sublingual approach offers a practical and accessible way for individuals to incorporate Kanna into their daily routines, harnessing its potential to support mental well-being and foster moments of calm and clarity.

How to Take Kanna

Emerging Availability of Kanna Supplements: Capsules and Tinctures

Although still relatively lesser-known, Kanna extract is becoming more accessible through capsules and tinctures, both offered by select brick-and-mortar vitamin retailers and online vendors. As with any supplement, there are various formulations available in the market. Some Kanna supplements may solely contain the plant extract, while others come enriched with complementary botanicals, amino acids, or additional nutrients to enhance their effects.

Given the minimal oversight by the FDA concerning supplements, it is essential to be diligent in sourcing clean and high-quality Kanna extract products. Opting for supplements that provide a standardized dose of mesembrine can ensure consistency and reliability in experiencing the desired effects. As the popularity of Kanna continues to grow, consumers should remain discerning to make informed choices and maximize the potential benefits of this fascinating botanical.

Microdosing Protocol for Kanna: An Approach for Gauging its Benefits

Microdose Bros Santiago typically advises a microdosing protocol of five days on followed by two days off, spanning over approximately four weeks, to assess the potential benefits of Kanna. This timeframe allows individuals to observe how the plant affects them. For many users, significant changes in anxiety and depression tend to manifest within one to four weeks of consistent Kanna microdosing.

Given Kanna’s potential stimulating effects, it is advisable to try it for the first time in the morning or midday. This timing enables individuals to gauge their body’s response to the plant without interfering with their sleep patterns or causing any unwanted restlessness.

The gradual and systematic microdosing approach ensures a mindful and informed experience, allowing users to explore Kanna’s effects on their mental well-being and tailor their consumption to best suit their individual needs and preferences.

Kanna Dosage: A Well-Vetted Microdose with a Rich History of Use

Microdose Bros Kanna powder formulas are meticulously standardized to contain 3 mg of mesembrine per serving, a dosage that has been carefully considered as a well-vetted microdose. While research on microdosing psychedelics like LSD and psilocybin is still in its nascent stages, the centuries-long tradition of indigenous Kanna use in both macrodoses and microdoses suggests a reassuring long-term safety profile.

By adhering to this standardized microdose, users can explore the potential benefits of Kanna while feeling confident in the product’s consistency and reliability. The historical background of Kanna’s safe usage in different doses throughout generations further adds to the confidence in its gentle yet effective properties for supporting mental well-being.

The Gradual Power of Microdosing: Consistency and Intention Yield Profound Benefits

Santiago explains that microdosing Kanna might not bring about significant shifts in consciousness immediately, but its cumulative effects can be remarkably profound when taken consistently and purposefully.

On the other hand, a Kanna macrodose, according to Santiago, typically ranges from 30 mg to 60 mg of mesembrine. As with any psychoactive substance, it is crucial to educate oneself about the potential risks and benefits associated with macrodosing Kanna. For those considering such a journey, seeking guidance from an experienced facilitator or guide is highly advisable to ensure safety and a well-informed experience.

Duration of Kanna’s Effects: Sublingual Tincture vs. Capsules

The duration of Kanna’s effects depends on the method of consumption. When taken sublingually in tincture form, which is considered the most bioavailable way to ingest Kanna, effects typically onset within approximately 15 minutes and can last for about one to two hours.

On the other hand, Kanna capsules, which undergo digestion and processing by the liver, take a bit longer to take effect, usually within 30 minutes to an hour. However, the effects of Kanna capsules tend to be more prolonged, with the experience lasting for approximately two to four hours.

Choosing between the two methods allows individuals to tailor their Kanna experience according to their preferences and schedule, whether seeking a shorter, more immediate impact or an extended duration of the plant’s effects.

The Safety of Kanna: A Closer Look

Important Considerations Before Starting Kanna

Due to the way Kanna can affect serotonin levels in the brain, similar to how SSRIs work, it is crucial to consult your healthcare provider before incorporating Kanna into your regimen, especially if you are already taking an SSRI or MAOI. Ensuring optimal serotonin levels is essential for mental well-being, but excessive levels can lead to a dangerous condition known as serotonin syndrome, which has the potential to be fatal.

If you have any pre-existing health conditions or are currently taking medications, it is essential to discuss Kanna usage with a knowledgeable healthcare practitioner. They can help you understand any potential risks or interactions that may arise. Additionally, considering the guidance of a microdosing coach can be beneficial in determining a safe and appropriate course of action tailored to your specific circumstances and health needs. Being well-informed and seeking professional guidance ensures a responsible and safe approach to using Kanna for potential mental health benefits.

Kanna’s Side Effects: Mild and Infrequent

Occasional reports of mild side effects such as nausea and headache have been associated with Kanna consumption. However, these effects are generally mild and not commonly observed. Over the years, South African doctors have prescribed Kanna, and its traditional use spanning thousands of years indicates that the risks associated with Kanna are relatively low, especially when taken in smaller doses.

Overall, the historical evidence and medical experience suggest that Kanna is well-tolerated by many individuals, reinforcing its reputation as a generally safe botanical, particularly when used responsibly and in accordance with recommended dosages.

Cultivating Kanna Sustainably for a Brighter Future

Once abundant, Kanna’s native habitat faced significant depletion due to over-harvesting, pushing it to the brink of extinction. However, to ensure its survival, sustainable practices have been implemented. While wild-sourcing is no longer viable, South African cultivators have taken the initiative to dedicate extensive land for cultivating Kanna, catering to both local and global demands. Importantly, a portion of the profits generated from Kanna cultivation is channeled back to support native communities, promoting their well-being and fostering a symbiotic relationship with the plant.

While Kanna does not hold USDA organic designation, its inherent resilience as a succulent uniquely adapted to the southern African continent proves advantageous. Flourishing in sandy soil without the need for fertilizers or pesticides, Kanna exemplifies sustainable growth practices, underscoring its ability to thrive in harmony with the environment. These efforts collectively contribute to safeguarding the future of Kanna while providing an ethically conscious and eco-friendly source for its valued attributes.

The Legal Status of Kanna: A Global Overview

Kanna enjoys legal status in South Africa, where cultivation and consumption are permitted, making it a significant source for international products. In the United States, Kanna is not federally scheduled, allowing all parts of the plant to be legally bought and sold nationwide, with the exception of Louisiana, which prohibits consumption of mesembryanthemum species. Similarly, Kanna is regulated and lawful for purchase and consumption in Canada under Health Canada guidelines.

When it comes to supplements sold in the US, adherence to industry-standard good manufacturing practices is required. However, they are not otherwise regulated by the FDA. Therefore, it becomes essential for consumers to seek out clean and high-quality Kanna products that contain standardized mesembrine potency to ensure a reliable and consistent experience. Being mindful of product sourcing guarantees responsible usage and aligns with safety measures in enjoying the benefits of this remarkable botanical.

To learn more about Kanna and make a purchase, please visit the Microdose Bros website at https://www.microdosebros.com/store/kanna-extract-40x/.