In this Psychedelic Podcast episode, Paul F. Austin welcomes Phoebe McPherson to discuss the resurgence of kanna, a legal psychoactive plant, in the global market.
Paul and Phoebe explore kanna’s rich South African history, heart-opening qualities, and recent revival in the wellness space. Their comprehensive discussion asks questions like: How does kanna compare to MDMA? What led Phoebe to explore kanna, and how did it change her life? How can this plant help regulate the nervous system? Can you stack kanna extract with psychedelics like psilocybin and LSD? What does a kanna microdosing protocol look like?
Paul and Phoebe uncover everything you need to know about starting a kanna protocol, safe product sourcing, and ingestion tips.
Phoebe McPherson is an educator, herbalist, gatherer, and the Head of Brand & Education at Fungtion, a nature-inspired wellness brand on a mission to help people reconnect to their bodies and nature through mushroom and plant formulas. Phoebe has spent years working with and learning from experts in the field about the healing aspects of nature’s gifts. While she is deeply knowledgeable about medicinal mushrooms, psychedelics, and plants, her passion lies in sharing kanna (Sceletium tortuosum) with the world, helping others find safety in their first steps to connect with nature.
This episode is brought to you by Apollo Neuro, the first scientifically validated wearable that actively improves your body’s resilience to stress. Apollo engages with your sense of touch to deliver soothing vibrations that signal safety to the brain. Clinically proven to improve heart rate variability, it can actually enhance the outcomes of your other efforts like deep breathing, yoga, meditation, and plant medicine. Apollo was developed by a friend of Third Wave, Dr. David Rabin M.D Ph.D., a neuroscientist and board-certified psychiatrist who has been studying the impact of chronic stress in humans for nearly 15 years. Third Wave listeners get 15% off—just use this link.
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0:00:00.0 Paul F. Austin: Hey folks, welcome back to The Psychedelic Podcast by Third Wave, where we bring you cutting edge conversations from the forefront of the psychedelic movement. I'm your host, Paul F. Austin, and today I am speaking with Phoebe McPherson, the Head of Brand and Education at Fungtion.
0:00:18.3 Phoebe McPherson: Kanna is this incredible plant that can help with your nervous system, with anxiety, with depression, with relieving mental health ailments. Many things that do that, like traditional pharmaceutical SSRIs, they almost create this addiction where you feel like you need to have it to be able to feel better. But Kanna over time regulates your amygdala. So not only are you less reactive to your stressors, but you're actually able to function and feel better on a daily basis without the need or the dependence on something outside of yourself.
0:00:55.0 Paul F. Austin: Welcome to The Psychedelic Podcast by Third Wave. Audio mycelium, connecting you to the luminaries and thought leaders of the psychedelic renaissance. We bring you illuminating conversations with scientists, therapists, entrepreneurs, coaches, doctors and shamanic practitioners, exploring how we can best use psychedelic medicine to accelerate personal healing, peak performance, and collective transformation.
0:01:28.3 Paul F. Austin: Hey listeners, today's podcast is brought to you by the Apollo wearable. I first started wearing the Apollo in the midst of the COVID quarantine over two years ago. It helped my body to regulate itself, to calm down, to stay more focused, and to meditate in the morning. And I used it to really regulate my nervous system in a time of incredible stress, and I've continued to use it on a day-to-day basis. It is indispensable in my daily routine. Here's the thing, the Apollo is a wearable that improves your body's resilience to stress by helping you to sleep better, stay calm, and stay more focused. Developed by neuroscientists and physicians, the Apollo wearable delivers gentle, soothing vibrations that condition your nervous system to recover and rebalance after stress. I tell folks that it's like a microdose on your wrist that helps you to feel more present and connected, especially when in the midst of a psychedelic experience.
0:02:27.6 Paul F. Austin: It's a phenomenal compliment to any psychedelic experience. In fact, Apollo is currently running an IRB approved clinical trial in conjunction with MAPS to understand the long-term efficacy of the Apollo wearable with PTSD patients who have undergone MDMA assisted psychotherapy. The Apollo wearable is the only technology with an issued patent to reduce unpleasant and undesirable experiences associated with medicine assisted therapy, including psychedelics and traditional medicine. And you can save $50 on the Apollo wearable by visiting apolloneuro.com/thirdwave. That's apolloneuro.com/thirdwave.
0:03:13.5 Paul F. Austin: Hey listeners, this is Paul F. Austin, founder and CEO at Third Wave. Today we dive deep into a lesser known psychoactive plant from South Africa called Kanna, K-A-N-N-A. And our guest is Phoebe McPherson, who is deeply knowledgeable and passionate about this largely legal substance. She shares her own journey using it to integrate psychedelic experiences, and we also explore Kanna's use in traditional and modern context, how to safely and effectively work with this medicine and more.
0:03:46.0 Paul F. Austin: Now, I met Phoebe a few years ago. She's been a great supporter and ally of this Third Wave of psychedelic movement, and she also helped to put together our ultimate guide to Kanna, which is linked to in the show notes. So if you do wanna do a deeper dive on Kanna and understand it as a legal substance, as a hard opener that you can work with, then check out our ultimate guide to Kanna. So a little bit more about Phoebe. Phoebe McPherson is an educator, herbalist, gatherer, and the Head of Brand and Education at Fungtion, a nature inspired wellness brand on a mission to help people reconnect to their bodies and nature through mushroom and plant formulas. And Phoebe has spent years working with and learning from experts in the field about the healing aspects of nature's gifts. While she is deeply knowledgeable about medicinal mushroom psychedelics and plants, her passion lies in sharing Kanna with the world, helping others find safety in their first steps to connect with nature.
0:04:46.3 Paul F. Austin: So today, Phoebe and I go deep into what Kanna is and isn't and how it works on a pharmacological level, traditional uses of Kanna, as well as its evolving uses in modern wellness practices and products, how Kanna can help to regulate the nervous system, working on mood, stress and opening the heart, the benefits of microdosing with Kanna, as well as how to stack it with certain psychedelics, the safest ways to source and ingest Kanna, including the ideal protocols and comparisons between Kanna and empathogens like MDMA and other pharmaceuticals.
0:05:20.3 Paul F. Austin: As always, you can let us know what you think about this episode in Third Wave's Community, a free resource that's a safe place for discussions around sensitive topics such as psychedelics and our portal for trusted and research-based content around these medicines. You can access Third Wave community from your web browser or just simply download the app, create your account for free at community.thethirdWave.co and continue the conversation with us. All right, that's it for now. I hope you enjoy my conversation today with Phoebe McPherson.
0:05:56.8 Paul F. Austin: So, a little context, a little background for our listeners. Phoebe McPherson...
0:06:02.7 Phoebe McPherson: [laughter] Beautiful.
0:06:03.8 Paul F. Austin: We met a couple years ago now, maybe just under a couple years ago at a, what I often call a boutique burning man in Palm Springs. And...
0:06:14.3 Phoebe McPherson: Wild.
0:06:15.5 Paul F. Austin: At that point in time, you, I think were just starting to explore Kanna.
0:06:23.1 Phoebe McPherson: Yes, yeah.
0:06:23.2 Paul F. Austin: And the sort of potential of Kanna and the utility of Kanna and the use cases around Kanna. You were involved with the project at that point in time that was helping to, you know, create Kanna tinctures.
0:06:38.0 Phoebe McPherson: We was more mushroom products.
0:06:40.0 Paul F. Austin: Mushroom products.
