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The Differences Between Kanna and Kratom

Every month, a new botanical supplement is introduced into the market. If you are a fan of botanical products, it is essential to learn the wealth of these natural products.

This article highlights a traditional botanical product called kanna, whose popularity is rising gradually. Scientifically known as Sceletium tortuosum, the product is available in powder and extract form.

Most people on various online platforms ask several questions about kanna including, has the FDA evaluated kanna for safety and efficacy? And how does kanna stand up for kratom? Fortunately, this article answers these questions among others that will help you understand more about this product.

The origins of Kanna and Kratom

As you already know, Kratom originates from Southeast Asia from a coffee family tree known as Mitragyna speciosa. Manufacturers dry the Mitragyna speciosa leaves and crush them into powder form. Also, the manufacturers can extract the alkaloids present in the leaves to come up with kratom extracts.

kanna vs kratom

Kanna is not different from kratom. The natural product originates from South Africa from a succulent known as Sceletium tortuosum, which sprouts small flowers similar to sunflower. Kanna manufacturers also dry the Sceletium tortuosum flowers similar to Mitragyna speciose leaves to come up with kanna powder. They also extract the natural alkaloids of these flowers to craft kanna extract.

When talking about botanical supplements, it is challenging to provide the specific time in history. Residents of Southeast Asia region have consumed kratom for many generations as a traditional medicine. When the agriculture industry rose in the region, farmers consumed kratom leaves to get an energy boost.

Contrary to early kratom stories, there are written accounts for kanna powder. A Dutch colonist known as Jan van Riebeeck worked for the well-known East India Trading Company. He was the founder of Cape Town in South Africa. The colonist wrote about local hunter-gatherers chewing and fermenting Sceletium tortuosum plants in 1662. According to Jan van Riebeeck, kanna offered several health benefits, including mood boost.

Effects of Kanna vs. Kratom

I am sure you now understand the origin of kratom and Kanna. It is essential we now examine what these natural products offer. Kratom provides users a wide range of health and wellness benefits. Since the FDA has not evaluated the scientific studies of the product, we cannot talk much about the benefits of different kratom strains.

Users of both kanna and kratom claim that kanna also provides users with similar health and wellness benefits. However, the FDA has also not evaluated these benefits. They include:

  • Decreased Anxiety
  • Euphoria
  • Elevated Mood
  • Reduced tension
  • Stimulant properties

Similar to Kratom, kanna is non-toxic to humans if taken in small doses. However, most users of kanna describe the product as a sedative when taken in high doses, potentially providing riskier side effects. Therefore, it is essential to use caution when taking kanna or any other botanical supplement.

How do Kratom and Kanna compare?

Similar to kanna, kratom is also believed to boost user’s mood and emotions, especially when using White Sumatra and Green Malay. Kratom may also instill relaxation just like kanna, although the American medical institutions debate largely about this ability.

Medics and kratom experts claim that Kratom has anti-inflammatory alkaloids that work together with muscle relaxing alkaloids. However, scientists are not precise about these alkaloid concentrations since they vary from strain to strain.

However, kanna’s psychoactive properties are pronounced with some scientists and medical experts claiming that they are intoxicating and vision inducing. We cannot say the same with kratom, but the two natural products share the same nighttime qualities.

Some Kratom strains are known as nighttime strains since they are rich in alkaloids that make users less tense and sleepy. The strains are popular among those suffering from sleep disorders. However, experts urge users of these strains not to consider them as an alternative to pharmaceutical grade sleep aids.     

How to consume Kanna

As you already know, kanna is available in powder and extract form. However, most people who want to try consuming the product do not know how to consume these products. Most people on various online platforms ask if taking kanna is like that of consuming kratom strains.

Before we answer that, it is essential we remember the different ways of consuming kratom:

  • Brewing Kratom tea
  • Using the most popular toss and wash method
  • Taking kratom in food
  • Consuming pre-dosed kratom capsules
  • Mixing kratom extract or powder into fruit juice or water
  • Using oblate discs to consume kratom

As mentioned before, kanna is also available in extract and powder forms. That means that you can use various methods used in taking kratom. However, according to non-scientific user reports, kanna users can smoke the product. Smoking Kratom is not recommended under any circumstances.

