Blame it on the middle schooler who maintains residence in the locker room of my psyche, or the goons at every music festival who love to announce that “it’s free if you boof it.” But, whatever the reason, “butt stuff” is almost always funny to me (googling “cannabis suppositories” and quickly scanning the titles of articles will prove that it is not only me). The exception: When the posterior is the entry point for lifesaving medicine.
Suppositories offer highly bioavailable medicine for patients, providing the most effective delivery of healing compounds, especially when directed to tissues local to the rectum and those located past the stomach in the digestive tract, including areas affected by Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, and to those individuals who have digestive complications. This method, when applied vaginally, has also shown to be helpful in relieving discomfort for women during their menstrual cycle.
Suppositories are generally made with cocoa butter or coconut oil, measured to dosage in combination with cannabis extract oil like shatter or Rick Simpson Oil, which is gently melted over heat, poured into molds, and placed in the freezer to solidify. One of the primary advantages of this manner of administration is the ability of the body to use from 50 to 70 percent of the medicine available in the dosage as opposed to 10 to 25 percent bioavailability for smoking, and approximately 20 percent for edible dosing. It is absorbed, once placed into the anus, through the tissues of the intestinal wall and travels quickly to the bloodstream. The process takes about 20 minutes and is effective for anywhere from four to eight hours. By contrast, smoking is the quickest delivery method – taking effect almost immediately – but its effects are the shortest-lived, lasting approximately one hour. Edible ingestion, which takes the longest time to begin working, can take anywhere from 30 to 90 minutes to “kick in,” with its effects lasting from two to four hours.
INTERLUDE: There was some question during the researching of this topic whether this particular method of ingestion would create a high in the manner that smoking or eating does. Someone Who Isn’t Me graciously volunteered to undergo a scientific study of the matter, using the administration method described above. SWIM, a healthy, middle aged, possibly overeducated gentleman began his experiment at the start of last Friday’s NCAA Sweet 16 festivities. By the start of Game 2, he had eaten a bowl of mac and cheese, several slices of toast, alternately slathered in honey and strawberry jam, and was contemplating his next move in the kitchen while wondering without worry when feeling might return to his lips.
VERDICT: Rectal administration of cannabis will, in fact, get you high.
Suppositories can be used by anyone in need of the medicine available from THC, CBD, other cannabanoids, and terpenes specifically but not limited to the anti-inflammatory, anti-emetic, antispasmodic, and appetite stimulating effects found in various cannabis strains. They can be very practical and appropriate for chemotherapy patients whose treatment creates difficulty with keeping things in their stomachs or those whose stomachs are sensitive for other reasons, very young and very old patients who are unable to smoke or effectively swallow, and individuals who simply want quick, effective, long-lasting relief.
As cannabis transitions within American society in general (and within the worldwide medical community) from a banned substance or an easily-ignored folk remedy to a more widely-studied and understood effective medical option, the mechanisms by which it interacts with the various systems of the human body are beginning to be realized. One of the reasons it is particularly useful for issues involving the gut is its ability to reduce inflammation. Israeli clinical trials performed on patients with irritable bowel syndrome and Crohn’s disease have shown cannabis to reduce symptoms of these conditions including abdominal pain, diarrhea, and reduced appetite, along with reducing the need for steroid prescriptions and surgeries. In line with this enhanced understanding of cannabis as a medicine should be the accompanying recognition that, even though the idea of rectal administration seems funny, it might just be the most effective path to relief; with that in mind, consider boofing one this week.
Christopher Gallagher lives with his wife and their four dogs and two horses. Life is pretty darn good. Contact him at [email protected].