OVERVIEW of Iboga
Tabernanthe iboga or simply iboga is a perennial rainforest shrub and psychedelic, native to western Central Africa. Iboga stimulates the central nervous system when taken in small doses and induces hallucinations in larger doses.
Ibogaine is a naturally occurring psychoactive indole alkaloid found in plants in the Apocynaceae family such as Tabernanthe iboga, Voacanga africana and Tabernaemontana undulata. In the the iboga plant (Tabernanthe iboga), the highest concentration of ibogaine is found in the root bark. Lower concentrations of ibogaine are found in the rest of the plant along with other indole alkaloids in the same family.
These plants are used for medicinal and ritual purposes in African spiritual traditions of the Bwiti tribe in the Congo basin of Africa. It was first promoted in the West as having anti-addictive properties in 1962 by Howard Lotsof, a heroin addict himself. In France it was marketed as Lambarène and used as a stimulant. Additionally, the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) studied the effects of ibogaine in the 1950s.
Today, it is illegal in the United States as is considered a Schedule I drug. However, it’s available to varying degrees in many other countries, including Canada and Mexico, as well as several European countries. It’s primarily used in treating addiction for opiates and other highly-addictive drugs, though it is also becoming more common as a tool for personal and spiritual development. Recreational use of ibogaine is nearly non-existent.
Ibogaine simultaneously interacts with several neurotransmitter systems. Its highest affinity is for the sigma-2 receptor, while it has a moderate affinity for opioid receptors and moderate-to-low affinity for serotonin receptors.
It is metabolized by the body into noribogaine, which acts to increase the availability of serotonin in the brain.
Interactions with other drugs
Ibogaine is metabolized in part by the awkwardly named enzyme cytochrome P4502D6. This enzyme is involved in the metabolism of a whole host of other medications and chemicals in the body, so it’s important to know which of these substances will interact with ibogaine prior to use.