Cannabis suppositories are a sensitive topic. While they’re an ancient form of medicine, most people get squeamish when you talk about inserting things into the rectum or vagina. It’s a personal topic, not exactly dinner-table talk, or something everyone wants to discuss at a dispensary counter.
But suppositories are an effective form of marijuana medicine that should not be ignored just because of how they’re administered. And you don’t have to roll up to your dispensary asking for insertable cannabis – you can easily make them yourself.
Cannabis Suppositories Recipe
What are Cannabis Suppositories?
Cannabis suppositories are classified as topicals, although they’re inserted into the anus or vagina.
Suppositories are small cannabis-infused capsules with a texture similar to a thick balm. These capsules are typically bullet-shaped and inserted into the vagina or rectum. The suppositories melt and disperse inside the body, and the cannabinoids are absorbed into the bloodstream.
Suppositories may seem like a work of modern medicine, but the idea of butt drugs actually dates back thousands of years. The term "suppository" was first used in 1763, but this type of medication has been described in ancient Hebrew Scriptures and Egyptian papyruses. Cannabis has also been used as a suppository for hundreds of years.
While the delivery method is a bit strange, suppositories are undeniably medicinal cannabis – no one is putting weed up their butt to get high (because you can't). But medical cannabis use is multi-faceted and suppositories present a unique option for people seeking specific relief with no scary side effects.
How Do Weed Suppositories Work?
Suppositories work on your endocannabinoid receptors as well as your nerve endings, both of which are abundant in the rectal tract and vagina.
Everyone has an endocannabinoid system with receptors present in every organ in the body. The pelvic region has many ECS receptors, and this includes the anus, vagina, cervix, and ovaries. This abundance of receptors makes suppositories a promising treatment option for people suffering from conditions like endometriosis and colon cancer.
The colon contains both CB1 and CB2 receptors and prostate tissue also contains cannabinoid receptors. Since prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men, and the second most common cancer death in the US, suppositories present a unique option to treat patients in addition to chemotherapy.
Suppositories are made with cannabis-based medicine and carrier ingredients. The carriers are usually fat-based substances like coconut oil, avocado oil, or cacao butter. Since cannabinoids are fat-soluble, the right carrier is important for maximum absorption. (Some carriers like cacao butter can cause irritation in the vagina. Always read the ingredients on a new product and know your body. If you have any irritation, stop using a product immediately.)
THC and CBD are the two most common medicinal cannabinoids used in suppositories. Both have a lengthy body of research confirming their anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties. THC and CBD can also help muscles relax, and increase blood flow, which is where suppositories shine as a sex aid.
Bioavailability of THC Suppositories
Bioavailability is the amount of substance, like THC, that is actually absorbed into the bloodstream. Research is thus far inconclusive on whether suppositories are absorbed into the bloodstream or deliver localized relief.
There are claims that rectally delivered THC has 2.5x greater bioavailability than oral, but this is misleading. The study that concluded this was not looking at D9 THC, but at D9-THC-HS, a chemically modified version of THC that is not used in most suppositories.
Initial studies are more focused on animals than humans and seem to show that suppositories deliver most relief locally, not systemically. (Think topical, not transdermal.) But, scientific research is often behind anecdotal evidence, and there are many reports of people successfully using suppositories to provide broad relief.
Do Suppositories Get You High?
Will you get high? Likely not. Cannabis suppositories typically have a low dose of THC. The difference in absorption (through the vaginal wall or rectal tract as opposed to inhaled or eaten) means that most people don’t experience a high with weed suppositories.
It is theoretically possible to get high from a suppository that contains a large dose of THC, so always start low and go slow with a new product until you know how it affects you.
Suppositories typically take 15- 20 minutes to melt. Suppositories inserted rectally take 15 – 30 minutes to kick in, while vaginally inserted take 30 – 60 minutes. The effects can last anywhere from 6 – 10 hours.
What Do You Use Marijuana Suppositories For?
Cannabis suppositories benefits people seeking specific relief, particularly for women's issues such as decreased pain with sex, dealing with endometriosis, or menopause. They’re also helpful for patients who are unable to take medicine orally.
The main difference between rectal and vaginal suppository use is 1) body type and 2) the issues being treated. There is usually no difference in the ingredients between the two types but always read the ingredient list and the instructions to be sure you’re using a product correctly. The vagina in particular is sensitive and has a specific pH balance that’s easily knocked off kilter.
