Gabon's Iboga: boon or bane?

Discussion in 'Plants: In the News' started by togata57, Jan 24, 2023.

  1. togata57

    togata57 Generous Contributor 10 Years

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    Columbus, Ohio
    Clinics and scientists around the world aim to turn a profit from a powerful Gabonese plant – but it’s an ethical and legal wild west

    Over the past decade, ibogaine’s popularity has incentivized poachers to target shrubs in Gabon, one of the few places Tabernanthe iboga, the plant ibogaine is most commonly derived from, naturally propagates.

    The ongoing poaching is depleting natural reserves of iboga in Gabon’s forests and cutting Gabonese people out of an industry that would not exist without their Indigenous knowledge.

    A gram of raw iboga root sells for about $2,000 a kilogram. Medical-grade pure ibogaine, which is extracted from the root bark, costs as much as $150,000 a kilogram.

    Ibogaine is unique. While it does prompt psychological insights similar to those produced by other psychedelics, it is the only one that also has a physical effect that stifles symptoms of opioid withdrawal.

    “The ultimate economic negative would be if someone does invent a drug that helps cure one of these horrible diseases and they make money and Gabon makes nothing,” White said. “We wouldn’t know about this plant had it not been for the Gabonese people.”

    The psychedelic ibogaine can treat addiction. The race is on to cash in

    Tabernanthe iboga - Wikipedia

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