Rick Simpson Oil: What it is, How it’s Made, Uses & Benefits
Rick Simpson Oil: RSO Oil
Anyone who spends enough time researching medical marijuana, CBD, or therapeutic applications of cannabis will inevitably come across the name Rick Simpson. And rightly so; Rick Simpson has become an almost legendary figure in the community, renowned for his political activism, cannabis advocacy, and most significantly, the development of a potent DIY method for producing powerful medicinal cannabis extracts. This product has become known as Rick Simpson Oil, also colloquially referred to as “RSO” or “RSO oil”.
Users can now find Rick Simpson oil for sale from a number of online and offline manufacturers. However, the beauty of RSO is that it is simple to make, and users can quickly, easily, and affordably produce it in their own homes. However, for users where access to cannabis is still legally restricted, shopping for RSO oil for sale online may be the only option.
What is Rick Simpson RSO Oil?
Simply put, RSO oil is a concentrated cannabis oil that is high in both THC and CBD. Simpson and a growing number of users report that oral or topical use of Rick Simpson Oil has helped them to manage, treat, and cure a startling number of impactful health problems. Most famously, Simpson claims that his RSO has the potential to treat and cure cancer. The science on those claims is, of course, still out, but a few studies do suggest that cannabinoid treatments may have potential for fighting cancer. Moreover, an ever-increasing number of survivors have begun offering their own RSO oil success stories.
The invention of Rick Simpson Oil
Simpson’s invention of RSO emerged out of his own health struggles and frustrations with traditional Western medicine. Following a workplace accident in 1997, Rick Simpson suffered from exposure to toxic chemicals and several traumatic injuries. These left him suffering from dizzy spells, tinnitus, and a number of other lasting side effects that his doctors were unable to cure. In fact, according to Rick Simpson, these treatments would often make his symptoms even worse.
Despite local prohibitions on cannabis use, Simpson began experimenting with use of medical marijuana. To his pleasant surprise, he found that careful use reduced or eliminated many of his lasting symptoms.
But the invention of RSO oil, Simpson’s claim to fame, came only after a cancer diagnosis. Simpson was diagnosed with basal cell carcinoma in 2003. Inspired by studies that suggested that THC and other cannabis compounds could help kill cancer cells, Simpson developed a concentrated cannabis oil, later known as RSO, that he applied to the site of his tumors. According to the story, the RSO oil worked better than expected, and Simpson’s tumors shrunk significantly in a matter of days. With repeated use, the tumors eventually disappeared entirely.
Following the disappearance of his tumors, Rick Simpson decided to make his experience public. Rather than offer his RSO for sale and rake-in the profits, he decided to develop a set of simple, at-home instructions so that people across the globe could experience the healing power of cannabis for themselves.
How to make Rick Simpson Oil at Home
Before looking for RSO CBD or other RSO oil for sale from a vendor, many users will want to consider whether they can make RSO at home. When it is feasible to do so, this DIY RSO oil method is likely to save users a significant amount of money. However, many users are unable to legally source raw cannabis, and so finding RSO oil for sale online may be their only option.
If you are a user looking to make your own RSO, then these easy instructions will give you everything you need to produce your own safe, effective RSO oil and other Full Extraction Cannabis Oil (FECO).
Note that these instructions differ somewhat from the initial instructions designed by Simpson himself. The differences mainly involve the type of solvent used to extract the THC and other cannabinoids from the raw cannabis; while Simpson originally used NAPTHA as a solvent, experts suggest that other solvents, such as 200 proof ethanol, are more effective and safe. We at CBD Choice defer to the experts, and so we present you with this revised set of DIY RSO instructions.
Further, note that these instructions are meant to produce 60 grams of RSO oil, which Simpson recommends for a full 90-day treatment. Depending on the type and quality of the raw cannabis used, this method may produce somewhat more or less than 60 grams of RSO. Users looking to produce smaller batches may modify the amount of raw cannabis and solvent used, as appropriate for their needs.
DIY Rick Simpson Oil, Materials
- 1 pound of fully-dried raw cannabis buds/flower
- Note: Simpson recommends a high-quality, pure indica strain with over 20% THC. While sativa and hybrid strains contain the same cannabinoids and other therapeutic compounds as indicas, Simpson argues that sativa’s energizing effects are not as conducive to healthful rest.
- 2 gallons of 200 proof ethanol, for use as a solvent
- Note: Other instructions suggest that other solvents, such as 90% isopropyl alcohol or butane, are also safe and effective. However, the medical and cannabis extraction professionals consulted for this article suggest that 200 proof ethanol is ideal because of its comparatively low boiling point (78.3°C), purity, and ability to fully evaporate at room temperatures.
