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Ibogaine: A Promising Treatment for PTSD and TBI in Veterans



Summary: A recent study has shown that a single dose of the psychedelic drug ibogaine can significantly reduce depression and PTSD symptoms in US military veterans with traumatic brain injury (TBI). The study, conducted on 30 male veterans, also noted improvements in physical and social functioning, cognition, and mood.

Ibogaine: A New Hope for Veterans with PTSD and Traumatic Brain Injury

The study, led by researchers from Stanford Medicine, explored the effects of ibogaine, a compound found in the African shrub iboga, on veterans with TBI. Ibogaine is known for enhancing neuroplasticity, the brain’s ability to rewire itself. Despite being classified as a Schedule I drug in the United States, ibogaine treatments are available in clinics in Canada and Mexico.

The research involved 30 US special forces veterans with a history of TBI and repeated blast exposures. They were treated with ibogaine combined with magnesium, which protects the heart. The results were immediate and significant, showing improvements in PTSD, depression, anxiety, and overall functioning. These effects lasted for at least a month post-treatment. Cognitive testing also revealed enhancements in concentration, information processing, memory, and impulsivity control.

This study is groundbreaking as it provides evidence for a single treatment that can improve chronic disability related to repeated TBI from combat exposures. The treatment led to immediate and significant improvements in various psychiatric symptoms and disabilities, sustained for at least a month.

However, the study’s lack of a control group is a notable limitation, making it challenging to attribute the observed effects solely to ibogaine. Further research with larger sample sizes and control groups is needed to confirm these findings and fully understand ibogaine’s potential in treating TBI and PTSD.

Why It Matters: This study is significant as it adds to the growing evidence supporting the use of psychedelic substances in mental health treatment. The findings suggest that ibogaine could be a potent treatment for veterans suffering from PTSD and TBI, conditions that are often challenging to treat with conventional methods.

Potential Implications: If further research supports these findings, ibogaine could revolutionize the treatment of PTSD and TBI, particularly among veterans. This could lead to changes in drug policies and open new avenues for treating various mental health disorders with psychedelic substances.

Source: Medriva

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AI Disclaimer: This news update was created using a AI tools. PsychePen is an AI author who is constantly improving. We appreciate your kindness and understanding as PsychePen continues to learn and develop. Please note that the provided information is derived from various sources and should not be considered as legal, financial, or medical advice.

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Legalizing Psychedelics: California & the United States – Cannabis | Weed | Marijuana




California is one step closer to legalizing psychedelics. A State Senate committee approved a bill that legalizes possessing certain psychedelic substances.

The bill looks to legalize the “possession, preparation, obtaining, transfer, as specified, or transportation” of small amounts of psilocybin, psilocin, DMT, ibogaine and mescaline for personal use.

LSD and MDMA will remain illegal due to an appeal to nature. While earlier versions of the bill included them, some felt LSD and MDMA are synthetic and thus not genuine plant-based medicines. You have to wonder what these people think about plant-based meat. 

Psychedelic drug paraphernalia, which is technically illegal in California, would be legalized.

This isn’t the only psychedelic bill going through the California legislature. A Republican recently filed an Assembly bill to provide psychedelic therapy for military veterans. And California isn’t the only state interested in legalizing psychedelics.

Details of the Bill 

Legalizing Psychedelics

California is one step closer to legalizing psychedelics, so what are the details? According to the approved bill, the following will be legal:

DMT: 2 grams

Ibogaine: 15 grams

Psilocybin: 2 grams, or up to 4 ounces of “a plant or fungi containing psilocybin”

Psilocyn: 2 grams, or up to 4 ounces of “a plant or fungi containing psilocyn.”

What’s the difference between psilocybin and psilocyn?

Psilocybin is a prodrug which is converted into psilocin after you ingest it. Psilocybin is not psychoactive on its own, but once metabolized into psilocin in the body, it becomes active and produces its psychedelic effects.

On the other hand, psilocin is the primary psychoactive compound responsible for the psychedelic effects of magic mushrooms. It is structurally similar to serotonin, a neurotransmitter crucial in regulating mood, appetite, and sleep.

It’s similar (but not quite the same) as THCA and THC. Technically, cannabis only has THCA. It’s when you decarboxylate THCA that it becomes THC.

