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Press Release: PSYC Provides Shareholders with Key Corporate Updates and Highlights Objectives for 2023



LAS VEGAS, NV, Jan. 31, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — PSYC Corporation (OTC Pink Market: PSYC) (“PSYC”, “PSYC Corp” or the “Company”), parent company to Spotlight Media Corporation (“SMC” or the “wholly owned subsidiary”), a multimedia leader positioned at the intersection where all things psychedelics and cannabis converge, is pleased to provide its shareholders with an overview of recent key corporate updates along with insight into some of the prime objectives the Company is outlining for the year ahead.

Sacha G. Hebbert Joins the PSYC Board

As of this month, the Company is proud to have appointed Sacha G. Hebbert to its Board of Directors alongside PSYC CEO, David Flores and PSYC COO, Michael Berger. In addition to her appointment on the Company’s Board, Ms. Hebbert has also been appointed to the position of Chief Brand Officer (“CBO”) for PSYC Corp and will continue to maintain her position as Chief Operating Officer of the Company’s wholly owned subsidiary, Spotlight Media Corporation (“SMC”).

In her added role as CBO of the parent company, Ms. Hebbert will work in close collaboration with Mr. Flores and Mr. Berger with the ongoing development of PSYC’s brand and image as an evolving publicly traded multimedia leader for the emerging psychedelics sector, and with the objective of helping to identify opportunities to strengthen shareholder value.

Additionally, Ms. Hebbert will continue to play a pivotal leadership role with developing and implementing critical strategies designed to maximize the value of the Company’s current psychedelic-focused media assets operated under SMC such as Psychedelic Spotlight and Bonfire.

“My goal is to ensure that Psychedelic Spotlight continues to grow in domain authority. We’re currently ranked high amongst the top 5 psychedelic media outlets. By the end of this year, I see us in the number one position. Those investing in PSYC will be happy to know that Psychedelic Spotlight is well-positioned as a culture shaper and media partner to the entire B2C market. We continue to tap into the mainstreaming of psychedelics and attract a substantial and curious audience to our platform through provocative and informative content. We’re also building traffic toward Bonfire, our burgeoning community of psychedelic facilitators and seekers. These two platforms, together, create the perfect funnel for service and product providers and consumers in this growing market. By the end of next quarter, we should see a lot of action on our Bonfire platform as we align with strategic partnerships that expand concrete revenue generators.”

Integration of Newly Acquired Media Assets

In September of last year, the Company acquired Technical 420, On The Bids, and Mushroom Stocks from Technical420, LLC. In the months following the acquisition of these media assets, the Company dedicated considerable time to successfully integrating them into SMC as key revenue drivers for the Company.

These efforts, spearheaded by PSYC Chief Operating Officer and SMC Chief Revenue Officer, Michael Berger, have resulted in a steady increase in revenue generation for the Company, which it claims to be reflected as such in it’s soon-to-be-published 2022 annual disclosure and financials. During Q4 of 2022, the Company experienced its strongest revenue performance throughout all of 2022, with approximately $60K generated in gross revenue.

Plans through the first two quarters of 2023 are to continue to implement strategies that are primarily focused on expanding revenue generation capabilities of both Technical 420 and On The Bids. The Company contends that in the months following the acquisition, each of these platforms have emerged as primary revenue drivers for the Company by way of valuable investor and public relations-focused services provided to various publicly traded companies operating in thriving industries such as cannabis and mining and precious metals and where many companies are actively seeking the opportunities to enhance their exposure across the public markets – a key value point offered by Technical 420 and On The Bids.

Furthermore, in the months ahead, the Company plans to apply many of the elements that have have driven the success, from a revenue generation and client satisfaction standpoint, for both Technical 420 and On The Bids over into Mushroom Stocks, and particularly as public companies operating in the psychedelics sector are expected to begin to ramp investor awareness efforts back up throughout 2023.

