Fermented Kanna is referred to as Active Kanna. The pulped leaves are buried in a bag for up to eight days and dried in the sun. The San people used to pick the plant, bury it to ferment it, then dry it. Once dried, sceletium was eaten, used as a snuff or even smoked, to produce its potent effects. The most notable effects of alkaloids in fermented kanna is mesembrine, mesembrenol and tortuosamine. These compounds interact with receptors in the brain. It enhances the production of dopamine, which is our primary inner pleasure chemical. Also, it prolongs the activity of serotonin, a critically important mood compound. The net effect of sceletium ingestion is a feeling of tremendous well being. It can provide heightened awareness, mental alertness and a keen-mindedness that is quite pronounced.
In one study of the effects of sceletium reported in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology, the main alkaloids of the plant demonstrated the capacity to extend the activity of serotonin. This activity, known as SSRI, or selective serotonin reuptake inhibition, is essentially how pharmaceutical antidepressant drugs work. The difference with sceletium is that it is a multi-compound plant and does not appear to demonstrate comparable hazardous effects of antidepressants. It can include gastrointestinal disorders, loss of sex drive, insomnia and exacerbated depression.
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