0:06:41.8 Phoebe McPherson: Mushroom products, and then exploring Kanna as an allied assistant to other mushrooms and plants rather than Kanna's sovereignty, which I think has been really interesting. That's changed over the past few years. I think Kanna was always kind of seen as like the sidekick and now it's getting its rightful place as like the superhero, as something that can stand on its own, which is really beautiful to see.
0:07:06.5 Paul F. Austin: So Kanna is an adaptogen?
0:07:08.2 Phoebe McPherson: Kanna is an adaptogen. Quick overview, Kanna is a succulent from South Africa.
0:07:13.8 Paul F. Austin: It's a succulent.
0:07:14.7 Phoebe McPherson: It's a succulent.
0:07:15.5 Paul F. Austin: It's sitting right next to you.
0:07:16.8 Phoebe McPherson: Yeah, [chuckle] so I brought it.
0:07:17.6 Paul F. Austin: We're in my backyard in Encinitas and the sun is out finally...
0:07:21.1 Phoebe McPherson: It's beautiful.
0:07:21.8 Paul F. Austin: We haven't had. And we have this beautiful Kanna plant and it has all these flowers that are coming out of it. And it's beautiful, man.
0:07:28.7 Phoebe McPherson: It's so beautiful.
0:07:29.1 Paul F. Austin: Thank you for bringing this.
0:07:30.3 Phoebe McPherson: Oh my God, of course. I think anyone that wants to meet a plant shouldn't get to, right? Like it's such a different experience when you can see it and touch it, feel it, smell it, right? But so Kanna is a succulent. It grows like ice grass. So anyone in California has seen ice grass. Ice grass is actually a South African plant that's invasive to California, fun fact.
0:07:50.2 Paul F. Austin: Oh.
0:07:50.8 Phoebe McPherson: Yeah, right? I didn't know that until recently either. And I was like, oh, okay, cool. Anyways, succulent from South Africa classified as an empathogen. Empathogens are a classification of psychoactive substances that work to increase feelings of empathy, joy, love. You know, helps to open up your heart for lack of a better word. Some other empathogens that you guys might have heard of are MDMA, Sassafras. I believe mescaline can technically be considered empathogenic, but not like just straight empathogen from what I understand.
0:08:21.3 Paul F. Austin: Cacao as well would be a...
0:08:24.2 Phoebe McPherson: It's not an empathogen.
0:08:25.9 Paul F. Austin: No?
0:08:27.4 Phoebe McPherson: But theobromine opens up the heart, 'cause theobromine is a vasodilator. So depending on who you ask, but I think it's more of just a straight stimulant.
0:08:33.5 Paul F. Austin: Okay.
0:08:33.8 Phoebe McPherson: Yeah.
0:08:34.1 Paul F. Austin: Okay. And Kanna is also stimulating in nature.
0:08:36.8 Phoebe McPherson: It can be stimulating. So Kanna works chemically as an SSRI PDE4 inhibitor. It can relieve stress and anxiety. It can help with depression, feelings of codependency. It can help with pain relief. It can help with addiction. It can help with insomnia. The indigenous of South Africa actually use Kanna for every part of their life and culture, which is fascinating. Like not oftentimes do you find a plant that's so deeply woven into the day-to-day life of anyone's ritual or routine. So it's really beautiful to see. The indigenous actually use Kanna for everything from giving it to warriors before they went into battle to suppress hunger and thirst and to keep them focused. They would give droplets of fermented Kanna to babies as they were teething. They would even give Kanna to pregnant women as they were going into labor to ease the labor in delivery, which is fascinating. And then they would use it for these trance dances to help put you in an altered state as you're dancing and healing. And it was used for ceremonies.
0:09:39.4 Paul F. Austin: The closest parallel that I'm thinking of right now is Iboga with the Bwiti tribe. And they've used it, I think anthropological evidence says they've only maybe used it since the mid 19th century and that they would use, and I could be wrong on this. So I'm talking Iboga now specifically. And that they would use these low doses for hunting because it helped with visual acuity. And of course the high doses for breakthrough. So is Kanna similar in that it's very specific to a tribe like the Bwiti or is it more cross indigenous?
0:10:10.7 Phoebe McPherson: Yes, so it was used by both the San and the Khoi people of South Africa. And the San and the Khoi are largely considered to be some of the oldest humans on the planet. And it has been used by them for as long as we know. So for a millennia, which is fascinating. So it really speaks to just the depth and the length of relationship that these indigenous have had with this plants.
0:10:33.6 Paul F. Austin: And when did your story begin with Kanna? Why did you become interested in Kanna? Just bring us a little bit into Phoebe McPherson and who she became after being a corporate warrior and a little bit of your transformation as well.
0:10:47.6 Phoebe McPherson: Yeah, totally.
0:10:48.4 Paul F. Austin: I think that would be awesome.
0:10:49.6 Phoebe McPherson: So I wouldn't say I was a warrior in the corporate world. [laughter] I was more just like...
0:10:53.8 Paul F. Austin: I just remember you showing me a social video like six months ago...
0:10:57.5 Phoebe McPherson: Yeah, and people were like, wait, what?
0:11:00.0 Paul F. Austin: Where your hair has a different color, you're like, gotta hustle, gotta work hard.
0:11:04.5 Phoebe McPherson: God.
0:11:04.9 Paul F. Austin: And... Well, you were, I mean, we were all in our mid-20s as ambitious...
0:11:09.8 Phoebe McPherson: Totally.
0:11:09.9 Paul F. Austin: People who want to grow up. Like that's a natural state.
0:11:12.8 Phoebe McPherson: 100%. And I think so oftentimes we're in this world where we don't know what else we're supposed to do, right? And I came from an upbringing of you do exactly what you're told to do. And like, you follow like the footsteps that you're supposed to. And that's what I did. I thought that was what was right. I thought that's what would bring me happiness. And I remember being in this state of checking all of the boxes, right? Like I would go to SoulCycle, I'd go to Pilates, I'd eat my salads, I'd crush at work meetings, I'd go to the happy hours, all the things.
0:11:42.1 Phoebe McPherson: And I was so dead inside. Like I was so dead inside. I could not feel a single thing. Like my friends would call me like SoulCycle bot 9000 because like that's literally what I was. And yet like I had this deep yearning to be a part of nature and reconnect with nature and just something was missing. And Kanna was actually one of my first like plant medicine "true experiences". And it opened me up where I had it with mushrooms and I started laughing and crying at the same time, realizing that I was deeply, deeply disconnected and deeply unhappy and none of my life would ever be the same. And I remember looking around at my life and I was like, all of this has got to go. Like, I don't know how I'm going to do it, but like all of this has got to go and nothing... Like I'm determined.
0:12:29.9 Paul F. Austin: And when was this, just to...
0:12:31.5 Phoebe McPherson: Like four years ago.
0:12:32.8 Paul F. Austin: Okay, 2019.
0:12:34.3 Phoebe McPherson: Yeah, 2019.
0:12:35.7 Paul F. Austin: 2018, 2019.
0:12:37.9 Phoebe McPherson: Yeah.
0:12:39.4 Paul F. Austin: Okay.
0:12:39.4 Phoebe McPherson: And then from there, I had this tarot card reading right before my birthday. And the tarot card reading was for my next year of life. And I remember...
0:12:48.9 Paul F. Austin: When's your birthday, Phoebe?
0:12:49.7 Phoebe McPherson: May 20th.
0:12:50.6 Paul F. Austin: May 20th.
0:12:51.7 Phoebe McPherson: Yes, it's coming up.
0:12:52.9 Paul F. Austin: Are you a Taurus or a Gemini?