PSYC COO Michael Berger said, “During the last quarter, our primary objectives have been centered around integrating the business units, finding synergies, and becoming cash flow positive. Since the completion of the acquisition, our websites have generated more than $100,000 of revenue and have secured approximately $75,000 in equity-based agreements. Although market conditions are challenging, we have been able to penetrate new verticals in a cost-efficient manner. We remain bullish on the cannabis and psychedelic industries and believe we have the assets and resources to achieve our primary objectives. Over the next year, we plan to establish Spotlight Media Corp as a media leader in several burgeoning industries and I am confident in our ability to do so.”

Updates on Bonfire and Psychedelic Finder 

Following more than 5 months of market testing on the current Bonfire platform, the Company, along with its partner in the project, Digital Acorn, Ltd., has opted to revisit the core fundamentals associated with the platform and with the intent of identifying and developing a more cost effective operations model for the platform, in addition to a more robust and refined monetization strategy that will be more effectively suited for scalability.

The pause on the current iteration of the platform coincides with the resignation of Jack Bunce this month who, over the last several months, had overseen the operations of the Bonfire platform.

In the coming weeks, the Company will work in collaboration with Digital Acorn to identify and select a new leadership team that will focus on successfully ushering Bonfire into the next phase of redevelopment.

The Company contends, however, that it remains cautiously optimistic as to the future potential of Bonfire citing valuable data and information it was successful in gathering throughout the market test phase that, according to the Company, reflects significant market interest in a platform designed with the intent of building a community centered around psychedelic integration.

With regard to Psychedelic Finder, the Company, along with its partners in the project, Nucleus Holding Inc., remain focused and committed to building out this platform which will be an online resource assisting those looking for treatment and care providers.

The companies, however, have agreed to push the official launch of the platform back into later in 2023 as they collectively focus on raising additional capital that will be required to bring some of the intricate details proposed for the platform to fruition.

The companies are intent on bringing to market a platform that goes far beyond what other, similar platforms, operating in this space currently offer.

The Company plans to continue to provide updates on the progress of both Bonfire and Psychedelic Finder in the weeks and months ahead.

Psychedelic Spotlight Continues to Thrive Under a Leaner, More Efficient Business Model

Coming into 2023, PSYC Management made the collective decision to implement various strategic updates to the operational structure of Psychedelic Spotlight. At the core of these updates, was developing a cost-effective plan that will continue to promote the growth of the platform, but under a leaner, and more efficient business model.

Over the course of 2022, PSYC was successful in establishing Psychedelic Spotlight as a top 5 media platform focused exclusively on psychedelics. According to the Company, this top 5 ranking is based on website performance data and analytics gathered from Google such as page views, site visits, and engagement, amongst other metrics.

The Company contends that these metrics play a vital role, as is typically the case with most media platforms, in the ability to monetize the platform through advertisement, sponsorship, and partnership opportunities, and views their current ranking as a competitive advantage in a marketplace that is becoming increasingly competitive.

Since implementing many of the aforementioned updates to the Psychedelic Spotlight business model at the start of the new year, which includes operating the platform with a leaner budget, the Company claims that the metrics tied to its website performance have not dropped off and in fact, the platform continues to hold steady amongst its top competitors and is even demonstrating growth in critical areas such as organic search. This, according to the Company, can be viewed as a demonstration of the success in some of the strategic and hyper-focused growth initiatives Psychedelic Spotlight Director of Marketing, Maria Holyanova, has recently implemented.

The Company plans to continue prioritizing the growth of Psychedelic Spotlight throughout 2023, and while it cannot offer any guarantees, the Company remains committed and highly optimistic in its objective of establishing it as the number one media platform for the emerging sector of psychedelics in the most reasonable time frame possible.

Closing Comments from PSYC CEO, David Flores

“In 2022, we witnessed the culmination of so much of the hard work we had been focused on over the previous two years in terms of developing PSYC into a formidable multimedia leader for psychedelics and other forward-thinking industries such as cannabis. We managed to grow Psychedelic Spotlight into a top 5 media platform for the growing sector of psychedelics, and we brought in new media assets that in addition to providing us with very valuable elements of diversification, have also created a steady, and much-needed revenue stream for us.

