Consuming cannabis is often discussed in three basic categories: inhalation, oral and topical. But those aren’t the only methods. You may find other options are better choices for your personal needs. One less discussed consumption form is cannabis suppositories.
Cannabis suppositories could be your ticket to relief.
A major benefit of cannabis suppositories is their high absorption rate, either rectally or vaginally. Like other suppositories, inserting them into the body puts them closer to internal cellular walls so their contents enter the bloodstream quickly.
“Inhalation can have a lot of variables and ingestion can lower the effectiveness of the plant to 20 to 50 percent,” says PharmaCannis pharmacist Rachel Schepart. “Suppositories, on the other hand, can consistently deliver 50 to 70 percent of the plant medicine.”
Our body’s heat also helps with absorption, Schepart explains adding that effects can be felt within 10 to 15 minutes and last four to eight hours.
Unlike other delivery methods and forms of cannabis, suppositories don’t induce a head high, so even after insertion and absorption, you’ll still feel clear-headed. According to Schepart, suppositories “help protect the lining of the liver as they avoid first-pass metabolism by bypassing the liver altogether.”
There are two types of suppositories: rectal and vaginal. When considering cannabis suppositories, pay close attention to the product you are using because, depending on the ingredients, rectal suppositories may not be compatible with the sensitive environment of the vagina. Before obtaining or making suppositories, ask plenty of questions to make sure the suppositories you use are either interchangeable or that you are certain where to put them.
When might you opt for a suppository? If you have difficulty swallowing due to nausea, an eating disorder, or large pill size, suppositories could be an option.
Schepart also points out that suppositories can be an “ideal solution for palliative care.” Administering suppositories while caregiving someone who is terminally ill could provide comfort for the patient and peace of mind for the caregiver.
Rectal and vaginal suppositories often have very different use cases. Paula-Noel Macfie, PhD, of Back Door Medicine, suggests treating symptoms where they occur. A host of women’s health issues can be treated with vaginal suppositories including menstrual cramp relief, vaginal dryness and endometriosis.
“The market has been pushing vaginal suppositories for pleasure, but I believe they should only be used vaginally if you have symptoms that are physically manifesting there such as herpes or yeast infections,” explains Macfie. “There are more layers of tissue in the vagina, so I’ve found the back door to be a tried and true method no matter what the circumstances.”
Macfie’s experience with cannabis suppositories began when she was seeking relief from an anal fissure incurred during childbirth.
“I tried everything, and none of it worked,” she recounts. One day, it occurred to her that the Rick Simpson Oil her brother used during his cancer treatments could be placed into a suppository.
“Within two days, I was healing,” says Macfie. “I thought, if this can work for me, what can it do for others?”
Now, Macfie teaches people how to make suppositories for themselves and occasionally makes a batch herself.
“I’m not a medical doctor,” she points out. “This is what works for me, and I offer resources to others who are in need of severe pain relief.”
Macfie stressed that rectal suppositories are not a one-size-fits-all solution. Schepart agrees, adding, “They’re not for everyone. It’s very individualized because it’s not as common or routine of a consumption method.”
The downside to suppositories is they can be messy. Discharge is common due to the ingredients used to administer suppositories such as cocoa butter.
Read “The Ins and Outs of Weed Lube” on Ellementa.com.
“It’s important for patients to ask plenty of questions of your budtender,” say Schepart. “Sizes, profiles, indica vs. sativa, how to store and use the suppositories, how long to wait after discharge before administering again. Being informed is key.”
Availability of suppositories depends on the market you’re in. In Colorado, cannabis suppositories are widely available, but in newer medical marijuana markets like New York, it may take some research to find a provider.
Despite the potential challenge finding them, cannabis suppositories may be a care method worth trying.
“Suppositories can bring the body back to itself,” says Macfie. “You know it’s working when you’re not fixating on the pain.”
Editors Note: As mentioned in this article, cannabis suppositories are being marketed as sexual aides to increase sensitivity and stimulation or for pain relief or relief from other health issues. Here are a few products currently on the market:
Foria Relief – Available in California and Colorado. According to their website, Foria suppositories contain “a specially formulated blend of THC and CBD, cannabinoids which are known to relax muscles and release tension and cramping in the body. Through the use of a suppository these antispasmodic and pain relieving properties go directly to the area in need of relief.”
Endoca CBD Suppositories – Their website states worldwide delivery available. Each package contains 10 suppositories with 50mg of CBD each.
About the Writer:
Dayna Schmidt-Johnson is a digital marketer based in Chicago. She works with a content-first attitude as she builds websites, blogs and email campaigns. She is thrilled to add Ellementa to her expanding cannabis portfolio that also includes Chicago Artizen, Quantum 9, THSuite and CannaVExpo.
Images: Pixabay, Foria, Endoca