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A Beginner’s Guide to Ibogaine

Ibogaine is a little-known compound which is found in a few plant species which are native to Central Africa. Both the plant and ibogaine extract have been used to successfully treat addiction for a number of years now. It has shown to be particularly effective at stopping opioid addiction in its tracks.

Ibogaine is a psychoactive substance that is both a psychedelic and a dissociative. Exactly how these effects combine to give it its powerful anti-addiction properties is still unknown. Because of its action as a psychedelic, ibogaine has been widely used by various African tribes in rite of passage ceremonies, and is also believed the have the potential to act as a catalyst to lasting psychological change in some users.

History of Ibogaine

The first reports of ibogaine containing plants being used as part of spiritual ceremonies were made by French and Belgian explorers sometime during the 19th century. Between 1930 and 1960 there was an over the counter preparation available in France, which contained ibogaine extract and was marketed as a stimulant. It wasn’t until the 1960’s that the first reports of ibogaine’s medical potential were first raised. Since then, there have been periods of intense research into ibogaine but as yet there have been no formal clinical trials.

The Effects of Ibogaine

Most of those hearing of ibogaine for the first time have two questions; what is ibogaine, and what are its effects? Ibogaine’s anti-addictive properties are inseparable from its psychedelic effects, thus those seeking ibogaine and as a treatment for an addiction issue should be aware of the nature of the psychedelic experience. Users of ibogaine report two distinct phases of effects; the first phase is described as extremely colorful, with patterns and geometry dominating the visual effects; the second phase is much more introspective and it is this phase that is likely to help users process difficult experiences and undergo psychological breakthroughs. Users of ibogaine report the experience as feeling very dreamlike and this effect is also believed to contribute to the catalyzing of internal conflict resolution.


Currently, ibogaine isn’t approved for medical use by the FDA, although a number of synthetic compounds that are structurally related to ibogaine are being developed for use as anti-addiction agents. While there is widespread anecdotal evidence of success with ibogaine, formal studies in humans are severely lacking. There are still a number of alternative medicine clinics around the country that offer ibogaine treatment as a solution to opioid addiction.

As well as its growing use in Western medicine, ibogaine has also been historically used as a religious sacrament and ingredient in a number of tribal rite of passage potions. Some tribes also regard the psychedelic visions available through ibogaine as being of a religious and significant nature.

Ibogaine is a potentially game-changing treatment for treating opioid addicts and for assisting other people in dealing with difficult past experiences. It is important that anyone considering taking a psychedelic drug do as much research as they can beforehand in order to minimize unpleasantness.