0:12:54.9 Phoebe McPherson: I'm a Taurus.
0:12:55.1 Paul F. Austin: You're a Taurus.
0:12:55.4 Phoebe McPherson: So I'm on the cusp, which is fascinating. And Taurus is, Taurus is my only Taurus placement, but I'm almost all feminine placements in my chart, which is a lot.
0:13:04.9 Paul F. Austin: I can see that.
0:13:06.2 Phoebe McPherson: I've heard that before. [chuckle] And then I'm pretty equal across the four elements in my chart. What about you?
0:13:14.4 Paul F. Austin: August 16th.
0:13:15.5 Phoebe McPherson: Ooh, okay.
0:13:17.3 Paul F. Austin: I know that I am, I mean, I'm a Leo and then my moon is a Cancer and my rising is a Capricorn.
0:13:23.8 Phoebe McPherson: Oh, I can totally see that. Okay.
0:13:26.4 Paul F. Austin: Quite balanced across...
0:13:27.5 Phoebe McPherson: Quite balanced.
0:13:28.5 Paul F. Austin: Across the elements. I think...
0:13:30.0 Phoebe McPherson: Where's your Mars? Do you know?
0:13:31.8 Paul F. Austin: I think my Mars is in... I don't know.
0:13:35.3 Phoebe McPherson: It's okay. You don't need to know.
0:13:37.1 Paul F. Austin: I got an astrology reading done two years ago.
0:13:40.7 Phoebe McPherson: Okay.
0:13:41.5 Paul F. Austin: I think the biggest takeaways from that reading were that I have to emotionally move people and always soften into the heart.
0:13:49.1 Phoebe McPherson: I can see that.
0:13:50.0 Paul F. Austin: And that I was going to be in an empire building phase until I'm 43. So for about another 11 years...
0:14:00.3 Phoebe McPherson: [chuckle] Wow.
0:14:00.5 Paul F. Austin: I still am in this 19 year cycle from 24 to 43, of building.
0:14:04.0 Phoebe McPherson: Wow.
0:14:04.5 Paul F. Austin: Which tracks onto everything that I've done...
0:14:06.8 Phoebe McPherson: I was gonna say it tracks.
0:14:07.8 Paul F. Austin: With Third Wave and...
0:14:08.7 Phoebe McPherson: Everything.
0:14:09.5 Paul F. Austin: The psychedelic space and everything.
0:14:11.6 Phoebe McPherson: Just the beauty of who you are and what you're building.
0:14:14.6 Paul F. Austin: Aw, thank you.
0:14:15.3 Phoebe McPherson: Yeah. It's a gift to witness really. You're quite the builder. [laughter] So, had this Tarot Card reading where essentially the next year of my life would be all about lust and reigniting my passions of life. And a few days later I met this person that helped me deep-dive into the plant medicine world and deep-dive into mushrooms and functional mushrooms, and basically my entire life was turned upside down.
0:14:42.9 Paul F. Austin: Wow.
0:14:43.7 Phoebe McPherson: I got divorced. I left the corporate world.
0:14:47.5 Paul F. Austin: Wait, wait. Whoa, whoa, whoa. You got divorced?
0:14:49.5 Phoebe McPherson: Yeah.
0:14:49.9 Paul F. Austin: You were married?
0:14:50.6 Phoebe McPherson: Yeah. [laughter] I thought you knew.
0:14:54.1 Paul F. Austin: I felt maybe I heard that one other time, but I don't...
0:14:58.3 Phoebe McPherson: Yeah. I was married.
0:15:00.0 Paul F. Austin: You were married, in LA?
0:15:02.0 Phoebe McPherson: I've lived many lives. No, no. I got divorced by the time I was in LA. It was...
0:15:06.8 Paul F. Austin: So where did you grow up?
0:15:08.8 Phoebe McPherson: So I'm from Washington DC.
0:15:10.8 Paul F. Austin: Okay.
0:15:12.8 Phoebe McPherson: Yeah. Well, from Washington DC. I had a very DC, Northern Virginia upbringing. Both my parents worked for government. Mom for the IMFs, so you can imagine what that's like. Everyone around you is just like politics and government and work and you just gotta work harder. Great upbringing for sure but I always wanted to be a journalist and that was just like, I don't know if that's the vibe, but I hated the idea of anything desk work. I just wanted to travel the world and tell stories and meet people and share their stories, give people a voice, like the people that are looked over. And I think that's what we do now with nature. We're giving nature a voice for those who can't hear her. So from there, after college, I met a guy, was in a relationship with him, we got married, I got married too young. He's a beautiful human being, but we weren't right for each other, and there was so many signs and we might now call them red flags or I didn't have the tool set, I didn't have this consciousness yet to really understand what wasn't right. Nor did I have the courage to say, "This isn't right." Because I lived in this world of, "What will people think?" And like, "Oh my gosh, you have to think of what people would think before you just go and do something." And thankfully now I'm in a world of, "I don't care what people think." I am gonna go out here and be what I need to be and explore. And definitely we're in the environment for that and I'm so grateful for it.
0:16:42.8 Paul F. Austin: So I have a question.
0:16:43.7 Phoebe McPherson: Yeah.
0:16:43.8 Paul F. Austin: At which point did you become a famous vegan food blogger?
0:16:48.3 Phoebe McPherson: While I was still a corporate girl boss. [laughter] So I was bored. I get really bored, and I didn't know what to do with myself 'cause I was running social media and influencers for companies. And I had this boss for the startup I worked for and he told me I didn't know what I was doing on social media. And he was like, "I made you and I will destroy you. Like, how dare you?" And I was like, "Bro." [chuckle] And so I started using what I thought was the correct way to run social media and to build followings on myself. And I shared what I knew, which was my relationship to food and veganism. And it was so interesting 'cause the blog is now gone, but if you read it from the beginning, you can see my relationship to food and to how I nourish myself start to change. And yeah, the following just built. And I'm so grateful because I have followers who've been with me for like eight, nine years who've watched my entire transformation. And they're still with it. They're like, "Yeah, we're into plant medicine now too." [chuckle] it's a gift.
0:17:50.7 Paul F. Austin: And now into Kanna.
0:17:50.9 Phoebe McPherson: And now into Kanna. Yeah. Super, super cool.
0:17:54.8 Paul F. Austin: So let's talk a little bit about some of the commonalities between your journey of transformation through veganism. Why did you become a vegan?
0:18:03.4 Phoebe McPherson: Yeah.
0:18:03.8 Paul F. Austin: And what was that process like in terms of how it changed your relationship to yourself, to nature, to community even?
0:18:10.8 Phoebe McPherson: Yeah. So I went vegan when I was like 14, 15.
0:18:15.3 Paul F. Austin: Oh wow. Okay.
0:18:16.2 Phoebe McPherson: Yeah. So like 16 years. It's been a really long time. And I went vegan because I did this project on animal testing. I didn't know that animal testing existed, and I was doing some project about changing laws. And I saw videos and photos of animal testing for makeup. And it terrified me. And I started having this like, I don't know, this waking up of like, oh my God, this is what we're doing to animals and then we're eating them. And the thought of eating flesh started to terrify me. And I actually told my parents I'm gonna be vegetarian. And they grounded me. They told me I wasn't allowed to make that decision for myself, [laughter] and I was like, "Okay." And so I stayed grounded and then they ungrounded me and I came downstairs that next morning and I was like, "I'm actually vegan now." And they were like, "Okay, you're grounded again." I was like, "Okay." [laughter] And at that time I started reading these books about factory farming and started educating myself on just the way that western society treats food, especially animal-based products.