Uses for anal suppositories
- Pain relief
- Pain, tightness, or inflammation with sex
- Prostate problems or prostate cancer
- Delivering nausea medicine to people with intractable vomiting
- Inflammation symptoms associated with irritable bowel diseases or hemorrhoids
- Digestive issues
- Lower back pain
- Post-operative pain
- Increased pleasure with sex
Uses for vaginal suppositories
- Period cramps and pelvic pain associated with menstruation
- Pain, tightness, or inflammation with sex (dyspareunia)
- Pelvic floor pain or spasms
- Vaginal dryness
- Changes associated with menopause
- Endometriosis pain
- Increased pleasure with sex
Can You Make THC Suppositories at Home?
Yes! You can quickly and easily make suppositories at home just like any other cannabis topical.
You can buy CBD suppositories in all 50 states, but THC suppositories are limited from state to state. Foria and Hello Again are two of the most popular suppositories on the market, but they are not in many states.
Making your own suppositories couldn’t be easier – you need two simple ingredients.
DIY Cannabis Suppository Recipe
- Full-extract cannabis oil (THC, CBD, or a blend of the two – it’s up to you.)
- A carrier base such as coconut or avocado oil, or cocoa butter (Pro tip: look for an oil that’s solid at room temperature to help your suppositories hold their shape better.)
- Suppository mold
- In the saucepan, heat your carrier oil over low heat. Do not let it boil.
- Add in your cannabis oil and mix well.
- Remove from heat and allow the mix to cool slightly. Don’t let it sit for too long, or it will harden.
- Pour the mix evenly between the molds and place in the freezer to set.
- Remove mold from freezer after 1 – 2 hours and store in the fridge.
Notes: This recipe used approximately 14 grams of cocoa butter, 15 mL of full spectrum cannabis oil in mct oil which contains about 500 mg of THC. 16 molds were filled which equals about 31 mg of THC per suppository.
You can also use a cannabis concentrate instead of a strong cannaoil, but be sure you’re using one with absolutely no trace of alcohol. Alcohol is commonly used in the extraction method of concentrates, but alcohol and genitals do not mix in medicinal settings.
How To Insert a Suppository
- Store your suppositories in the fridge (or freezer) so they are firm and easy to insert.
- Wash your hands.
- Remove your underwear and get into position to insert. Some people find it easiest to squat over a toilet, others prefer to have one leg up on a bathtub or stool, and some prefer to lay on their backs with knees towards the chest.
- Place the suppository on your finger with the pointed end towards your body and the flat end on your hand.
- Gently insert the suppository into your vagina or anus. Relax your muscles and go slowly. If you’re tense or dry, you may find a little lube helps it go in easier.
Once the suppository is inserted, you should lie down and allow the medicine to be absorbed. Suppositories can leak out if you’re up and moving and this can feel uncomfortable and reduce the efficacy. Many people use suppositories at bedtime to avoid this issue.
FAQ about Weed Suppositories
What are cannabis suppositories good for?
Weed suppositories are good for helping to treat and manage a variety of ailments, including sexual pain, digestive disorders, prostate problems, inflammation, and more. They are also helpful for delivering medicine to people who can’t take it orally.
Why do people use CBD suppositories?
People use CBD suppositories for many reasons, including treating pain and inflammation in the rectal tract, pain and dryness associated with sex, changes with menopause, and more.
How fast do cannabis suppositories work?
Cannabis suppositories typically take around 20 minutes to dissolve. Anal suppositories start working within 20 – 30 minutes, while vaginal suppositories can take 30 -60 minutes.
Do cannabis suppositories have the highest bioavailability?
No. The bioavailability of suppositories is still up for debate. One study from 2018 claims suppositories have 2.5x more bioavailability than orally consumed products, but this was looking at D9-THC-HS, not D9-THC.
What do intimacy suppositories with CBD do?
Intimacy CBD suppositories can make sex easier, less painful, and more pleasurable. If you’re using an intimacy suppository with CBD, insert it ~20 minutes before you start to get it on.
What is the bioavailability of cannabis suppositories?
The bioavailability of a cannabis suppository is still up for debate. Research has not come to a conclusive answer, but currently suggests suppositories deliver local relief, not systemic.
What does a CBD suppository do?
CBD suppositories can reduce pain and inflammation in your vagina, cervix, uterus, ovaries, anus, or rectal tract. It can also help increase pleasure with sex and deliver medicine to people who can’t take it orally.