A flowering Sceletium tortuosum plant (colloquially called kanna). Kanna is a powerful herbal legal high mood enhancer, stimulant).

Simon’s Kanna Guide

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Kanna (Sceletium tortuosum) is  a succulent herb form South Africa.
It has been used as a recreational drug for thousands of years by indigenous tribes in Africa.



Kanna effects: in itself the plant causes elevated mood. This can range from a “pick-me-up” to MDMA and cocaine like effects (see trip reports below) depending on the dosage and the quality of the plant matter ingested.

The active ingredient appears to be Mesembrine, which elevates mood and decreases stress and reduces your level of anxiety.

The plant is used to alleviate depression.

Some pharmaceutical companies are researching Kanna and trying to isolate the chemicals in Kanna to use them in their anti-depressants.



Interesting: Kanna synergistic with THC. Kanna is known to strengthen the effects of cannabis.

If you are living in a country, where marijuana is legal you can try mixing it with some Kanna and experiment with it’s effects.

Kanna also mixes very well with:  Damiana, Dagga and Blue lotus (more about this in my herbal incense guide)


A picture of a budding of kanna plant (Sceletium tortuosum).
Kanna, Sceletium tortuosum before blooming


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Kanna guide


Places to buy Kanna


Buy Kanna -USA


To buy Kanna or Kanna extract in the US go here:

Buy Kanna and Kanna extract  /shipped from the US, credit cards accepted/


Buy Kanna -Netherlands


To buy Kanna or Kanna extract in the Netherlands go here:

Buy Kanna and Kanna extract  /shipped from the Netherlands, (look for Kanna and Holy-T Kanna)/



Sceletium tortiusom’s main active ingredients and their effects


The main active ingredients of Scelletium tortiuosm are: mesembrine, mesembrenone, mesembrenol and tortuosamine.


A picture of the chemical formula of mesembrine. The chemical formula is (3aS,7aS)-3a- (3,4-dimethoxyphenyl)- 1-methyl-2,3,4,5,7,7a- hexahydroindol-6-one.

Mesembrine:  is a serotonin reuptake inhibitor alkaloid, and it is also an antidepressant.



A picture of the chemical formula of mesembrone. The chemical formula is 3a-(3,4-dimetossifenil)-1-metill-3,4,5,6,7,7a-esaidro-2H-indol-6-one.

Mesembrenone: potent serotonin reuptake inhibitor and antidepressant, as strong as many of the synthetic antidepressants. This is the main active ingredient of kanna.



A picture of the chemical formula of mesembrenol. The chemical formula is [2-“C]tyramine and N-[“C]methyl-[2-3H]tyramine.
Mesembrenol: another serotonin reuptake inhibitor.




A picture of the chemical formula of tortuosamine. The chemical formula is 2-[(6S)-6-(3,4-Dimethoxyphenyl)-5,6,7,8-tetrahydroquinolin-6-yl]-N-methylethanamine.
Tortuosamine: not much is known about this one. according to Sciencedirect it is one of the chemicals responsible for the plants effects but the details are hazy.


As you can see Kanna is mostly a serotonin reuptake inhibitor and -depending on the dose- a strong antidepressant, mood enhancer.



Kanna’s legal status


It appears to be only illegal in Louisiana and legal all over the world.

County-by-country breakdown table

 Kanna – legal status



Erowid – Kanna – Law

Drugs Forum – Kanna



Kanna  – methods of consumption, preparation, dosage


The average dose depends on the user (weight, age, experience with kanna and similar serotonin reuptake inhibitors) and the plant itself.

But based on many trip reports, online testimonials and at lest one scientific paper (this one) the average dose is in the following range (regular Kanna, not extract):

  • Oral ingestion  –  0.5 – 2 g
  • Smoking –  0.2 – 0.5 g
  • Insufflation – 0.1 g – 0.3 g (warning, can be painful, not recommended)


Oral ingestion: can be chewed (the plant matter, or chewing plant matter infused with extracts) or can be drank as a tea.

The extract can also be swallowed or easily loaded into pills and taken that way.

There are many ways to consume Kanna orally but the preferred method are tea and pills.


Smoking Kanna:  it works with herbal vaporizers and with regular pipes.

Smoking the extract is also possible. The extract is more tar like.


Insufflation: the most effective method of administering Kanna. It causes a burning sensation, which fades away relatively quickly.

Snorting the extract can be difficult but regular Kanna preparation (Kanna in a powdered form) should not be a problem.



Dangers of Kanna


Kanna is an SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor).

It should not be combined with other SSRI’s (Seroxat, Prozac) or mono oxidase inhibitors (MAO-I), such as syrian rue (Peganum harmala), Banisteriopsis Caapi, passionflower (Passiflora incarnata), Yohimbe, and certain anti-depressants.

In case of an overdose, nausea and headaches can occur and usually pass rapidly.

