Of the various ways to consume CBD oil, suppositories are probably the least popular method despite the fact that these suppositories can be a beneficial method of delivery with a fast mode of action.
Until recently, CBD suppositories were virtually unheard of. With the growing medical cannabis industry, more clinical and anecdotal evidence regarding the benefits of cannabidiol (CBD) and its multiple forms of administration started appearing. CBD suppository, not surprisingly, remained at the bottom of the list.
CBD oil suppositories are gaining notoriety as a highly efficient delivery system, whether inserted vaginally or rectally.
In this article, the focus will be mainly on products designed for anal insertion. Among the wide variety of CBD suppositories some products are rarely safe for both vaginal and rectal use, while others are only restricted to anal use.
It is important to note that some suppositories found on the market contain THC and are referred to as “cannabis” suppositories instead of CBD suppositories. What is overviewed in this article are products made from hemp that contain little to no THC.
When using CBD oil suppositories, instructions should be carefully followed.
What are CBD suppositories?
CBD suppositories are solid capsules containing CBD oil that melt at body temperature after being inserted into the rectum or vagina. Once dissolved in the mucous layer of the intestine, the CBD oil and other active ingredients is released and easily absorbed into the bloodstream through the lining of the intestine. This will facilitate the release of therapeutic chemicals both locally and systemically1.
CBD oil suppositories are available for both rectal and vaginal use. For all intents and purposes, this article will focus on those specific for anal use. It is important to note that not all rectal CBD suppositories are recommended for vaginal use. Vaginal CBD suppositories contain carriers that are deemed safe for vaginal use.
What are the benefits of using cannabis suppositories?
CBD oil suppositories have certain benefits over other CBD oil products.
For starters, CBD oils intended for oral use tend to have low bioavailability since some CBD gets absorbed by the fatty tissues of the stomach and intestines. So, partial amounts will be lost in body parts that will not benefit from their use. In suppositories, CBD and other active ingredients are absorbed directly into the bloodstream via the mucosal linings of the rectum. This makes every component fully utilized by the body.
Another benefit of CBD suppositories is that they can be used by patients who have trouble swallowing or who can’t swallow at all due to neurodegenerative issues
A Brief History of Suppositories
Suppositories are not a new health trend. They date back to thousands of years ago as their molds have been discovered in apothecaries dating back to the 12th century. Moreover, the use of cannabis, as a healing remedy, can be traced back to some 5,000 years back2.
The word “suppository,” is derived from the Latin word suppositorum, which means “something placed beneath.” This term first appeared in academic literature in the late 1700s and was meant to be a substitute for enemas.
Ancient Egyptian documentation has been found suggesting the use of suppositories for easing gastrointestinal problems. It has also been suggested that medical specialists in the Ancient Babylonian culture prescribed them to patients as a treatment for hemorrhoids.
Other sources claim that suppositories were invented independently by North American indigenous people, during the pre-Columbus times. A small piece of wood from the dogwood tree was moistened, compressed, and inserted rectally as a treatment for hemorrhoids.
In the old times, herbs used for suppositories were encased in soap or honey and allowed to harden. Eventually, soap and honey were replaced by plant oils such as cocoa butter3.
The whole topic of suppositories and their application is still a taboo subject in many cultures while being very popular in others like France. In the UK, such a method of administering medication is avoided. In the US, while suppositories are a little more widespread, discussing it with others is something some patients avoid.
Who Can Benefit from Cannabis Suppositories
There are several medical conditions for which individuals choose to use CBD oil suppositories over oral consumption. CBD suppositories are commonly used by:
Our Quick Guide of 4 Suppositories
Product Selection Methodology
If you’re familiar with CBD, you’re well aware that not all CBD products are created equal. When choosing CBD suppositories it is imperative to choose transparent CBD brands dedicated to quality and safety.
