Suppositories are often the butt of many jokes and puns, but rectal administration of marijuana has many advantages. In addition to being a viable option for patients who can’t ingest or inhale cannabis, cannabis suppositories also begin to work quickly and last for a long time. Best of all, suppositories are efficient: up to 70 percent of the medicinal compounds in a suppository are bioavailable.
What Are Cannabis Suppositories?
Cannabis suppositories are usually conical or torpedo-shaped masses that are administered rectally. They are around an inch in length and made of either cannabis-infused coconut oil or cocoa butter infused with FECO Oil (Full Extract Cannabis Oil).
How Do Cannabis Suppositories Work?
medication administration. Once inside the anus, the medicinal compounds in suppositories are quickly absorbed through the intestinal wall directly into the bloodstream, which results in “superior bioavailability” over other forms of administration. That means you get more of the medicinal effects of the product using a suppository than if you smoked or ate the same amount.
Inhaled cannabis starts working almost immediately, but it wears off quickly unless you keep doing it periodically. The effects of oral cannabis might not be felt for 30–90 minutes because it has to travel through the intestine and liver. Although it can take 10–15 minutes for rectally inserted cannabis to kick in, effects can last four to eight hours.
Inhaling cannabis is 10–25 percent efficient, depending on how much and how frequently you continue to smoke it. Eating cannabis is around 20 percent efficient, and it has varying effects every time. In contrast, rectal administration of cannabis is 50–70 percent efficient, and its effects are predictable from patient to patient and from dose to dose.
Who Should Use Cannabis Suppositories?
Suppositories are an ideal choice for many patients, such as chemotherapy patients who experience severe nausea and can’t keep oral cannabis down, elderly and babies who can’t smoke or swallow pills, surgery patients who are not allowed to ingest anything immediately before or after a procedure, and patients in severe distress who can’t wait for oral cannabis to take effect. There are also some people who just have sensitive stomachs that are irritated by ingesting cannabis.
How Do You Use Cannabis Suppositories?
Most size for children. They are wrapped in wax paper and stored in refrigeration. Before insertion, make sure the suppository is firm; if it’s not, put it in the refrigerator or freezer, or run the package under cold water, until it reaches the desired consistency. Wash your hands thoroughly, and make sure your nails are trimmed. It is recommended to use medical gloves. If you want to use a partial dose, cut the suppository lengthwise with sterile scissors.
Lie on your side and pull your upper leg towards your chest. Use your index finger to insert the suppository into your rectum, pointy end first. Place the suppository 1–1½ inches into the rectum, past the inner sphincter.
To prevent the suppository from sliding out, hold your buttocks together and squeeze your sphincter muscles tightly for a few seconds. Stay lying on your side for at least a few minutes. When you feel ready, you can get up, dispose of the glove if you used one, and wash your hands thoroughly. Be aware, though, that there’s a risk of slippage for the next several hours, so plan your activities accordingly.
What Should You Expect from Cannabis Suppositories?
You will likely feel a warm, relaxing sensation wash over your body starting from the pelvic region. You may feel pain relief almost immediately, without anxiety or a “head high” lasting for hours. Most patients greatly enjoy the effects of cannabis suppositories, even more than other methods of ingestion.
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Human Cannabinoid Pharmacokinetics
Several different suppository formulations were evaluated in monkeys to determine the matrix that maximizes bioavailability and reduces first-pass metabolism ; THC-hemisuccinate provided the highest bioavailability of 13.5%. Brenneisen et al. evaluated plasma THC concentrations in two patients who were prescribed THC-hemisuccinate suppositories or Marinol® for spasticity . THC did not accumulate in the blood following 10−15 mg daily doses. THC concentrations peaked within 1−8 h after oral administration, and ranged between 2.1 to 16.9 ng/ml. Rectal administration of 2.5−5 mg of THC produced maximum plasma concentrations of 1.1−4.1 ng/ml within 2−8 h. The bioavailability of the rectal route was approximately twice that of the oral route due to higher absorption and lower first-pass metabolism.
The bottom line: cannabis suppositories can be an excellent way to medicate.