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Catha edulis is a flowering plant native to the Horn of Africa and the Arabian Peninsula. Among communities from these areas, khat chewing has a history as a social custom dating back thousands of years.

Khat
Catha edulis.jpg
Catha edulis
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Rosids
Order: Celastrales
Family: Celastraceae
Genus: Catha
Species: C. edulis
Binomial name
Catha edulis

Catha edulis (khat, qat) is a flowering plant native to the Horn of Africa and the Arabian Peninsula. Among communities from these areas, khat chewing has a history as a social custom dating back thousands of years.

Khat contains a monoamine alkaloid called cathinone, an amphetamine-like stimulant, which is said to cause excitement, loss of appetite and euphoria. In 1980, the World Health Organization (WHO) classified it as a drug of abuse that can produce psychological dependence, although WHO does not consider khat addiction to be seriously problematic. The plant has been targeted by anti-drug organizations such as the DEA. It is a controlled substance in some countries, such as Canada, Germany, the United Kingdom, and the United States (de facto), while its production, sale, and consumption are legal in other nations, including Djibouti, Kenya, Ethiopia, Somalia and Yemen. Consumption of the plant's leaves in its natural state is also permitted in Israel.

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