While most medical cannabis patients enjoy smoking their treatment or eating an edible, for some that might not be an option. Rectal suppositories are finding their way into the Canadian medical market, where patients are able to absorb much more cannabis more effectively. Whether this type of delivery system gains popularity is yet to be seen, but doctors believe it does fill a necessary void for some patients.
Over the years, Canada has seen a steady increase in medical cannabis users. Now, more than half of the population admits to using cannabis at one time or another.
With the new legalization regulations set to be released this summer, doctors are looking at all the ways cannabis can be introduced to the human body.
Canada has a large patient population who rely on cannabis oils. While the oils are legal, many dispensaries shy away from carrying edibles because they remain illegal under the Health Canada rules. The few dispensaries that do produce edibles do as at the risk of being raided and shut down.
With an increase in raids over recent months, the majority of dispensaries have removed edibles, not wanting to even chance a run-in with law enforcement.
Without access to edibles, patients are left with few options when it comes to finding a successful delivery method for their medication. Many simply smoke the cannabis, but some doctors are even warning against this.
The Canadian Centre for Substance Abuse released a statement saying that cannabis has the potential to cause more lung issues than even tobacco.
Smoking cannabis may be even more harmful to a person’s airways and lungs than smoking tobacco, since cannabis smoking often involves unfiltered smoke, larger puffs, deeper inhalation and longer breath holding.
While the exposure might be more raw with cannabis smoke, tobacco smoke poses a greater health risk overall.
Suppositories are new way of ingesting
In an attempt to give patients another delivery method, doctors in Canada have been reviewing cannabis suppositories. They have yet to gain any real traction among the medical cannabis community, most likely because of the less than favorable delivery method, but doctors are assuring patients the benefits outweigh the discomfort.
When using a cannabis suppository, patients do not experience the high they do when eating an edible or smoking. However, the medication is absorbed much more quickly.
In addition to the quick release, suppositories offer patients the ability to introduce much more cannabis to the system at one time, than they could with smoking or eating it.
Mikhail Kogan, medical director of the Center for Integrative Medicine at George Washington University, believes the suppository might be the perfect delivery method, but patients remain skeptical.
Rectally is actually a lot more preferred because of the volume of absorption. You can put a lot more and it gets absorbed a lot better, but not everybody is open to this way of administration.
Suppositories would be ideal for extremely ill patients who need instant relief from a higher volume of cannabis. Also, patients who don’t want the psychedelic effects would benefit from this delivery system.
While the cannabis suppository is fairly new to the mainstream market, it will be interesting to see whether this method of introduction gains popularity or gets flushed down the toilet.