0:19:16.0 Phoebe McPherson: And I don't think I would've been vegan if I lived somewhere like California, in like a small town where I had access to farmer's markets and raw milk and all of this stuff. But I didn't, I grew up in Northern Virginia. Whole foods was insane. I was making green juice when I was like 17 and people thought I was a psychopath. Like I would get made fun of in school, like in my AP English class. And it was this thing where I just stuck to my guns because for me it felt right and it forced me to re-examine the food that I was putting in my body because at first my parents were like, "Well, you gotta figure out what you're gonna eat." And I was like, "I don't know." And I would eat like peanut butter sandwiches 'cause I didn't know what to put in my body. And through that it was like really discovering the sovereignty of like everything you need to heal yourself like you have. You have the tools that you need. And so often we look at the world to heal us or take care of us, but we have to have that independence. And I think the parallel then to Kanna is, Kanna is this incredible plant that can help with your nervous system, with anxiety, with depression, with relieving mental health ailments.
0:20:21.5 Phoebe McPherson: But many things that do that, like traditional pharmaceutical SSRIs, they almost create this addiction where you feel like you need to have it to be able to feel better. But Kanna over time regulates your amygdala. So not only are you less reactive to your stressors, your amygdala is like your fight or flight part of your brain, but you're actually able to function and feel better on a daily basis without the need or the dependence on something outside of yourself. And what a gift can a plant give us, right? Such relief and then also over time say, okay, you've now got this yourself. Like I was your crutch, I was your ally, I will always be here for you if you go through something intense, you need me again, but go walk your own path.
0:21:03.2 Paul F. Austin: And I'm feeling a lot of parallels here with even microdosing.
0:21:05.9 Phoebe McPherson: Oh, absolutely.
0:21:06.8 Paul F. Austin: You know, as we talked about microdosing LSD or psilocybin through the podcast or through Third Wave, a lot of our conversation is this is a catalyst, this is an opener, this can really help you get out of a rut or explore new vistas of potential. And it's not the drug itself, it's a teacher.
0:21:25.6 Phoebe McPherson: It is a teacher.
0:21:26.2 Paul F. Austin: And it's an ally, but ultimately the power is inside of you and it's just helping you to remember that in many ways.
0:21:33.2 Phoebe McPherson: Exactly, 100%. And you know, if I go on like my more woo woo side, I like to say that psychedelics, Kanna and pathogens, they help wake you up to remember how to listen to nature and listen to your body, reconnect with your body. Because when you're able to really sit with that and listen to what your body needs and doesn't need, like that's where the healing is gonna come from. And that is why microdosing is so important. And I recommend people "microdosing Kanna" or stacking it with mushrooms or LSD or something else, because they each are working in such unique ways on your body that depending on what you need that week, that month, that year, there's something that can help catalyze you forward if you are stuck in a rut, to use your terminology, which is so beautiful.
0:22:16.1 Paul F. Austin: So one of the common comparisons that we hear with Kanna is it's like MDMA.
0:22:22.7 Phoebe McPherson: Yes.
0:22:23.1 Paul F. Austin: And we've talked about this before and you've been a little hesitant to get on board with that lens and that perspective. So I'd love if you could just talk about some of the similarities between MDMA and Kanna, but also more importantly, what are some of those core differences between MDMA and Kanna?
0:22:40.9 Phoebe McPherson: Yeah, that's a great question. And I'm glad you brought it up. I remember there was this article on Vice about like this is the natural MDMA.
0:22:48.6 Paul F. Austin: Which is now bankrupt, by the way.
0:22:50.1 Phoebe McPherson: I saw that. I was like, it's because you talked about Kanna. No way. [laughter]
0:22:53.7 Paul F. Austin: Yeah, I think there were a lot of people who had that because of, fuck you, Vice.
0:22:57.7 Phoebe McPherson: And you know, but it's sad, 'cause they really did push the label, and like beautiful things like that should be able to exist. But I was really upset about that article. But, so in a really high level way, Kanna and MDMA are very, very similar, very similar. The thing is, MDMA has amphetamines in it, and it's very speedy. And it's a very intensified version of Kanna. It's also synthesized. So they're both functioning as SSRIs, right? Serotonergic, they're working on your dopamine receptor sites and your opioid receptor sites, so very similar. The thing is MDMA has this amphetamine component to it, and it's very speedy, and it can deplete your serotonin levels significantly over time.
0:23:43.7 Phoebe McPherson: And there can be a lot of that serotonergic come down like the day after you have a ton of MDMA. The thing with Kanna is that it's natural. So anything that's gonna be a plant or from the ground is automatically gonna be better, and you're not getting any of that amphetamine speediness. I like to tell people, comparing Kanna to MDMA is like comparing coffee to cocaine. So technically they're similar when you look at it like pharmacologically, but they're not, right? Like it's a very microdose. And so I now sometimes use the MDMA reference only if people have no understanding of anything else that I'm talking about. Like it is a tool in my tool belt. And when I tell people it's like, it's a microdose of MDMA, micro microdose of MDMA with none of the speediness. So imagine having this beautiful heart opening sensation where you can authentically connect with other people. And then the next day you don't feel depleted and you feel really good. And like, that's what Kanna is doing.
0:24:38.1 Phoebe McPherson: And I think sometimes Sassafras MDMA creates connection, yes, but it can be inauthentic because it's so over the top. But Kanna, I think, cultivates really authentic connection, right? It's something where the first layer of your ego is removed so that you can vulnerably show up to another person without having to spill your heart and without having to be, I don't know, someone that you wouldn't be outside of medicine.
0:25:04.0 Paul F. Austin: Let's talk a little bit about MDA then, Sassafras. 'Cause right, the core thing that you mentioned with MDMA is that it has that methamphetamine component. It's much more stimulating. That can be, the reason they're using MDMA for PTSD is that extra stimulating component, particularly for those with PTSD can help them stay awake.
0:25:22.7 Phoebe McPherson: Yes, totally.
0:25:23.5 Paul F. Austin: When working through traumatic experiences 'cause oftentimes the brain and the body just shuts down. And so that's an important part, but...
0:25:30.7 Phoebe McPherson: Oh, absolutely.
0:25:31.7 Paul F. Austin: But most people who are listening to this don't have complex PTSD or significant PTSD. They're really looking at, you know, just living more authentic, connected, fulfilling lives. And so I'd love to hear what are some of those nuanced differences between sassafras 'cause sassafras is, from what I understand, also a natural substance.
0:25:52.8 Phoebe McPherson: Yes.
0:25:53.1 Paul F. Austin: Although it's not always sold as a natural...
0:25:55.1 Phoebe McPherson: It's a bark.
0:25:55.5 Paul F. Austin: It's a bark.
0:25:56.0 Phoebe McPherson: Yeah, so the sassafras bark. And then there is... Most sassafras is all synthesized that you can get.
0:26:02.8 Paul F. Austin: Gotcha, okay.
0:26:02.9 Phoebe McPherson: And I can't speak a ton to sassafras, but what I can say is, again, most sassafras is synthesized and there's a lot of dirty sass out there where you feel really, really bad the next day. And something without as much of that, you know, amphetamine speediness component is going to be amazing, but it's still a lot on your nervous system, you know? And MDMA MDA are absolutely incredible as tools, as medicine, as allies recreationally, if that's something that you're called to, like the MDMA research maps, what they're doing is phenomenal. I've had experiences with MDMA for complex PTSD and like I understand it. Like my fight or flight is I go into dorsal. Like I completely shut down and it looks like I'm dead and I'm not. So I get it. And it's just different tools for different use cases. I think Kanna can be an amazing ally for therapy. Do I think it's always going to be an MDMA replacement or an MDA replacement? No. I think it depends on what people are going for and what they need. Kanna is more of like that day-to-day, that gentle ally.
