3.2.6 Iboga

Iboga #

Binomial / Botanical Name Tabernanthe Iboga
Street Names N/A
Major Active Compound Ibogaine
Indigenous Source Cameroon, Gabon, Congo, Central & West Africa
Form Root bark
RoA Oral
Personal Rating On Shulgin Scale +


Iboga is used ceremonially in Gabon and other Central and West African states, and is fundamental and central to the Bwiti cult. It is used for rites of passage, spiritual communion, resolution of pathological problems, communication with ancestors, and many other intrinsic aspects of this indigenous society.

So respected is this plant that in 2000 the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Gabon declared it to be a national treasure.

Beyond this region, its primary alkaloid, ibogaine, is used therapeutically to address addiction. Clinics have been established in nations across the world. It is also claimed to be a true aphrodisiac, when used in the correct circumstance.

However, reports suggest that due to a variety of pressures, including over-harvesting, the plant population is now under threat, despite a number of conservation efforts.

Iboga had been on my must-do list for a long time before I finally dipped my toe into the water, one Saturday afternoon.

I had procured 5g from a well known vendor for initial testing: the idea being to start low and to ditch the experiment if the substance was totally inactive, or was nightmarish in some way. The duration, generally cited to be in excess of 24 hours, and for which Erowid stated that “a user may be immobilised”, further promoted caution.

For the first experiment I therefore consumed 1g, intending to take perhaps 2g or 3g as a second pitch, and possibly go for the a more immersive experience sometime thereafter. The mid-range did appear to be commonly suggested across specialist Internet forums.

Although the 1g had been chosen primarily for safety reasons (containing about 25-50mg of ibogaine), many commentators considered it to be a sufficient dose with which to experience at least some psychoactivity. The following, for example, is reported on Erowid:

Even at this small dose, the effect was noticeable. I wasn’t completely sure about attributing the shift in my mental state to the impact of the drug (Shulgin calls this +1, I think), but my later trial with a larger dose reproduced a very similar state much more vividly (and dramatically).

There were no perceptual changes, but the mood would be best described as tranquil lucidity. At this small dose, it was quite pleasant and kind. The mental effect formed clearly approximately 2 hours after the ingestion, and lasted for a few hours subsiding gradually in waves

At pre-threshold and threshold levels like this, detailed commentary is difficult, but I felt broadly as described in those notes. I felt serene, with a strange background headiness, and physically I was a little tingly. I certainly felt that there was at least some sort of effect in play, albeit minor.

I also noted that I wasn’t ill, and that there was no body load. After a few hours, I thought that was that.

But it wasn’t.

On the Saturday, Sunday and Monday I had dreams. These were far more lucid than normal. I didn’t connect them to the iboga at all, particularly as on the Sunday I had consumed alcohol.

It was the Monday night dreams that made me stop and take stock. What was causing this? Was it something I had consumed last week?

I recalled that my entire intake comprised a few experimental bong hits of powdered acacia confusa root on the Wednesday, which seemed a rather unlikely candidate.

Nonetheless I Googled, using search words of dream and acacia. There was nothing to suggest any connection.

I performed a second search, but this time using iboga and dream.


There was a multitude of reports suggesting that iboga is an oneirogen. The following, for example, was posted on the BlueLight forum:

Also I forgot to mention, I have been having super intense, vivid, varied dreams every single night. Sometimes really bizarre ones. Before the ibogaine it was incredibly rare for me to remember a dream, much less be present in my dreams, but lately I’ve had a number of dreams bordering on lucid.” ~ Xorkoth

There could be a degree of confusion here because large doses of ibogaine apparently cause an awake dreamlike state. Here, however, I refer to dreams, whilst asleep. Reports on the Internet seem to cover both of these states, and often, in a confusing manner.

I should also note that I woke feeling refreshed and rested on each occasion.

This experience, of course, influenced my plans, as I felt that a period of contemplation was sensible, prior to diving deeper. I fully intend to return to this strange plant when I am able to find the time to do justice to it.

[Shulgin Reference for ibogaine: TiHKAL #25, p487]

Iboga is embraced for both spiritual purposes and addiction therapy

Iboga is embraced for both spiritual purposes and addiction therapy