Weed and Abilify for Bipolar

Posted , 8 users are following.

This discussion has been locked due to a period of inactivity. Start a new discussion

I have bipolar which was in remission for almost a year, up until possibly a few weeks ago when my best friend died.

I have been smoking weed for a few months now, pretty much daily - if I'm not in work, I'm high. I know, it's bad.

The dr thinks I'm rapid cycling now with hypomania and depression. He has prescribed 5mg of Abilfy to be upped to 10mg within a week.

Questions:

1) does anyone know of any documentation that would give any indication of what could happen when smoking weed chronically while taking Abilify?

2) does anyone have any experience mixing the two?

3) or does anyone know of what may happen when mixing the two?

I know I'm going to get judged for aggravating the bipolar with weed but please I just want to mostly know the physical side effects or anxiety effects etc.

0 likes, 11 replies

Report

11 Replies

  • Posted

    The evidence to date (and cannabis has been researched more than almost any other psychoactive drugs) is that cannabis (weed/pot) has more benefits to people's physical and mental health than it does harms. Users only have a small increased risk of psychosis, and this is mainly among people already predisposed to psychosis - and their mental disorder can be triggered by many other things besides (the media just love to focus on cannabis). I have researched drug use for over 30 years, and can tell you that cannabis alleviates many of the symptoms of mental disorder (eg. depression, mania, insomnia) and also can help cope with the side-effects of medications. Very few drugs interact badly with cannabis, and Abilify (an atypical anti-psychotic) is no exception - I can find no studies indicating any specific risks of using cannabis with aripiprazole, but I always advise people to do their own online research on the meds they take. In short, many people with bipolar disorder and other mental health conditions benefit from moderate use of cannabis - though clearly if you have consistently bad reactions to this or any other drug, you should not take it. I use cannabis, and it helps me control my cyclothymia (at least I know what am going to feel like for an hour when I smoke cannabis!). What makes my mental health worse is not cannabis but other people, and their reactions to my condition - these people are who I need to keep away from to stay on top of things, cannabis has never been a problem for me in the way that other people have been.

    "Hell is other people" - John-Paul Sartre

    Report
    • Posted

      Thanks for the info on this. I am currently looking to wean off my BP2 meds (I just posted a discussion) and am very interested in replacing my meds with cannabis. Would love to hear your thoughts if you have a moment to check out my post. Thank you! 

      -Jamie

      Report
  • Posted

    Hi Karen,

    I don't know much about this medically but what I do know is...

    Weed ain't so good for bipolar. Back at university, I used to smoke weed every night whilst on Sodium Valproate and Olanzipine. I used to mess around with my meds and I'm honestly surprised I didn't do more damage to myself than I did!

    Whilst there is probably little hard scientific evidence for this, I would suggest that your psychiatrist may have trouble accurately diagnosing your Bipolar, because weed can have an impact on your mood, regardless of whether you have BP or not. As for the interaction, again I'm not sure, but I'd be careful. I felt super funny some nights mixing Olanzipine and weed and I wouldn't do it now. Might I suggest you seek some help for the weed thing? BP is commonly associated with substance misuse issues and, whilst I would never suggest it was an issue for you since I don't know you, your recovery and treatment for Bipolar could be greatly improved by stopping weed. 

     

    Report
    • Posted

      Thanks. My psychiatrist did say weed is ok for 90% of people (hash, not skunk), but I'm the 10%. I was smoking skunk chronically.

      I stopped smoking it two days ago and I'm rapid cycling all over the place. I don't realise I'm cycling until I'm low.

      I have an all or nothing mind set in general so I smoked excessively to the point that I was barely able to move by the end of the night.

      I'm a bit flooded with energy lately but I've been up and down the past few weeks. I don't really know what to do with myself. I know it's my own fault since I've been smoking weed and not taking medication but I just think that maybe it's just me and I'm just not normal and it's not diagnosable or treatable and i don't know if I'm in denial or if the doctors and hospitals are wrong.

      It's an easy mistake to make right? Like I have nothing in front of me showing me i have bipolar. Although when I think of what I've been thinking and believing I'm uncertain of my uncertainty.

      Sorry I'm rambling. I think I'm just looking for a magical solution that tells me I'm ok and I have nothing wrong with me. Still haven't found it.

