Therapeutic Psychedelics

Tabernanthe iboga (Apocynaceae), Limbe Botanical Garden, Cameroon. Marco Schmidt, Wikimedia Commons, CC-by-SA-2.5.


Ibogaine is a tryptamine psychedelic first isolated from the iboga plant Tabernanthe iboga (iboga), a perennial rainforest shrub native to Central Africa. Iboga is used in traditional ceremony by indigenous communities in Gabon and Congo. The isolated compound ibogaine is now utilized in several countries for the treatment of drug addiction and the symptoms of opiate withdrawal.



Ibogaine has mainly been studied for management of addiction and withdrawal.

Substance Use Disorders - Opiods

Substance Evidence Level Type of Evidence
Ibogaine C Observational studies
Noribogaine B Randomized Controlled Trials (1 or more)


Reports of deaths during or shortly after treatment with ibogaine have raised significant concerns and necessitated further research. The lethal dose found in rodent studies was 263 mg /kg, more than ten times higher than the dosage used therapeutically. In humans, ataxia and nausea have been reported at doses four times higher than the recommended therapeutic dose . Seizures have also been reported with very high doses of ibogaine .

GITA (Global Ibogaine Therapy Alliance), an association that brings together providers who work with ibogaine treatment worldwide, produced clinical guidelines in 2015. These guidelines contain inclusion and exclusion criteria, recommended lab screening, electrocardiogram screening, and guidelines for reducing medication and illicit drug use prior to ibogaine administration. The guidelines recommend that a medical doctor be present during treatment and that Advanced Cardiology Life Support equipment be readily available in case of cardiac complication during the acute effects of ibogaine. Per GITA, ibogaine treatment can be considered safe when these guidelines are followed.



Although still illegal under the CSA in the U.S., the psychedelic substance ibogaine is currently being used legally in a number of clinical settings across the world. As with MDMA and psilocybin, although at a much earlier stage, investigators are making their way toward FDA approval of ibogaine-assisted therapies.

Although ibogaine is still banned in the United States and several European countries, multiple ibogaine clinics are now functioning legally in countries such as Portugal, Brazil, Mexico, the Bahamas, and New Zealand.

Therapeutic Use


Not available in the U.S., but legally provided in clinical settings for substance use issues, especially around opioids. There are also ketamine clinics in the U.S. and Canada that have now begun to offer ibogaine treatment, coordinating travel and treatment with partners in Brazil or Mexico.


Breuer, 2015

Alper, 2012

Tabernanthe iboga (Apocynaceae), Limbe Botanical Garden, Cameroon. Marco Schmidt, Wikimedia Commons, CC-by-SA-2.5.