The objective here in 2023 is to take what we successfully accomplished last year and expand on it. Cracking the top 5 as a psychedelic’s media platform is a wonderful accomplishment, but make no mistake about it, we aspire to be number one. Bringing in assets that are revenue generating is, in my opinion, a huge step forward for us, but some revenue doesn’t equate to a viable path to profitability, so we’re laser focused on generating even more revenue.

From my perspective, all of these are very important fundamentals that we are meticulously moving into place as part of what we view as a much bigger objective for PSYC. They’re also lending to our ability to have real and very serious conversations related to potential value-driven partnership opportunities and even capital investment opportunities that we simply couldn’t have in years past.

Acquiring what is still, in my opinion, the best ticker symbol for a publicly traded company operating in the psychedelics sector (PSYC), was done so with the intention of developing PSYC into something much more than just another multimedia company operating in the psychedelics space. It was done with the intention of building PSYC into the multimedia company for psychedelics. And as we approach the 3-year mark of the commencement of this journey, this intention, from my perspective, and based on the fundamentals we have put into place, remains as attainable as ever.

There are still many challenges that lie ahead for us in order to earn the trust and credibility within the public markets that we believe is necessary to drive and deliver maximum shareholder value. But what I can assure you is that I, along with the newly formed board of directors and the incredibly talented and dedicated management team we have assembled for the Company, are working tirelessly each and every day to develop solutions that are aimed specifically at overcoming these challenges in the most reasonable manner and time frame possible.

Thank you to all the PSYC shareholders who continue to stand alongside us on this journey. We see you. We hear you, and we are committed to doing everything we can to return the value back to you that we believe you deserve.

About PSYC Corporation (OTC Pink Market: PSYC)
At PSYC Corporation we are integrating media, creativity, and technology to develop and deploy thought-provoking ideas and solutions that are fostering and transforming the approach to some of society’s most pressing matters.

PSYC has expressed its intent and commitment to positioning itself at the forefront of the psychedelic revolution and as a resource center for discovering and understanding the latest research and business opportunities surrounding psychedelic inspired medicines. In conjunction with the FDA’s more open-minded approach to psychedelic medicines, and as several major U.S. cities continue to approve the decriminalization of psilocybin, we believe investors are speculating that the psychedelic boom could be bigger than that of cannabis. PSYC is your source for current investment related news specific to psychedelic medicines and cutting-edge research improving overall health, moving this sector into the mainstream.

We are dedicated to a forward-thinking approach that embraces groundbreaking new technology and innovations and through the vision of business development we intend to continue to evolve into these unchartered territories as the industry leaders of the future.

About Spotlight Media Corporation

Spotlight Media Corporation (“SMC”) ( is a Nevada Corporation and is a privately held wholly owned subsidiary of PSYC that was incorporated on February 8, 2022. At present time, SMC operates as a multimedia service company for the medicinal psychedelic industry through Psychedelic Spotlight in addition to the developing community-based platform, Bonfire (f/k/a “PsycheDev”). However, management intends, but cannot guarantee the success or profitability, that the business plan for SMC is to potentially expand beyond the medicinal psychedelic industry by way of other multimedia-related opportunities within other niche-style industries like cannabis, health and wellness, and sports such that SMC can make use of the audience it is establishing, across its platforms for cross-promotional opportunities and with the intent of developing a network of interconnected media-focused platforms.

Forward-Looking Statements Disclaimer:

This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. In some cases, you can identify forward-looking statements by the following words: “anticipate,” “believe,” “continue,” “could,” “estimate,” “expect,” “intend,” “may,” “ongoing,” “plan,” “potential,” “predict,” “project,” “should,” “will,” “would,” or the negative of these terms or other comparable terminology, although not all forward-looking statements contain these words. Forward-looking statements are not a guarantee of future performance or results and will not necessarily be accurate indications of the times at, or by, which such performance or results will be achieved. Forward-looking statements are based on information available at the time the statements are made and involve known and unknown risks, uncertainty and other factors, including the effect of COVID-19 and the success of the current vaccine distribution, the adverse effect of the Omicron variant, that may cause our results, levels of activity, performance or achievements to be materially different from the information expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements in this press release. This press release should be considered in light of all filings of the Company that are disclosed on the OTC website and is not incorporated by reference into such reports.

