This article originally appeared on VICE Canada.
As Canada moves closer to a legal weed regime—with new regulations expected this summer—some doctors are questioning the way we consume medical weed and suggesting that taking it up the butt is actually much more effective than smoking it.
"Rectally is actually a lot more preferred because of the volume of absorption," Mikhail Kogan, medical director of the Center for Integrative Medicine at George Washington University, told the Canadian Press. "You can put a lot more and it gets absorbed a lot better, but not everybody is open to this way of administration."
Almost half of Canadians have used weed at least once in their lifetime, and smoking is the most popular method. However, researchers are increasingly warning Canadians about the negative health effects that come from smoking cannabis. The Canadian Centre for Substance Abuse says "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." (In terms of overall health effects, smoking tobacco is far worse than smoking weed.)
Somewhat ironically, licensed producers in Canada, who operate under Health Canada's rules, do not sell edibles like cookies and brownies, although they are allowed to sell cannabis oil. Grey market dispensaries sell edibles, although many in Toronto have stopped following the Project Claudia raids by Toronto police.
Rectal cannabis suppositories are not an option that have picked up much traction in Canada (for obvious reasons.)
According to BC-based dispensary Kootenays Medicine Tree, suppositories are a good option for people who are seriously ill, because they can take large doses that activate quickly and don't give patients a high.
In the US, vaginal cannabis suppositories meant to reduce period pain have also made their way onto the market, however their efficacy has yet to be proven.
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