KHAT (pronounced “cot”) is a 2 to 12 foot flowering evergreen shrub native to East Africa and the Arabian Peninsula known as Catha Edulis.

For centuries the leaves of the KHAT shrub have been consumed and chewed and predates the use of coffee.

KHAT contains two substances, cathinone and cathine, both of which are stimulants.

Fresh leaves contain cathinone a Schedule I drug under the controlled substances act, however, the leaves begin to deteriorate after 36 hours causing the chemical composition of the plant to breakdown. Once this occurs the leaves contain cathine, a Scheduled IV drug.

Fresh KHAT leaves are glossy and crimson-brown in color, resembling withered basil.

Deteriorating KHAT leaves are leathery and turn yellow-green in color.

KHAT can be chewed, smoked, or brewed as a tea.

When chewed in moderation KHAT alleviates fatigue and reduces appetite.

Side effects: increased heart rate, increased blood pressure, insomnia, and gastric disorders.

Chronic use causes: Physical exhaustion, anorexia, violence, suicidal depression, manic behavior, hyperactivity, and hallucinations.

Street terms: Kat, Qat, Chat, Gat, Bushman’s tea, African salad