What is Ibogaine?

Ibogaine is a naturally occurring psychedelic molecule, derived from the bark of the Tabernanthe iboga plant, which is native to West Africa. For centuries, the plant has been used in traditional African spiritual ceremonies to induce visionary experiences and facilitate inner healing. In modern times, Ibogaine has been researched for its potential as a treatment for addiction and depression, with promising results.

Key Takeaways:

  • Ibogaine is a psychedelic plant medicine originating from Africa.
  • It is a potential alternative therapy for addiction and depression.
  • Research on Ibogaine’s therapeutic benefits is ongoing.
  • Ibogaine treatment should only be administered under the supervision of medical professionals.
  • Further exploration of Ibogaine’s potential is crucial for improving the lives of those suffering from addiction and depression.

History of Ibogaine Treatment

Ibogaine treatment from the African psychedelic plant medicine Iboga, which has been used for centuries in traditional healing practices among a religious community known as the Bwiti, based in Gabon. 

Ibogaine has appeared in Western medicine since the 1930s, first promoted by French pharmacies as a stimulant. TIn  1962 by Howard Lotsof, a scientist and former opioid user who took ibogaine mistakingly, thinking it was heroin. After experiencing reduced cravings and withdrawal symptoms following ibogaine use, he began researching the drug to treat opioid addiction. 

Around the same time, underground psychedelic researchers were also recognising ibogaine’s potential in other psychiatric disorders. For instance, the famous Leo Zeff, described ibogaine as useful in therapy, as it helped enable patients to “recognize psychological blocks.”

Despite many years of ibogaine research, the drug has only recently been called to mainstream attention. This is because of the psychedelic renaissance, the revived interest in psychedelic drugs to treat mental health, and the growing opioid epidemic. An increasing number of ibogaine treatment clinics are opening up, in places the treatment is legal, in light of its rising popularity. 

Exploring Ibogaine Therapy for Addiction 

Researchers don’t fully understand the mechanisms of ibogaine. However, animal studies show the drug interacts with the dopamine reward pathway, a group of nerve cell connections responsible for feelings of pleasure and addictive behaviors. Ibogaine interacts with a receptor type called NMDA, which is associated with neural plasticity and learning. This interaction could therefore help those with addiction disorders re-learn their addictive behavior patterns. Ibogaine may also act on a genetic level, reversing the effects of opioids on DNA.

Exploring Ibogaine for Depression

Some ibogaine clinics and retreat centers offer ibogaine for a variety of mental health conditions, including depression. Though there’s currently no clinical trials supporting use of ibogaine for depression, one animal experiment found a single ibogaine dose had antidepressant effects in a mouse model. In addition, anecdotal reports describe ibogaine can be a transformative experience that helps people face and overcome trauma. However, this is not the case for all users, and some people report having extremely difficult experiences, which could increase risk for long-lasting harmful psychological effects.

Health Risks of Ibogaine

It’s important to note that Ibogaine therapy is not without risks, and it’s important to approach it with caution. It is crucial that individuals considering this treatment do their research and consult with a qualified healthcare professional to determine if it’s the right choice for them.

Ibogaine interacts with signaling molecules in the heart that can increase the risk for abnormal heart beat, seizures, and in extreme cases, cardiac arrest. There have been several fatalities reported from ibogaine use, and it’s therefore critical the treatment isn’t provided to those with any personal or family history of cardiac problems.

Secondly, ibogaine is only legal in a restricted number of countries. Using ibogaine in unregulated settings could incur legal risks, and there’s an increased chance for physical and mental harm with illegitimate practitioners.  

Despite the risks, Ibogaine therapy remains an intriguing and promising approach to addiction and depression treatment. As research continues, we may soon see more widespread use of Ibogaine therapy as a complementary or alternative therapy to traditional treatments.

The Future of Ibogaine: New Drug Candidates

 While Ibogaine shows promise in treating addiction and depression, there are still concerns about its safety and efficacy. Fortunately, researchers are exploring new drug candidates derived from the original substance that address these issues and offer even greater potential as therapeutic options.

The first of these new drug candidates is 18-MC, which is chemically modified from Ibogaine and has shown to be more effective, safer, and less hallucinogenic. Studies suggest that 18-MC has the potential to be a powerful addiction treatment, targeting the same receptors as opioids and reducing withdrawal symptoms and cravings without causing unwanted side effects.

The second new drug candidate is Tabernanthalog, a molecule that mimics the effects of Ibogaine without inducing hallucinations. This promising substance could eliminate the need for patients to experience the intense and sometimes distressing visions associated with Ibogaine treatment. Instead, patients could receive the same therapeutic benefits without the uncomfortable side effects.

These new Ibogaine-derived drugs offer hope for the future of addiction and depression treatment. Researchers are continuing to explore their potential and refine their effectiveness, with the ultimate goal of providing safe and effective alternatives to current treatments. Patients struggling with addiction and depression deserve the best possible care, and these new drug candidates could be the key to unlocking a brighter future for them.


In conclusion, Ibogaine holds great potential as an alternative treatment for addiction and depression. Its history as an African psychedelic plant medicine, combined with modern therapeutic practices, has opened up exciting possibilities for patients suffering from addiction and depression.

The development of new drug candidates derived from Ibogaine is an exciting development in the field of addiction and depression treatment. The potential of these new substances in revolutionizing the way we approach these issues gives hope to millions of patients worldwide.

It is important to note that while Ibogaine is a promising alternative to traditional addiction and depression treatments, more research is needed to fully understand its potential and how it can effectively be used for treatment.


What is Ibogaine?

Ibogaine is a natural remedy derived from an African psychedelic plant medicine. It has shown potential in treating addiction and depression.

How does Ibogaine work as a natural remedy for addiction?

Ibogaine works by targeting the brain’s receptors and interrupting addictive patterns. It has been reported to reduce withdrawal symptoms and cravings.

What are the potential benefits of Ibogaine treatment?

Ibogaine treatment may offer relief from addiction and depression symptoms, providing individuals with a fresh start and a chance to regain control of their lives.

Are there any risks associated with Ibogaine treatment?

Like any treatment, Ibogaine does come with risks. It can cause side effects such as nausea, dizziness, and changes in heart rate. It is important to consult with a qualified healthcare professional before undergoing Ibogaine treatment.

What research and studies support the effectiveness of Ibogaine therapy?

While more research is needed, some studies have shown promising results. Ibogaine therapy has demonstrated potential in reducing addiction cravings and improving mental well-being.

Are there any new drug candidates derived from Ibogaine?

Yes, there are new drug candidates being developed based on Ibogaine. These candidates aim to improve upon the original substance and enhance its effectiveness in addiction and depression treatment.

What is the future of Ibogaine as a treatment option?

The future looks promising for Ibogaine. Ongoing research and development of new drug candidates hold great potential for revolutionizing addiction and depression treatment.

Is Ibogaine a potential solution for everyone struggling with addiction and depression?

While Ibogaine shows promise, it is not a one-size-fits-all solution. It is important for individuals to work with healthcare professionals to determine the most appropriate treatment plan for their specific needs.

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