Company launches cannabis suppository products for both medical and adult use

Cross-country offering will include two distinct products, one with THC and the other with CBD.

Angela Stelmakowich, The Growth Op 3 minute read November 10, 2021

Prairie Grass Inc. was co-founded by sisters Rebecca Thomson and Olivia Penner. / Prairie Grass Inc.

An Alberta-based licensed producer claims it’s the first company to make a cannabis suppository available to medical patients across Canada through its partnership with member site Shelter Market.

Prairie Grass Inc., the founding sisters of which grew up on a family farm spanning four generations of regenerative and sustainable farming, is offering two formulations.

The “Relief Pods” produced from a “Bruce Banner” cultivar grown in the company’s facility provide 10 mg THC, while “Eve Pods” have 40 mg CBD and are made from Prairie Grass’ outdoor hemp harvest.

The products, which are batch-tested and safety-tested formulations, have “been specifically formulated to provide localized relief, with targeted dosing directly to the pelvis and surrounding region,” notes a company statement.

HealthLine reports that that makes sense since “there are a ton of cannabinoid receptors in the pelvic tissues,” according to Boronia Fallshaw, founder of Mello, which sells CBD-prominent products.

For provincial brick-and-mortar retailers, the company reports that the Ontario Cannabis Store (OCS) wholesale listing will be first sometime in mid-November.

“We believe that all cannabis has therapeutic benefits, whether you are accessing it through medical or recreational channels,” says company co-founder Rebecca Thomson.

“Through our own experiences as medical cannabis patients, we found it necessary to create new ways for people to take control of their health and manage their overall wellness,” says Thomson, who along with her sister Olivia Penner, have both worked in pharmacy and nursing.

Both Thomson and Penner believe that “suppositories are an overlooked delivery mechanism for providing effective, targeted pain relief,” the statement notes.

Project CBD, a California-based non-profit dedicated to promoting and publicizing research into the medical uses of CBD, notes that clinical research on cannabis suppositories remains limited. But “anecdotal accounts from patients are often very positive,” with the lack of intoxication an oft-repeated report.

“This suggests that a suppository acts more like a topical with a local effect, rather than a transdermal patch which disseminates medicine systemically through the bloodstream,” the group explains.

Prairie Grass explains that cannabinoids administered vaginally or rectally bypass the digestive tract and first-pass metabolism in the liver, going directly to the bloodstream. “This can help facilitate a higher absorption rate of cannabinoids in the body,” the company statement adds.

Irritable bowel syndrome, for example, appears to be an increasingly common condition among both men and women. A review released about a decade ago indicates the incidence of IBS was about seven to 10 per cent worldwide, but that the condition was “1.5 times more prevalent in younger women than in men.”

“IBS is associated with a significantly impaired health-related quality of life and reduced work productivity around the world,” study authors wrote.

Prairie Grass suggests many individuals “are in search of holistic options for relief,” which the company notes the cannabis suppositories are intended to support. This may include for wellness functions, such as offering targeted relief from soreness, menstrual pain and intercourse-related discomforts.

“We are passionate about engaging women in this conversation in order to foster a future of better questions, better answers, and ultimately better access to cannabis care,” Penner says in the statement.

While the potential market for cannabis suppositories may be big, Canada seems to have been slow to get related products on store shelves.

As it stands, cannabis extracts cover a broad range of product types and intended uses, notes information from the Government of Canada. These include products that are smoked or inhaled, ingested or inserted, such as suppositories.

In general, the production of packaged units of cannabis extracts was almost 2.8 million in March of 2021, add figures from the federal government. Of those, medical sales amounted to $262,683 compared to $1.7 million for non-medical.

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