Whether for choosing the best CBD suppositories or any other CBD products, it is necessary to keep the following requirements in mind
REPUTABLE CBD BRANDS
We only choose transparent CBD brands with a solid reputation in the industry. The company must be dedicated to providing high-quality products.
Products must be made from all-natural, non-GMO hemp grown in the US. They must use natural ingredients. The CBD must be extracted using safe methods and be produced using a limited amount of processing.
Non-GMO is defined as a product produced from plants that have not undergone genetic engineering. All ingredients must be non-GMO.
THIRD-PARTY LAB TEST RESULTS
Manufacturers of CBD products must show third-party lab test results openly to customers to prove that the cannabinoid levels in the product matches the label.
Products must also be tested to detect the possible presence of heavy metals, molds, or pesticides.
ACTIVE AND INACTIVE INGREDIENTS
We look at all active and inactive ingredients to ensure our readers are getting the highest quality CBD products available. When possible, we prefer to recommend natural products made without any artificial ingredients. An active ingredient refers to any ingredient that produces a physiological effect when taken by the patient.
Individuals have different desires and needs when it comes to using CBD. Some brands offer multiple potencies in their products, while others only offer one or two.
We search for various products with a range of potencies to meet the needs and desires of as many individuals as possible. However, all the CBD suppository brands mentioned in this article offer 50Mg of boof CBD per suppository.
VARIETY OF PRICE
When we promote products, we prefer to include a wide price range to suit the budgets of all individuals. Prices will vary depending on the volume, potency, serving size, and added ingredients. We attempt to give our readers all the needed information to allow them to make a well-informed decision that meets the patient’s specific needs and budget.
We prefer to recommend products that are only created using clean, safe extraction methods.
There are three common extraction methods when it comes to CBD.
Solvent extraction utilizes butane, propane, ethanol, isopropyl, or alcohol to extract the CBD from the plant. It is the cheapest and quickest method of extraction. This is the most dangerous method of extraction because it can leave behind harmful solvent residue.
The olive oil method of extraction was the first method to be utilized for extracting CBD from the plant. It is a clean and cost-effective method of extraction. Raw plant material is added to a carrier oil such as olive oil and heated to a particular temperature for a period of time causing the oils from the hemp flower to infuse into the carrier oil. The main issue with olive oil, however, is that it can go bad easily and must be properly stored in order to maintain freshness. For this reason, most manufacturers that produce infused oils generally use an oil with a longer shelf life such as coconut oil.
The most desirable method of extracting CBD is the supercritical CO2 method. In this method, carbon dioxide is cooled to the point of becoming a liquid. The mixture of CO2 and hemp is further cooled and put under high pressure to facilitate infusion. CO2 is the most expensive method due to the high cost of the required equipment and facilities. However, this extraction method produces a potent, safe, and chlorophyll-free product that contains no harmful solvent residue.
Keeping all this in mind, the following are CBD School’s picks for 4 CBD suppositories available on the market.
Our Reviews of 4 suppositories to consider
Best Full Spectrum Suppositories
USA GROWN HEMP
- Endoca CBD suppositories are made from full-spectrum, whole-plant hemp extracts.
- They contain only 100% organic ingredients.
- Endoca CBD suppositories are labelled for vaginal or rectal use.
- Endoca’s extraction method maintains full integrity of the CBD.
- All Endoca COA reports can be found here.
Best suppositories for intimacy
Intimacy Suppositories with CBD
USA GROWN HEMP
- Made with organic, non GMO, broad-spectrum CBD.
- A cocoa-butter base is used to ensure easy insertion and absorption.
- These CBD suppositories can be used vaginally or rectally.
- They are safe for oral consumption.
- Foria suppositories are THC-free.
- The company uses sustainable farming techniques.
- They use all recyclable materials in their packaging.
- All of their products come from GMP (Good manufacturing practices) certified facilities.
- COA's for Foria's suppositories and other products can be found here.
Best Water Soluble Nano Technology
USA GROWN HEMP
- The water-soluble nanotechnology give the product high bioavailability.
