Ibogaine is prepared for consumption in three main ways.
Iboga root bark
This method of consumption is the traditional route used in Bwiti rituals. The root bark itself can be chewed but is often pulverised and swallowed in spoonfuls or transferred into capsules. The root bark has a bitter taste, and this method has a longer onset time than others, with the effects often lasting longer too.
Ibogaine content in the root bark is usually low as it is not purified like with other methods. In Bwiti rituals, the root bark is often consumed continually over a period of three days.
Ibogaine is extracted from the root bark and converted into the hydrochloride salt form via a chemical process. This route of consumption has a faster onset time due to being metabolised more quickly in the body. Ibogaine hydrochloride is a shimmery white powder, which is put into capsules, ingested orally or diluted in liquids.
Recently, there has been an increase in semi-synthetic production of ibogaine hydrochloride using the precursor voacangine (from the Voacanga africana tree), which is a more sustainable route than using the Tabernanthe iboga shrub, as it is currently critically threatened.
Total alkaloid (full spectrum) extracts
The desired alkaloid, ibogaine, is extracted from the root bark. This results in a powder which contains a higher concentration of ibogaine than the root bark. The powder is put into capsules before consumption.
This method has a gentler, slower onset than the hydrochloride form. It is sometimes used alongside it as a booster dose after an acute detoxification period during substance abuse treatment. It is rarely used as an independent treatment in large doses.