3.4.10 Kanna

Kanna #

Binomial / Botanical Name Sceletium Tortuosum
Street Names Canna; Channa; Kaugoed
Major Active Compound Mesembrine; Mesembrenone; Mesembrenol; Tortuosamine
Indigenous Source Hotentot Tribe, South Africa
Form Plant Matter
RoA Oral / Insufflated
Personal Rating On Shulgin Scale + / ++


In its native Africa, sceletium tortuosum has traditionally been chewed as a “vision-inducing entheogen and inebriant” (ref: Erowid), notably by the Hotentot tribe. It can, however, also be smoked or consumed as tea.

I sampled it a handful on a handful of occasions, circa 2014/15, with perhaps a couple of months between each session. The forum reports below were written contemporaneously.


The package arrived in the post this morning. It contained 10g of brown powdered plant matter, almost sawdust in constitution, with a distinctive but not particularly pleasant odour.

I set about testing by insufflating a single line. Wallop! It was awful, and brought tears to my eyes. Fortunately, this wasn’t in vain.

Despite harbouring doubts as to whether there would be anything to it there was a fairly immediate effect. Within seconds I felt a changing of headspace, and I was becoming strangely inebriated.

It was intoxicating in the sense of feeling slightly disorientated and a little drunk, but without the loss of clarity. The onset was rapid, and as it took hold I wondered how far it would go. However, the inebriation settled and it stabilised at the same level for approximately 20 minutes.

It then tapered into the promised sedation. The depth of this was difficult to measure as I was already quite chilled, but I was left feeling positively relaxed for some hours.


This sample was sold as ‘Sceletium Tortuosum 40x extract’, and was procured from the same source as the regular kanna I had tested earlier. I broadly followed the instructions printed on the packet: “Serving size 10mg micros scoop, to be insufflated 1-3 times in divided doses”. As stated, there was a cute little scoop enclosed, which I piled high, thus reaching about 15mg. ? A nice surprise was that there was no discomfort or serious sting, contrary to the excessive pain I had suffered when I snorted the raw leaves. ? I experienced a very clean inebriating effect, perhaps lasting about 10 minutes. This then morphed into a distant sedation, but with a strange visual clarity. Overall it was quite pleasant. ? This wasn’t very long lasting, so I repeated the exercise, inducing a similar or perhaps stronger response. There was no nausea, and no body load.

As this does seem to be a nice way to fill a couple of hours, it is difficult to understand why this plant isn’t more widely known and used.

Note that I was completely detoxed whilst undertaking these experiments.


I added half a teaspoon of plain kanna to a cup of coffee this morning, swigging it down quickly to avoid any unpleasant taste.

It certainly had a psychoactive effect, with the next few hours passing with a nice positive vibe. I spent much of the time enjoying the sort of ambient music I wouldn’t normally listen to, whilst working on trivial tasks.

Overall this was a pleasant surprise. It was effective via each RoA I tested and in both its natural and extract form. Indeed, I would echo my earlier comment in wondering why this is not more popular.

One further aspect: there are a variety of credible reports stating that this has interesting synergistic properties with other psychoactives, including cannabis. This may well be another area worthy of study.