Khat is a flowering evergreen shrub that is abused for its stimulant-like effect. Khat has two active ingredients, cathine and cathinone.

Khat that is sold and abused is usually just the leaves, twigs, and shoots of the khat shrub.

Khat is typically chewed like tobacco, then retained in the cheek and chewed intermittently to release the active drug, which produces a stimulant-like effect. Dried khat leaves can be made into tea or a chewable paste, and khat can also be smoked and even sprinkled on food.

Khat’s effects are similar to other stimulants, such as cocaine, amphetamine, and methamphetamine.

The chemicals found in khat are controlled under the Controlled Substances Act. Cathine is a Schedule IV stimulant, and cathinone is a Schedule I stimulant under the Controlled Substances Act, meaning that it has a high potential for abuse, no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States, and a lack of accepted safety for use under medical supervision.

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