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Kanna vs Other Natural Supplements – A Comparative Analysis



Kanna is a plant known to promote relaxation and relieve anxiety symptoms. It can be chewed, drunk as tea, or inhaled as vapor.

Kanna contains alkaloids like mesembrine and mesembrenol that act as natural serotonin reuptake inhibitors, increasing the amount of available serotonin in your brain. Kanna may also reduce stress and enhance cognitive ability.

Stress Reduction

Sceletium tortuosum, commonly known as kanna, has been hailed as an all-natural alternative to party drugs like MDMA. People who seek to reduce stress and enhance mood often turn to this plant for euphoric benefits. Those claims may be legitimate, but there is limited scientific evidence on the subject to back them up. While some studies have shown that kanna can reduce anxiety, there is much more work to be done before this plant is able to provide clear-cut mood benefits.

The four main alkaloids of this herb (mesembrine, mesembrenone, mesembrenol, and tortuosamine) have been found to modulate several neurotransmitters involved in mood, including serotonin and phosphodiesterase-4 (PDE4). The inhibition of both these enzymes is what produces the mood-enhancing effects that some scientists have observed. 

A few studies have also used kanna to study its ability to influence amygdala activity, a brain region that’s involved in emotional processing. One study using the patented kanna extract Zembrin found that it was able to reduce anxiety-related amygdala activity. 

Another scientific experiment used the methylated form of kanna to see if it could enhance cognitive function in elderly subjects. The results were mixed, but it did seem to improve reaction time and cognition for some subjects. 

Some research also suggests that kanna may help alleviate the early symptoms of Alzheimer’s. This is based on the fact that phosphodiesterase-4 inhibiting compounds have been linked to improvements in cognition in clinical trials. 

While this early-stage research is promising, more clinical testing needs to be done to establish the full range of health benefits associated with kanna and its alkaloids. It is also important to note that, while kanna is generally considered safe, it can interact with certain medications and supplements. This is especially true if you’re taking a monoamine oxidase inhibitor or an antidepressant.

To get the best out of your kanna, you’ll want to use it in moderation. It can cause dizziness if taken in large quantities, and it’s not recommended to take more than 6 mg per kilogram of body weight in a day. This equates to about 420 mg for the average adult.

Anxiety Relief

In a small study, kanna was shown to help people relax and reduce their anxiety levels. It also had antidepressant-like effects in animals, but more research on humans is needed to confirm these results. Kanna may be able to reduce anxiety and stress by modulating the receptors that control serotonin, an important neurotransmitter for mood, and enhancing the activity of certain neurons in the brain. It is also thought that kanna may have sedative properties and be able to promote feelings of calmness or even sleepiness.

In addition to its mood-enhancing and antidepressant effects, kanna may also have cognitive-boosting benefits. In one study, kanna was able to increase the production of brain chemicals associated with learning and memory and by reducing the depletion of these chemicals. It has also been found to attenuate state anxiety, which is a feeling of anxiety that occurs during high-stress events, like taking a test or a job interview.

Kanna contains alkaloids, including mesembrine and mesembrenone, that can act as natural serotonin reuptake inhibitors. This means that it prevents your cells from reabsorbing the serotonin you produce, so it stays active longer and can have an effect on your brain. This is believed to be the reason why kanna has been referred to as a natural euphoriant and mind-expanding drug.

Studies suggest that kanna may also have pain-relieving effects. In one experiment, mesembrine from kanna was shown to reduce discomfort in rats and also reduced electroencephalogram (EEG) frequencies related to pain signals.

Many people report that kanna can help them feel more centered and relaxed. It may also help with anxiety symptoms and mood disorders, although more research is needed in these areas. It is believed that the alkaloids in kanna work together to provide these benefits.

It is recommended that you talk to your doctor before adding kanna or any other supplements to your diet, especially if you have a medical condition like anxiety or depression. It is also recommended that you don’t mix kanna with monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs), selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or 5HTP, which can lead to too much serotonin in your body and cause dangerous side effects.