How Soon Can Californians Buy Acid, Legally?

While California may be one step closer to legalizing psychedelics, the state is still far from a robust commercial market, if that’s even the goal.

While the dichotomy between recreational and medical cannabis is apparent (although, some would argue, arbitrary), there is less of a distinction with psychedelics.

Whenever we discuss the legalization or decriminalization of psychedelics, it’s almost always wrapped up in the language of helping people with mental health problems. Of course, this is one of the significant benefits of psychedelics.

The bill’s author, Senator Scott Wiener, tweeted, “Team Psychedelics — veterans & health providers — is ready to get these life-saving substances decriminalized for Californians. Let’s go!”

And while we’re all for psychedelic therapy, what about those who don’t have particularly poor mental health? What about those stuck in a rut or needing a fresh take on an old problem?

What about the right to your own body?

California Closer to Legalizing Psychedelics

Legalizing Psychedelics

An earlier version of the bill almost died in 2022. Law enforcement wasn’t willing to support it if it contained LSD and MDMA, as well as peyote.

That said, the bill’s language is far better than anything that’s come out of Canada, where it’s easier to get government-assisted suicide than to get your hands on legal, therapeutic psychedelics.

“For over fifty years, the War on Drugs has caused overwhelming financial and societal costs,” the bill says. “The current United States drug control scheme does not reflect a modern understanding of the incentives, economics, or impacts of substance use, nor does it accurately reflect the risks or potential therapeutic benefits of many presently illicit substances.”

Or as Wiener told the press, “These drugs literally save lives and are some of the most promising treatments we have for PTSD, anxiety, depression, and addiction. We need to end the outdated, racist, failed War on Drugs and finally pursue drug policies that help people instead of incarcerating them.”

California Not the Only State Legalizing Psychedelics 


As of March 2023, over a dozen American States are proposing some form of medical psychedelics program or decriminalization. At least four states have made significant inroads toward legalizing psychedelics. They are:

Washington approved a bill legalizing psilocybin therapy in a supervised setting.

Hawaii passed two measures to study psilocybin and MDMA to create a medical psychedelics program. 

Colorado’s Senators just approved a Psychedelics Advisory Board to oversee legalizing psychedelics. 

Starting in January 2023, Oregan allows for producing, processing, delivering, and possessing of psilocybin and other naturally-occurring psychedelic compounds. They also decriminalized LSD.

But plenty of states also have psychedelic bills moving through committees. 

Not Quite Legal Yet…

Arizona is throwing money ($30 million) at clinical trials to study psilocybin’s effects on mental health.

Connecticut wants to decriminalize small amounts of psilocybin up to 1.5 ounces.

Illinois’s “The CURE Act,” will create a state-run psychedelic therapy program.

Iowa’s bill simply seeks to remove psilocybin and psilocin from the state’s list of controlled substances. Kudos to Iowa and phooey to Illinois

Maryland’s bill would decriminalize small amounts of LSD, MDMA, methadone, cocaine, and heroin. The bill is still in committee.

Massachusetts is looking to decriminalize up to 2 grams of psilocybin, DMT, ibogaine, and mescaline for adults over 18.

Michigan’s psychedelic reform has occurred at more local levels, with at least seven counties decriminalizing psychedelics in some form or another. 

More States That Want Psychedelic Reform…

Legalizing Psychedelics

Minnesota wants to establish a task force to study legalizing psychedelics for medical purposes. This would include psilocybin, MDMA, LSD, mescaline, DMT, ibogaine, and ketamine. 

Missouri has approved a bill promoting therapeutic uses of psilocybin, MDMA, and ketamine for military veterans. 

Nevada is looking to legalize magic mushrooms and MDA for medical purposes. But also in decriminalizing up to four ounces of psilocybin mushrooms for adults over 18.

New Hampshire wants DMT removed from the state’s list of controlled substances. There was also talk of repealing the entire Controlled Drug Act. A bill is looking to fully legalize using and possessing LSD, psilocybin, mescaline, and peyote for people over 21. 

New Mexico approved a bill creating an advisory board to study a psilocybin medical program in the state.

New York has several psychedelic bills that have yet to go beyond first-referred committees.

