What is Noribogaine?

Ibogaine’s metabolite noribogaine, or 12-hydroxyibogamine, was discovered by Dr. Deborah Mash. Noribogaine is an active metabolite of ibogaine that is produced in the liver after ibogaine  1 administration.2

Ibogaine is known to have a half-life of about one hour in the blood, and while it has been shown to possibly be stored in fat tissue, it is believed that much of the long-acting benefits of ibogaine are attributable to the presence of noribogaine,3 which has a much longer half-life, and remains in the blood up to a day after the administration of a therapeutic dose of ibogaine4

Studies have demonstrated that noribogaine has many of the same therapeutic qualities as ibogaine, including lowering self-administration of opiates, cocaine5 and alcohol, as well as increase of levels of GDNF,6 which is neuroprotective and stimulates the growth of new neurons. Other studies failed to demonstrate noribogaine’s effectiveness in lowering self-administration of opiates, which suggests it may have different neurochemical pathways than ibogaine.7

It is believed that noribogaine’s longer-acting nature contributes greatly to the therapeutic benefit of ibogaine administration. Research is currently underway in New Zealand and elsewhere to assess the therapeutic benefit of treatment with noribogaine.

  1. Deborah C Mash, Julie K Staley, Michael H Baumann, W Lee Hearn. Identification of a primary metabolite of ibogaine that targets serotonin transporters and elevates serotonin. Life Sciences 57(3):PL45-50, February 1995 

  2. M H Baumann, J P Pablo, Syed F Ali, D.C. Mash. Properties of ibogaine and its principal metabolite (12-hydroxyibogamine) at the MK-801 binding site of the NMDA receptor complex. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 914(1):354-68 · October 2000 

  3. D.C.Mash, J.K. Staley, J.P.Pablo, A.M.Holohean, J.C.Hackmana, R.A.Davidoff. Noribogaine (12-Hydroxyibogamine): A Biologically Active Metabolite of the Antiaddictive Drug Ibogaine. Neuroscience Letters, Volume 192, Issue 1, 2 June 1995, Pages 53-56 

  4. Michael H. Baumann, John Pablo, Syed F. Ali, Richard B. Rothman, Deborah C. Mash. Comparative Neuropharmacology of Ibogaine and its O-Desmethyl Metablite, Noribogaine. The Alkaloids, Vol. 56. 2001. 

  5. Glick, S.D., Pearl, S.M., Cai, J. and Maisonneuve, I.M. Ibogaine-like effects of noribogaine in rats. Brain Res. 1996, 713: 294-7. 

  6. Carnicella, S., He, D.Y., Yowell, Q.V., Glick, S.D., Ron, D. Noribogaine, but not 18-MC, exhibits similar actions as ibogaine on GDNF expression and ethanol self-administration. Addiction Biology. October 2010. 15(4):424-33. 

  7. Layer, R.T., Skolnick, P., Bertha, C.M., Kuehne, M.E. and Popik, P. Modification of the expression of morphine dependence by ibogaine derivatives: relation to NMDA antagonist actions. Eur. J. Pharmacol. 1996, 309: 159-65. 

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