Now that cannabidiol has hit the mainstream, it is available in many forms. CBD oils, tinctures, topicals, capsules, drinks, edibles, and more are now for sale. If you want to try CBD, using it in suppository form is probably your lowest priority. If you were wondering, a suppository is a form of medication inserted into the rectum, and there are also vaginal suppositories.
Even in the vastly growing CBD sector, it is a niche market. However, are we making a mistake by overlooking this method of using CBD? Read on to find out.
What Are CBD Suppositories?
The suppository delivery method for medicine typically involves inserting rocket-shaped capsules into the rectum or vagina. It is used instead of traditional dosing methods such as pills and liquids. The theory is that the drug reaches the bloodstream faster and provides stronger effects than relying on oral consumption.
There are also cannabis suppositories on the market designed for use by patients with specific debilitating conditions. According to various reports, this delivery method helps alleviate severe pain without likely leading to an intoxicating high.
Marijuana suppositories metabolize differently from those containing a drug such as morphine.
As a result, you can theoretically use a large amount of THC without experiencing a feeling of intoxication. There is a significant benefit to feeling the medicinal effects of a healthy dose of cannabis without falling prey to couch lock.
Suppose you are still concerned about a potential high, or else you live in a state where marijuana is illegal (or only legal for MMJ cardholders). In that case, a CBD suppository is an alternative to a cannabis one. According to sellers of these products, CBD suppositories help individuals with back pain and menstrual cramps.
How Do CBD Suppositories Work?
CBD as a whole is not particularly well-researched. Therefore, it is no surprise that scientific evidence supporting cannabidiol suppositories is minimal. Proponents claim this form of medication leads to a heightened absorption rate. The bioavailability rate when consuming any medicine is all-important.
We know that the absorption rate of orally consumed CBD is less than 20% for the most part. Vaporizing CBD offers a rate of between 30% and 55% depending on which study you believe.
Suppositories are different. When you insert one into the body, the healing compounds become absorbed by mucous membranes and internal cellular walls. In CBD suppositories, the cannabidiol rapidly spreads to organs nearby and is quickly absorbed into the bloodstream.
Dr. Paula-Noel Macfie of Back Door Medicine explained why marijuana suppositories don’t cause intoxication. When you administer cannabis rectally, its cannabinoids enter the bloodstream directly via cell walls. Then, it goes straight into the body and is distributed swiftly through our vascular system.
As Macfie says, the liver is the key to getting high. When you consume cannabinoids via a suppository, you bypass the liver. Usually, when smoking weed, the THC moves from the lungs through the liver, which metabolizes it into a more psychoactive molecule. Suppositories eliminate this process.
The Pelvic Region & CB Receptors
Researchers have discovered suppository molds in apothecaries dating back to the 12th century. However, the Ancient Babylonians are credited with this medication’s invention approximately 4,000 years ago. Scientists also believe the Ancient Egyptians used suppositories for gastrointestinal issues.
Our pelvic region includes a host of nerves that travel up the spine and down our legs. The colon also contains a myriad of CB1 and CB2 receptors. These are part of the endocannabinoid system (ECS), with which cannabis and CBD interact.
Manufacturers create a CBD or marijuana suppository by combining hemp or cannabis-infused oils in a carrier oil. It develops a hard texture at lower temperatures.
When you consume weed rectally, it potentially activates the cannabinoid receptors. It could help with conditions such as acute inflammation and hemorrhoids. There are also several essential veins in the rectum that deliver blood to the whole body.
CBD Vaginal Suppositories
An estimated 90% of women have experienced at least one sign of PMS, according to this study. This compares to approximately 26% of men who have suffered erectile dysfunction (ED), according to a study published in 2013. Despite this statistic, there have been five times more studies into ED than PMS. For women who endure PMS agony, marijuana is possibly a viable alternative to taking ibuprofen or other painkillers.
Most vaginal suppositories have ingredients such as coconut oil, cocoa butter, and hemp oil.
