What Is Kanna Powder?

  • Kanna
Kanna powder in bowl

In the realm of superstar succulents, kanna reigns supreme. 

Technically known as Sceletium tortuosum, kanna is a ground-cover plant that grows natively in South Africa’s Cape region. 

Though it’s been used in Eastern medicine for centuries, it’s only recently gained momentum in the West. Here, kanna is most often found in a powdered form and brewed into a tea.

If you’ve never heard of kanna powder, read on. Today, we’re sharing how this herb works and a few of the top ways to add it into your wellness routine. 

What Is Kanna Powder?

As its name implies, kanna powder is the dried, fermented form of the kanna plant.

In South Africa, it’s common to see this plant consumed raw. In fact, its name translates to “kougoed” in Afrikaans, which means “good to chew”.

Traditionally, locals would harvest a year’s worth of kanna at a time from the nearby fields. Then, they would use two stones to gently crush the plant material. Once it was ground, they would sew it up into sheepskin. 

The kanna matter would remain in the sheepskin for around eight days. Then, it was ready to consume!

Farmers and other field workers would carry the filled sheepskins around with them during the day, chewing on a kanna leaf or stem to experience its trademark calming effects. The botanical was also known to help keep hunger and thirst at bay, so more work could be accomplished and breaks were less frequent.

In these applications, it’s easy to see the relationship between kanna powder and kratom powder. Both were used by indigenous people to make manual labor more bearable and take the pain out of the workday. 

While this practice still occurs, kanna is more commonly found in the U.S. as a powder. Kanna powder still retains the therapeutic properties of the plant but can be blended and mixed into consumables so the taste isn’t as potent.

How to Consume the Powder

The most popular and common way to consume kanna is to blend it into a tea. Especially if you already love your daily cup of kratom tea, this is a great alternative and an easy way for beginners to enjoy its effects. 

You can also find kanna in the following forms:

  • Gum
  • Tinctures
  • Extracts

If you’re purchasing kanna powder, it helps to know how to make the perfect cup of tea! As with kratom, keep in mind that the powerful alkaloids in kanna can be diminished by boilng water.

For this reason, it’s best to get your water as hot as possible but avoid reaching too-high temperatures. Keep it to a gentle simmer and you’ll be just right. 

Begin by pouring 1.5 cups of water into a saucepan and heat it up. If you want to mask the natural, slightly bitter taste of the kanna, you can squeeze in the juice of one lemon. The lemon juice can also increase the solubility of the plant’s active ingredients!

Then, add your dose of kanna to the water. Brew it at a simmer for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Pour the liquid through a strainer and you’re ready to enjoy! If it still needs to be a little sweeter, you can add honey or agave. 

If you enjoyed this recipe, you can also find out how to make the perfect cup of kratom tea by following our directions on this post!

Rough-Cut Kanna

In addition to kanna powder, we also sell rough-cut kanna powder in our online shop. You can consume this substance in a variety of ways including:

  • Smoking
  • Chewing raw
  • Sublingual use

Note that if you’re consuming kratom tea, it can take a little while longer to feel the plant’s effects than other, more direct methods such as smoking. This is because the tea has to pass through your digestive system before it can enter your bloodstream.

Usually, the benefits will kick in within one hour, and you can expect them to last around four to five hours!

The Beneficial Effects of Kanna

What can kanna do for you?

Though further research is required to uncover all of its uses, kanna is a well-known psychoactive herb, known to help relieve the symptoms of stress and anxiety. Lower doses can also help you stay alert and focused throughout the day. 

Physically, kanna can also act as a natural appetite suppressant and pain reliever. 

One important aspect to note? Despite its abilities to lift your mood and soothe your aching muscles, kanna has not been shown to be hallucinogenic or addictive. Let’s explore a few of its top benefits a little more closely.

Mood Enhancer

Mesembrine is one of the major alkaloids present in kanna. Research shows that this component can serve as a powerful selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI).

This means it increases the amount of serotonin in your brain. At the same time, it prevents the reabsorption (reuptake) of serotonin into neurons. This means there’s more serotonin available in your body to transmit messages between neurons.

An uptick in serotonin can help you feel more calm and less anxious. For this reason, kanna may work as a natural antidepressant.

In one clinical study, participants who consumed a kanna extract once daily for three months reported that their sleep quality improved and their stress levels decreased. 

Pain Relief

Many common pain conditions can be linked to an increase in inflammation in your body. 

Your body’s natural defense against infection, inflammation results when your immune cells and other cell types secrete molecules called inflammatory cytokines.

What role does kanna play? 

Studies have found that when you consume kanna extract, the substance can increase your levels of IL-10. This is a specific type of anti-inflammatory cytokine that balances your immune response and lowers inflammation. It also lowers existing levels of other, inflammatory cytokines. 

This counterbalance can deliver potent pain relief right where you need it the most. In addition, it can also help treat symptoms of depression, as this mental illness is commonly linked to elevated levels of inflammatory cytokines. 

Mental Alertness and Cognitive Function

Do you feel like you’re in a constant state of brain fog? Over time, our executive function can slowly diminish, making it difficult to make quick decisions or solve complex problems. 

Again, kanna may be able to help. 

Early research shows that kanna can help improve cognitive flexibility and improve your ability to focus and stay sharp throughout the day. Though further research is required, one promising study did make this connection.

Tracking 35 adults over the course of nine weeks, researchers instructed each to take 25mg of kanna daily. At the end of the study, they found that their cognitive ability and executive function both improved over those given a placebo.

Appetite Suppressant

What is the scientific connection between consuming kanna and quelling hunger pains? 

Studies suggest that this outcome is a result of the botanical’s ability to bind to your body’s receptor for cholecystokinin-1. When this receptor is activated, sensations of hunger are reduced.

When taken for this purpose, kanna can help you avoid overeating. However, it’s important to note that effective and safe weight loss is best achieved by following a well-rounded meal plan developed by your physician or dietitian. 

Measuring Your Kanna Dosage

Are you interested in adding kanna to your supplement routine? If so, it’s important to understand how much you should consume. 

To date, there isn’t a universal dosing guideline for kanna. The ideal amount to take will depend on a few different factors, including:

  • Your gender
  • Your weight
  • Your physical composition
  • Your method of kanna consumption

As with any botanical supplement, it’s always best to start with a low dose. From there, you can work your way upward until you find the level that delivers the benefits you need without the side effects you don’t.

Consuming too much kanna can lead to nausea, vomiting and dizziness, so it’s always best to err on the side of caution. 

Shop Our Selection of Kanna Powder Today

Kanna powder can make a natural, delicious addition to your botanical regimen. Whether you’re seeking relief from pain, anxiety or stress, this herb can offer powerful support. It can also help you maintain mental clarity so you can power through even the most difficult workday!

We offer kanna powder in our online shop, as well as kratom powder, kratom capsules, CBD oil and other botanical extracts. Feel free to browse our full collections and contact us if you have any questions. 

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