Methods of weed intake have got uber diversified over the last five years or so. Once the only way to get high was to roll up a fatty, but now we have more pathways to elevation than you can shake a blunt at. There’s old fashioned flower, new fashioned dabs, vape pens, edibles, tinctures, lip balms, and lube. But some in the medical marijuana community say that one of the best ways to ingest cannabis might be the back door.
A new study from Dr. Allan Frankel of GreenBridge Medical says that cannabis suppositories are by far the most efficient way to absorb cannabinoids into the body. According to Frankel, taking marijuana orally, like in medical cannabis oil or edibles, only gets you roughly 20% of the plant’s goodies, while inhaling flower only comes with a 10-25% efficiency. Rectal suppositories, the study argues, are 50-70% efficient when it comes to absorbing cannabinoids. So, very little is going to waste.
Another reason why some patients are turning to suppositories is that it’s claimed to give a user maximum medicinal effects of THC while cutting down on the head high factor. Usually, when a patient wants to use cannabis that doesn’t get them super stoned, that means they go with a CBD-heavy strain or extract. But THC has it’s own medicinal benefits. Suppositories might offer a solution for those patients who want to be medically treated by THC without getting faded.
Entering the body from the opposite end has a major effect on where the THC goes and how it acts once it’s absorbed. According to Cannabis Digest, “In the case of THC, the liver transforms around half of what is ingested into the significantly more psychoactive metabolite 11-Hydroxy-Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol. While not harmful in and of itself and potentially of therapeutic benefit, this molecule causes much more intense cognitive effects than THC. Rectal administration not only avoids these effects, but also allows a much greater proportion of THC to eventually reach the bloodstream.”
The method has apparently been catching on, especially in Europe. Martin T., a cannabis producer in the Czech Republic told Leafly that, after meeting Rick Simpson, he started manufacturing his own extracts, but found that many of the ill patients he worked to treat, “could not bear the psychoactive effects of THC.”
Martin tried several different options to try to give his patients what they wanted without unwanted side effects. “I tried to infuse cocoa butter—with a little bit of shea butter and coconut oil—with the extract and made rectal suppositories,” he said. “Patients immediately loved them, especially those with digestive and urinary issues.”
So, suppositories might not be the right method if you’re looking to get way, way elevated, but if you trying for medicinal treatment without getting stupid stoned.