Make Your Own Cannabis Suppositories
When I began developing a line of infused products for the Illinois market, I knew I needed a pharmacist to help me create really medicinal, effective products. My friend Alison is a pharmacist who spends all day making chemotherapy drugs, so she's very supportive of using marijuana for health and healing.
"You should do suppositories. They are the most effective mode of administration for any medication," she said. "And they're really easy to make."
So we did. They are currently the only suppositories available in Illinois, and only California and Illinois patients can buy cannabis suppositories in a dispensary. Everyone else has to make them at home.
Suppositories work for more than just prostate cancer and menstrual cramps. They are the only thing that reduces my sciatic nerve pain on bad days, and they are the easiest way to get hundreds of milligrams into the body at once. Suppositories bypass the digestive system, so we don't lose any potency in the liver.
I've made thousands of suppositories, and once you figure out the math, they really are easy to make at home. Simply melt cocoa butter, add marijuana and stir. Pour the mixture into molds and let cool. Done.
Makes 15 suppositories
1/4 cup (two ounces) cocoa butter
15 suppository molds
- In a bowl, microwave cocoa butter in 30 second increments until completely melted. Add marijuana and stir well until blended.
- Pour into a squeeze bottle. Shake well. Carefully fill each mold with butter.
- Cool at room temperature overnight. Store in an airtight container in a cool, dry place for up to a year.
DIY Cannabis Suppository Tips and Tricks
1. Weed Math: The amount of cocoa butter and marijuana you need depends on how big the suppository molds are and how many you plan to make.
Most molds are 2 milliliters each. 1 teaspoon is 5 mL and 1 tablespoon is 15 mL.
Which means 2 tablespoons of cocoa butter should make 15 suppositories, but it never actually turns out that way. Expect 6 suppositories from 1 tablespoon of cocoa butter.
Decide how many milligrams of THC and CBD you want in each suppository. Multiply that by the number of suppositories you want to make. Let's stick with 6, and I want them to have 200 milligrams each - 100 THC and 100 CBD.
6 x 200 = 1,200 mg.
1,200 mg is a lot. If the total potency is 60%, we need 2 grams of decarboxylated 1:1 THC/CBD concentrate melted and stirred into one tablespoon of cocoa butter. We can use wax, shatter, live resin or any dozen other concentrates, but co2 oil is my favorite. I can easily measure out the oil and it is usually already decarbed, so I can skip a whole step in the process.
Check the test results on the package. if the THC potency is high, your concentrate is already decarboxylated. But if the gram contains more THCA than THC, you need to decarb it yourself. If you need to decarb, put 1/4 cup cocoa butter and concentrate in a small glass jar. Bake in the oven at 250 degrees for 30 minutes to decarboxylate the concentrate and melt the butter. Remove from oven and stir well until blended.
2. To melt a single tablespoon of butter and 2 grams of marijuana concentrate, use a small glass jar. Set a small saucepan of water on the stove to boil, then place the cup in the water, making sure to keep the water out of the jar. As the butter and concentrate begin to melt, start stirring. Remove from heat when all of the butter has melted.
3. Stir, stir, stir. Then stir again. I don't recommend melting the butter in the microwave for this exact reason - accurate, even doses. We want 200 mg each in 6 suppositories, not 1,000 mg in one and 17 mg in the next. Even, accurate doses are a result of even distribution, so keep stirring until the marijuana concentrate is completely blended in the butter. If you leave the butter sitting for a few minutes before you get it in the molds, stir again. If you have hand or wrist pain, use a blender or mixer on low speed.
If my kitchen were on fire, I would save my cast iron pans and this - my faithful hand mixer. I blend creams and lotions with it and make perfectly blended suppositories and tinctures.
4. An oral syringe or squeeze bottle pours the melted butter into the molds without making a huge mess. If you already have a process that works for you, stick with it. My hands shake and I'm messy, so I have to use a syringe to get the butter into the molds instead of all over the counter. If you can do it with a DIY pastry bag (use a ziploc bag and cut a small hole in the corner to dispense the butter), go for it.
5. Suppositories are shelf stable for a year or so. Store them in a cool, dry place to make sure the cocoa butter doesn't break or crack. If the suppository does break into pieces, melt them back together in your hand with a little body heat, or just apply the pieces individually.
6. To use, insert a suppository into your anus or vagina as far as you comfortably can, but don't force it. Get applicators if you need them, but they aren't necessary. Once it's in, lay down. Try Legs Up the Wall. Nap. Cocoa butter is easily absorbed by the body, but it takes awhile for it to happen. If you put one in before a massage, Uber home. You won't be too high to drive, but you will be too relaxed to concentrate.
If you have any questions, leave them in the comments.