Backdoor Medicine

How Marijuana Suppositories Can Save Lives

By Nicholas Fraleigh / Cannabis Digest     March 12, 2015


"Ok, you want me to put that where?!"


This is a common reaction to the suggestion that cannabis can be used as a suppository. Rectal administrations (suppositories) have an unfairly bad reputation in North America, despite the diverse benefits they offer. This article aims to educate about the advantages associated with the rectal application of cannabis and provide a simple set of guidelines for the effective use of suppositories.

There are many advantages to the rectal administration of cannabis not afforded by other routes. Medicine may still be administered even if the oral route is impaired (e.g., due to vomiting, an injured jaw or throat, or gastrointestinal difficulties) or disallowed due to the oral intake restrictions that are frequently required both before and after surgery.

Avoiding the gastrointestinal tract (normal digestion) also prevents first-pass metabolism by the stomach and liver, which break down molecules into their constituent parts (including Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol, otherwise known as THC).

Suppository application skips around the normal digestion process and allows the whole active constituents in the Cannabis to reach the bloodstream in much higher concentrations.

In the case of THC, the liver transforms around half of what is ingested into the significantly more psychoactive metabolite 11-Hydroxy-Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol. (In non sciFi language: the liver makes raw cannabis MORE psychoactive which means you get higher)

Rectal administration not only avoids these effects, but also allows a much greater proportion of THC to eventually reach the blood stream. This increase in overall efficiency is also shown in the different levels of bioavailability that different administration routes afford, as seen in Fig. 1. Rectal administration also allows for medicine to exert effects over localized ailments (e.g., hemorrhoidal tissue, inflammation of the rectum, or tumors in the rectal cavity). This form of use 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. The speed and reliability of their uptake combined with their circumvention of many of the issues surrounding both ingestion and inhalation make rectal applications an excellent addition to both new and pre-existing therapeutic regimens.


Bioavailability = how much of the medicine actually makes it into your bloodstream.


When designing a personalized medication regimen, it is important to know the various timings involved with a given administration route. With suppositories, most people will begin to notice initial effects within the first 10 – 15 minutes after insertion. These effects usually last for between 4 – 8 hours, depending on the individual’s physiology and tolerance to cannabis. This swift increase in effect allows for acute dosing in many cases, although this depends both on the situation and on specific individual needs. There are several issues that can slow absorption from the rectum to the blood stream. Diarrhea and fecal matter can slow or prevent the active ingredients from reaching the rectal wall and being absorbed. Tumors or cysts on the rectal wall can also slow or prevent absorption. In this case, less medicine would reach the blood, but as 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.

Rectal dehydration can drastically reduce the effectiveness of suppositories. Staying well hydrated by maintaining a healthy consumption of both water and electrolytes should prevent this in most cases, but specific medical conditions may cause it as well, in which case the solution may not be as simple. As always, if there are concerns, a medical professional should be consulted.

Anyone who decides to take advantage of the benefits provided by suppositories should do so with a good understanding of the process involved. Although not overly complex, the few simple instructions outlined below will enable their effective use.



The following instructions have been adapted for use with Natures Meds  CANCER BLEND  liquid Oil products.


Before insertion

  • It is important to wash your hands thoroughly before insertion of a suppository, as germs and bacteria can enter the body through the rectum. 
  • A small syringe can be used for delivery. These are easily obtained in bulk boxes form any medical supply business.
  • To make sure you get every drop of Cannabis concentrate, it is ok to cut off the very tip of the syringe, but avoid leaving sharp edges that might scratch or even cut the skin inside the rectum. 


  • Lie on your preferred side with your top leg pulled up towards your chest.
  • Lift your upper butt-cheek to expose your rectum.
  • Insert the syringe about 1 - 1.5 inches.


  • Ensure the suppository has been inserted past the anal sphincter.  If not inserted fully past the sphincter, some or all of the suppository may be expelled without the active ingredients reaching the rectal wall and being absorbed into the blood stream.
  • It is important to not place the suppository too high up in the rectum.
  • If placed too high, the active constituents will enter the Superior (upper) hemorrhoidal artery, which leads to the liver.  This presents the same problem as oral application, as the liver will metabolize a significant proportion of the active ingredients.
  • The suppository should ideally be placed around 2 ½  to  4 centimeters (1 to 1 ½ inches) into the rectum, just past the anal sphincter.

After insertion

  • Hold your buttocks together and tightly squeeze the muscles in your sphincter for a few seconds after insertion to help keep the suppository from sliding out.
  • Remain lying on your side for several minutes after insertion to allow the suppository to fully diffuse through the rectum.  This will also help to prevent the unintended expulsion of the suppository.
  • Dispose of the syringe.
  • Be very aware of the possibility of unintended expulsion of melted suppository residue during flatulence over the next few hours after insertion.  If you have ANY doubts, use a toilet.


Nicholas Fraleigh writes for Cannabis Digest.



Vaginal Suppository application... is equally as effective as Anal with the added benefit of making your vagina "very happy!" This is the equivalent to a very concentrated version of our Cannagasm product. Pure, Raw Cannabis Concentrates should be avoided here as they create a very painful stinging. Our Cancer Blend product is diluted in Black Seed and Chia oils which are harmless in the vagina and no stinging or other negative side effects have been reported from this use.




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