The herbal market is filled with a large number of exotic plants and herbs. As a beginner, it can be quite overwhelming for the consumer to select the right product.
This is where we come in. We try our best to give our readers the most authentic and latest information about these herbs. Our goal is to educate the people so that they can make an informed decisions for themselves.
By now, most of us are familiar with Kratom, its benefits, and its side effects. But a question arises that in this huge market of herbal products, are there any alternatives to Kratom?
What is Kanna?
Among the different alternatives to Kratom, Kanna is a product that sits at the top of the list. But what is Kanna? And how does it differ from Kratom? Let us try to find the answers to these questions and look at some of the salient features of both Kratom and Kanna.
What are the origins of Kanna and Kratom?
Kanna is the herbal extract of the plant Sceletium Tortuosum that is native to South Africa. The first record of Kanna in history dates back to the 17th century. A dutch official of Cape Town, Jan Van Riebeeck recorded the use of Kanna by the locals.
According to the history records, Kanna was used as traditional medicine by the Khoikhoi and the San people in South Africa. The leaves of the plant were either smoked or chewed.
Kratom is an extract that is obtained from the Mitragyna Speciosa plant. It is related to the coffee tree family and is native to Southeast Asian countries. It has been used for medicinal as well as recreational purposes. It can be chewed, swallowed, or brewed.
What are their different strains and varieties?
There are different strains of kratom that differ not only in their taste, aroma, and texture but also in the effects they produce. They have their own profile of uses and are priced differently as well.
Some of the famous strains include Bali Kratom, Maeng Da Kratom, Red Vein Borneo, Red Thai Kratom, Red Kali Kratom, Red Indo Kratom, White Vein Thai, White Vein Indo, and White Vein Kali.
Contrary to Kratom, Kanna comes in only 3 forms which include regular Kanna, heated Kanna, and fermented Kanna. These forms differ in the way they are processed as well as their strengths.
But How Do They Differ Chemically?
Both of these herbs have chemicals inside of them called Alkaloids but they differ according to the type of alkaloids they have.
Different strains and vein colors of Kratom have a different alkaloid profiles. But the most common alkaloids are Mitragynine and 7-Hydroxymitragynine. Kanna, on the other hand, is rich in Mesembrine, Mesembranol, and Mesembrenone.
The Effects Of Kanna vs Kratom?
Now that we have some idea of both these herbs, let us look at what they actually do.
Kratom acts on the opioid receptors in our body- the same receptors that are acted upon by morphine. Thus it can act in the same way as morphine does and relieve pain. Additionally, it can act as a stimulant, increase energy levels, and can even cause euphoria. It can also help with libido and sleep.
But it is not all good news though. Beware of the higher doses or adulterated forms of Kratom. Higher doses can result in sedation or sleepiness.
Some common side effects include dry mouth, constipation, nausea, and vomiting. But there can also be hazardous effects like liver damage, hallucinations and delusions, seizures, coma, and even death.
When it comes to Kanna, the effects on the human body are somewhat similar to Kratom. The alkaloids in Kanna act as acetylcholinesterase inhibitors and cannabinoid agonists. This means that they can have marijuana-like effects.
Additionally, they also act as serotonin reuptake inhibitors thus having some anti-anxiety and antidepressant effects. Kanna can elevate mood, relieve anxiety, decrease depression, and can also cause euphoria.
The adverse effects of Kanna have not been studied well enough. Some minor side effects include headache, abdominal pain, nausea, and drowsiness. However, at higher doses, it may act as a sedative. Care should be taken while taking Kanna with other antidepressants, anxiolytics, or hypnotics.
Are These Herbs Legal?
In the USA, both these herbs have an entirely different legal status.
Since Kanna is not a very well-known herb, there is no legislation regarding its legality. Thus, it is legal in all the states of the USA. It is considered a supplement and sometimes, an alternative to other controversial products like Kratom.
On the other hand, Kratom has a complex legal status. The alkaloids contained in it have been a source of some controversy. Thus, some states have banned its use. Still, it is legal in most of the states of the USA. You can get more info about its legality by clicking here.
What About Lab Testing And Adulteration?
Since Kanna is not well known, it is not regulated by any federal or private entity. It means that it is not lab tested and there is no way of knowing which brand has the authentic herb. Therefore, we suggest that you buy only from a vendor with a good reputation.
Contrary to it, Kratom is regulated by a private organization called the AKA (American Kratom Association). The AKA has been avidly involved in the process of legalization of Kratom across the states of the USA. They have been partially successful in their efforts.
The AKA has been trying to get the KCPA (Kratom Consumer Protection Act) implemented in all the states of the USA.
The AKA has also introduced a GMP (Good Manufacturing Practices) program and a list of GMP certified vendors. It is their effort towards quality control and lab testing and it enforces all the distributors to list the ingredients of their Kratom products.
What Does All Of This Mean For Us?
Keeping all the information that we have learned in mind, we can now make an informed decision. Both Kanna and Kratom have some similarities but they also differ in some aspects. They have a similar set of beneficial effects but they differ in their adverse effects. Both have different origins.
Kratom, being popular between the two, is easier to find and is well regulated. Authentic Kanna, on the other hand, is difficult to find. It is also not regulated. Thus, there is a potential for adulteration.
A Final Note
Kanna and Kratom have their pros and cons. As a consumer, it is our job to assess these and weigh up the benefits against the harms. This is the only way we can make a correct decision for ourselves.