- CBD Living suppositories are made from 100% organic U.S.- grown hemp.
- The ingredients are all non GMO and THC-free.
- CBD Living's suppositories COA can be found here.
Best vaginal suppositories
USA GROWN HEMP
- All of their ingredients are organic.
- The suppositories contain coconut oil for easy absorption and insertion.
- The company uses recyclable packaging materials and minimal plastics.
- The website makes it easy to find the COA (Certificate of Analysis), which can be found here.
How many CBD suppositories should I use?
As a beginner, it is always a good idea to discuss an optimal dosage with a medical professional who is knowledgeable in the use of CBD suppositories. Additionally, following the instructions given by each product page, regarding the proper dosage, is always a good idea.
Some CBD suppository products have roughly 20-25mg of CBD. The products mentioned in this article all contain 50mg of CBD per suppository. This amount may be too much for someone who is just beginning a CBD-based protocol. In that case, it would make sense to cut the suppository in half to assure the patient does not experience unwanted side effects, such as lethargy.
The ideal dosage varies from patient to another. It’s prudent to begin with a smaller amount and observe the reaction. When taking CBD products, patients should use the minimal amount that produces the desired effect. Doses that are too small will not solve the problem and end up going to waste. Those that are too high might produce unwanted effects. Furthermore, CBD is a biphasic compound, which means that when it surpasses a certain dose, its effects can actually diminish or change.
How to use CBD suppositories?
CBD suppositories are most efficient when they have a firm consistency. It is best to store them in the fridge or freezer to maintain their shape and firmness.
To insert a rectal CBD suppository, a patient should lie down sideways and pull their knees up towards their chest. The, the suppository would need to be inserted into the rectum with the index finger having the pointed end inserted first. The suppository should be inserted 2.5cm to 4cm in order to reach past the inner anal sphincter. Patients need to make sure to wash their hands after insertion4.
In order to avoid the suppository slipping out of the anal cavity, the muscles of the buttocks should be clenched together while flexing the inner muscles of the anus for approximately 3-4 seconds.
It’s important to stay lying down sideways for at least 2-3 minutes. Keep in mind, that associated fluid may leak mildly from the rectum for a couple of hours. This makes bedtime and nap time as the most convenient times to use the cannabis suppository as the patient has time to lay down and take it easy.
Vaginal CBD suppositories
Not all suppositories are safe for vaginal use. The products mentioned in this article are labeled for both rectal and vaginal usage.
It is imperative to read instructions on the packaging, as some CBD suppositories are for RECTAL use ONLY. Some compounds in rectal suppositories may cause an unpleasant reaction if used vaginally. Be sure to read all instructions on the packaging to determine if the product is safe for vaginal insertion.
Using a finger or tampon applicator, insert the CBD suppository into the vagina as deeply as possible. To help the CBD oil come in contact with the cervical and uterine tissue, place a cushion under the buttocks and remain in this position for around 5 minutes.
How long does a CBD suppository take to work?
CBD oil suppositories generally take up to 30 minutes to begin showing effect. Some individuals may feel the effects after 15 minutes.
When using a homemade CBD suppository, remember that the base will melt rapidly after contact with the skin.
How to make suppositories?
CBD oil suppositories can be made at home. However extreme care should be used to keep all the ingredients clean. Hands and utensils used in making CBD suppositories at home should be thoroughly washed beforehand.
To make rectal CBD oil suppositories at home, follow these instructions:
- CBD Oil
- Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil
What else you’ll need
- Ice tray with pop-out cubes, ideally circular
- Stir stick
- Melt the coconut oil if necessary by placing a container of oil in a pot of hot water.
- Fill the bottoms of the ice tray reservoirs with approximately 1/8 inch of oil.
- Add the desired amount of CBD oil into each reservoir using a measured dropper and stir gently.
- Place ice tray into the freezer for 1 to 2 hours
- Keep homemade suppositories in the freezer.
