The psychedelic renaissance is in full swing across the globe. Numerous research studies are popping up, examining the medicinal potential that these once-forbidden drugs could have. Early stage clinical trials have shown that when delivered safely and professionally, psychedelic medicine has a great deal of promise for treating some very serious mental health conditions and may one day offer new hope to defenseless patients with limited treatment options.
Psilocybin and Ibogaine
Psilocybin, a compound stemming from psilocybin mushrooms, has become one of the most studied psychedelics for those suffering from depression or end-of-life anxiety. Thanks to the work of the scientists at the Center for Psychedelic and Consciousness Research at Johns Hopkins, we are learning more about its potential as a therapeutic very day.
On the other end, the psychedelic with the most healing potential coming from plants is ibogaine. An alkaloid sourced from the iboga shrub, which is curiously absent from the conversation and from the present-day research. It is believed that ibogaine has a unique mechanism of action that works on a range of brain receptors to deliver powerful anti-addiction outcomes and is potentially effective against neurodegenerative disorders such as Parkinson’s Disease and Alzheimer’s.
There are numerous reports of both psilocybin and ibogaine can be used to treat serious depression and addictive tendencies, with some individuals claiming a positive experience from a combined use of both. But as serious interest in medically applying these plants continues to build, a better understanding of the safety, efficacy, and differences between these psychedelics is critical when considering their potential medicinal use.
A Natural Approach to Addiction Treatment
Psilocybin is the component that gives magic mushrooms their psychedelic tendencies. Despite its reputation as a recreational drug, it is showing promise as a therapeutic instrument for several psychiatric illnesses. Psilocybin seem to work in a different way from other treatments for addiction, such as nicotine replacement therapy, which target the same brain receptors as the drug patients are trying to wean themselves off. This difference may be central to why the treatment of addiction is just one of psilocybin’s potential uses.
Psilocybin and Mindfulness
In a just released study out of Copenhagen (Madsen 2020), scientists found that a single psilocybin dose is associated with long-lasting beneficial effects on mood and personality. Ten healthy and psychedelic-naive volunteers underwent PET neuroimaging at baseline and one week after a single oral dose of psilocybin (0.2–0.3 mg/kg). Personality and mindfulness questionnaires were completed at baseline and at three-months follow-up.
The scientists confirmed that psilocybin intake is associated with long-term increases in openness and – as a novel finding – mindfulness, which may be a key element of psilocybin therapy.
The underlying mechanisms are unknown from this study, but it is believed that psilocybin decreases activity in the parts of the brain that are overactive in depression and addictive behaviors. Speaking of mushrooms, checkout our magic mushroom grow kit here. You'll be happy you did. I mean, if you were wondering how to grow magic mushrooms... Or you can buy mushrooms that have already been grown right here.
Ibogaine and Addiction Relief
Due to its status as a Schedule I drug, ibogaine has primarily been used as a treatment in non-traditional clinical settings outside of the United States. Statistics on its efficacy are somewhat difficult to come by. It’s primarily used in treating addiction for opiates and other highly addictive drugs, though it is also becoming more common as a tool for personal and spiritual development.
Recreational use of ibogaine is nearly non-existent, which is one of the more significant differences between it and psilocybin. Ibogaine is not considered a “cure” for addiction, but rather is often called an addiction “interrupter” as it eliminates or greatly reduces withdrawal symptoms of opiates, alcohol, and other tendencies.
A recent observational study from the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine suggests that ibogaine treatment can significantly improve opioid abstinence in sufferers of chronic addiction. Of the 88 subjects that were interviewed, 80% reported that ibogaine either drastically reduced or eliminated their withdrawal symptoms, with nearly 30% refraining from opioid use for years after receiving the treatment (Davis 2017).
People often report being placed in or entering visual landscapes, rather than experiencing intrusive visual or auditory hallucinations. Not all subjects experience visual phenomena, which may be related to dose, bioavailability, and inter-individual variation. After a journey is complete, a period of heightened introspection can last several days to weeks, allowing the person to integrate these new perspectives about the issues they face into their daily lives.
The acute and reflective experience of ibogaine can also help shed much-needed intellectual insight onto a person’s emotional problems. Deeply repressed pain and trauma can often come to the surface and, while difficult and emotionally turbulent, this often allows people to confront the demons from their past.
This emotional turbulence is another big difference between ibogaine and psilocybin, where the seeker may not desire to explore these darker neural pathways and would prefer a more psychedelic experience. Through this deepened emotional understanding, ibogaine has helped people deal with depression, anxiety, PTSD, shopping addictions, sex, food and many others. If you want to buy your own magic mushrooms AKA psilocybin mushrooms, we sell dry magic mushrooms here. Or you can get your very own magic mushroom grow kit right here in our shop! That is, if you want to know how to grow magic mushrooms...
Understanding the Psilocybin and Ibogaine Experiences
Regular users insist that lumping Ibogaine with LSD or mushrooms is more a fallacy of its scheduling rather than a true one-to-one comparison. Many do not even consider ibogaine to be a psychedelic or drug at all, but rather a medicine plant ‘teacher’. The objective is for deep psycho/spiritual work rather than for enjoyment, mood improvement, or “tripping”. There is generally a goal, known or unknown that is sought after for personal improvement or understanding when taking these substances.
A lot of the modern psychedelic movement is geared towards pleasure seeking, people aiming to feel expanded and euphoric. Others may seek something deeper and strive towards spiritual or energetic work. What many users seem to like about ibogaine is that it has helped reveal these qualities in themselves and shows the user the path to real maturity and wholeness on their own spiritual journey. It’s not to say that this work is devoid of joy or connectedness either, as ibogaine can help instill a deep sense of peace and happiness, profound states of calmness and centeredness – going about it in a deeper and sometimes more impactful way.
The other thing to greatly consider is the safety risk when using these psychedelic medicines, which does vary slight between the two. Psilocybin has shown to cause short-lived increases in blood pressure, heart rate, headaches and a number report subjective effects such as fear and anxiety, but these are readily managed in a clinical setting if under the appropriate care.
Ibogaine can illicit some similar symptoms, particularly deeper forms of anxiety, but there is a significant risk of taking it if you have a heart condition. Ibogaine has been known to cause deaths by temporarily changing the way the heart functions. This creates a higher risk of fatality if not properly prepared, screened, and administered. Pre-existing conditions tend to play a major factor in the risks associated with ibogaine use, as is often noted by advocates.
The higher risk and deeper experience of ibogaine is the main reason it is not used recreationally and should still be cautiously approached until more experienced physicians become involved and clinical trials are initiated.
Is it for you?
The choice between psilocybin and ibogaine comes down to your personal goals and your own desire for a soul journey. Ibogaine resonates with those who crave deeper and more grounded work in the spiritual realms. Psilocybin is a shorter experience, however both of these psychedelics work better with a specific goal or desired obstacles to overcome (eg. addiction, depression, etc).
Advancing the research of both (and all) of these naturally grown medicines will be critical as scientists and doctors look to better understand and refine the capability and safety of each. Ever say to yourself "I wonder how to grow magic mushrooms?" We have a very easy to use magic mushroom grow kit in our shop. Yes thats the kind of mushroom that produces psilocybin, they are called psilocybe cubensis mushrooms. You can buy your own Zoombag magic mushroom grow kit right here.