0:27:06.3 Paul F. Austin: Hey listeners, Paul here. We'll be right back to this conversation with Phoebe after a brief word.
0:27:10.8 Paul F. Austin: Hey listeners, a quick break from today's episode to share a word from our friends at Magi. If you're looking to add a tool in your toolbox to help you deepen your journey of self-discovery, you'll want to check out Magi's Haoma Revelation Aid. Naturally derived and fully legal in all 50 states. Haoma Revelation Aid is a psychoactive plant medicine supplement based on extracts of Syrian rue, which was ritually consumed in ancient Iran in pursuit of other worldly insights and revelations. Magi's team of chemists, pharmacologists and neuroscientists have formulated the safest, most controlled way to take Syrian rue, which is precisely dosed in the Haoma Revelation Aid. It promotes a dream-like state of awareness where you can tap in to deep personal insights and epiphanies. The effects are more manageable than say, a high dose psychedelic journey, making Haoma Revelation Aid the perfect compliment to deep inner work. For a limited time, Magi is giving listeners of The Psychedelic Podcast a discount on any order on their website. Just visit ancestralmagi.com, that's ancestralM-A-G-I.com and enter coupon code TW10 at checkout. These powerful supplements ship anywhere in the United States and Puerto Rico. So give them a try today. That's ancestralmagi, M-A-G-I.com and use coupon code TW10. Now back to the show.
0:28:50.5 Paul F. Austin: So bring us a little bit deeper into the modern story of Kanna.
0:28:53.4 Phoebe McPherson: Yeah.
0:28:53.5 Paul F. Austin: I first heard about Kanna in early 2017.
0:28:58.9 Phoebe McPherson: Oh wow.
0:29:00.4 Paul F. Austin: I had just gotten back from speaking in Amsterdam. And the group that I was supporting or speaking at their event, it was the Psychedelic Society of the Netherlands or something like that.
0:29:11.8 Phoebe McPherson: Epic.
0:29:13.5 Paul F. Austin: And Kanna was just being sold in head shops there and they knew about it.
0:29:17.1 Phoebe McPherson: Yeah.
0:29:17.1 Paul F. Austin: And they sent me home with it and I looked at it and I went, I tried a little bit and I didn't really think much of it. And it wasn't until maybe till we met a few years later, three, four years later...
0:29:30.3 Phoebe McPherson: Yeah.
0:29:30.8 Paul F. Austin: That I started to hear more about Kanna. And then, and nowadays it's like...
0:29:35.7 Phoebe McPherson: It's blown up.
0:29:36.7 Paul F. Austin: You can't go anywhere without hearing about the tinctures or microdoses or clinical research or I was just with a few friends a few weeks ago and they're talking about how the price is now increasing with Kanna and why is the price increasing with Kanna.
0:29:47.8 Phoebe McPherson: It's crazy.
0:29:48.5 Paul F. Austin: So I'd love if you could just talk a little bit about that story of Kanna over the last few years. Why is it becoming more relevant and more popular? What type of maybe research is being done on Kanna? What are some of the use cases in terms of why people are coming to Kanna? Just some of that.
0:30:11.1 Phoebe McPherson: Yeah. So I think, you know, the story of Kanna entering the world stage, the world market, is parallel with the story of psychedelics entering the world stage in the world market. This third wave that we are in of psychedelic renaissance means that people want access to things that are legal and things that are going to help them feel better. So in my opinion, Kanna started really entering the world stage right after the pandemic, where we started to see murmurings of it. People were having experiences with it in like high doses, in plant medicine circles and people just started to want it. And I helped introduce what we believe to be the first like branded Kanna microdose to the world stage at Meet Delic, remember 2021? And I remember we got off stage, or I got off stage from talking about it and we had 200 orders in five minutes.
0:31:01.0 Paul F. Austin: What!
0:31:01.5 Phoebe McPherson: It was insane. We like sold out of the Kanna microdose. We didn't have anymore. And from there, I'm not saying that we catalyzed it, but I remember from there, within six months there was suddenly more Kanna brands and everyone was talking about it. And it was fascinating to watch. And I think we just got really lucky like entering it right at the precipice. And in addition to that, there's been some fascinating research that keeps coming out about it. And big leaders like Paul Stamets and James Fadiman, they're talking about Kanna, right? And I think it's just been this groundswell that's been building for a long time. We've had some people that are really exporting some beautiful Kanna outside of South Africa, and the technology's there to now standardize extracts. So I'll go quickly into that. So within Kanna, it's one of the most ethno-botanically diverse plants on the planet. Currently there's 32 known alkaloids, but the two main alkaloids are mesembrine and mesembrenone. Mesembrine is what's responsible for the SSRI effect and acting as a PDE4 inhibitor. And then mesembrenone is giving you this euphoric effect as well. Sorry, mesembrine is a VMAT for protein activator and then mesembrenone is PDE4 inhibitor.
0:32:11.8 Phoebe McPherson: And so basically they're all working to give you this euphoric effect and then work as like a natural anxiolytic and antidepressant. The thing is, when you just take a whole plant and probably what you got in Amsterdam, if you're not standardizing it, standardizing the alkaloid, it's gonna be hit or miss. Kind of like when we're working with mushrooms, right? We wanna work in really the high doses so we can standardize what the dose is gonna be like gram to gram. And so we started getting this technology where we could get a standardized extract, like 3%, 5% mesembrine, and people could start to have a really reliable experience with it time and time again, which means we can start creating products for end users, for people who don't wanna go and grow and ferment their own Kanna plant. And so all of these things boating together just made, you know, it was perfect for Kanna to start coming to the world market.
0:33:00.1 Phoebe McPherson: And so outside of one of the first people to pharmaceuticalize it, Zembrin, they funded a ton of research on Kanna. Started to bring it to the world stage. We're now seeing brands that are popping up to provide Kanna in more of a everyday supplementation from not pharmaceutical, but recreational dose, right? In South Africa today it's used both pharmacologically and recreationally, so there's people who are taking it for anxiety and then they take it to go work out or go hang out and not drink. And now we're seeing that in the United States and around the world, because we have Kanna that is reliable, that really works, and there's people that are really excited about it, and they're starting to experiment with it and see what's going to be the best. So, I don't know if that answers your question.
0:33:47.1 Paul F. Austin: That helps. I'll keep digging.
0:33:48.5 Phoebe McPherson: Yeah, keep digging.
0:33:49.2 Paul F. Austin: What do you think are some of the clinical indications that Kanna could be potentially useful for in terms of what may be is... Is it being brought through the FDA approval process, is it...
0:34:01.9 Phoebe McPherson: It is. Because it's already been pharmaceuticalized, I know Zembrin is approved by the FDA.
0:34:07.9 Paul F. Austin: Oh wow, okay.
0:34:09.1 Phoebe McPherson: I've seen some murmurings that it was on the list of like plants of concern, Damiana was on the list of plants of concern too, which made me really sad.
0:34:16.5 Paul F. Austin: That's an aphrodisiac, right?