When using a CBD suppository for menstrual pain relief, inserting the cylinder-shaped device into the vagina is necessary. It is similar to using a tampon minus the applicator. Most vaginal suppositories have ingredients such as coconut oil, cocoa butter, and hemp oil. These ingredients enable the cylinder to soften and melt when inside the body.
CBD suppositories work because the cannabinoid goes into the bloodstream via the absorbent mucosa in the vagina. As you apply the CBD directly to the vagina, it instantly impacts the area. Once again, its possible effectiveness is based on CBD’s interaction with the ECS. The ECS is especially prevalent in reproductive systems such as the fallopian tubes, uterus, and ovaries.
What Are the Benefits of CBD Suppositories?
Reasons to use a CBD suppository range from increased pleasure during sex to decreased pain in daily life. However, most of the apparent benefits are anecdotal due to the relative lack of research. Even so, users of CBD suppositories suggest it is worth using them for the following reasons.
Symptoms of Dyspareunia
Dyspareunia is the scientific term for pain experienced during sex. Conditions responsible for dyspareunia include:
- Ovarian cysts
- Uterine fibroids
- Vaginal scarring
- Interstitial cystitis
- Pelvic floor dysfunction
Doctors have reported that patients feel less pain during sex after using suppositories. Also, the anxiety someone feels because of the pain during sex only increases the sensation. CBD’s potential anti-anxiety properties could help decrease the likelihood of this happening.
Endometriosis Pain Relief
According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, almost 10% of women of childbearing age experience endometriosis. This condition occurs when the tissue similar to the uterus lining grows outside it. This tissue could develop on the intestines, ovaries, or other areas, leading to severe pain.
Since endometriosis introduces a significant amount of inflammation to the pelvic region, CBD’s anti-inflammatory properties could help.
More Pleasurable Sex
CBD helps with relaxation and blood flow, two key components of better sex.
Symptoms experienced by people during menopause include mood changes, night sweats, and hot flashes. The human body produces fewer cannabinoids as it ages, and this scenario could be responsible for the above issues. Adding CBD to the mix via a suppository could reduce these symptoms.
How to Use a CBD Suppository
Manufacturers advise storing the suppository in a cool place like the fridge or freezer before insertion because it needs to be firm. When inserting one into the rectum, lie down on your side and pull your knees to your chest. Use your index finger to insert the suppository. Make sure the pointed end goes in first. Insert it until it is at least 2.5cm deep, and possibly up to 4cm, into the rectum to reach the inner anal sphincter.
Avoid slippage by clenching the buttocks’ muscles together and flexing the anus’ inner muscles for four seconds. Remain lying sideways for up to three minutes. Please note, fluid will leak from the rectum for a few hours. As a result, experts recommend inserting it before bed.
CBD suppositories can cause leakages, so the best time to use them is before bed.
It is a similar situation when inserting a CBD suppository into the vagina. You have a couple of options for assuming the right position. One method involves lying on your back with your knees bent. The other option requires standing with your knees bent and feet a couple of inches apart.
Insert the suppository gently into the vagina as far as it will go. Once again, fluid will leak out, so use it at bedtime.
As for how often you use it and the recommended dosage, it varies. Women using CBD suppositories for period pain relief need only use them when they feel pain. In contrast, someone using them to relieve menopause symptoms may need to use one daily.
What Does the Science Say About CBD Suppositories?
There are older studies that question the bioavailability of THC used rectally. A study by Perlin et al., published in the Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences in 1985, was one of the first published on the subject. It discovered no circulating THC levels in blood plasma after the cannabinoid was administered rectally in rhesus monkeys.
According to Dr. Mahmoud ElSohly, this study is proof that THC is not absorbed into the bloodstream when used in commercially available formulations.
Interestingly, a study led by ElSohly, also published in the Journal of Pharmaceutical Science, this time in 1991, discovered something a little unusual. The researchers found that a chemically modified THC version, known as THC-HS, is bioavailable in the rectum.
