Sceletium tortuosum, commonly known as Kanna or Channa, is widely available throughout South Africa. Kanna literally translates as ‘something to chew’. This succulent herb has been traditionally used as a mood-lifting substance for years, especially before high stress activities like hunting. The roots and leaves of the herb are fermented and dehydrated before chewing or smoking; it can also be used as a snuff, gel or tea.
Even now, Kanna is generally used as a mood stimulant which causes relaxation and enhances the overall well-being of the user. The plant contains a large concentration of psychoactive alkaloids including tortuosamine, mesembrenone and mesembrine. Mesembrine acts as a mood altering substance, allowing the brain to operate with reduced levels of serotonin by inducing chemical reactions in the brain.
So, the mesembrine found in Kanna plants can alleviate stress, tension and anxiety. However, this plant is not hallucinogenic under any circumstances. In large doses, this herb can cause intense euphoria and even larger doses can cause sedation. The consumers do not experience intoxicated highs after ingesting the herb or any forms of withdrawal symptoms after stopping.
Moreover, there have been very few instances where severe side-effects have been observed within the user; there are no recorded cases of dangerous after-effects of using the herb. Usually, most people experience mild nausea, slight headache, feelings of anxiety after about an hour of taking the substance and sedation due to high doses.
Due to the mood enhancing properties of mesembrine, it has been used to treat several conditions such as depression, anxiety, loss of appetite and even alcohol addiction. It can also act as a painkiller. Sometimes it is used as a remedy for certain medical issues in cats and dogs.
However, very little research has been conducted on the exact reasons behind the effects of mesembrine on the human brain. There is no empirical medical evidence to prove that this component is completely safe for regular usage. Though Kanna can act as good relief from problems of anxiety and stress, it has not been medically approved by scientists and researchers as experimentation and testing is still in progress.
With a lack of sufficient medical data on the extent of mesembrine’s impact on humans, it is best to stick to safe mood altering substances available in the market, like CBD. CBD stands for Cannabidiol, an extract from the Cannabis sativa plant.
Unlike the psychoactive cannabinoid tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), cannabidiol does not induce any psychedelic or intoxicating high within its users. People have used CBD products for a variety of purposes with minimal side effects.
Extensive research has been done on the medical benefits of cannabidiol strains, oils and the other available forms like CBD balms for pain relief or CBD gummies. In fact, premium CBD oils have been approved by scientists as a cure for epilepsy, chronic pain and inflammation, anxiety and depression, diabetes, arthritis etc.
CBD oils are safe to use and are backed by scientific studies, which makes them the perfect alternative for stress relieving purposes as compared to relatively unresearched components like mesembrine. High quality CBD strains are in great demand as they can be highly beneficial in terms of reducing anxiety, insomnia and depression.