The side effects of kanna and kratom

All botanical supplements including kratom and kanna have various side effects. These side effects often result due to high doses. That is why experts recommend users to take the product with caution. Health experts highly recommend a moderate dose. Consuming high doses of kanna products can result in side effects such as:

  • High blood pressure
  • Headaches
  • Diarrhea
  • Drowsiness
  • Nausea

Also, it is essential to avoid consuming kanna if you are using SSRI. The interaction of the two products can cause serotonin syndrome that can lead to serious consequences.

Side effects of kratom

  • Stomach upset
  • Constipation
  • Eye wobbles
  • Migraines
  • Dehydration

In case you are wondering whether you can mix kratom and kanna to enjoy more benefits, the answer is NO! Products that activate opioid receptors do not mix well with SSRIs.

According to this site, SSRIs decrease the pain-relieving effects. In addition, opioids and opiates increase the risk of serotonin toxicity. It is essential to note that kratom is not an opioid, but its action can interact with kanna and result to dangerous side effects.      

How are kratom and kanna different?

Kratom has more than 25 alkaloids that offer lasting effects, while kanna’s effects are from the product’s Mesembrenone content. Mesembrenone act as a serotonin reuptake inhibitor that provides anti-inflammatory effects and enhanced cognition.

According to this website kratom differs from kanna in that the product is not addictive, while kratom is. Some users claim to have used kanna chronically and discontinued its use with minimal withdrawal symptoms.

Chronic Kratom use causes tolerance, abuse, and addiction. Most users who have experienced kratom hangover claim that the product’s side effects are unpleasant. Other users who have been addicted to this natural product report that there is a worse fate than a hangover.

The withdrawal symptoms of kratom include sweating, fatigue, restlessness, muscle weakness, stomach cramp, anxiety, agitation, constipation, insomnia, depression, headaches, high heart rate, and delusions.         

Are Kratom and Kanna products legal?

If you are a follower of kratom news, you already know that kratom is legal in some parts of the United States. Some states and cities have banned the product within their borders until the FDA concludes that the product is safe to consume.

However, kanna’s legality in the U.S is a bit unclear. Most people including the FDA have not heard about the botanical supplement. Therefore, there is no anti-kanna legislation in United States.

As with any other supplement on the market, we will have to be patient and see if kanna products become more popular. That will determine if the FDA, DEA or any other department will approve or ban the product.

Kanna vs kratom: Which one is better?

Now that you have learned the differences and similarities between kratom and kanna, it is essential to review some key points we have highlighted.

  • Kanna originates from South Africa while kratom derives from Southeast Asia.
  • Kratom and kanna products are used as traditional medicines for centuries.
  • The two natural products are available in extract and powder forms.
  • Both products provide users with similar health and wellness benefits
  • Kratom and Kanna are legal in the U.S but the product is illegal in some states and cities. Because of kanna’s obscurity, there is no anti-kanna legislation worldwide.

With that, it is easy to understand the similarities of kanna and kratom. You must be wondering which product offers the best health and wellness benefits.

Kratom vs kanna - Which one is better?

Since different users consume these natural products to achieve different benefits, there is no definitive winner between the two products. However, it is essential to note that experts consider kanna powder an obscure supplement. Therefore, it's challenging to get authentic kanna on the market. It is even more difficult to get third-party lab tests that prove you have high-quality kanna.   

Both products complement each other well and are good in their own ways. Most users of kratom prefer the product to kanna, since it offers a wide range of unique benefits. Others prefer kanna because of its compatibility with other substances and its psychedelic attributes.

Final thoughts

Kratom and kanna share several aspects, but there are some differences between the two products. Both botanical supplements are irreplaceable and extra-ordinary.

If you are a new user, start with small doses to determine the most suitable dose for you, to avoid the side effects associated with overdosing.

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