Rhode Island is looking to decriminalize up to an ounce of psilocybin mushrooms and allow home cultivation.

Texas has several bills to amend existing laws to make psilocybin, MDMA, and ketamine therapy available for military veterans. One bill may end up permitting ketamine clinics operated for and by veterans. 

Utah might legalize psilocybin therapy in a clinical setting for adults over 21.

Vermont also wants to decriminalize psilocybin possession and sales and establish a psychedelic therapy advisory group.

Virginia wants to reschedule psilocybin and establish an advisory board

Washington is considering decriminalizing psilocybin, while cities like Port Townsend already have.

West Virginia wants to remove psilocybin and cannabis (including THC) from the state’s list of controlled substances.

Legalizing Psychedelics

Even as little as five years ago, this would have looked impossible. The push for psychedelic reform is gaining momentum across the United States.

Legalizing psychedelics, in one form or another, is no longer taboo. And while much work remains, progress has been significant.

By legalizing psychedelics, governments can undo some of the damage they’ve done. 

Whether it’s been by denying people psychedelic medicines or sending young men and women off to fight useless wars, where they return with mental health issues and none of the resources to deal with it.

A society with legal psychedelics is a more compassionate and understanding society. But while therapeutic uses may justify psychedelic reform, ultimately, the only justification one needs is the right to bodily autonomy.

You own yourself. No one has the right to prevent you from consuming psychedelics. 

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Ibogaine For Addiction: 5 Reasons Why It’s Safer To Do It In A Hospital




By Santiago Federico Richetti via El Planteo / Reviewed by Dr. Bruno Rasmussen Chaves

Ibogaine is a substance extracted from the root of the iboga, a shrub that grows in West Africa. For thousands of years, it has been used by indigenous cultures for healing rituals. Since the 1960s, a series of studies have been carried out, both in animals and in humans, which have shown its properties to reduce the withdrawal syndrome to opiates and other substances that cause addiction.

Current scientific evidence confirms that ibogaine has potentially useful effects to treat chemical dependency, which is why various clinics worldwide have begun to offer this type of therapy. However, it must be taken into account that it is a drug with a high level of toxicity and that its irresponsible intake carries risks for the patient that can even mean death. It is for this reason that it is essential, to guarantee your safety, that the provision of these treatments is carried out in environments equipped with an infrastructure and a team of suitable professionals, according to the standards of modern medicine.

doctor medicine
Photo by Karolina Grabowska via Pexels

Here are five reasons why ibogaine-based addiction treatments should be done in hospital settings.

Ibogaine exerts its action directly on the Central Nervous System, causing physical and psychological effects on the body. Its high level of toxicity carries with it some dangers associated with the dose and the context in which it is ingested. It is for this reason that it is essential that the sessions are carried out in a pleasant environment and capable of guaranteeing patient support. This must have adequate infrastructure (spacious and clean facilities), as well as the necessary medical supplies (cardiac monitoring devices and defibrillators) so that the treatment is safe.

It is also of great importance that the center where the session is held adheres to the ethical codes and established medical protocols. Some providers often offer these therapies clandestinely and illegally in unregulated settings, which carries considerable risks. It should be considered that, internationally, the medicinal use of ibogaine is prohibited in several countries.

The therapies assisted by this substance to treat patients with addiction are legal, however, in some Latin American countries. In Mexico, for example, there are several private centers that legally offer this type of therapy, although state regulations in this country do not require that they be carried out in hospital settings. For its part, in Brazil, ibogaine is neither registered nor prohibited, its importation and use being legal since 2013 as long as the patient has a medical prescription. A decree of the state of Sao Paulo in 2016 requires that treatments based on the intake of ibogaine must be carried out under medical supervision and in hospital settings. These types of regulations are essential to ensure the safe and legal use of ibogaine.

Need For Prior Medical And Psychological Examinations To Determine Contraindications

It is highly probable, due to the high toxicity of ibogaine, that its intake may have unwanted effects on the functioning of the organism, mainly the Cardiac System. It is for this reason that it is usually contraindicated in patients with cardiovascular problems. Before carrying out the treatment, it is necessary for the patient to undergo a thorough medical examination to determine if it will be risky or not. Each case must be analyzed by a qualified doctor who determines if the patient meets the necessary physical conditions to start the session.

doctor patient
Photo by Thirdman via Pexels

Ibogaine is also contraindicated in patients with psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia, psychosis, bipolar disorder, or borderline personality disorder. Carrying out psychological or psychiatric examinations prior to the start of treatment is, therefore, of great importance. The mental health professional in charge of these check-ups must evaluate the presence of these disorders and their severity in order to establish whether the patient is able to resist treatment without complications.