0:34:17.5 Phoebe McPherson: It's an aphrodisiac. Incredible aphrodisiac from Mexico, it reduces performance-related anxiety. Fascinating, right? So it really helps you connect with another person in the bedroom or elsewhere. We love it. So plants of concern are stuff the FDA is looking at, do we need to schedule it, do we need to not? Because it's already been pharmaceuticalized, they think it's fine, but the plant across the board has not been approved by the FDA, and the problem is there hasn't been enough funding for independent research of the plant. So from that standpoint, who knows, but what we do know is that the studies using Zembrin have shown that it is an incredible antidepressant, anxiolytic, aid for those going through addiction, and for people that are looking for help in withdrawing from benzos, I believe it's benzos.
0:35:07.5 Paul F. Austin: Oh, wow. Okay.
0:35:08.2 Phoebe McPherson: It's actually been really effective. Yeah, it's fascinating. According to the internet and research, they say that if you're on a SSRI, do not take Kanna, and I cannot tell you whether you can or can't, but what I can say is that there're people that are trying to detox off of SSRIs, like pharmaceutical SSRIs using a very, very low dose of Kanna and have been able to do it more effectively, more quickly with little to no side effects, similarly to people using like a traditional psilocybin microdose to come off SSRIs.
0:35:38.8 Paul F. Austin: Right. And we know that psilocybin is only contraindicated with lithium.
0:35:42.3 Phoebe McPherson: Yes, yes.
0:35:43.6 Paul F. Austin: And at the same time, there might be, I would imagine there's some potential of combining the two, psilocybin and Kanna...
0:35:50.5 Phoebe McPherson: And Kanna together.
0:35:51.4 Paul F. Austin: Together.
0:35:51.9 Phoebe McPherson: And that's the thing. Kanna is very safe. Basically non-toxic. I mean, there's definitely side effects, if you take too much, you can get sick, you have to be careful with anything that functions as an SSRI, so you don't flood your brain with serotonin and die, right? Serotonin Syndrome. Low doses, which is what I'm recommending most people to work at, you're gonna be safe, you're gonna be fine, you'd feel the effects long before it's an issue, but yes, Kanna is like tofu. It soaks up the effects or the energetics of whatever's around it. So imagine you have something like a psilocybin microdose, or macrodose, which is opening up your brain and your spirit, this like etherealism, right? It's increasing neuroplasticity, but then you add this component that works on the heart, your feelings, the more nuanced part of what it means to be a human, and you combine them together, there's not enough addressing head heart combinations, and it's a beautiful, beautiful combination for people to have.
0:36:44.5 Paul F. Austin: I'd love to hear you talk a little bit about adaptogens. So we were...
0:36:47.4 Phoebe McPherson: Oh, yeah.
0:36:48.1 Paul F. Austin: Before we went live, we were talking about psychoactives, adaptogens, psychedelics.
0:36:55.5 Phoebe McPherson: So many terms.
0:36:56.4 Paul F. Austin: Right? We at Third Wave, we published a guide with your help on Kanna.
0:37:01.1 Phoebe McPherson: Yeah. It was so fun to publish.
0:37:02.6 Paul F. Austin: So we now have an ultimate guide to Kanna. We do recognize that it's not a classic psychedelic, or really a psychedelic at all, I suppose.
0:37:11.0 Phoebe McPherson: Yeah.
0:37:11.5 Paul F. Austin: Although I will say if... A lot of people would consider MDMA...
0:37:16.0 Phoebe McPherson: Yes.
0:37:16.5 Paul F. Austin: To be a psychedelic, so it may just depend on the intention, the [0:37:20.9] ____, etcetera, etcetera. So I'd love for you to talk a little bit about how do we define adaptogens? Why is it that Kanna is an adaptogen, and then would you consider Kanna to be a psychedelic or just a psychoactive?
0:37:34.1 Phoebe McPherson: Yeah, okay, so I'm gonna work backwards. So the last question you asked, I'll answer first. So depending on who I'm talking to, I could call Kanna a psychedelic and that is because for many people, psychedelic is this umbrella term that's going to include ketamine and MDMA and Sassafras and all of these things, and if it does, then, yeah, Kanna is a psychedelic, especially in high doses. You know, it has psychedelic properties, it's not working on your five... What is it? HP... Or 5-HT2A receptors.
0:38:03.3 Paul F. Austin: 5-HT2A.
0:38:03.3 Phoebe McPherson: Thank you. So many letters and numbers, it's not working on those receptors, but it's working on other receptors, which psychedelics are working on that is changing your brain chemistry, and when we think about what a classic entheogenic classic psychedelic is, it's giving you this experience with God or something greater and Kanna can absolutely do that. Absolutely. So yes, it can. When I put on my Virgo moon super analytical hat, and I would say, no, it's not. Because it's not a classic psychedelic. When you look at the pharmacology, it does not fit into that. So it depends, but for most people, yeah, it's within this kind of psychedelic psychedelic adjacent space. Right? And then adaptogen. So an adaptogen is anything that's going to adapt to your system, it helps your body adapt to stress and stressful environments and makes you more resilient to stress without suppressing your system, it's either going to up or down regulate who you are, and then it's also non-toxic, so it has to be non-toxic. Examples of really good adaptogens, Cordyceps is an awesome adaptogen, Rhodiola, Ginseng, Holy Basil, so many amazing ones across the board.
0:39:08.4 Phoebe McPherson: And with that qualification of what an adaptogen, Kanna absolutely is, it's regulating your amygdala. Depending on who's taking it, it's either gonna make you more talkative, more outgoing, or maybe more quiet and calm down your system. It's adapting to you to give you what your body needs, which is beautiful. And I think sometimes we confuse the word adaptogen with just like something that's good for your system or something that's unnerving, but adaptogens are very specific and they're very, very powerful.
0:39:34.6 Paul F. Austin: And they help bring us back to homeostasis.
0:39:38.0 Phoebe McPherson: Yes. Yes. Exactly.
0:39:38.6 Paul F. Austin: I mean, that's the core of it.
0:39:39.0 Phoebe McPherson: So up or down regulating. So something that's immunomodulating is technically bringing your body to homeostasis with your immune system. Adaptogens are doing that with your nervous system.
0:39:49.6 Paul F. Austin: I remember I first started working with Rhodiola when I was 18. I played college soccer.
0:39:53.7 Phoebe McPherson: Nice.
0:39:55.7 Paul F. Austin: And someone on our team was, his family was the founder of Amway.
0:40:02.0 Phoebe McPherson: Wow.
0:40:02.1 Paul F. Austin: And so they just gave us a bunch of supplements to take.
0:40:05.3 Paul F. Austin: And one of them were these little pills that had both Rhodiola and caffeine. And I'd never heard of Rhodiola.
0:40:11.4 Phoebe McPherson: Whoa. Rhodiola and caffeine?
0:40:13.7 Paul F. Austin: Together.
0:40:14.5 Phoebe McPherson: Wild. [chuckle]
0:40:14.5 Paul F. Austin: And so, but I knew that if I took those before a game or before practice, I was always a little bit more alert, I always had a little bit more stamina, I was always a little bit more on top of things. And so at that point, I just started doing research and it turns out, I mean, this is 14 years ago now, but it turns out that there was really no research that had been done in the United States, but there was a lot of research that had been done in Russia.
0:40:39.5 Phoebe McPherson: Yeah. And it's still classified.
0:40:41.5 Paul F. Austin: Really?
0:40:42.0 Phoebe McPherson: Yeah. So most of the Rhodiola research in Russia is still classified to this day, which is fascinating. [chuckle]
0:40:48.9 Paul F. Austin: Why is that, do you think?
0:40:50.1 Phoebe McPherson: 'Cause...
