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      A narrative review of the pharmacological, cultural and psychological literature on ibogaine

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          Ibogaine is a psychoactive alkaloid contained in the West African plant Tabernanthe iboga. Although preliminary, evidence suggests that ibogaine could be effective in the treatment of certain substance use disorders, specifically opioid use disorder. This narrative review concentrated on the pharmacological, cultural and psychological aspects of ibogaine that contribute to its reputed effectiveness with a specific focus on the ibogaine state of consciousness. Although the exact pharmacological mechanisms for ibogaine are still speculative, the literature highlighted its role as an NMDA antagonist in the effective treatment of substance use disorders. The cultural aspects associated with the use of ibogaine pose questions around the worldview of participants as experienced in the traditional and western contexts, which future research should clarify. From a psychological perspective, the theory that the ibogaine state of consciousness resembles REM sleep is questionable due to evidence that indicated ibogaine supressed REM sleep, and contradictory evidence in relation to learning and memory. The suggested classification of the ibogaine experience as oneirophrenic also seems inadequate as it only describes the first phase of the ibogaine experience. The ibogaine experience does however present characteristics consistent with holotropic states of consciousness, and future research could focus on exploring and potentially classifying the state of consciousness induced by ibogaine as holotropic.

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          Author and article information

          Journal of Psychedelic Studies
          Akadémiai Kiadó (Budapest )
          11 May 2021
          3 March 2021
          : 5
          : 1
          : 44-54
          [1 ] Professional Development Foundation and Canterbury Christ Church University , 58 Bass Coves, The Coves, R512 Provincial Road, Broederstroom, Hartbeespoort, 0240, South Africa
          [2 ] School of Medical and Health Sciences, Edith Cowan University , 270 Joondlaup Drive, Joondalup, WA 6027, Australia
          [3 ] Alef Trust , Wirral, UK
          Author notes
          [* ]Corresponding author. Tel.: +27 76 411 3814. E-mail: info@ 123456theibogainestudy.com
          © 2021 The Author(s)

          Open Access. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License ( https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium for non-commercial purposes, provided the original author and source are credited, a link to the CC License is provided, and changes – if any – are indicated.

          Page count
          Equations: 0, References: 76, Pages: 11

          Evolutionary Biology,Medicine,Psychology,Educational research & Statistics,Social & Behavioral Sciences
          Bwiti,Ibogaine,non-ordinary states of consciousness,holotropic states


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