The Multibillion-Dollar Opioid Crisis Has a Plant Medicine Solution
Investors and markets alike are getting excited about medicinal psychedelics, but this isn’t the first appearance for the plant-based medicinal wave. On the contrary, researchers at universities and government labs have been studying the positive therapeutic effects of psychedelics for years.
Most are familiar with psilocybin, but other psychedelics have been thoroughly researched as well. Ibogaine, a naturally occurring psychoactive substance found in the Tabernanthe iboga plant, was found to have anti-addiction properties by Howard Lotsof in New York back in 1962. The molecule even nearly had a chance to medicalize in the 90’s through FDA trials led by Dr Deborah Mash. However, the need for ibogaine and other psychedelics was deemed relatively minor at the time, and little-understood apparently negative results put this plant-based medicine on the backburner.
What has happened since then has reignited and driven the psychedelics revolution to the tipping point. The increasing prevalence of depression and anxiety has fueled research into psilocybin, MDMA and LSD, and the terrifying scale of the opioid epidemic has brought ibogaine back into the fold as well.