RELATED: What Is Iboga And How Does It Compare To Cannabis, Exactly?

It is from these studies that the professionals in charge will determine whether or not it is risky to carry out the treatment and, if they decide that it is pertinent to do so, they will take the necessary precautions to reduce the possible risks during the session.

The Hospital Environment Contributes To The Physical Preparation Prior To The Session

Ibogaine is a powerful drug whose effects can cause a physically intense experience for the patient. It is for this reason that, the better the physical condition of the latter, the more intervention will be safer and more efficient. Generally, doctors recommend good hydration, a careful diet, based on healthy foods, and the intake of vitamin and mineral supplements. Likewise, it is recommended to stop consuming water and fast a few hours before the session, since it is difficult to have to go to the bathroom during the session due to the ataxia induced by ibogaine intake.

On the other hand, it is essential that weeks before and during the administration of the treatment, the patient avoids the consumption of any type of psychoactive. Indeed, the interaction of certain drugs with ibogaine could increase cardiac risks, even causing death. It is for this reason that many centers tend to carry out a guided detoxification process sometime before ingestion, thus increasing the safety of the session considerably.

Carrying Out The Session In A Hospital Environment Allows Adequate Monitoring By Health Professionals To Avoid Or Reduce The Side Effects of Ibogaine

Therapeutic interventions based on the intake of ibogaine are often controversial due to the risks they entail. Among the most frequent side effects are the presence of dizziness, nausea, vomiting, motor coordination difficulties, and tachyarrhythmias.

It can be inferred, therefore, that it is necessary for the sessions to be monitored by highly qualified health professionals who carry out an adequate follow-up to avoid or reduce possible unwanted damage induced by ibogaine. It is important that, during the sessions, the instructions of the doctor in charge are followed, who must adequately inform the patient about the possible adverse effects and dispel their doubts in the event that there are any. The presence of nurses or caregivers is usually recommended after the end of the experience. Carrying out the intake in a hospital environment will ensure the presence of health professionals for proper follow-up.

Legal MDMA-Assisted Therapy Is Likely Within Next Couple Years
Photo by Pornpak Khunatorn/Getty Images

As it is a complex medical intervention, with physical and psychological effects, the use of ibogaine for detoxification requires, in addition to the presence of qualified doctors to provide the treatment, the support of mental health professionals, such as psychiatrists, psychologists, or psychotherapists. This is of great importance because not all patients manage to deal with the introspective experience produced by ibogaine, and may suffer episodes of anxiety and paranoia. Personalized follow-up by these professionals will reduce the side effects of ibogaine on the patient’s psyche and improve the intake experience.

Need For Therapeutic Follow-up After Session To Integrate  Treatment And Avoid Relapses

The intake of ibogaine is an instance of a larger therapeutic process. It is for this reason that it is important to maintain the necessary aftercare to carry out the treatment successfully. The design of a care plan after the session constitutes an essential part of the treatment and must be monitored by the team of professionals in charge of it. Generally, it is recommended that the centers in which the treatment is applied offer a plan of continued care after the session or, at least, articulate and collaborate with other therapeutic centers in charge of offering this care.

Psychological support is a key factor in guaranteeing the success of treatment. During the session and the days that follow, patients usually undergo a process of considerable psychological changes and personal redefinition, which is why it is of great importance that they have the support of mental health professionals to gradually return to their daily lives.

Likewise, it is necessary that the post-session follow-up by the medical team focuses on avoiding relapses. It should be considered that once ingested, the tolerance to the substance that generated addiction in the patient tends to be much lower than before. This means that the usual doses that he was used to could have more severe effects on the body and even cause an overdose. Having a relapse does not mean that the therapeutic process itself has been useless; in some cases, professionals evaluate, the application of a second dose to improve the recovery process.

This article originally appeared on El Planteo and has been reposted with permission.

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