There are many ways to consume cannabis: smoking, vaping, eating, sublingually, topically, and even via rectal and vaginal suppositories. All have their particular benefits, and that list would seemingly encompass every manner of getting THC and CBD into your body—except for cannabis nasal sprays and ear drops, because I’m not sure those exist. Yet.
But have you ever tried putting cannabis in your belly button? And not in the “stick a bud in your navel” method of smuggling very small amounts of weed across international borders? (That isn’t the way to do that, really? But if that’s how you roll, you do you.)
No, I'm referring to the "Pechoti intake method," a (sort of) new method of using one’s navel to absorb beneficial cannabinoids. (Yes, I am high as I write this, but I’m not so high that I made that up.) High Times reports on the process, which is used in Ayurvedic medicine, a holistic system for health and wellbeing that founded in India thousands of years ago. Practitioners believe the Pechoti gland resides behind the navel, at the end of the umbilical cord. During pregnancy, that cord is responsible for delivering nutrients between a mother and child; even after the cord is cut at birth, Ayurvedic practitioners believe the gland remains, and is connected to over 70 million organs, tissues, and nerve endings.
The application of oils to the navel is a common practice in Ayurvedic medicine, so why not THC- and CBD-infused oils? Certainly getting cannabinoids to 70 million parts of the body would be beneficial.
The application of oils to the navel is a common practice in Ayurvedic medicine, so why not THC- and CBD-infused oils?
Dr. Lakisha Jenkins, naturopath and herbalist, tells High Times that “there are about 72,000 veins that run directly through your belly button throughout your entire body. It’s directly connected to veins for your stomach.” Jenkins says our gastrointestinal tract contains numerous cannabinoid receptors and “determines central nervous system disorders,” concluding this method is an option for those who can't tolerate other cannabis ingestion methods and that the Pechoti intake method could be of value to those afflicted with “central nervous system disorders, neurological disorders, endocrine system insults, or gastrointestinal issues.”
So, does it work?
Thanks to decades of well-funded cannabis research in the US I don’t know. My informal experiment, which in no way made me feel like a moron, involved pouring several drops of Luminous Botanicals' high-THC “Sky” oil into my freshly delinted navel while my cat gave me one of his looks. Then I fingerbanged my belly button to make sure the oil was well distributed.
While I did not get high, that wasn’t the intention, and it’s a challenge to ascertain if a regular regime of this would address chronic health issues, since I'm lucky enough to not having anything for which I'm consistently seeking relief. But I have benefitted from Ayurvedic treatments in the past, and a regular treatment program of this sort would be inexpensive, quick, and non-invasive—and with zero side effects, save for a potentially oil-stained T-shirt and the raised eyebrows of anyone seeing you do it. Those with a strong desire to experiment would be wise to seek counsel from an Ayurvedic practitioner.