Kanna (Sceletium tortuosum)Powder, 5 g
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History of Kanna
The South African succulent plant Sceletium Tortuosum has been used for centuries as a masticatory and medicine by San (formerly known as Bushmen) and Khoikhoi (formerly known as Hottentots) people. Its use goes back as far as pre-historic times.
In 1662, the Namaquas (a cultural group within the Khoikhoi) gave Kanna and sheep to the Dutch commander of the Cape of Good Hope, Jan van Riebeek in exchange for gifts.
A few years later, in 1685 colonial governor of the Dutch Cape Colony, Simon van der Stel, describes the local use of Kanna in his journal: ‘They chew mostly a certain plant which they call Canna and which they bruise, roots as well as the stem, between the stones and store and preserve in sewn-up sheepskins. When we came to the Coperbergh in October, it was being gathered from the surrounding hills by everybody (to serve as a supply for the whole year).’ Because Kanna was mainly consumed by chewing (stem and roots), the Dutch came up with the name ‘Kougoed’ or ‘Kouwgoed’ for Kanna, which means ‘good to chew’. The colonists prized the herb for its ‘ginseng-like qualities’.
Since then, several botanists and physicians including Carl Peter Thunberg, N. Gericke & A. Viljoen have studied the herb. It has been cultivated in England since 1732.
Over the past decade, the plant has attracted increasing attention for its possible applications in promoting a sense of wellbeing in healthy individuals.
Effects of Kanna
When administered properly, Kanna has calming and relaxing effects and can help;
- Elevate mood
- Induce feelings of euphoria
Kanna Uses and Dosage
There are several ways of consuming Kanna;
Chewing - The traditional way of ingesting Kanna is by chewing. One can easily do so by mixing some Kanna with a piece of chewing gum and swallowing the saliva.
Recommended dosage – A dose of 50-100mg is advised to produce subtle effects. If a more potent effect is desired, one can experiment with dosages up to 1g.
Insufflation – Using Kanna as a snuff (snorting) is reported to have fast onset, therefore a great option for those looking for an immediate effect. Additionally, snorting Kanna is also said to be one of the most euphoria-inducing ways of ingesting the substance.
Recommended Dosage - A mild dose for snorting Kanna is considered to be around 50mg, a medium dose ranges from 50-100mg, while a strong dose is up to 250mg of powder.
Sublingual – Sublingual use involves placing the Kanna underneath the tongue and holding it there for prolonged periods. Once in place, the substance enters the body via diffusion into the blood through the tissues within this area. it is often much faster as it is a direct route into the venous circulation and bypasses the first-pass metabolism in the liver.
Recommended Dosage – For subtle effects, 50-100mg is advised, 200-400mg can be consumed for a mild outcome, and a dose closer to 1g will produce a more intense experience.
Kanna Tea – Kanna tea is known to taste similar to green tea yet slightly unpleasant. The effects are less potent and more plant matter is required to produce the desired effect.
Recommended Dosage - A dose of anywhere between 200-500mg is good for a tea infusion. For more potent effects, a dosage of up to 2g can be used. However, such doses have been linked to unwanted side effects like dizziness.
Vaping Kanna – Vaping Kanna introduces its active molecules directly into the bloodstream via alveoli of the lungs. Kanna powder can be vaped by simply adding to your favorite herb vaporizer along with some base herbs to feel the fast effects.
When loading the herb chamber, first add a layer of another type of herb such as hops or lavender to stop the Kanna powder from clogging your device, sprinkle some Kanna powder, and top it off with another layer of foundation herb.
Recommended dosage - Around 100mg of powder will provide a light and subtle experience, whereas a dose of 250mg will produce more profound effects. Set your device to a temperature of 188°C to target the active alkaloids within. Shortly after inhalation, you’ll feel the relaxing and euphoric effects of the herb set in.
Due to overharvesting, climate change, and natural diseases, Sceletium Tortuosum (Kanna) has become rare in its natural habitat and is mostly grown in nurseries in controlled environments. As a succulent, Kanna is relatively easy to grow and is cultivated similarly to Cactaceae.
To grow Kanna, scatter the seeds onto succulent compost or porous topsoil with plenty of grit and slightly press them down. During Germination, make sure the soil stays moist but not wet. It can take between 2 weeks to 2 months for the seeds to germinate. Make sure the plant stays in a warm, well-lit space. Kanna seedlings are fragile and should be re-potted as soon as possible.
When the plant has grown a bit, it is possible to multiple it by taking cuttings. It is relatively easy for the cuttings to take root. If you are growing Kanna in pots, make sure to use the ones with drainage holes. Kanna doesn’t need a lot of water. Clay pots are preferred to plastic ones as they allow for maximum water drainage.
Kanna plants require a minimum of 16°C temperature and watering with moderation. Frost must be avoided at all costs. If you are trying to grow to Kanna in a colder climate, consider putting it in a greenhouse or take it indoors during colder months.
Keep Kanna in its original packaging in a dry and cool place, out of the reach of children.
It is best to avoid using Kanna when pregnant, breastfeeding, and in children.
When opting for the insufflation method, the plant matter should be grounded into extremely fine powder. This method may cause physical discomfort with the nose, as well as possible nasal bleeding and blockages.
One must take things slowly when Vaping Kanna. One small drag at a time will help you find your sweet spot. Overdoing things can lead to various side effects, so proceed with caution.
Sceletium Tortuosum aka Kanna is a Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor (SRI). It should not be combined with other SRIs or Mono Oxidase Inhibitors (MAOIs). (S)SRI’s are mainly found in antidepressant prescription medicines like Seroxat, Prozac, Cipramil, Fevarin, and Zoloft. MAOI's can be found in certain antidepressants and plants like Syrian Rue (Peganum harmala), Banisteriopsis Caapi, Passionflower (Passiflora incarnata), and Yohimbe.
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