A large overdose can result in rapid heartbeat, anxiety and elevated blood pressure. Unless these symptoms could complicate pre-existing medical conditions, there is not a health risk.



Heath benefits of Kanna


It is an antidepressant.

If you are suffering from short burst of Winter depression (that’s why I’m using it and it really helps, effects linger for days after consumption and it gets rid of Winter depression easily).

/However, if you have chronic depression (depressed for a month for no particular reason, depression lasting more than 3 months) see medical attention instead of self medicating./

It also helps if you are suffering from a lack of energy.

Kanna is also very good when you are trying to quit caffeine. If you are quitting caffeine you probably experience tiredness, lethargy and have an affable mood for weeks.

Kanna contains no caffeine and can really improve your mood and can give you a lot of energy. It’s perfect for waening off caffeine. Just don’t substitute one addiction for another

Kanna can be used as a weight loss aid as well. Some overweight people turn to food to make them feel better and they are actually self-medicating mild depression/lingering bad mood.

In these case the mood enhancing effects of Kanna can be beneficial (coupled with a healthy diet and exercise)



Buy Kanna -USA

To buy Kanna or Kanna extract in the US go here:

Buy Kanna and Kanna extract  /shipped from the US, credit cards accepted/

Buy Kanna -Netherlands

To buy Kanna or Kanna extract in the Netherlands go here:

Buy Kanna and Kanna extract  /shipped from the Netherlands, (look for Kanna and Holy-T Kanna)/


If you find this kanna guide useful please give it a “+1”:

Thank you! It helps my website a lot.



Kanna trip reports


“The effects are astonishing I would say that the stimulation and mood boost are at times a cleaner and smoother ride than both Cocaine and Amphetamine without many of the side effects though the Euphoria isn’t so intense.”


Source: Bluelight – Kanna – Trip report



Upon further experimentation, with doses up to 500 mg, the specific bodily effects became more evident. My body felt light, like I really enjoyed walking, or sitting, or lying down, for that matter. My head felt very warm and slightly removed, but in no way dissociated. Perhaps this effect is comparable to the stoning accompanied with a low dose of codeine, or like slipping peacefully into dreams at night. Another pronounced and interesting effect may be described as similar to a very low dose of MDMA. I felt grateful for the chemical for pulling me out of the tedium and allowing me to just be content. However, Sceletium lacks the effusive outpour of emotion like on MDMA, and allows daily life to continue as normal. I haven’t noticed any hangover effects or other side effects.”


Source: Erowid – Kanna – Trip Report


Share your own trip report in the comment section below (to ensure anonymity don’t use your real name or real email address when submitting trip reports)!



Some of the information presented here might be outdated or incorrect (check “last updated” below). Make sure, that if you are planning to try out any of the substances to research them yourself as well.

I’m 100% committed to safe and responsible legal high consumption. If you have a few minutes to spare please read my blog post about responsible and safe legal drugs use


Kanna is only one of the legal highs included in Simon’s legal high guide, check out the others as well.

If you are only interested in legal stimulants, then check out Simon’s Legal Stimulants for more.


Last updated: 2015 10. 22

Simon's Kanna (Sceletium Tortuosum) Guide
Article Name
Simon's Kanna (Sceletium Tortuosum) Guide
Guide to the health benefits, dangers of kanna + methods of consumption and places to buy Sceletium tortuosum online.

5 thoughts on “Simon’s Kanna Guide”

  1. Lauren Burg says:

    Hi. Is there a way of making Kanna into a cold beverage? with a certain amount of powder or the kanna plant?
    and how much would you need to get that “buzz” effect?
    Thanks 🙂
    – Lauren

    1. I would make tea, and then ice it later. maybe even combine the iced tea with carbonated water!

  2. You don’t. This is a useful herb that can help with blues and depression. Please, don’t try to abuse it and start idiots legislating to ban it!

  3. I chewed kanna powder intermittently over the course of a year, and the experience was akin to a very mild version of the “push” from amphetamine–sometimes I barely felt anything, despite ingesting large doses over the course of the day. I thought: “Meh…pleasant. Like a different kind of coffee.”

    Well, it turns out I the kanna itself was weak. I ordered some from a different source last week and immediately noticed it looked, smelled and tasted a little different. I scooped out my usual dose and started chewing–suddenly, it hit me. The rush was so unexpected and (relatively) intense that I almost plunged into a full on panic attack. I thought to myself: “It’s laced!” But, logic prevailed, and now that I know what to expect, I’m pleasantly surprised! It’s a nice little plant with very real effects. Definitely raises blood pressure, however, so avoid if you suffer from hypertension or other cardiac issue.

    1. Cai Logan says:

      Would you be willing to tell us where you ordered the first and second batches of Kanna? I ordered some smoker’s cut kanna from herbalfire, and I feel no effect off it.

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