Disclaimer: PSYC Corporation does not in any way encourage or condone the use, purchase, sale or transfer of any illegal substances, nor do we encourage or condone partaking in any unlawful activities. We support a harm reduction approach for the purpose of education and promoting individual and public safety. If you are choosing to use psychedelic substances, please do so responsibly.

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LSD Effective in Treating Anxiety, Phase II Clinical Trial Shows




A new drug known as MM-120, which is a more pharmacologically optimized form of popular psychedelic lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), just entered phase II clinical trials for the treatment of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) and other mental health disorders.  

What is LSD? 

LSD is a potent hallucinogenic which belongs to a class of drugs called ergolines (more specifically, LSD is an ergoline-based tryptamine compound), meaning it’s derived from the ergot fungus. Despite this, it still requires a lot of human processing to become LSD, so it’s not considered a natural entheogen like psilocybin or mescaline. LSD was first synthesized by Swiss chemist Albert Hoffman in 1938, but it wasn’t until 1943 that its effects were fully realized when Hoffman accidentally ingested a small amount from his lab.  

As a psychedelic, standard effects include various sensory hallucinations (visual, auditory, sensory, olfactory, etc.), as well as altered perception, feelings, and thoughts. Something that makes LSD unique is the duration and intensity of the hallucinogenic trip, which often ranges from 6 to 12 hours but has been reported to last even longer. This could be due to the way the drug binds to receptors in the brain. 

Like other tryptamines, LSD interacts with serotonin receptors, in particular, receptor 5-HT2AR. Something interesting that happens when LSD binds to 5-HT2AR, is that the receptor closes over the molecule, preventing it from leaving the brain quickly. This could explain why the effects of LSD seem to last after it has left the bloodstream.  

From this point, the serotonin receptor will activate two signaling pathways between the cells, via G-proteins and β-arrestins. LSD function primary through the latter, but that’s not always the case. Overall, ergoline compounds can be a bit mysterious in their processes, because different subgroups can have different effects on serotonin receptors. Add to that, newer research found that ergoline compounds can actually modify the structure of the receptors they interact with, in order to activate different effects.  

MM-120 clinical trials  

MM-120 (lysergide d-tartrate) is a new drug developed by MindMed, a biotech company the focuses on psychedelic-based medications. This drug is a “new and improved” version of LSD that is currently undergoing clinical trials for the treatment of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). The most recent results from phase II of testing found that the drug candidate, particularly at the 100 µg dose, “demonstrated effectiveness, significantly reducing anxiety symptoms.” 

MindMed logo (source:

Dr. Daniel Karlin, chief medical officer of MindMed, explained the key findings in an interview with Medical News Today: “MindMed conducted this study with participation from 198 patients, all of whom suffered with a primary psychiatric diagnosis of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), across 20 clinical sites in the United States.” 

“Participants were divided into 5 study arms; each arm received a single dose of a lysergide-based drug candidate, called MM-120 (lysergide d-tartrate), or a placebo,” Dr. Karlin continued. “Among the four groups that received a dose of MM-120, doses were 25, 50, 100, or 200 µg of MM-120. Importantly, no form of additional therapy was given to any participant. The study design evaluated the stand-alone effects of the drug candidate, MM-120,” he added. 

Karlin continued: “The data available to us at this time show that patients experienced meaningful and lasting symptom reduction. Four weeks following a single dose of MM-120, 78% of participants who received either a 100 or 200 µg dose measured as having a clinically significant response to the drug. 50% of participants who received the 100 µg dose were considered to be in clinical remission at Week 4, meaning that the patient no longer suffered from clinically significant symptoms of GAD.”  