      Report
  • Posted

    can't agree with you Karen - though it's the populist view on weed, the evidence about cannabis and mental health is weak, qualified and inconclusive. To be sure, the evidence is complex and detailed - I've been reading it for 3 decades - but it's clear that cannabis helps people cope with mental health problems - even if psychiatrists are fond of publishing case studies of every mentally disordered person who has used cannabis that they have ever met - a totally biased paradigm that riddles their journals.
    Report
    • Posted

      Thanks. I started smoking when I was 'Manic' and at first it calmed me down so much. By then my energy must have thought F it because I was acting manic even after like 7 strong smokes. I think I abused it and I missed it all up. Maybe j would have been ok otherwise
      Report
  • Posted

    all people with mental health problems have to decide, based on their own experience, what works best for them - including meds/drugs from the doctor and from other sources. Pharmaceuticals may work better than traditional natural drugs (like cannabis) or may not, or may work better in combination. My experience is that GPs and psychiatrists have never given me anything near enough time and attention to decide what's wrong with me and how they can help me, so I do my own research and decide on my own treatment - the NHS is just one input. Cannabis is not for everyone, but I know several bipolar and depressed people who say it helps not hinders them - including a medical doctor! Cannabis works better on mental heath problems when it contains similar-ish amounts of THC and CBD (cannabidiol) - such as cannabis resin. The problem with (most) 'skunk' is that it contains high levels of THC and negligible CBD - though modern growers are trying to rectify this with new strains.  The evidence shows that cannabis is a hugely under-utilized wonder-medicine - including helping with epilepsy and MS - and its benefits to people with mentaal disorders should not be under-estimated, despite what many medical professionals would like us to believe.
    Report
  • Posted

    My psychiatrist says I'm weird, because when I was taking weed for pain relief, I ended up severely manic and suicidal and somewhat homicidal. LOL. We had to take the weed out and then address the manic mix episode. It was a very difficult time for me, because I was totally lost in my own brain. My thoughts kept sliding around, and I had a hard time telling what was real in my own head. I was very scared. My doc changed my meds, and I feel better now. I have no idea what Abilify will do do this. Take care.
    Report
  • Posted

    My mother did this and i can tell you now it will affect your memory. It was around Christmas time and when we opened our gifts she had given us two and even three of the same thing for Christmas! She had no recollection of doing this and was extremely embarrassed.
    Report
  • Posted

    All my life I have been hyper, paranoid, anti social and numb. Smoked weed since 15. it stopped the hyper (ADHD) but bumped the rest up. Feel into depression at age 35. Finally started doctor drugs at age 36 first time in my life after people trying all my life to get me to take them. So anyways I take abilify and weed and I have to say it works. One levels you out (Abilify) and the weed chills you out. Now no socparanoia, no hyper, no depression and not ani social. I do still don't care about other people's stuff but I think it works good for me.

    Report
  • Posted

    Hi, I was diagnosed with Bipolar disorder about 15 years ago. This was triggered by the passing away of my mom.  I did not take the passing away of my mom well she was only 50, and I was studying abroad and did not see her for 2 years. They told me not to smoke cannabis any more. They gave me zyprexa I used it for a few years, I even finished the study I was doing (Bachelor's degree) but after a while I had a psychosis because I stopped using the medicine and had stress from my Job. I had suicidal toughts I even tried to kill myself by jumping from the 4th story of my apartment building. Thank god I am still alive.They gave me zyprexa again. After a while I switched to the new medicine that time abilify. It went well for about 2 years and I stopped using it. I never realy stopped smoking weed the longest I have stopped smoking was about 1 year. I had a few psychoses after and I know it was from stress periods that I had. After a few psychosis they told me I have schizoafective disorder. In total I had about 4 psychoses in my life. Everytime I have one is because my mind goes back to the past and I miss my mom and her not being here with me. I now still use abilify 15 mg. I feel good and I also smoke weed not so much but sometimes when I feel like it. One psychologist told me once that if I use the medicine I'm protected against psychosis. And that if I smoke weed regularly I should not stop abruptly with smoking cause that is also not good. So I use abilify and smoke cannabis sometimes and I feel good. It's been about 4 years without any psychosis for me.

    Report

Join this discussion or start a new one?

New discussion

Report as inappropriate

Thanks for your help!

We want the forums to be a useful resource for our users but it is important to remember that the forums are not moderated or reviewed by doctors and so you should not rely on opinions or advice given by other users in respect of any healthcare matters. Always speak to your doctor before acting and in cases of emergency seek appropriate medical assistance immediately. Use of the forums is subject to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy and steps will be taken to remove posts identified as being in breach of those terms.

newnav-down newnav-up