There are different ways to take cannabis, but sticking it up your arse, ie using it as a suppository, is probably the least popular. There has been growing interest in this avenue due to the benefits of medicinal cannabis that have emerged in recent years. It is, however, utterly unsuitable to nigh on anyone taking cannabis socially.

Much as I'd like to post a picture of a lady's arsehole, I'd better not.

Much as I’d like to post a picture of a lady’s arsehole, I’d better not.

Why stick it up your arse?

The takeaway is that cannabis suppositories grant people cannabis’s medical benefits while reducing the psychoactive effects. Dr Paula-Noel Macfie of Back Door Medicine, an organisation devoted to cannabis suppositories, explained that they don’t make you high because taking cannabis in this fashion bypasses the liver.

You’ll feel something within half an hour, which is considerably faster than with edibles. Taking cannabis as a suppository delivers as much as 80 percent of the plant’s medicinal compounds to the body, compared to 35 percent for edibles and tinctures and 15 percent for smoking. The proper name for this is “bioavailability.”

Who might do it?

Suppositories would be useful to anyone who couldn’t swallow, perhaps having suffered a stroke or a condition such as motor neurone disease, multiple sclerosis or Parkinson’s disease. People undergoing chemotherapy and experiencing nausea might also have problems swallowing. Anyone undergoing surgery cannot eat before and after, so a suppository is the best remaining option. You might prefer to use a suppository on people who are babies, elderly or unconscious.

How to do it

If you’re making cannabis suppositories, you’ll need a base like organic cacao butter or coconut oil. Moulds are commercially available. The suppositories will probably be conical in shape and around an inch long. Post-insertion, tighten your sphincter, so the suppository doesn’t just pop out again. Maintain this position for between five and 10 minutes. The suppository might come loose even hours later, so it’s best to take things easy. A major drawback of cannabis suppositories is that they aren’t portable – they have to be kept refrigerated to avoid their melting. The best thing to do is take the suppository before you go to sleep. Your body heat will melt the carrier oil after taking a suppository, possibly causing leakage, which is one more reason to do it last thing at night, although pads are also a possibility.

A high-ranking doctor sums things up

When interviewed on television, Mikhail Kogan, medical director of the Center for Integrative Medicine at Washington, DC’s George Washington University, remarked that he “sees no reason for people to smoke marijuana medically anymore.” And there’s Dr Macfie: “You know it’s working when you’re not fixating on the pain.”

Suppositories throughout history

Suppositories are far from new. It’s believed they saw use to treat piles in ancient Babylon as long ago as 2,000BCE. The ancient Egyptians used them to help with gastro-intestinal problems. Suppository moulds have been found in apothecaries dating from as far back as the 12th century.

While not widely used in the United Kingdom, suppositories are popular in France. The most popular French cold cure comes in the form of a suppository. It’s much easier to stick something up your child’s arse than to get them to swallow it.

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