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Sleep Improvement

Sceletium tortuosum extract, also known as kanna, demonstrates sleep-promoting properties that help to ease anxiety symptoms and stress. In fact, it has been shown to increase the alpha1 and alpha2 brain wave frequencies, which are associated with calmness. 

This translates into an improved ability to concentrate and focus, which is ideal for those who suffer from insomnia or other sleeping issues. Kanna also has sedative properties that allow it to promote relaxation and enhance moods. 

It works by encouraging serotonin synthesis in the brain while simultaneously inhibiting serotonin reuptake. This creates a positive feedback loop that results in increased levels of the neurotransmitter. The mesembrine alkaloids found in kanna also boost melatonin production, which aids in promoting healthy sleep patterns. 

The four main mesembrine compounds of kanna, mesembrenone, mesembranol, and tortuosamine, are responsible for its mood-enhancing effects. They interact with receptors for GABA, natural opioids, cholecystokinin, and melatonin to positively influence the brain’s activity and alleviate feelings of stress and anxiety. In addition, kanna stimulates the release of oxytocin, which promotes feelings of love and affection.

According to a clinical trial, people who took 25 mg of kanna extract per day for nine weeks experienced significant improvements in executive function and cognitive flexibility. This shows that this South African plant may be able to reduce the effects of age-related mental decline while also helping to strengthen the brain’s mechanisms that support memory and attention.

While it’s still important to consult with a doctor before trying any new supplement, kanna has a few side effects that are generally considered safe. However, caution should be taken when taking this herb with any other substances that raise serotonin levels in the brain, including MDMA, SSRI antidepressants, MAO inhibitors, and 5HTP. Mixing these substances can lead to a dangerous condition called serotonin syndrome, which causes overheating, rapid heart rate, shaking, and in severe cases, death.

While the effects of Kanna are promising, there is still more research needed to determine whether it can effectively treat anxiety and depression. Until then, it’s best to stick with proven kanna supplements that are backed by scientific evidence. Look for a supplement that has been independently tested to ensure purity and potency, and always follow the recommended dosage instructions.

Weight Loss

Kanna, also known as channa or kougoed, is a plant native to Southern Africa that can be chewed, brewed into teas, or smoked. It has been used for centuries as a medicinal herb by the indigenous hunter-gatherer people of South Africa (the San and Khoikhoi). Today, it’s gaining popularity because it may help with stress, anxiety, depression, insomnia, and more.

The active component in kanna that produces these effects is mesembrine. This compound binds to and inactivates your serotonin transporters, which prevents them from reabsorbing serotonin into the neurons. By doing this, it keeps more of the serotonin that you already produce available in your brain, which can have mood-boosting and calming effects. It’s similar to how some prescription antidepressants work, such as Prozac and Zoloft.

In addition to reducing the symptoms of stress and depression, mesembrine also stimulates neurogenesis, which is the growth of new neurons in the brain. It’s believed that this effect helps promote a healthier brain, which is essential for maintaining cognitive abilities as you age.

Early clinical research suggests that kanna can boost executive function and cognitive flexibility in healthy adults. However, more studies with larger populations and longer-term follow-ups will be needed to confirm this benefit.

It isn’t clear whether kanna is helpful for weight loss, as it has not been specifically studied in this area. However, it’s thought that because the plant has mood-boosting and calming effects, it can help people feel less hungry. Additionally, it may reduce cravings for sweet and carbohydrate-rich foods.

The best way to take kanna is as a tincture, which is a liquid extract of the plant that’s usually made by diluting it in alcohol. You can buy a tincture of kanna online or make your own by filling a bottle with the powdered plant and adding vodka or other alcohol. Then, just add a few drops under your tongue when you need a dose. You can also take kanna as a chewable, but you’ll need to hold it under your tongue for about 10 minutes before swallowing to ensure that saliva builds up.

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