We’ve probably all seen stories of “weed tampons.” Truth is, they aren’t tampons, they are suppositories made from cannabis and they can be a game changer for people with chronic pelvic pain such as that experienced with endometriosis. They are also super easy to make – saving tons of money from pre-made dispensary versions.
Like much of cannabis, the science behind cannabis suppositories is a bit limited. Originally thought to only deliver medication locally, recent research has led to the possibility that upwards of 80% bioavailability of THC can be achieved systemically via rectal administration. However, much of this was reduced by first pass effect, meaning little to no psychoactive experience felt by patients. This makes suppositories a great option for patients with pelvic pain would prefer to avoid the psychotropic effect of cannabis or those with difficult to treat pelvic pain.
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Things to Know About Suppositories
Can I sub the cocoa butter?
Yes. You can substitute coconut oil, but it comes with some drawbacks. Cocoa butter melts around 93-100 degrees, while coconut oil begins to melt at 76 degrees. Due to this difference, coconut oil suppositories will melt quickly, and are best administered via an applicator to avoid melting in your hands. They should also be stored in the freezer or fridge, while cocoa butter suppositories are shelf stable.
What type of cannabis oil should I use?
Cannabis suppositories require relatively high doses of cannabinoids, so a concentrated oil like distillate, CO2 oil, RSO, or FECO is best. I prefer a combination of CBD and THC for my endometriosis, but different conditions may do best with a different ratio of cannabinoids.
How much cannabis oil do I need?
The recipe below will make suppositories that are approximately 50-75mg in strength depending on the concentration of your oil (60-90%). While there isn’t sufficient scientific data regarding dosing, most commercially available suppositories are in this range. I’ve personally experimented with various doses and found minimal relief until I used doses that exceeded 50mg.
What type of cannabis oil do I need?
You can use cannabis distillate, CO2 oil, RSO, or FECO for making cannabis suppositories. I prefer to use anywhere from a 1:1 to 1:4 ratio of CBD to THC. I find a ratio to be more effective than suppositories made with only CBD or only THC.
How effective are they?
This seems to be a highly personal experience. Overall I find them to be extremely effective, but only for short periods of time. I could eat the same size dose and have some level of relief for 6-8 hours, but the intoxication of oral dosing often prevents me from doing that. I’ve spoken to others that experience much longer relief with cannabis suppositories, so as always when it comes to cannabis results may vary.
As the month goes on my pain ramps up until my period, where I’m completely debilitated for days. The pain is so severe I pass out, throw up, or lay in the floor crying in the fetal position. With limited treatment options available, it also feels a bit hopeless. I tend to save suppositories for these days, as even with short relief, it give me a period of reprieve and hope.
You Will Need
Warm distillate with a hair dryer for 10 seconds or in a plastic bag submerged in hot water for 2 minutes to make it easier to dispense. Mix distillate into cocoa butter with metal fork or the tip of your syringe until fully dissolved.
Using the blunt tip syringe or pipette, carefully fill each mold with 2mL of cocoa butter mixture. Work steadily as your mixture will begin to harden if allowed to cool to room temp. Do not fill the molds by eye – measure each suppository to ensure proper dosing.
Place molds in the freezer until set. Once hardened, pop out of the molds and store in a glass jar in a dark cool place until ready for use.
Can be used anally or vaginally. Lay flat for 15-30 minutes after administration to avoid leakage. Effects are typically felt within 30 minutes. Duration varies by user.
It is important to properly measure your base liquid to ensure proper dosing, but working with such small amounts of liquid can be difficult with norma kitchen measuring tools. If you’ll be regularly making your own topicals, tinctures, or other concentrated cannabis mixes investing in a set of graduated cylinders and/or a scale is a wise purchase.
If using a disposable plastic pipette to transfer your mixture to the molds, make sure your melted cocoa butter is cool enough to touch that it will not melt the plastic.
You want your cocoa butter to be slightly cool before adding distillate so that it does not destroy the cannabinoids, but you do not want it getting close to room temp or it will begin to harden.
To determine the dose per suppository, divide the total number of milligrams of medicine in the cannabis oil that you use by the total number of suppositories made.
To see a video of how Easy DIY Cannabis Suppositories are made please check out my highlighted story on Instagram.