- When administered, they can be cut into smaller sizes/doses.
Note that because homemade suppositories melt very quickly, it’s best to use them while laying down for an extended period of time.
Hemp, the cannabis crop from which over-the-counter CBD oil is extracted was legalized by the federal government at the end of 2018. Along with hemp, the production of hemp extracts such as full-spectrum CBD oil and CBD isolate were also made legal for production and sale.
Under the 2018 Farm Bill, the regulation of hemp and CBD was put into the hands of the states. Each state has its own plan which must be approved by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Although certain products may not be produced or sold in certain states, such as smokable flower, most hemp-derived products, including CBD oil suppositories, can easily be purchased online.
Purchasing a product that may not be produced or sold in the state does not put the buyer at risk of breaking cannabis possession laws. The responsibility is on local CBD shops to know which products they can and cannot sell.
CBD products produced from marijuana that contain more than 0.3% THC may only be sold at state-licensed dispensaries.
Hemp crops and any products produced from hemp are required to contain less than 0.3% THC under Federal law.
CBD safety and side effects
CBD oil is among the safest of natural herbal remedies. CBD is completely non-toxic, non-addictive forming, and non-intoxicating. Studies have shown that humans are able to easily tolerate high doses of CBD without any severe or lasting side effects.
Mild side effects of CBD oil might include drowsiness and lethargy, dry mouth, or diarrhea (usually attributable to the quality and contents of the product)5.
Regardless of its safety, it’s best to begin using CBD in small doses of 5 to 10 milligrams depending on the patient’s weight and age. This dosage can be altered after a few days or a week, until the most appropriate dosage is reached that produces the desired effects.
The best treatment plan is to use the minimum amount of CBD for the most optimum relief. In most cases, there is a limit over which no additional benefits are experienced and it would become a simple waste of money.
Also, when you begin with a small dosage, you will be able to test your tolerance to the additional ingredients found in CBD products, some of which might not be well tolerated by the patient. For example, some patients show allergic reactions to certain terpenes.
Are CBD suppositories right for you?
When trying to find the best delivery method for CBD, it’s wise to explore all options. Anal CBD may be the solution for certain individuals.
For example, some elderly people can no longer manage to swallow their medications in pill form. Other individuals suffering from cancer may be going through chemo and experiencing chronic nausea and vomiting making it impossible to taking any medication without vomiting it. Sometimes, some undergo surgery and can’t ingest any solids; in that case, suppositories are used.
Suppositories may seem like an incredibly awkward way of taking in CBD, due to the many social ideologies and sensitive topic surrounding the rectum. However, this method has many benefits that should be considered before negating it: CBD suppositories are one of the most efficient ways to experience CBD’s healing properties and introduce CBD oil anally. Some even resort to CBD enema to treat few gastrointestinal disturbances.
1Compounding of Rectal and Vagina Preparations (February 2019). (n.d.). Retrieved December 23, 2020, from https://www.ipsf.org/article/compounding-rectal-and-vagina-preparations-february-2019
2Bridgeman, M. B., & Abazia, D. T. (2017). Medicinal Cannabis: History, Pharmacology, And Implications for the Acute Care Setting. P & T : a peer-reviewed journal for formulary management, 42(3), 180–188.
3Romm, A., Hardy, M. L., & Mills, S. (2010). Botanical Medicine for Women's Health. Retrieved December 23, 2020, from https://www.sciencedirect.com/book/9780443072772/botanical-medicine-for-womens-health
4How to Use Rectal Suppositories Properly. (n.d.). Retrieved December 23, 2020, from http://www.safemedication.com/safemed/MedicationTipsTools/HowtoAdminister/HowtoUseRectalSuppositoriesProperly
5Bauer, B. A., M.D. (2020, December 18). CBD: Safe and effective? Retrieved December 23, 2020, from https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/consumer-health/expert-answers/is-cbd-safe-and-effective/faq-20446700