Psychedelics for mental health disorders  

Over the years, psychedelics have proven themselves to be one of the most successful treatment options for many different mental health disorders. An overwhelming 82% percent of Americans are in favor of accelerating research on this front, but federal regulations have really been a stick in the wheel of progress here. Given the introspective and sentient nature of psychedelics, it makes sense that using them therapeutically can help a person be more honest, open, and transparent.  

Although discussion of using psychedelics therapeutically is pretty fresh for most of us, many cultures have been utilizing entheogens medicinally and in religious rituals for thousands of years. Even scientists in United States and Europe were conducting research on psychedelic compounds for the treatment of mental illnesses, and it all really began to gain traction throughout the 1940s and 1950s. 

In 1943, Swiss-chemist Albert Hofmann first synthesized lysergic acid diethylamide and by the early 1950s, psychiatrist Humphry Osmond had already pioneered a treatment regimen using LSD to cure alcoholism and other mental disorders; with relative success might I add. Osmond is the one who coined the term ‘psychedelic’, meaning ‘mind manifesting’. He also oversaw author Aldous Huxley’s infamous, therapeutic mescaline trip in 1953.  

Psychedelics have been proven effective in treating various mental health disorders

Numerous psychedelic studies were in the works during that time, but all that research was derailed for social and political reasons when entheogenic compounds were banned at the start of the 1970s. Fast forward a few decades, and we are now beginning to see a growing acceptance of these compounds, especially the naturally-derived ones, and thus, an uptick in research. One of the main areas of interest is how psychedelics can help with mental health disorders such as depression, PTSD, and addiction.  

“The evidence suggests mystical experiences help people gain a new perspective on their issues,” said Matthew Johnson, the Susan Hill Ward professor in psychedelics and consciousness at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. “We think the long-term biological changes will be similar to those with successful psychotherapy. Essentially, the person has learned something about this problematic behavior in their life and changed their life as a result.” 

Final thoughts 

MM-120 is the closest we’ve ever had to a clinically-proven and FDA-approved LSD-based medication. Phase II trials are currently underway, so it’s well on the path to becoming available via prescriptions in select markets, although it could still be some time before we can expect more widespread use of this drug.

Hello readers. We’re happy to have you with us at; a news source here to bring you the best in independent reporting for the growing cannabis and hallucinogen fields. Join us frequently to stay on top of everything, and subscribe to our Cannadelics Weekly Newsletter, for updates straight to your email. Check out some awesome promos for cannabis buds, smoking devices and equipment like vapes, edibles, cannabinoid compounds, amanita mushroom products, and a whole bunch more. Let’s all get stoned together!

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magic mushrooms menstruation

Shrooming During Menstruation: Can It Help?




Taking shrooms is a disorienting experience, and its not well researched into what happens when ladies go shrooming during menstruation. Here’s a little personal experience.

Does it matter if ladies go shrooming during menstruation?

The first thing to say here, is that there is really no research on this. Sure, its expected that psilocybin has some kind of effect on estrogen, and that estrogen can affect psilocybin trips (or vice versa); but there is little else to define what happens when shrooming during menstruation. And of course, like the rest of life, there is no one answer.

We ladies are a complicated group. We have constant hormone changes throughout the month, which can cause our moods to go up and down, particularly as we get closer to menstruation. And this is without adding in any drug. Women vary, sure, with some experiencing far more of this than others; but the reality of womankind, is that we live within quite a dynamic hormonal structure.

Now, think about it. Does a drug experience change depending on how we feel and our internal dynamics? Kind of seems like it would. We are told how important set and setting are for a trip, and that’s the part that’s outside of us. Any high we undertake in life, is likely to be affected by our own bio-physiology; and for a woman, menstruation is a particularly intense time for the body.


Just to get to menstruation, a woman’s hormones must substantially drop. These drops cause low hormone levels, which are associated with all kinds of symptoms; like soreness, headaches, and flu like symptoms, mood swings, anxiety, and sometimes extreme mood drops. So, it’s not like the rest of the month, and its not that out there to expect some drugs might affect a woman differently at this time.

