Can You Microdose With Ibogaine?

Eden Loi

Ibogaine is a powerful psychedelic substance derived from plants native to Central Africa and the Amazon. Though listed as a Schedule I controlled substance in the US, ibogaine is unregulated in many other countries, including Canada, Mexico, Germany, and Brazil.

In the Central African spiritual tradition of Bwiti, iboga root bark, which naturally contains ibogaine, is used in rituals and medicinal healing. European explorers first encountered the substance in the 19th century, and it was sold in France during the early 20th century as a mental and physical stimulant. Ibogaine also developed a reputation as having anti-addictive properties, and in several clinical studies has demonstrated potential to reduce addiction.

The Microdose

A full dose of pure ibogaine (around 200mg) is highly potent. Ibogaine ceremonies or retreats usually last for a few days. Various anecdotal reports warn against treating ibogaine as a casual drug. One user recommended an ibogaine experience only “if you want your body to explode into 1,000 pieces and then rebuild itself into something beautiful.”

However, if you are looking for something less intense, you don’t need to commit to a full dose or leave the country to attend a ceremony. Microdosing ibogaine is possible. Even the Bwiti use iboga in different ways: aside from the strong doses taken for spiritual initiation ceremonies, they also participate in weekly religious ceremonies using iboga in lower doses. These smaller and more frequent rituals bring people together for emotional experiences that strengthen their connection with divinity. For the Bwiti, microdosing ibogaine is sort of a spiritual housekeeping.

A dosage amount for microdosing is difficult to establish since ibogaine is unregulated and differs in source and form. The concentration of ibogaine in root bark varies, though 1g should be a safe starting point for microdosing. Root bark can be chewed and ingested, though some choose to make their own tinctures. A premade iboga TA (total alkaloid) tincture is also available. The tincture is concentrated at a 1:50 ratio, and is one of the most common ways people microdose, since one drop is an effective amount for microdosing.

Depending on how ibogaine is extracted from the bark, it comes in either a powdered TA form, or a powdered HCl (hydrochloride). If using concentrated TA powder, you can start your dose anywhere from 50-100mg. Depending on how it affects you, you can tinker with the dose from there. If using ibogaine powder in HCl form, which is purer than the TA form, try starting at around 25mg per microdose. Powder can be put into capsules, ingested orally, or diluted in liquids. By all accounts, the taste of ibogaine is very bitter and earthy.

A proper amount for a microdose varies between people, and depends on your product. Always start with a low amount that you feel comfortable with. As a general rule of thumb, a microdose should be nearly imperceptible, with at least a day or two between doses. You should be able to think and function normally while microdosing.

Another important thing to remember: a little mental preparation goes a long way. Just like with LSD or psilocybin, being intentional will significantly improve your microdose experience. Be clear with yourself about why you are microdosing, what issues you want to explore and address, and what you want to learn.

The Effects

Ibogaine is probably most known for its anti-addictive properties. Research is limited, but scientists believe that ibogaine affects the neural pathways linked to addiction. Unlike some existing addiction treatments, such as methadone, ibogaine doesn’t substitute the body’s cravings by offering it something else. The unique effect explains why addiction treatments using ibogaine have lasting effects, even after a single session.

Clinical research into ibogaine is scant, and most studies use higher doses on their patients. However, there are anecdotal reports that discuss the effects of microdosing ibogaine, and how it helps with addictions of all kinds. We all have addictive patterns and behaviors that we may not even notice, yet unconsciously act on every day.

Commonly, people who microdose ibogaine switch to a more detached perspective. This change allows them to recognize patterns of behavior without giving in to them, which helps explain ibogaine effectiveness against addiction. One user reported that microdosing with ibogaine helped him stop a 30-year tobacco addiction, with no withdrawal. He added that the ibogaine helped with other, subtle addictions like “junk food, emotional outbursts, and reacting or being affected by a negative thought process.”

On top of addressing addictions, people also microdose ibogaine for self-discovery and to treat trauma. A woman who had developed DID (Dissociative Identity Disorder) after experiencing a traumatic event began to use ibogaine. After about a week of microdosing, her symptoms improved. She noted that “I received insight into some traumatic issues. Specifically, I had visions of a few traumatic childhood situations I had not previously remembered. I experienced these from an observer-perspective, i.e. I saw what happened but did not re-experience the situation from a first-person perspective. Even more remarkably, I could then step into the situation and change it.”

The new insights and changed perspective allowed her to address the situation. “I feel like my brain has been re-wound to about the state of a few years ago (before I went through some traumatic times that finally resulted in my DID crisis).”

Moving Forward, Safely

Ibogaine is a powerful substance for treating addictions, addressing traumas, and aiding with contemplation and reflection. Microdosing is a safer way to experience ibogaine without committing to a full dose. If you plan on microdosing, keep in mind your intentions and reasons for using the substance. On days that you ingest it and on the days in between, explore the changes that arise in thought and behavior, stay present with them, and record them if you think you might otherwise forget them.

Most important: exercise caution with your dosing and source. If you are unsure about how ibogaine may affect you, then stay on the safe side. Though studies by the NIH have shown that ibogaine is not neurotoxic, there have been cases where, due to existing conditions or medications in users, it resulted in fatal reactions. The risk for dangerous side effects while using ibogaine increases if you have an existing heart disease, or are taking certain anti-arrhythmic, antidepressant, or antipsychotic drugs.

There have been some reports of scammers who sell fake or poorly sourced ibogaine, or who run fake ibogaine retreats. Whether you’re buying ibogaine or attending a retreat, do some research into your source before spending money or trying the substance. Most reports say that their experience was simply ineffective or overpriced, but it is possible that a seller can give you some other dangerous substance instead of ibogaine. Be very careful to make sure your source is reputable.

You can find more information about the risks associated with ibogaine use by reading our Essential Guide to Ibogaine.


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