Nature’s MDMA? What happened when I tried kanna


The coming generations are more concerned with self-care and improvement than those before them. Whether that’s due to surviving a global pandemic or their age, this has led to increasing interest in plant-based wellness supplements, psychedelics, functional mushrooms, and Kanna.

Somewhere in my journey on the cannabis beat, I’ve started trying everything from cannabis mushroom drinks to amanita muscaria gummies. Now, I’m exploring the world of Kanna through KA! Empathogenics Chews and drops.

“Kanna is an empathogen – a heart opener that helps people connect with themselves, to each other, and with nature,” KA! CEO Stephanie Wang shared with GreenState.

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Photo from KA! Empathogenics, PRISMATICS Photo: KA! Empathogenics

What is Kanna?

Kanna is a succulent plant known as Sceletium tortuosum, Mesembryanthemum tortuosum, channa, and kouged (when fermented). The plant is native to South Africa and has been used in traditional healing practices for centuries.

Recently, the spotlight has been on Kanna for possible therapeutic value. Consumption of the plant is currently legal in 49 U.S. states, with Louisiana having laws against eating it. The fermented, dried version supplement isn’t regulated by the FDA, so be mindful when purchasing and only buy from trusted suppliers. A few people have reported headaches, loss of appetite, or depression but there’s not scientific evidence to make this anything to worry about. It’s also listed as non-addictive.

KA! harnesses the power of Kanna with two products: a tincture and all-natural, plant-based Chews. The traditional fermented preparation of Kanna is called kouged. People also chew it, brew it into tea, and snuff it. The plant is reported to elevate mood, reduce stress, quell anxiety, and promote tranquility. There is also evidence that the succulent has been used to treat stomach issues and toothaches.

I tried Kanna from KA!, here’s the scoop

I tried both products and can vouch for its ability to reduce stress, let go of the small stuff, and now that I think about it, lessen my regular tummy troubles. Though it does make my belly do little flops now and again.

While I’m delighted by this first-hand experience, Wang explains that the mission at KA! goes deeper than that.

“Human beings have lost touch with their own vitality, and the mission of KA! is to restore our full-spectrum aliveness,” Wang said. “So we created a supplement featuring Kanna that can support mental and emotional health, help build resilience in the nervous system, and boost cognitive function.”

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Kanna review
Photo provided by KA! Empathogenics, PRISMATICS

And function I did. But at moments I felt like Mister Burns in that episode of The Simpsons where he’s mistaken for an alien in the woods. Between the Chews and the Tincture, the Chews feel more mind-altering.

They also have a tingle thanks to Spilanthes acmella, also known as the “toothache plant,” revered for the exhilarating buzz it erupts in the mouth while eating.

The Chew creates a minty brightness, which tells the brain something is happening. The brand claims that tingling also primes the body for absorption. After eating both, I can attest that though the tincture seems to have hit more quickly, the Chews evoked a more intense altered experience.

I felt wavy while the Chew was working. I wasn’t having visual hallucinations that altered my perception of the world, but my physical being was more aqueous than it felt before eating them. My skin buzzed, and my mouth kept score of the tingling with a numbed awareness. Overall, life felt brighter; I took a breath to truly relax my jaw and be present in the moment, I could feel my muscles and tendons melt out of their clenched positions.

Though the tincture had a less intense vibe, it brought out the same serenity. There is less of a physical sensation with the tincture, but it almost immediately transformed my heartspace from a caged animal to a serene pool. Serenity is a word found in my notes for both experiences.

This tranquility is thanks to the Kanna, but KA! included other ingredients like acmella and snow lotus in the chews to promote overall health and well-being. This also means paying attention to ingredients; the product is 100 percent clean and free of artificial preservatives, sweeteners, or chemicals.

Intentional design and the KA! Chew

The team invented a patent-pending process to create a Chew without elastomers or sugars. This process holds the brand true to its mission of a clean product and increases bioavailability. With one in five people suffering from depression in our currently hard-to-witness timeline, KA! Hopes this bioavailable, plant-based supplement offers an option outside of chemical SSRIs.

“We are living in an epidemic of separation and disconnection and it is the intention of KA! to help people reconnect and feel more enlivened, or as our Chief Scientist likes to say, ‘unplug from the matrix.’ This is very much the intention that went into creating the KA! Kanna Chews,” Wang stated.

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Kanna review
Photo provided by KA! Empathogenics, PRISMATICS

After a light experience with the KA! Kanna products, I feel confident in the possibilities. Depression, anxiety, stress, and even stomach issues are on my health roulette wheel–and Kanna provided relief. Coming up with the Chews was a little stressful, I found myself clenching my teeth, and my hands got a wee bit sweaty, but those are the only negatives I’ve clocked so far.

KA! Tincture and Chews are recommended daily for maximum benefits. For those seeking a more wholesome experience, KA! Empathogenics offers a 30-day Journey To The Heart Bundle. This pack comes with 30 days’ worth of Kanna, a keepsake bag to store them, and a journal to track the adventure.

The true beauty of the bundle is in the access to a guided 30-day group experience that centers on transforming yourself with Kanna. Join the next activation starting January 14th and tap in to the KAmmunity through a WhatsApp channel.

What I really think about Kanna

My experience with KA! has been positive overall. I’m comfortable taking these supplements while I work and write, and while I play with my toddler at home. I wouldn’t be as comfortable doing those things directly after eating a Chew, nor would I drive within one hour of consuming the products.

The possibilities of Kanna are exciting, and KA! is on the front lines in bringing it to the masses. I’ve already recommended them to a friend seeking plant-based anxiety options and plan to take them regularly myself. Based on my experience, the benefits vastly outweigh the negatives.

Cara Wietstock is Senior Content Producer of and has been working in the cannabis space since 2011. She has covered the cannabis business beat for Ganjapreneur and The Spokesman Review. You can find her living in Bellingham, Washington with her husband, son, and a small zoo of pets.