Before getting into a personal experience, I do want to point out a suspected connected between psilocybin and estrogen. In terms of women’s menstrual cycles, psilocybin might be able to even out irregular menstruation, help with PMDD (premenstrual dysphoric disorder), and polycystic ovary syndrome. These are not statements, as the subject must be further researched; but the idea these concepts have come up in some research, does indicate that psilocybin is affecting hormones somehow.

Me and magic mushrooms

Much like many young people in college, I did a fair number of drugs in my university days; although nothing too intense. For the most part, it was weed and alcohol, although other drugs got mixed in here and there over the years, and mushrooms were one. My clearest memory is sitting on some grassy field somewhere close to campus with a couple friends, and watching the sun come up. I didn’t do them all the time, but I never remember a bad time.

Things can change, though. And somewhere along the way, I became the kind of person who is more prone to bad trips. This was established for me with a bad acid trip, and a few MDMA experiences which were generally okay, but with a lot of stress and anxiety. It matters little what set and setting, or how relaxed I start out. I’m just one of those people that repeatedly doesn’t respond well.

The thing is, mushrooms are now associated with so many great things, right? Well, as a writer and interested user, I started taking microdose amounts, and that was fine for the most part. So I decided after many years, to try a full trip again. No heroic doses, no big ones even. I didn’t go over the equivalent of 1.5-2 grams in dried weight, although I took capsules, rather than actual mushrooms.

When I made the plans to take them with a friend, I had not considered my period. But the day before I was meant to do it, I got it…two days early. I decided, for science if nothing else, that I would go through with the trip, anyway. I did some requisite searches, realized there wasn’t much out there in terms of information, and went for it.

Magic mushrooms
Magic mushrooms

Shrooming during menstruation

As a person who is prone to bad trips, but was only planning a small dose, I had no idea what to expect. Would it calm down my not-so-bad, but still existent cramps? Would it throw me into some crazy uncontrolled mood? Would it help, or would it hurt, or would it do nothing at all?

At first I found it to help a bit. For the first hour or so after it kicked in, I felt fewer issues. But then it changed. The cramps started heavily. And with them, my anxiety rose. Beyond the cramping, I began experiencing powerful hot flashes as well. Now, I cannot say with any certainty if this was a function of my natural cycle, or if the shrooming had an affect on my period. I get these symptoms anyway, and I can’t predict when during menstruation they’ll hit, so there’s no clear answer. But they did continue intensely through the trip.

I didn’t take more at that point, it didn’t seem like a good idea. The cramps also seemed to dampen the psychedelic effects of the mushrooms. I don’t know if this has to do with prostaglandins which are released during cramping, and which are a main reason for feeling sick when menstruating, but it could have been. Prostaglandins are inflammatory, and when cramping, you can expect to feel the worst. For this reason, and the timing, I certainly don’t rule out that my natural cycle, simply overrode the good effects of the mushrooms.

What I can say, is that they didn’t exactly help. It’s not like I went from having cramps to not having them; or from a bad mood to something more level. Whether the mushrooms actually increased cramping or anxiety, I certainly can’t say. But it seemed quite possible to me at the time. It’s also quite possible that someone who ordinarily does better with mushrooms, might have a better time during menstruation.


The problem with trying to decipher this, is that menstruation is such a strange and, well, messed up time. Some women get by without feeling much, or without a lot of changing mood issues; but for some, it’s a real problem. It’s several days per month when things really aren’t working well. When things can be downright bad. And anything that might provide relief or an answer, is useful.

In the case of a regular bad trip, the drug wears out of the system, and the negative symptoms end. This is pretty standard. It might be uncomfortable for a little while, but afterwards things settle back into a norm. It’s highly infrequent, and barely noted, that a person has an issue after the drug wears out of their system.

Can magic mushrooms be useful for women during menstruation?
Can magic mushrooms be useful for women during menstruation?

