Cannabis suppositories: taking your medicine down under

cannabis suppositories

There are several methods of getting Cannabis into your body. Here I will talk about one of the most efficient methods of Cannabis intake – suppositories.

You are welcome to read further on the heated topic of its absorption in another article: Cannabis suppository bioavailability: YES or NO?

 Although it might not be the most practical way of assuming your medicine and some people might have stigmas associated with this particular method, it does have a lot of advantages.

Different types of suppositories

Different types of suppositories

Different types of suppositories Source:

Cannabis suppositories: higher bioavailability

Please read our updated article on this regard: Cannabis suppository bioavailability: YES or NO?

Besides taking Cannabis tinctures sublingually, rectal administration is the method with the highest bioavalability: over 60%; When comparing it with other methods of intake (oral 10-20%, smoking 10-15%, vaporisation 33%) we can clearly see that it is very effective.

This is due to the function of tissues present in the lower part of the rectum, which main job is to reupatake any water and usable nutrients that are still present in the faeces.

Less Side effects

One of the reasons Cannabis suppositories are so popular with patients, is that it significantly diminishes the side effects of delta-9-THC, mainly the notorious “high” feeling.

Most patients are really not interested in being high and just want to function as normal people without having the symptoms of their specific disease.

The cannabinoids present in suppositories, when correctly inserted, bypass the liver and go straight into the blood. This prevents the first pass metabolism of cannabinoids. This is important in delta-9-THC rich suppositiries as the first product of first pass metabolism is 11-OH-THC which has been shown to be 4-5 times more psychotropic than non-metabolized delta-9-THC.

Patients can take larger doses and most of them don’t even fell the high after taking them for some time.

Longer beneficial effects

The beneficial effects of the Cannabis constituents are felt longer and the doses can be lower due to the efficiency of this method of delivery.

It is also important to distinguish the difference between beneficial effects and the “high” feeling. Most people correlate the two, but the high feeling is just one of the (side)effects of cannabis and usually not the most important one.

Practical instructions

You can prepare the suppositories at home by adding organic cocoa butter to the cannabis extract in special suppository moulds (be sure to buy the rectal ones as there are also vaginal suppository moulds) and placing them in the fridge.

Take them out of the fridge before insertion, so they do not melt beforehand.

Proper way of inserting cannabis suppository

Proper way of inserting cannabis suppository

When taking suppositories you should follow some practical guidelines:

  • lie on your side with your knees bent (90 degree angle)

  • insert the suppository 2,5 cm into the rectum past the anal sphincter. If you insert it deeper it will be partially absorbed by veins going to the liver

  • tighten your lower rectum muscles so the medicine doesn’t drip out

  • stay in this position for 10-15 minutes

As you can see, Cannabis suppositories are an efficient method of bringing Cannabis to your body with less side effects, a higher bioavalability and a longer positive effect duration.

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Marilyn A. Huestis (2007) Human Cannabinoid Pharmacokinetics. Chemistry and Biodiversity Volume 4, Issue 8, 1770-1804

Brenneisen, R., Egli, A., Elsohly, M. A., Henn, V. and others. (1996). The effect of orally and rectally administered delta 9-tetrahydrocannabinol on spasticity: a pilot study with 2 patients. Int.J.Clin.Pharmacol.Ther. 34: 446-452

Mattes, R. D., Shaw, L. M., Edling-Owens, J., Engelman, K. and others. (1993). Bypassing the first-pass effect for the therapeutic use of cannabinoids. Pharmacol.Biochem.Behav. 44: 745-747.

Perlin, E., Smith, C. G., Nichols, A. I., Almirez, R. and others. (1985). Disposition and bioavailability of various formulations of tetrahydrocannabinol in the rhesus monkey. J.Pharm.Sci. 74: 171-174.

Elsohly, M. A., Little, T. L., Jr., Hikal, A., Harland, E. and others. (1991). Rectal bioavailability of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol from various esters. Pharmacol.Biochem.Behav. 40: 497-502.

Gregor Zorn

Gregor Zorn is a Nutritionist, Biologist and cannabinoid consultant. After discovering the potentials of the Cannabis plant he has used his Biology knowledge to avidly study and comprehend its potential uses in healing and alleviating disease symptoms. He is also a speaker and is on a mission to educate people about the endocannabinoid system and the role phytocannabinoids can have in their lives. He is currently working in Slovenia as a consultant and is the co-owner of Herbeks, a company specializing in cannabinoid products as well as nutritional and herbal consulting.

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4 Responses

  1. elco says:

    good info, thank you.
    is there research on how much poisen from pestisides gets in your blood via suppositoties??

    • Viola Brugnatelli says:

      From the author:
      Good question. I haven’t found any studies on rates of pesticide absorption via suppositories. But I suspect that it is quiet high, as the function of the colon is absorption of the remaining nutrients and water from faeces.

      This should not be an issue as all cannabis for medical use must not have any pesticides in it. It is essential that the plant material is grown pesticide free. Countries who have a medical marijuana programs require from testing of plant material before it is sold to the public.

      That being said, the reality is that some growers do use pesticides. In a recent analysis, 15-35 % samples of cannabis at a prominent California lab were positive for pesticides.

      So how can you be sure there are no pesticides in your medicine? By having a trusted provider, growing it yourself or testing for pesticides.

      You can check our article on “importance of cannabinoid analysis” to learn how to do that by yourself!

  2. m says:

    How can the suppositories help with Lung cancer/disease? Is this the quickest and most efficient way to get to the lungs ?

    • Viola Brugnatelli says:

      The goal is to get the right dose of cannabinoids to the targeted area where the tumor is situated. In the case of lung cancer, suppositories and vaporization. Suppositories have a great efficacy and the side effects of THC are less pronounced, so higher doses can be given to the patient without the “high” feeling. Vaporization of cannabis can be used a side therapy as the cannabinoids are delivered right to the source, the pulmonary alveoli and other lung tissues.

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