Disclaimer: Ibogaine is a potentially illegal substance, and we do not encourage or condone the use of this substance where it is against the law. This guide is designed to ensure the safety of those who decide to use the substance legally.
WHAT IS IBOGAINE microdosing?
A full dose of pure ibogaine (upwards of 200mg) is highly potent, interacting with various brain receptors to regulate emotions and thought. Ibogaine ceremonies or retreats usually last for a few days and 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.
THE HISTORY OF IBOGAINE AND MICRODOSING
Ibogaine is derived from plants native to Central Africa and the Amazon. 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 for having anti-addictive properties, and in several clinical studies has demonstrated the potential to actually reduce addiction.
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 spiritual housekeeping.
THE SCIENCE OF IBOGAINE MICRODOSING
Even with regard to full doses, clinical research into the use of ibogaine is scant. However, scientists believe that it may affect the neural pathways linked to addiction. Unlike some mainstream addiction treatments, such as methadone, ibogaine doesn’t curb the body’s cravings by offering it something else. Instead, it appears to restore neurochemical balance, enhancing natural opioid signaling and regulating emotions through a high binding affinity for sigma-2 receptors.
Often ibogaine treatments have lasting effects after a single session – but in some cases, additional treatment is required. This is presented as an argument for a course of ibogaine microdosing after a full-dose experience.
Ibogaine also shows promise in the treatment of neurodegenerative disorders like Parkinson’s disease, helping sufferers to stand, walk, and feed themselves. Specifically, it appears to stimulate the release of growth factors GDNF (glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor) and BDNF (brain-derived neurotrophic factor), resulting in the formation of new neural connections and replacement of damaged ones. Of course, this has further implications for benefits like creativity, learning, and mental health.
HOW DO YOU MICRODOSE WITH IBOGAINE?
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 also 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. Concentrated at a 1:50 ratio, it is one of the most common ways people microdose with ibogaine, since one drop is an effective amount.
Depending on how ibogaine is extracted from the root bark, it comes in either a powdered TA form or a powdered HCl (hydrochloride). If using the concentrated TA powder, you can start your dose anywhere from 50-100mg. Then, depending on how it affects you, you can tinker with the dose from there. Ibogaine powder in HCl form is purer than the TA form, so 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.
WHAT SCHEDULE SHOULD I FOLLOW?
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. If you plan on microdosing, keep in mind your intentions and reasons for using the substance. Just like with LSD or psilocybin mushrooms, being intentional will significantly improve your microdose experience. So be clear with yourself about why you are microdosing, what issues you want to explore and address, and what you want to learn. Not only will doing so help to keep track of progress, but it will also determine the appropriate frequency for microdosing. Those who just want a creativity boost, for instance, might find a microdose once every three days to be sufficient, while those looking for relief from withdrawal symptoms might need a microdose daily, as and when the effects wear off.
On days that you ingest ibogaine and on the days in between, remember to explore the changes that arise in thought and behavior. Stay present with them and record them if you think you might otherwise forget them. Again, this has the additional benefit of finding the appropriate frequency for microdosing. If you find the effects becoming stronger each time at the same dose, this may be a sign that ibogaine is accumulating in the liver as noribogaine and you need to slow down or take a break.
To maximize benefits from microdosing, you might want to combine it with positive changes to diet and lifestyle, such as by adding regular exercise, yoga, or meditation to your routine.
BENEFITS AND RISKS
Ibogaine is a powerful substance for treating addictions, addressing traumas and otherwise gaining clarity for contemplation and reflection. And microdosing is a safer way to experience these benefits without committing to a full dose.
Anecdotal reports discuss the effects of microdosing ibogaine, and how they help with addictions and cravings of all kinds. Microdosing in the wake of a full ‘flood’ dose can be especially useful to maintain benefits like clarity, enhanced mood, and craving control, all of which otherwise tend to wear off as one eases back into everyday life.
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’s effectiveness for addiction and withdrawal symptoms. 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 or depression – thanks in part to the way in which it promotes self-acceptance and control over negative thinking. One woman who developed DID (Dissociative Identity Disorder) following a traumatic event, for instance, began to microdose with ibogaine and found her symptoms improved after about a week. 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).”
A stimulant effect has also been associated with microdosing, giving users an energy boost, along with sharpened focus and enhanced creativity and productivity.
Patrick Kroupa, ex-addict and ibogaine expert, also hails the recreational aspects of ibogaine microdosing, saying: “I’ve microdosed ibogaine because I want to enjoy my work more that day, or I want to have a good workout, or quite honestly because sex is great on small doses of ibogaine.”
Exercise caution with your dosing and source. If you are unsure about how ibogaine may affect you, then always go for the lowest dose, to begin with.
Though studies by the National Institute of Health (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 existing heart disease, or are taking a certain anti-arrhythmic, antidepressant, or antipsychotic drugs.
Mixing ibogaine with other drugs is especially dangerous because it could lead to an opiate overdose (due to amplification of opioid signaling) or serotonin syndrome (due to increased uptake of serotonin).
You can find more information about the risks associated with ibogaine use by reading our Essential Guide to Ibogaine.
HOW DO YOU ACQUIRE IBOGAINE FOR MICRODOSING?
As mentioned above, ibogaine comes in a variety of forms, including in the root bark itself. This can be chewed on directly or used to extract the chemical. Otherwise, it’s available in powder (TA or HCl), tincture, and capsule preparations.
For microdosing, the root bark may be preferable due to its lower concentration (typically 3-6%) of ibogaine, in turn making it easier to avoid overdosing. On the other hand, extracts are standardized and more precise, and the HCl powder, in particular, is commonly associated to Parkinson’s improvements.
Either way, be warned that there are scammers who sell fake or poorly sourced iboga and ibogaine, or who run fake ibogaine retreats. Regardless of whether you’re buying ibogaine for microdosing or attending a retreat, it’s crucial to research any source before spending money or trying the substance. Most reports say their experience was simply ineffective or overpriced, but it is possible that a seller might give you some other dangerous substance instead of ibogaine. Be very careful to make sure your source is reputable.
CAN IBOGAINE BE DETECTED IN A DRUG TEST?
No drug tests screen for ibogaine in blood or urine. Ibogaine is also very unlikely to trigger a false negative, especially in microdoses, since it’s chemically dissimilar to drugs that are commonly screened for.
Both iboga and extracted ibogaine are listed as Schedule I controlled substances in the US. However, ibogaine is unregulated in many other countries, including Canada, Mexico, Germany, and Brazil. In some cases, however, use is restricted to authorized treatment centers only.
IS MICRODOSING IBOGAINE SAFE?
Although the risks of microdosing ibogaine have yet to be meaningfully researched, full ‘flood’ doses have been known to cause death by altering heart function, and in particular by lengthening the QT interval in the heart’s electrical cycle. In fact, based on statistics between 1989 and 2006, roughly 1 in 400 people are estimated to suffer a fatal reaction to ibogaine. It should, therefore, be avoided by anyone with an existing heart condition.
As mentioned above, it’s also important not to combine it with other drugs, including many antidepressants. Opiates, psychedelics, and amphetamines should be avoided too, due to ibogaine’s amplification of opioid signaling in the brain and interaction with the serotonergic system.
One thing is for certain – with microdosing, there is no risk of having a “bad trip” or experiencing intense psychedelic effects. Taking a microdose is often the ideal way to be introduced to psychedelics safely and comfortably.
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