For me, it was actually hard to tell when it wore off. Since I did not take the kind of amount that leads to intense visuals, it wasn’t about waiting for hallucinations to stop. For the most part it was an intense body high, only, with some mild brightening of colors. Because of the discomfort from the cramping, it was actually quite difficult to know when the trip was over.

And since I was in the middle of my period, it was hard to know if the psilocybin at all intensified the standard menstruation issues, or if the menstruation issues were simply strong enough to counteract the drug. I knew by the end of the night it was over, but there was certainly less of a line this time around.

While I found it to be an interesting experience; from here on out, any shrooming experimentation for me will likely be kept away from menstruation. Regardless of my experience, we should see expansion on this general topic in the next few years to come. Perhaps mushrooms really do increase cramping for some; and perhaps for others, they can actually help ease symptoms.


Sometimes its hard to know what you’ll get. In the case of me shrooming during menstruation, it wasn’t the most fun experience I’ve ever had; but it was certainly a learning one.

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Kanna – What It Is, And How It Can Help You




The world of natural medicine is full of plants to promote wellness; here’s a little on kanna, and what it can do for you.

What is kanna?

At first glance, it might look like this is a shortened version of ‘cannabis’, spelled with a ‘k’ rather than a ‘c’. If you say it out loud it also sounds like you’re right about to say ‘cannabis.’ In reality, the two plants have very little in common except a name that sounds a bit similar.

Kanna is technically named Mesembryanthemum tortuosum, or Sceletium tortuosum, which are both obviously quite a mouthful. It also goes by the nicknames channa, and kougoed; the latter of which translates to ‘something to chew.’ It’s a succulent plant that hails from South Africa, particularly the Cape Provinces, where it was used primarily by the San and Khoikhoi peoples. It’s in the Aizoaceae family of plants.

The plant has small full leaves (as it is a succulent), and yellow and white flowers. The flowers are more yellow in the center and white around the outsides; and the petals are long and thin, and resemble spears shooting out from the center.

Sceletium tortuosum
Sceletium tortuosum

The plant has been used in South Africa since pre-historic times, or at the very least, a super long time. It wasn’t written about formally until 1662, when Dutch navigator Jan van Riebeeck first mentioned something about its use. The plant is usually dried and then chewed; although it can be made into a tea, or a snuff to smoke. In modern times, it’s often seen as a capsule, powder, or tincture, as well.

Traditionally, the plant was/is used to deal with issues like stress, and depression. Native cultures use it to promote relaxation and general wellbeing. It was/is also used as a pain medication, and as a way to suppress the appetite. Furthermore, it’s been studied for its ability to help dogs and cats which are suffering from dementia, from barking or meowing excessively at night.

Is kanna psychoactive?

Oftentimes, a plant’s name is derived from a major (or important) component within it. Such is the case for Mesembryanthemum tortuosum, which contains the active compound mesembrine. Mesembrine is an alkaloid, with about .3% in the roots of the plant, and .86% in the leaves, stems, and flowers.

In research, this compound shows the ability to work as a serotonin reuptake inhibitor. This might sound familiar, as a major class of antidepressant drugs, is called ‘selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors;’ which indicates the plant might have some of the same benefits. Common SSRIs include the heavily prescribed Zoloft and Prozac. As kanna has been used traditionally to combat stress and depression, this connection makes sense. It also makes it a natural version of what pharmaceutical companies produce.

Beyond this, mesembrine has also shown some ability as a weak inhibitor of the enzyme phosphodiesterase 4. Such drugs are associated with memory improvement, anti-inflammatory effects, increased wakefulness, and neuroprotective qualities. They’re thought to be possibly beneficial for a range of disorders, from depression, to Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease, to multiple sclerosis, autism, strokes, and more.

All together, this indicates (along with recent research), that mesembrine, and the kanna plant as a whole, might be able to offer some solid benefits in terms of depression and anxiety management, as well as a treatment (whether alone or in conjunction with other compounds) for a range of other neurological impairments, pain issues, and inflammatory problems.