In a 2018 study featuring ElSohly, researchers found that the concentration of THC in blood plasma after insertion of a THC-HS suppository was up to 80% bioavailable.
The entire cannabinoid family exhibits similar phytochemical properties to THC. Therefore, it isn’t a stretch to suggest that rectal administration is not an effective use of CBD. While the THC-HS extract has excellent bioavailability, it bears no relation to THC or any other cannabinoid.
However, there is some anecdotal evidence in favor of suppositories. In reality, not everyone will have the same response because it depends on your ECS and the condition you are trying to treat. Some women have used CBD suppositories for period pain. They often find that it helps reduce pain during sex rather than alleviating period pain.
Again, this isn’t a huge surprise. CBD is likely an anti-inflammatory compound. Therefore, it has the potential to relax the muscles in your pelvic floor. Extra ingredients such as coconut oil help lubricate the vagina.
Are CBD Suppositories Safe?
Whether you insert a suppository anally or vaginally, you should feel little in the way of adverse effects from the CBD itself. Cannabidiol is generally well tolerated, although it could cause the following adverse effects on occasion:
- Reduced appetite
However, there are concerns over whether CBD suppositories could harm the vagina. It is a delicate area, and changes to its pH can cause numerous issues. OB/Gyns recommend only using mild unscented soaps around the area and advise against douching.
As long as the suppository consists of high-quality CBD and coconut oil, it shouldn’t lead to a change in pH. Such products act as a neutral film instead of causing chemical interactions.
CBD Suppositories Side Effects
Yet, inserting anything into the vaginal canal could potentially cause harm. A study published in BMC Women’s Health in 2018 found that women who use vaginal wipes, washes, and gels or practice douching are more likely to experience some form of vaginal infection.
Formal testing is required to confirm side effects, dosing, and safety. Given the limited evidence of CBD suppositories’ efficacy, you must decide whether the possible benefits outweigh the potential risks.
Where to Buy CBD Suppositories
There are a relatively limited number of CBD suppository sellers. However, we have found brands with solid reputations.
Foria is the gold standard for CBD suppositories, according to many users. It describes itself as “an innovative health and sexual wellness company,” so it has more experience than most when selling this type of product.
The brand sells Intimacy Suppositories. Each pack contains 4 x 50mg CBD suppositories, including organic-certified fair trade cocoa butter. The Relief package contains 8 x 100mg CBD suppositories with cocoa butter.
Endoca specializes in CBD oils and capsules and offers 10 x 50mg CBD suppositories. Each includes a full spectrum of cannabinoids, amino acids, alkanes, terpenes, and vitamins. Endoca has chosen to add organic coconut oil to its product.
Palmetto Harmony is another brand that has added CBD suppositories to its growing list of available products. You can even find its product on third-party websites. It sells 7 x 10mg full-spectrum CBD suppositories with coconut oil. In a CBD per mg sense, it is significantly more expensive than Foria and Endoca but offers a lower initial investment.
How to Make CBD Suppositories at Home
Most suppositories contain between 25mg and 100mg of CBD, and they are often expensive. If you don’t want to pay $50+ for CBD suppositories, you can always try to make your own.
All you need is:
- Full-spectrum CBD oil
- A base such as a coconut oil
- A suppository mold; you can choose a silicone, plastic, or metal one
When you assemble these ingredients, here is how you make DIY CBD suppositories:
- Heat your base oil in a pan
- Add in the CBD oil and mix thoroughly
- Pour the mix into the mold and put it in the freezer
Final Thoughts on CBD Suppositories
The jury is still out on the efficacy of CBD suppositories. As the CBD market is not regulated, the onus is on consumers to research brands that offer cannabidiol suppositories.
The number of people giving this unconventional method of CBD consumption a try is increasing.
Ultimately, only you can decide if you want to experiment with a CBD suppository. There isn’t much in scientific research to prove their effectiveness. Nonetheless, the number of people giving this unconventional method of CBD consumption a try is increasing.