Medical marijuana patients, particularly those with cancer and others with debilitating conditions like endometriosis and severe menstrual pain that require very high levels of cannabinoids like THC or CBD, often find the ingestion of oils like RSO to be an unpleasant experience. Because treating cancer (or other chronic conditions) with RSO, or Rick Simpson Oil, pumps such a large amount of THC into the patient’s body the psychotropic effects can be overwhelming for some. But what if there was a way to dampen the strongest effects of RSO and other concentrated cannabis oils so that the patient receives the maximum therapeutic benefit, but without feeling “uncomfortably high”?
Benefits of delivering cannabis oil via suppository
Making cannabis suppositories with RSO is just such a method. It combines an ancient medication delivery method with high doses of THC, allowing the patient to metabolize a higher percentage of cannabinoids than they would have if they ingested the RSO orally (or smoked it), while reducing the unpleasantness of being extremely altered. Making a cannabis suppository is as simple as mixing RSO with an easily-absorbed substance like cocoa butter, poured into a suppository mold and frozen until ready to use. Once inserted rectally (or vaginally), the cocoa butter melts as it reaches the same temperature as your body and you absorb a super-charged amount of cannabinoids, minus many of the powerful effects of smoking or eating pot.
Because you are bypassing the digestive system and liver, cannabis suppositories can deliver up to 80% of the plant’s medicinal compounds to the patient, which is a much higher rate of metabolization than with other traditional methods of ingestion. In comparison, edibles and tinctures provide around 35% bio availability, and because combustion instantly burns off a lot of the cannabinoids, smoking leaves only around 15% of the active cannabinoids to be metabolized by the body. The effect is quick, which for cancer patients means they are always 10-15 minutes away from easing their nausea, anxiety, inflammation, and chronic pain.
Bypassing the head high
RSO cannabis suppositories are a medical alternative to smoking and eating marijuana or using pharmaceutical medications. Like other rectally administered medications, our bodies can absorb cannabinoids through the cell walls, where they directly enter the blood stream and get distributed to the bodies many cannabinoid receptors through the vascular system. The liver is the body’s main filtration system, and it collects and processes blood coming from the digestive tract (which also passes by the villi of the lungs). Cannabinoids are filtered through the liver when ingested orally or smoked, but suppositories bypass it, and that’s how patients can get the benefits of THC without the intense psychoactive effects the same dose would have given the patient if it was consumed any other way.
Getting past the stigma
Suppositories are designed for insertion into the rectum or vagina to dissolve. Naturally, one of the main concerns for patients is the ease with which they can administer the suppositories. Dr. Paula-Noël Macfie—an Oregonian and indigenous science researcher—started using cannabis suppositories for Multiple Sclerosis (MS), MTHFR genetic mutations, a frontal lobe brain injury, and PTSD. Her class “Healthy Mindset: Nutritional Healing and Plant Medicine”, is offered through the MS Society of Portland and provides information about cannabis suppositories to MS patients, though she says that she wishes to expand the program to other patients with other health conditions. For optimal application comfort, she advises first becoming comfortable with your body to make manual application quicker. Or, to use an applicator tool if further assistance is needed. If you are already using RSO, CO2 oil or other cannabis extracts as medicine, you will appreciate the level of symptom relief a cannabis suppository can offer without the intense, schedule-altering effects.
Simple cannabis suppository recipe
Making cannabis suppositories from RSO is an incredibly simple process and only requires a couple of ingredients, suppository molds and a freezer. This recipe assumes you are starting with two grams of high THC RSO that contains 650mg of THC each, for a total of 1300mg of THC. Each gram of RSO will produce approximately 30 2ml cannabis suppositories that contain approximately 45mg of THC each. Feel free to adjust the recipe to fit your specific needs.
What you need
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- 1/4 cup organic extra virgin coconut oil or organic cacao butter for patients who get an upset stomach from coconut oil
- 2 grams RSO or other high cannabinoid cannabis concentrate
- Large oral syringe or pipette
- Plastic suppository molds
- Melt carrier oil in a double boiler. The simplest way to do this is by filling a small saucepan 1/3 full with water and inserting a small glass measuring cup.
- Once melted, add RSO. If it is difficult to dispense try warming it for a few seconds in a glass of hot water.
- Stir constantly until completely incorporated.
- Remove from heat and pour into a small bowl or shot glass.
- Once the mixture is completely cool dispense into suppository molds using a syringe or pipette. It is easiest to do this by using a couple of towels or some styrofoam to prop up the molds. It’s best to do this on a portable tray so they can go straight into the freezer that way.
- Once suppository molds are full move them to the freezer. They should be ready to use in 1-2 hours.
- Wrap individual cannabis suppositories in parchment or wax paper and store in the freezer in a freezer-proof zip-lock bag.