#14 - Deborah Mash: The Lioness of Ibogaine Research

June 8, 2023

Dr. Deborah Mash is a pioneering researcher of ibogaine and one of the world’s foremost experts on the drug. She is a professor (emeritus) of neurology and molecular and cellular pharmacology at the University of Miami School of Medicine, and the founder and CEO of DemeRx, a company developing treatments for opioid use disorder. 

What we discuss:

  • How Dr. Mash first became interested in ibogaine, including her connection to Howard Lotsof, an early ibogaine advocate
  • The structure of the ibogaine molecule and what makes it unique from other psychedelics
  • Dr. Mash’s early research: the first clinical studies of ibogaine in humans
  • Noribogaine: what it is and what it does 
  • Ibogaine fatalities: is everyone who takes it is at equal risk of death?
  • How far have we come in terms of reframing our view of substance use disorder?
  • If ibogaine was rescheduled, what could the future of treatment look like?

Why it’s important: 

In the excitement of the psychedelic renaissance, it can feel like all of this is “new.” It’s often said that there isn't enough research to support the use of ibogaine in a clinical setting, but Dr. Mash’s work is part of a growing body of evidence that proves otherwise. Reconciling her work and the stories you’ve heard on this show with the fact that ibogaine is still a Schedule I substance in the United States – meaning it has no medical value and a high potential for abuse – is hard to do. Understanding and working to change drug policy through research is a long game. We’re lucky that an expert like Dr. Mash is staying on the field.

Show notes

About the podcast

Can the psychedelic ibogaine really get to the root of trauma? In Ibogaine Uncovered, author and journalist Amanda Siebert explores the impact of this powerful medicine including what prompts people to seek it out and how their lives are often transformed through the teachings they receive. Guests take an honest look at their healing journey, unpacking their lived experiences with substance use disorder, complex trauma, depression, anxiety, eating disorders, and grief. Expert guests also provide listeners with wisdom for their own healing journey. Join Siebert for powerful conversations that highlight the value of preparation, integration, and community in the world of ibogaine healing.

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