The next great Adaptogen? What you should know about Kanna!

in Blog

Sceletium tortuosum, AKA Kanna, is a common succulent plant in South Africa that has traditionally been used to alleviate stress, depression, pain, and hunger in humans.


In native South African, kanna literally means “something to chew.”Hunter-gatherers have used it as a mood-altering substance since prehistoric times.

The first European to note kanna’s use was Dutchman Jan van Riebeeck in 1662.Swedish botanist Carl Peter Thunberg made further reports on the use and trade of the plant among indigenous people of South Africa in 1772, more than 100 years later. Another 100 years passed and Karl Wilhelm Pappe, a German physician and botanist, noted kanna’s use as a sedative in the Cape of Good Hope in South Africa. Later, other scientists noted kanna’s benefits as ginseng-like and with good calming properties.

How Kanna Works

Kanna contains the alkaloids mesembrenone and mesembrine, two substances that reduce the reuptake of the brain signaling molecule, serotonin. Serotonin plays an important role in memory, learning, sleep, appetite and, most importantly, mood.

Girl with sunglasses with colorful background

It has been observed that by reducing the reuptake of serotonin, kanna helps with:

  • Anxiety / Stress
  • Sleep quality
  • Cognitive function
  • Appetite reduction

While these benefits sound enticing, anything so effective enough should be handled responsibly. Even though kanna is classified as a dietary supplement rather than a medication, you should still check with your primary care physician before adding any supplement to your diet.

Proprietary Kanna Extract Used in KINETIQ Renew (Zembrin®)

Zembrin® is a standardized extract of Sceletium tortuosum plants that have been bred to be rich in the active ingredient mesembrenone. Mesembrenone has mood and cognitive boosting benefits that have been observed over the five years of clinical research involving multiple studies.

Zembrin® is so effective due to the synergy of its three main beneficial actions.

  • Elevate mood*
  • Enhance cognition*
  • Promote calm*

These are not empty claims, they are all supported by multiple studies, such as:

It Reduces Activity in Region of Brain Associated with Stress

Wooden Blocks that Spell "CLAM"

A study was done to test the short-term effects of Zembrin® on the regions of the brain associated with stress using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). It was observed that within two hours of ingestion there is a statistically significant reduction in brain activity associated with anxiety and emotional response in the amygdala. Not only does this data suggest that Zembrin® works quickly, it also confirms a genuine functional effect on the brain behind the subjectively experienced benefits.

Cognitive Effects and Mood

Another study examined the effects of Zembrin® in healthy individuals over a nine-week period. A battery of cognitive tests revealed that those taking Zembrin® had significantly greater cognitive flexibility (ability to shift between two or more tasks) and executive function (focus) than did those in a placebo group. Additionally, the Zembrin® group reported reduced stress, improved mood, enhanced sleep quality and generally enhanced work performance and interest in daily activities.

Results from Study with Zembrin

Zembrin® Is Ethically Sourced

The developers of Zembrin®, PLT Health, work with farmers in South Africa to ethically source the kanna plant. In fact, the government of South Africa awarded their first-ever permit for bioprospecting and exporting to them, a permit indicating top tier compliance with the National Environmental Management and Biodiversity Act.

The Company recognizes the primary indigenous knowledge holders of the Sceletium plant and assures that they benefit from the cultivation and sale of Zembrin®.

Men in Field Cultivating Crops

Closing Thoughts

As you can see Zembrin® is an amazing ingredient that can help you get the most out of your day, whether it be in your studies, at work, at the gym, or just getting through the day in general.  

Zembrin’s® ability to Improve cognitive flexibility and executive function can turbocharge your ability to blast through your work. This is not even to mention its mood boosting ability which might make those daily tasks seem bearable

Give Zembrin® a try and see what it can do for you. You can buy Zembrin® online by itself, or it can be found in KINETIQ Renew where it has the benefits of additional, clinically backed, ingredients that work synergistically, complementing the benefits of Zembrin®.

If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to us. We’ll answer any questions you have about our products, formulas, or studies.


* These Statements Have not Been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.