Product Feature: Suppositories
Suppositories can offer a variety of unique benefits for medical cannabis patients, but are generally underused due to a lack of familiarity (and sometimes comfort) with the application method. Suppositories have been used medicinally for centuries, and herbalists and naturopaths often recommend them due to the high level of bioavailability of the active ingredients. The term “suppository” generally refers to a medicine that is inserted rectally, but may refer to vaginal medicines as well. Suppositories are usually well-tolerated with minimal side effects.
Why are Suppositories Effective?
Suppositories can be effective for systemic pain and inflammation relief. There are numerous cannabinoid receptors in the GI tract to which cannabinoids can bind, rapidly absorbing through the GI lining into soft tissues and the bloodstream. In general, suppositories have a faster onset, higher bioavailability, shorter peak and shorter duration than oral administration. It is estimated that suppositories result in about 80% bioavailability, compared with 35% for oral administration. This is largely due to the fact that suppositories bypass roughly two thirds of first-pass metabolism that occurs during digestion.
Benefits of Suppositories
Suppositories can be ideal for patients that don’t want to experience the intoxicating effects of THC. The cannabis contained within are absorbed directly into the bloodstream and distributed through the vascular system, bypassing the liver altogether. The liver converts THC to the more potent and sedative compound 11-hydroxy-THC. When cannabis is smoked or digested, the THC passes through the liver before it reaches the brain.
While suppositories can be therapeutic for a wide variety of different health concerns, patients report that they are particularly effective for symptoms related to Crohn’s disease, IBS, prostate cancer and multiple sclerosis (MS). Suppositories are also commonly used by patients who experience nausea as a result of chemotherapy or underlying illnesses, and are unable to consume cannabis edibles. They can be an excellent alternative to edibles as a sleep aid, as they contain no sugar and are ideally used just before bedtime.
Vaginal suppositories that contain THC are typically lower potency because of the extreme sensitivity of vaginal membranes. They are reported to reduce menstrual cramps within 20 minutes (they can be used with tampons), and may also be effective for managing the symptoms of cervical cancer, endometriosis, adenomyosis and pelvic floor dysfunctions. Vaginal suppositories should be made with the correct pH to avoid negative side effects like yeast infections. The suppositories we carry are made with either coconut oil or cocoa butter. Coconut oil is naturally slightly acidic with a pH of 5-6, and cocoa butter has a pH of 5-5.6. A healthy vaginal pH is also slightly acidic, between 3.8 and 4.5 – caution should be used for those who are highly sensitive to changes in pH.
Tips for Taking Advantage of the Benefits of Suppositories
While suppositories are simple to use, there are a few key things to know about them:
• Suppositories must be kept refrigerated or frozen until immediately before use because they soften rapidly at room temperature.
• Ensure good hygiene by washing hands before and after use.
• To get the full benefits, suppositories should remain within the body until they have fully absorbed.
• To ensure they remain within the body, suppositories should be used just before bedtime.
• When applied rectally, insert past the sphincter muscle and wait 15-20 minutes before a bowel movement to allow the CBD to take effect.
• Vaginal insertion is best done in a reclining position to allow the suppository to be easily placed high in the vagina.
The following options are available at CVD/SVW and Ceres Natural Remedies.
- 2:1 CBD to THC (Available at CVD/SVW) Made with Indica-dominant cannabis extract, 22mg CBD + 10mg THC, cocoa butter, and coconut oil.
- THC (Available at CVD/SVW) Made with 17.5mg Hybrid cannabis extract, cocoa butter, and coconut oil.
- CBD (Available at Ceres Natural Remedies – no medical card needed for purchase) 50mg and 100mg CBD options.
“Women with adenomyosis, endometriosis, and heavy, painful periods often use hormonal birth control, ibuprofen, and opioids to manage pain. The side effects from these treatments can be harmful to your system. CBD and cannabis vaginal suppositories offer a safe, holistic alternative and have given both myself and my clients immediate relief from pelvic pain and menstrual cramps.” – Sara Lopez.
Sara is a Certified Hormone Specialist + Women’s Health Coach with a specialty in adenomyosis, endometriosis and heavy periods. She works with women all over the world to improve their worst symptoms holistically so they can truly thrive. Sara is the founder of Gush Online magazine gushbeauties.com, a digital platform for brave beauties with adenomyosis, endo, & heavy periods. You can follow her on Instagram at @transformadeno.