Kanna products already exist
Kanna products already exist

The plant contains another alkaloid called mesembrenone, which is thought to produce similar effects to mesembrine; and which is also thought to promote adaptogenic and antimicrobrial properties. Most plants that cause psychoactive effects (or really any medical effect), generally do so as a combination of compounds, not just one. In the world of cannabis, we specifically call this the entourage effect, but in general medicine its known as a synergistic effect.

What about pain?

Right now, pain is a particularly big topic in the US, as the desire to reduce it, led to what is one of the worst drug epidemics (essentially the worst) to befall civilization. Opioids certainly have a large recreational-only following, but they’re primarily pain medications. And it was their prescription for pain, that led to the mess we’re in. As such, pretty much anything that can help the pain issue, without causing the same problems of addiction, is greatly needed.

Another interesting compound in the plant is mesembrenol. This compound is associated with analgesic (pain-relieving) properties. Both this compound and mesembrine are thought to aid in pain reduction; and with none of the addictive side effects as synthetic opioid medications.

Traditionally, these pain-killing benefits were used mainly by native South Africans to treat headache pressure, abdominal pain, toothaches, for pain in the respiratory tract, and as a local anesthetic. In 2014 mesembrine’s analgesic properties were tested in rats, which were given up to 5000 mg/kg per day, with no adverse reactions. Investigators concluded that mesembrine “appears to have analgesic properties without abuse liabilities or ataxia.”

Human research into kanna safety

Before the rat study in 2014, a study came out in 2013, which investigated how safe and tolerable two different doses of kanna are for humans. The study, called A Randomized, Double-Blind, Parallel-Group, Placebo-Controlled Trial of Extract Sceletium tortuosum (Zembrin) in Healthy Adults used doses of 8mg and 25mg, which were given to participants once a day. The study lasted three months, and used all healthy adults. 37 people participated in the study.

The investigation was a randomized, double-blind, parallel-group, placebo-controlled, single center study. Let’s break this down. First off, there was a placebo group, which means some participants were given the kanna, and some were given an inactive compound. The randomized part means participants were randomly picked for the kanna or placebo groupings; and the double-blind part means neither the researchers nor participants knew which group they were in.

Kanna can now be bought as a powder
Kanna can now be bought as a powder

In terms of the parallel group part, this refers to some in the kanna group getting a smaller dose, and some getting a bigger dose; and that individual participants were given the same amount throughout the study. The last part, single center, refers to the study being conducted in only one location. 12 participants received 8mg kanna daily, 12 received 25 mg kanna daily, and 13 received the placebo daily.

Researchers found both doses of kanna to be tolerable. The most complained about adverse response was headache, followed by abdominal pain, and infections in the upper respiratory tract. However, more complaints came from the placebo group than either kanna group; indicating the complaints had little-to-nothing to do with the kanna.

In terms of unsolicited positive benefits (written in the journals of some participants taking kanna), these indicate increased feelings of wellbeing, and an improved ability to manage stress and sleep. As the study didn’t technically look into the effects or benefits of the drug, these unsolicited journal responses are the most that the study can show on the therapeutic front. Otherwise, it was mainly to assess safety and tolerability.

In terms of other physiological aspects, the kanna groups showed no difference in ECG, body weight, or in their physical examinations, which were all taken in the beginning and the end of the study. There were also no changes in hematology or biochemistry metrics, indicating the drug did little to change the body physiologically. Overall, kanna showed to be a physically safe drug at doses up to 25mg a day, regardless of therapeutic ability.


Kanna seems to offer a multitude of benefits to humans, like help with stress and depression, assisting in pain management, anti-inflammation benefits, and as an anti-microbial. Perhaps in the future we’ll see more of it; and perhaps big pharma will ensure that never happens.

Luckily, for those in the US who want to use this plant to help with a mental or physical issue, kanna, and its compounds, are currently perfectly legal. It can already be found in smart shops around the country; and as with anything else, interested users, should go at it responsibly.

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