The cannabis market today is a wonderland of different goodies. Nowadays there are so many ways to consume marijuana:
- You can eat a tasty edible.
- You can slather a rich and creamy cannabis topical—an oil, lotion or balm—onto your skin to treat aches and pains topical cannabis oils for aches and pains.
- You can even drink cannabis as a tea, coffee or healthy green juice.
- You can, of course, you can inhale it by smoking or vaping the plant.
RELATED: RUBBING IT IN AND 6 OTHER WAYS TO USE CANNABIS
But did you know there are cannabis products out there designed to be inserted into the bum? Yes, it’s true. And while the thought of sticking marijuana where the sun don’t shine may make you blush or giggle, the truth is that rectal marijuana administration is an ideal method for many health conditions including lower back pain, as well as for those who have trouble eating and don’t want to smoke. Here’s what you need to know about rectal cannabis suppositories.
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What Are Cannabis Suppositories & How do They Work?
A suppository is an oval-shaped capsule that’s meant to be inserted vaginally or rectally. In the case of rectal cannabis suppositories, the capsules are typically about an inch long and made from a mixture of coconut oil or cocoa butter infused with cannabis.
Once inserted, the capsule dissolves and is absorbed into the bloodstream through the thin lining of the intestinal wall. Unlike some other forms of medical cannabis, rectal cannabis suppositories are incredibly bioavailable—meaning they’re easy for the body to use.
By comparison, inhaling cannabis is estimated to be 10–25% efficient (a measurement that relates to medicinal effects of the product), and that percentage depends largely on how much is consumed and how frequently a consumer smokes. Likewise, ingesting cannabis in the form of an edible is estimated to be about 20% efficient and the user is likely to experience different effects every time edibles are ingested.
Rectal cannabis suppositories, on the other hand, have an efficiency rate of between 50-70% and produce predictable effects every time they’re used. Additionally, rectal cannabis suppositories take only 10–15 minutes to start working and the medical effects can last for between four and eight hours.
Are Rectal Marijuana Suppositories Right for You?
You may be thinking, why would I or anyone else choose a rectal cannabis suppository instead of consuming marijuana in a less, shall we say, invasive way? A rectal suppository is actually an ideal way to take medicinal cannabis for chemotherapy patients experiencing extreme nausea who can’t stomach marijuana edibles. Or it may be the best bet for an elderly patient who can’t swallow a pill, or someone headed into surgery who isn’t allowed to ingest anything orally before the procedure. And even people who just don’t feel like inhaled or edible cannabis is working for them might find that rectal marijuana helps ease their symptoms. Because the bioavailability is so high, it really is an efficient consumption method.
How to Use Cannabis Suppositories
Cannabis suppositories are widely available and generally come in two sizes: 2 gm and 1 gm. Once you get your suppositories home, be sure to store them in the refrigerator so they stay firm—this will make insertion easier when the time comes.
The market leader in cannabis suppositories is Foria. They make two suppositories, Foria Explore and Foria Relief. Explore is a rectal suppository formulated to help with pelvic pain and relaxation. Relief is a vaginal suppository that helps with menstrual cramps and other kinds of vaginal pain.
When you’re ready to use the suppository, just insert a single capsule and wait for the suppository to take effect, which should begin in roughly 10 minutes. If you’re nervous about taking a whole suppository at once, grab a pair of sterilized scissors and cut the suppository in half. This might be the best way to do it your first time, so that you can control your dose and feel more comfortable during insertion.
How Will a Cannabis Suppository Make Me Feel?
Once you’ve inserted the suppository, you’ll begin to feel the effects quite quickly. Generally, this begins as a warm feeling that starts in the pelvis and spreads throughout the rest of the body. If you’ve been experiencing pain or anxiety, the symptoms will likely begin to subside immediately and you can feel the calm, relaxing effects for up to eight hours.
Another reason people who try cannabis suppositories like them is because they don’t make you feel high. When you smoke or vape cannabis, the compound responsible for making you feel buzzed, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), goes from the lungs to the liver and then to the brain, producing the high. When you eat marijuana edibles, the THC goes through the digestion process, to the liver and then to the brain. But with a suppository, the THC is absorbed right into the body, bypassing the liver-brain connection responsible for the psychoactive effects.
Rectal Cannabis is an Effective Choice for Many Patients
If you’re suffering from:
and the way you’ve been consuming cannabis just isn’t cutting it, don’t count out rectal cannabis suppositories. Sure, you might feel awkward at first, and maybe you won’t be telling your mom anytime soon, but it really is the best way for your body to absorb the most of cannabis’s benefits.
If you’re new to cannabis and want to learn more, take a look at our Cannabis 101 post. HelloMD can help you get your medical marijuana recommendation; it’s easy, private and 100% online.