The plant was regularly used by the Khoikhoi people of South Africa, and the desired effects were generally relaxation, better mood and even visions. The plant contains a mix of active chemicals including SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors), plus enzymes and alkaloids which may all affect the mood. Noticeable effects of taking kanna tend to include feeling more active, more likely to socialise, plus a deepening feeling of relaxation. The lower the dose, the more of a stimulating effect kanna has. At higher doses, it becomes noticeably sedative. Kanna may enhance the effects of other sedative substances such as alcohol.
Other reported effects include an increased sexual appetite, more sensitivity to touch, and less desire to eat. Although Kanna is a psychoactive substance it does not have any known hallucinogenic effects. Kanna is usually taken in one of three ways: either in small doses as a type of snuff, ingesting a kanna tea on an empty stomach, or by chewing the kanna with gum and letting it rest under the tongue. Do not take another dose of kanna just as the effects of the first one are wearing off. Always check for contraindications.