Backdoor Medicine: How Cannabis Suppositories Can Save Lives

Everyone is familiar with the conventional oral utilization of cannabis either by smoking it or ingesting it as oil. There’s one more way to ingest cannabis and we believe it won’t sound flattering to many. We’re talking about rectal administration, or also known as suppository. This type of treatment has a very bad reputation in North America despite the benefits it offers.

Medicines can still be administered if the oral route is impaired due to injured jaw or throat, vomiting, gastrointestinal difficulties, etc. by taking them rectally. Another advantage is that by avoiding the gastrointestinal tract you prevent first-pass metabolism by the stomach and liver, which break down many different molecules into their constituent parts (including Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol, otherwise known as THC), and allow the active constituents to reach the blood in much higher concentrations.

When it comes to THC, the liver can transform only half of the psychoactive metabolite 11-Hydroxy-Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol. Even though this molecule is not harmful, it does cause much more intense cognitive effects than THC and rectal administration avoids these effects, plus allows a much greater proportion of THC to eventually reach the blood stream.Moreover, this process provides increasement in the overall efficiency in the different levels of bioavailability that different administration routes afford.

Other advantage that rectal administration offers is allowing the medicine to exert effects over localized ailments (e.g., hemorrhoidal tissue, inflammation of the rectum, or tumours in the rectal cavity). It also has a much faster uptake than oral administration (around 10 minutes, on average) and leads to more consistent blood concentrations of the active constituents.

With suppositories, the effects are usually noticeable within the first 10 – 15 minutes after insertion and last about 4-8 hours, depending on the individual’s physiology and tolerance to cannabis.

There are, however, some issues that can slow down the absorption, like diarrhea and fecal matter. They can slow down or even prevent the active ingredients from reaching the rectal wall and being absorbed. Other issues include tumors or cysts on the rectal wall. In this case, since the tumors are likely the intended target(s) of the suppository, the direct delivery of the active constituents may help prevent an overall reduction in efficacy.

Also, it is very important to stay hydrated by maintaining a healthy consumption of both water and electrolytes, because rectal dehydration can drastically reduce the effectiveness of suppositories. If the rectal dehydration is caused by a medical condition, then it is best to consult with your doctor.

How to rectally administer cannabis

  • Before insertion
  1. Wash your hands thoroughly, as germs and bacteria can enter the body through the rectum. You can also use medical gloves or a finger cot.
  2. Make sure your fingernails are trimmed and have no sharp edges.
  3. Make sure the suppository is firm enough. If not, place it in a fridge to harden the package, or run cold water over it.
  4. If you have a half-used suppository, then take a sterile knife or scissors and cut it lengthwise to make insertion easier.
  • Insertion
  1. Lie on a side and pull up the top leg towards your chest
  2. Lift your upper butt-cheek to expose your rectum.
  3. Using your index finger insert the suppository lengthwise with the pointed tip first, and push the suppository in.
  • Placement
  1. Make sure the suppository has been inserted past the anal sphincter. This is important because if it’s inserted too shallow, some or the entire suppository may be expelled without the active ingredients reaching the rectal wall and being absorbed into the blood stream.
  2. Also it is not advisable to push the suppository too high up in the rectum, because the active constituents will enter the Superior (upper) hemorrhoidal artery, which leads to the liver, meaning you will face the same problem as taking the remedy orally because the liver will metabolize a significant proportion of the active ingredients. The ideal placement is around 2 ½ to 4 centimeters (1 to 1 ½ inches) into the rectum, just past the anal sphincter.
  • After insertion
  1. Hold the buttcheeks together and tightly contract the muscles in your sphincter for a few seconds after insertion to prevent the suppository from sliding out.
  2. Remain on your position for several minutes after insertion so that the suppository can fully diffuse through the rectum.  It will also prevent unintended expulsion of the suppository.
  3. Dispose of the glove or finger cot sanitarily and wash your hands thoroughly using soap and hot water. Pay extra attention to cleaning under the nails and between the fingers.
  4. Keep in mind that there is a possibility of an unintended expulsion of melted suppository residue during flatulence over the next few hours after insertion.  If you have any doubts, use a toilet.


Low dosage for people with lower tolerance of the cannabis effects:

Use organic cocoa butter with three kinds of cannabis inflorescences (flowers) Infused into organic coconut butter.

High dosage – for those with a high tolerance to the effects of cannabis and for those days in which symptoms are especially intense:

Use organic cocoa butter with three kinds of cannabis trichomes (hash) Infused into organic coconut butter.

CBD (high efficacy, low psychoactivity)

Low psychoactivity combined with the broad spectrum of medical effects afforded by a 1:1 ratio of CBD and THC.

Use organic coconut butter infused with the inflorescences (flowers) of two different CBD+varieties of cannabis.


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