0:40:50.8 Paul F. Austin: Is to protect pharmaceutical companies or?
0:40:53.3 Phoebe McPherson: I don't know. I mean, my wild mind likes to be like, no. Like what they know is like so great, like the US can't know, but who knows? But it's...
0:41:01.9 Paul F. Austin: 'Cause these adaptogens, Rhodiola, Ashwagandha, now Kanna, they're...
0:41:06.0 Phoebe McPherson: Holy Basil.
0:41:08.1 Paul F. Austin: Holy Basil.
0:41:08.5 Phoebe McPherson: Cordyceps, Lion's Mane.
0:41:08.6 Paul F. Austin: They're in...
0:41:09.9 Phoebe McPherson: Chaga.
0:41:10.3 Paul F. Austin: They're all over now.
0:41:11.4 Phoebe McPherson: All over.
0:41:12.4 Paul F. Austin: They're super integrated into the wellness scene.
0:41:14.1 Phoebe McPherson: And that's what I was saying, like Kanna has come to the world stage, is this reemergence of herbalism of plants. I like to say it's the re-convergence of nature and humanity. We shun nature, especially in western society for so long, everything had to be sterilized and packaged. And we're starting to see like even our gut microbiome is gonna be healthy if we have a little bit of dirt from the farmer's market. And we're starting to really believe in all of these plants and mushrooms again. And like what a gift. Right? It's what indigenous have known all along.
0:41:46.3 Paul F. Austin: Right. We're coming back to that archaic wisdom, which is...
0:41:49.0 Phoebe McPherson: Totally.
0:41:49.9 Paul F. Austin: Which is important. Okay. I want to talk about two more things.
0:41:52.0 Phoebe McPherson: Yes.
0:41:52.9 Paul F. Austin: One is environmental concerns around Kanna. Is endangered, is it soon to be endangered? Is it flourishing and plentiful and everywhere? Tell us a little bit about how it's grown, how long it takes to grow and some of the environmental aspects around Kanna.
0:42:08.6 Phoebe McPherson: Yeah. So Kanna is indigenous to South Africa. And some say parts of Namibia, which used to be part of South Africa, but what are world borders? And it grows like ice grass, like I said, in a part of South Africa called the Karoo. Think of it similar to Joshua Tree. So it was almost cultivated to extinction by the Dutch explorers in the late 1600s. And then essentially the indigenous, the Khoi and the San tried to hide where it was, and they brought it back to flourishing. And then nowadays you can barely find it in the wild, but it's being cultivated really beautifully in South Africa. Many researchers believe that Kanna needs to be given a designation similarly to Champagnes. You know how Champagne has to be grown in the Champagne region, same with Kanna. It needs to grow in this specific environment for it to have the alkaloids and the properties that it needs to have.
0:43:03.5 Phoebe McPherson: And that research with Kanna is so new and continues to emerge. So we'll see what happens. But I think it's a really interesting way to look at it. Almost all of the Kanna farms that are cultivating it for exporting, they're growing it in the ground. They're not growing it in buckets, they're not growing it in beds. It's literally in the ground with maybe a shade over top because it's crazy resilient and it just, it grows. It typically takes four years to grow until you can harvest it for medicine. We're seeing more and more cultivation farms popping up. There are murmurs of people trying to do it here in Southern California, which would be fascinating to watch to see just how the analgesics change, how the alkaloids change. But at the moment it's not endangered, which is great. That being said, in 2020, there was a researcher who was explaining to me that there were poachers who stopped trying to poach animals and tried to poach Kanna, and they were poaching Kanna from the wild and stealing it from labs. So it's a really high interest plant. What political things are going on with it specifically in South Africa right now, I'm not super familiar. I'm not as up to date, but it's not endangered and we have a lot of it right now. And supply is meeting demand, which is great.
0:44:18.0 Paul F. Austin: Next question that I have for you is around protocols. So for those who are listening at home, if they want to potentially start to work with Kanna, how should they think about integrating that as a supplement? Is it every day? Is it every other day? How much Kanna depending on tincture versus if it comes in supplement form, just give us a lay of the land in terms of actually working with the medicine itself.
0:44:43.3 Phoebe McPherson: Totally. So there's a few ways to take Kanna. You can insufflate it, you can smoke it. Yeah, it's really great to smoke with cannabis. The indigenous would smoke cannabis and Kanna together. It's like this super, super ancient stack, highly recommended it to anyone who's called to cannabis. Or you can make a tea out of it or you can get it in a tincture or capsules or put it in something. If you are ordering Kanna from the internet, to all of your listeners, please, please, please be careful. Ask for third party lab results. It needs to be lab tested and ask for the COAs and then ask what it's standardized to in terms of its alkaloid ratios. Typically, you want like a 3% alkaloid, 3% mesembrine. And at that you can start with 25 mg every day if you want. I always recommend a 5:2 protocol. I think your on is Western cycles of nature, weekdays, weekends off, and then you can go up from there. I wouldn't take more than 200 mg in a day if you're using it for like an actual protocol routine. If you are looking at Kanna that is not standardized, it's not a standardized extract, like you're doing it in a tea, try to do a 2:1 in a French press of tea to water and go from there.
0:45:58.5 Phoebe McPherson: And then outside of that just be really, really careful with what you're ordering. You can get a 2:1 extract tincture, start with half a tincture full from there and go on. If it's a really good source they're going to tell you how much to take and tell you how much Kanna is in it and if it's an extract or if it's the whole plant. So that's what I can say overall. And then in terms of protocol, 5:2 is a great protocol to start with and then listen to your body after about a month or two months. And then most people take at least a week break after three months of working with Kanna. There are many people who would take it every single day for three months, really have the shift and then take a break and turn back to it only when they're going through an emotionally or physically intense time.
0:46:41.5 Paul F. Austin: What are some of the subjective benefits that people experience? So let's say they go and they do a five day on, two day off. They do it for three months. What are some shifts that people are noticing after they go through that protocol?
0:46:51.0 Phoebe McPherson: Yeah. They're able to handle difficult conversations with grace. They're able to get to sleep without any sort of supplementation and actually get really good sleep. They're able to handle stressful situations at work. They feel a noticeable up-shift in their mood. So their lows aren't quite so low and their highs are still pretty high and they're not suppressing their emotions. They find that their anxiety is melted off of them. They find that they're able to more authentically connect with another human being without any guise of anxiety or having to put a mask onto the world. Many people find that when they use it in the evenings they're able to drink less. They're able to take less supplements. It can also help with emotional eating because it can suppress thirst and hunger. It's incredible. Depending on the person there's so many things that they can benefit with. For me specifically it's amazing to start my day because it keeps me focused without getting me jittery. If I'm having coffee or a stimulant like cacao it melts all of my anxiety away, which is so huge. I struggle so immensely with social anxiety and it allows me to just be with another person and be able to just sit with them in that beautiful comfort of being.
0:48:05.2 Paul F. Austin: This sounds good.
0:48:06.3 Phoebe McPherson: It's really good.
0:48:07.1 Paul F. Austin: I'm gonna try it.
0:48:07.6 Phoebe McPherson: And you've experienced it.
0:48:08.7 Paul F. Austin: I have. I have in, not in just the plant itself.
0:48:16.9 Phoebe McPherson: Totally.
0:48:17.4 Paul F. Austin: Right? And so...
0:48:18.4 Phoebe McPherson: But stacked.
0:48:19.0 Paul F. Austin: I've tried it. I've had it stacked with Psilocybin, Theobromine, Lion's Mane and Damiana. And what I've noticed about that combination is it makes me feel really gooey.
