Ibogaine is an indole alkaloid that is obtained either by extraction from the iboga plant or by semi-synthesis from the precursor compound voacangine, another plant alkaloid. Ibogaine-containing preparations are used for medicinal and ritual purposes within African spiritual traditions of the Bwiti, who claim to have learned it from the Pygmy peoples.
The most-studied therapeutic effect of ibogaine is the reduction or elimination of addiction to opioids. An integral effect is the alleviation of symptoms of opioid withdrawal. Research also suggests that it may be useful in treating dependence on other substances such as alcohol, meth, and nicotine and may affect compulsive behavioral patterns not involving substance abuse or chemical dependence.
Many users report experiencing visual phenomena during a waking dream state, such as instructive replays of life events that led to their addiction, while others report therapeutic shamanic visions that help them conquer the fears and negative emotions that might drive their addiction. It is proposed that intensive counseling, therapy and aftercare during the interruption period following treatment is of significant value. Some individuals require a second or third treatment session with ibogaine over the course of the next 12 to 18 months. A minority of individuals relapse completely into opiate addiction within days or weeks.
Ibogaine catalyzes an altered state of consciousness reminiscent of dreaming while fully conscious and aware so that memories, life experiences, and issues of trauma can be processed. It can be broken down into two phases: the visionary phase comes first and then the introspection phase.
Visionary phase: dream-like nature that lasts for 4-6 hours
Introspection phase: allow people to conquer fears and negative emotions
One of the first noticeable effects of large-dose Ibogaine ingestion is ataxia, a difficulty in coordinating muscle motion which makes standing and walking difficult without assistance. Dry mouth, nausea and vomiting may follow. These symptoms may be long in duration, ranging from 4 to 24 hours in some cases. Psychiatric medications are strongly contraindicated in Ibogaine therapy due to adverse interactions. Some studies also suggest the possibility of adverse interaction with heart conditions
- As of 2009, it is unregulated in Canada and Mexico.
- Sweden and United States: Schedule I
- Unregulated in Norway
- Unregulated in Germany, but for medical use it can be regulated by the pharmacy rules (AMG).
- New Zealand in 2009: a non-approved prescription medicine.