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Rectal Cannabis Suppositories

Despite the fact many people start to giggle when someone mentions rectal suppositories, this way of application is not funny and has many advantages. Suppositories are especially suitable for patients who cannot or don’t want to ingest or inhale cannabis.

Suppositories infused with medicinal cannabinoids have relatively fast onset of action – a bit slower than while you smoke cannabis, but faster than edibles; and its effects last longer. However, the biggest advantage of this way of application is that even if you apply a relatively large dose of psychoactive THC you will not feel as “high” as if you consume the same amount orally (both smoking and eating).


How Do They Look Like?

Cannabis suppositories have usually conic shape and they are administered rectally (vaginal suppositories are specific, and they would deserve a separate article). A two grams suppository (the most common) is approximately 2.5 cm long, and the basic mixture is made from cocoa butter with a “touch” of coconut oil or shea butter – all of that mixed with cannabis extract. If you do not have an access to the extract, you can mix cocoa butter with dried cannabis buds and prepare the basis the same way, as if you were making homemade cannabis cream.


How Do They Work?

Suppositories are an effective way of administering cannabis during the treatment. After they are inserted into rectum, the cannabinoids are quickly absorbed through large intestine wall directly into bloodstream. Process of application is not difficult at all – you can ask your doctor or find instructions on the internet.

In case of smoking, the effects are almost immediate, but they do not last long unless the inhalation is frequently repeated. When eaten, the effects can be felt as late as 30 minutes after consumption because active ingredients have to pass through intestines and liver. To the contrary, the effects of cannabis suppositories are noticeable already after 10–15 minutes and they last from four to eight hours.

Bioavailability (absorbability) of cannabis during smoking is just 10–25 per cent depending upon frequency of smoking and dosing. The efficiency of eating of cannabis products is approximately 20–30 per cent and the effects can vary greatly. On the other hand, the bioavailability of rectal administration is between 50–70 per cent and its effects on individual patients with various diagnoses can be easily predicted.


Who Are They for?

Suppositories are ideal choice for many patients – for example for those undergoing chemotherapy; these people suffer from severe nausea and thus it is often impossible for them to digest cannabis edibles. They are also suitable for elderly and children and for those who cannot swallow pills. Moreover, suppositories would benefit surgical patients who cannot eat immediately before and after operations, and also patients who are unable to swallow due to stroke or another disease.

Concerning specific indications, suppositories are suitable for patients with Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, and other diseases associated with a gastrointestinal tract and excretion. Many male patients also report that suppositories are effective especially in treating various health problems associated with prostate.

However, we should note that there has not been much of scientific research in this method of cannabinoids application.

How to Use Them?

Suppository forms are usually sold in two-gram version for adults and one-gram version for children. When they are prepared, they should be stored in a cold place. Before inserting, it is good to make sure that the suppository is firm. If not, put it into a fridge or a freezer (it is actually best to store them in fridge the whole time).

Lie sidelong and crouch. Using your index finger, insert the suppository into your rectum, pointed end first. Insert it circa 2.5–4 cm deep, all the way behind the inner anal sphincter.

To prevent the suppository from slipping out, you must clench your buttocks together firmly and flex muscles of your anal sphincter for 2–3 seconds.

Keep lying sidelong at least for next few minutes. There is a risk that fluid from the suppository will mildly leak during next few hours – you should take that into account when planning other activities (this is why the best time to apply the suppository is before you go to sleep).


What Can You Expect?

You will probably feel warm feeling spreading from the area of your pelvis to the rest of your body. It should pretty quickly alleviate your pain (of course it depends on the particular cannabinoid content) and the effects should last up to 5–6 hours, and at the same time you should not be feeling anxious or “high”. Most of the patients are delighted by the effects of suppositories when they compare them to other ways of application of cannabis.



The time-tested mixture contains 75–80 per cent of cocoa butter and 10 per cent of coconut oil and shea butter. Shea butter and coconut oil have tendency to melt already around 25 degrees of Celsius – that is the reason why they should not be put into the basic mixture in bigger amounts.

You can order moulds for suppositories in various e-shops with medical supplies (they can be also rarely found in pharmacies). Volume of these moulds should be one or two millilitres / grams.

To start making your suppositories you also need last important thing – a cannabis extract (in case you cannot obtain it proceed the same way as if you were making cannabis cream with dried buds).

Example of dosing: to make one set (10 pieces) of one-gram suppositories containing 10 per cent of cannabis extract, warm 9 millilitres of basic mixture with 1 millilitre of extract in water bath until the extract completely dissolves. Mould for the suppositories should be then fixed into a holder. Let the mixture cool for a while and then pour into moulds of all 10 suppositories.

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