0:48:31.1 Phoebe McPherson: Yeah.
0:48:31.7 Paul F. Austin: And particularly with the strain that is used, it's a ghost strain. Ghost tends to have a more hard opening quality to it anyway. So whenever I do it, it feels like I'm exactly where I'm supposed to be. I can sort of rest and be present in that. And generally life is very good. Like I have a lot of gratitude and gratefulness that comes from that. And of course that's through that combination. I've also done it in more, like we had a team retreat a month or so ago in San Diego and so our entire team had a little bit of it, like a half chocolate to a chocolate for a more connected intimate social evening.
0:49:21.5 Phoebe McPherson: Beautiful.
0:49:22.3 Paul F. Austin: And it just allowed everyone to really drop in and be present. But I haven't tried Kanna by itself. And now I'm... I've done a lot of different microdosing protocols, Wachuma, LSD, and Psilocybin in particular but then mixed with different formulations. And I'm kind of curious now to just try what would a Kanna microdosing protocol feel like and do? 'Cause a lot of what I'm working on this year is just healing my heart and opening the heart. And so it sounds like this is a really great way to facilitate that learning.
0:50:01.0 Phoebe McPherson: Oh, absolutely. And it's one of the reasons I started deepening my connection with Kanna. I went through three nights of Ayahuasca, and it was a dark night of the soul for three nights, and each night got darker. And when I came out of it, I was completely unstable. I was having eight hour PTSD episodes, three hours a week.
0:50:19.9 Paul F. Austin: Oh my God.
0:50:20.8 Phoebe McPherson: Three days a week. No. It was really, really bad. And it was a scary time.
0:50:24.9 Paul F. Austin: Was this because of the way the ceremony was held or just the...
0:50:27.0 Phoebe McPherson: What it brought up.
0:50:28.6 Paul F. Austin: What it brought up.
0:50:29.5 Phoebe McPherson: I had a lot of repressed memories that came up all at once. I was cracked open way too fast, and that's no one's fault, like that's what the medicine provided. And then there's just ways that you're held afterwards. And I was just in a really, really fragile state and these just emotions were completely overwhelming my system. And it was because of microdosing Kanna that I was able to actually start working through these emotions and processing them without suppressing them or without them overwhelming my system. So I'm crying for eight hours and I was able to move forward from that and it was such a gift. And I don't take it as intensely as I did at that time because I don't need to now. And if it wasn't for this connection with Kanna and this relationship that I built with it I wouldn't be sitting here today.
0:51:18.6 Phoebe McPherson: I wouldn't be able to do the work that I'm doing today. And because of that, so there's a company that I'm working for, Fungtion, and I got to formulate a Kanna tincture, which I'm really excited about. And I formulated it based off what I would've wanted in a tincture when I was going through that. And what I think everyone around me really needs which is something that's going to be an ally that's just going to put you in your body and ground you and root you and make you feel really good. And like you talk a lot about stacking and it's the potentiation of Kanna with other adaptogens and plants and herbs that is so profound. It's so absolutely profound in the way that it can either be really stimulating for your system or it can really bring you down. So like in the Chakras that you have it makes you ooey and gooey and loving and you want to connect. And then this tincture it's almost like someone's plugged you into the earth and pulled you back down. It has Chaga and Reishi and Kava and Valerian and it tastes like cookies but there's no sugar. It's amazing. I'm so excited.
0:52:25.0 Paul F. Austin: I'm gonna have to try this.
0:52:26.3 Phoebe McPherson: Oh, yeah.
0:52:27.0 Paul F. Austin: You gave me some right before this.
0:52:28.6 Phoebe McPherson: I gave you some. Yeah. So you have it.
0:52:29.7 Paul F. Austin: Okay. I got it. So now I have no reason not to.
0:52:31.0 Phoebe McPherson: Yeah. Well, I'll get you a straight Kanna microdose too.
0:52:33.3 Paul F. Austin: I would love that too.
0:52:34.0 Phoebe McPherson: So then you can try all of the things and really build a relationship with her.
0:52:37.1 Paul F. Austin: That would be beautiful.
0:52:38.0 Phoebe McPherson: Yeah.
0:52:39.5 Paul F. Austin: As a final sort of sending off, if you will, if folks wanna learn more about Kanna or maybe they wanna work with Kanna, I mean, we have our guide on Third Wave site that's pretty comprehensive. You had mentioned you're working on maybe a documentary?
0:52:54.2 Phoebe McPherson: Yes.
0:52:54.5 Paul F. Austin: I don't know if that's happening still, or?
0:52:56.8 Phoebe McPherson: I am still working on a documentary, it's in the beginning stages and the documentary is going to just tell the story of this plant. It's so important to document how humans perceive and work with plants over time. And hopefully the intention is that when the documentary comes out, any proceeds will go straight into a nonprofit that we've set up to support the plants, support women getting micro loans to grow the plant in South Africa and also protect the plants, to put protections in place, fund independent research. It's gonna be really cool. So stay tuned for that, people can follow me on Instagram for like the latest, so it's, my name, _Phoebe_McPherson. I'm sure we'll put it in the show notes, and I have a guide pinned at the very top and then there'll be tons of education coming out, there's a company tagged Fungtion and we're doing a ton of education around Kanna. Our focus is just putting out information so people can have sovereignty to decide what kind of product they wanna put in their body. And I recommend a ton of companies on my own page as well.
0:54:10.4 Paul F. Austin: So _Phoebe_McPherson on Instagram. You have a guide to Kanna pinned there.
0:54:17.1 Phoebe McPherson: Yes.
0:54:17.1 Paul F. Austin: And do you also have in that guide reputable, trustworthy sources to work with Kanna or?
0:54:24.1 Phoebe McPherson: Yes.
0:54:24.4 Paul F. Austin: Okay.
0:54:24.7 Phoebe McPherson: So I have sources to work with Kanna, I have brands for... And products if that's something you're interested in. And then I always tell people like, there's a text only number on my bio. You can text and I will respond and I will give you access or point you in the right direction of whatever you need and yeah, just reach out if you need anything else and just know that they're really, really beautiful ways to connect with the plant. And the Third Wave guide is a great place to start. [chuckle]
0:54:51.5 Paul F. Austin: Well Phoebe, thank you. Thank you for all of your support and it's really been a pleasure to get to know you these last couple years now.
0:55:01.9 Phoebe McPherson: You too.
0:55:02.0 Paul F. Austin: And I know we've been talking about this podcast for a while, almost probably nine, 10 months. So it's nice to sit in a backyard in Encinitas under the sun and...
0:55:11.6 Phoebe McPherson: Just chat about Kanna.
0:55:12.5 Paul F. Austin: I learned so much today. I saw the plant today which is a beautiful plant. I learned so much about its history, its past, its use cases, what people are experiencing. So thank you for being a wealth of knowledge about this really important plant.
0:55:26.5 Phoebe McPherson: You're welcome. And thank you for sharing it with the world.
0:55:36.2 Paul F. Austin: Hey listeners, I hope you enjoyed our podcast today with Phoebe McPherson. Continue this conversation with us in Third Wave's Community at community.thethirdwave.co. And let us know what you found interesting or meaningful in this conversation. Again, just go to community.thethirdwave.co. You can sign in, find the Psychedelic Podcast in the menu and leave as a comment there. And while you're at it, check out the rest of the platform where you can find support engage, in meaningful discussions, as well as access high quality education resources and providers across our global ecosystem. You can sign up for free at community.thethirdwave.co.