Does Abilify interact with marijuana? (+5 adverse effects)

In this article, we will discuss the interaction between Abilify and marijuana. We will also discuss the potential adverse effects that may occur due to concomitant use of Abilify and marijuana and the management of those adverse effects.

Does Abilify interact with marijuana?

Yes, Abilify can interact with marijuana. When Abilify is used in conjunction with marijuana, there can be interactions that may lead to unpredictable effects. 

 Abilify (Aripiprazole), is a psychiatric medication that works by partial agonism of the D2 dopamine and 5HT1A serotonin receptors, along with antagonism of the 5HT2 serotonin receptor. It is used to manage schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, depression, and Tourette syndrome (1,2). Common side effects of Abilify are nausea, vomiting, anxiety, dizziness, restlessness, and headache (5).

Marijuana, also known as cannabis, is used by patients seeking relief for various conditions. Prolonged and frequent cannabis use can have adverse effects on both mental and physical health.

These chronic effects encompass mood disorders, worsening of psychotic conditions in susceptible individuals, cannabis use disorders, and the potential for cardiovascular and respiratory diseases, among other health concerns (3).

What does research suggest?

According to research, marijuana and its metabolites, have the potential to inhibit various P450 enzymes in the liver, such as CYP2B6, CYP2C9, and CYP2D6. Aripiprazole, the active component of Abilify, is extensively metabolized in the liver through the P450 system, particularly by CYP3A4 and CYP2D6 (4).

Therefore, when combined with marijuana, which has the potential to affect these enzymes, the interaction may alter the metabolism and blood levels of aripiprazole, potentially leading to unpredictable effects and necessitating careful monitoring by healthcare providers (4).

Research suggests that individuals who use cannabis may be at a higher risk of non-adherence to antipsychotic medication regimens, such as taking Abilify. This increased risk could be due to the psychoactive effects of marijuana, which can impact motivation and distract from treatment goals (7).

On the other hand, discontinuing cannabis use could lead to better adherence to antipsychotic medications (7). Healthcare providers should take these factors into account when working with individuals who are managing mental health conditions.

What are the potential effects of Abilify and marijuana interactions?

The potential interactions between marijuana and Abilify should be considered cautiously, as both substances can affect the central nervous system, potentially leading to additive or unpredictable effects. 

Adverse effects

It is important to understand that combining the use of marijuana and Abilify can lead to several adverse effects that can be potentially harmful to your health (5,6).

Increased sedation: Both Abilify and marijuana can cause drowsiness and sedation. When used together, they may intensify this effect, leading to excessive sleepiness.

Impaired cognitive function: Marijuana and Abilify can individually affect cognitive function. However, when used together, they may lead to increased memory problems, decreased concentration, and impaired decision-making.

Worsen psychosis:  Both Abilify and marijuana can increase the risk of psychosis or worsen psychotic symptoms. This is especially concerning if you are taking Abilify to manage symptoms of schizophrenia.

Cardiovascular effects: Marijuana can cause changes in heart rate and blood pressure. When taken with Abilify, it may increase the risk of cardiovascular side effects.

Increased anxiety: Some individuals may experience increased anxiety when using marijuana and Abilify together. Consequently, it is important to consult your healthcare provider before using these substances together.

How to manage the side effects of taking Abilify with marijuana?

Managing the adverse effects of combining Abilify with marijuana can pose a significant challenge as the interactions between the two can be complex and unpredictable. If you or someone you know is considering this pairing, it’s crucial to follow some general guidelines:

Consult with your healthcare provider

Your healthcare provider may consider adjusting the dosage of Abilify to minimize the risk of adverse interactions and side effects. Keeping a record of your experiences can provide valuable insights during discussions with your healthcare provider.

Educate yourself on the different strains and types of marijuana as some strains are known to have a higher likelihood of causing adverse effects. Knowing what you’re using can help you anticipate potential outcomes.

Consider avoiding marijuana use while taking Abilify. By reducing or eliminating the variable of marijuana, you may gain more control over your mental health treatment.

Alternative therapies and treatments are worth exploring for managing symptoms or conditions for which you are taking Abilify. Your healthcare provider can suggest other options that may have fewer interactions with Abilify.

Maintain a healthy lifestyle by focusing on factors like nutrition, exercise, sleep, and stress management. This can positively influence your mental health and reduce your reliance on medication and substances like marijuana.

It’s vital to remember that open communication with a healthcare provider is the best approach for managing adverse effects when combining Abilify with marijuana. They can provide guidance tailored to your individual needs and help you make informed decisions regarding your treatment and substance use.

What precautions should be taken while using Abilify?

When using Abilify, it’s essential to take several precautions to ensure safe and effective treatment. These precautions include:

  • Abilify should be prescribed and monitored by a qualified healthcare provider usually a psychiatrist or mental health professional.
  • Never adjust your dosage or stop taking the medication without consulting your provider.
  • Patient education is also crucial. It’s essential to understand the medication, its potential benefits, and possible side effects. Your healthcare provider should explain what to expect during treatment.
  • Do not adjust your dosage or discontinue the medication without consulting your provider.
  • Adhering to the recommended dosage and dosing schedule is equally important. 
  • Additionally, inform your healthcare provider about all other medications, or substances you are using, including over-the-counter drugs, and herbal supplements.
  • Finally, minimize or avoid alcohol and illicit drug use while taking Abilify as these substances can interact with the medication and affect its effectiveness.


In conclusion, the interaction between Abilify and marijuana is a complex issue. From my perspective, combining the two can lead to unpredictable outcomes and may impact the effectiveness of Abilify in managing mental health conditions.

It is crucial for individuals to discuss this with their healthcare providers, considering the legal and individual factors at play. Further research is needed to provide clearer guidance. For now, caution and informed decisions in consultation with healthcare professionals are advised.


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