- 2 large buckets (5-gallon recommended)
- A funnel
- Coffee filters, cheesecloth, or another strainer of similar thickness
- A wooden spoon or other stirring instrument that will not degrade when exposed to ethanol (Optional)
- A rice cooker (NOT a slow cooker or crockpot)
- A small-medium fan
- Catheter tip syringes (plastic tip)
DIY Rick Simpson Oil Instructions, Phase 1: Extraction
- Place the raw cannabis into one of the large buckets.
- Pour a small amount of ethanol over the cannabis. As you do so, use your spoon or other stirring instrument to begin gently crushing and breaking apart the cannabis.
- Continue adding ethanol while stirring and breaking the cannabis. Stop adding ethanol once the plant material is fully submerged.
- Once the plant material is broken apart, continue stirring the mixture for three to five minutes. This first “wash” will remove approximately 70-80% of the cannabinoids from the raw plant material.
DIY Rick Simpson Oil Instructions, Phase 2: Filtration
- Place your coffee filter, cheesecloth, or other filter firmly inside your funnel. Then, drain the ethanol mixture through the filter and into the second bucket.
- Place the plant material back into the first bucket, then add more ethanol and continue stirring for another three to five minutes, completing the second “wash”.
- Repeat Step 1 to filter the ethanol after the second wash is complete
- Optionally, perform a third wash and filtration. Note, however, that this third wash will deliver a significantly reduced yield, as washes 1 and 2 will have extracted the vast majority of the desirable plant compounds.
DIY Rick Simpson Oil Instructions, Phase 3: Solvent Evaporation
- Place your rice cooker in a well-ventilated location far away from any source of flame or spark. With the rice cooker still empty and off, place the fan so that it is blowing directly over the mouth of the rice cooker. Make sure that the fan is blowing away from you and any others, so as to avoid breathing in any ethanol fumes.
- Place the ethanol in the rice cooker, turn on the fan, and then turn on the rice cooker. Wait until the ethanol has fully evaporated, leaving behind only a thick, dark oil at the bottom of the rice cooker. This is your finished RSO oil.
- Using the syringe, extract the finished RSO oil from the rice cooker.
How to Use Rick Simpson Oil
Before making RSO CBD or THC concentrates a part of your treatment routine, it’s always best to talk to a physician. Several of the cannabinoids and other compounds found in RSO, CBD and THC included, can interfere with certain medications, so it is always best to be fully informed before deciding whether to buy Rick Simpson Oil for your own therapeutic needs. If you do decide to make RSO a part of your treatment, then here are Rick Simpson’s recommendations for dosage and how to use RSO.
For a typical patient, Simpson recommends consuming 60 grams of Rick Simpson Oil over a period of 90 days. For patients who have undergone chemotherapy or radiation treatment, however, Simpson argues that a double dosage of 120 total grams of RSO should be taken. The RSO is to be taken orally. Depending on the user’s experience with cannabis, it may take several weeks of gradually increasing one’s dosage before getting to the full recommended daily dose. This staggered RSO dosage is meant to help build tolerance to THC so that the user is not overwhelmed by a weed high.
Week 1: 3 times per day, take a small amount of RSO oil by mouth. The dosage for each of these treatments should be approximately one-half the size of a grain of white rice.
Weeks 2-5: At the beginning of week 2, double the size of each treatment (full grain of white rice) and continue taking 3 times per day. Double the dosage every 4 days until you are consuming a total of 1 full gram of RSO per day (1/3g per treatment, 3 times per day)
Week 5+: Continue taking 1 full gram of RSO per day, divided up into 3 doses throughout the day, until you have consumed the full 60 grams of RSO.
Benefits of Rick Simpson Oil
According to Rick Simpson and a growing number of users’ anecdotal accounts, RSO benefits a wide number of conditions. Some have even described Rick Simpson Oil as a “panacea”, good for improving virtually anything that ails you. However, it’s important to take such accounts with a grain of salt. Official research on Rick Simpson Oil’s effects is extremely limited, but some studies do suggest that its compounds have potential for treating a handful of serious conditions.
Note that CBD Choice makes no claims about RSO’s actual potential to fight these conditions; however, Rick Simpson and some users suggest that RSO benefits conditions such as the following:
- Cancer (https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/treatment/cam/hp/cannabis-pdq)
- Multiple Sclerosis (https://www.nationalmssociety.org/Treating-MS/Complementary-Alternative-Medicines/Marijuana/Marijuana-FAQs)
- Arthritis (https://arthritis.ca/treatment/medication/medical-cannabis)
- Asthma (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC470501/pdf/thorax00150-0100.pdf)
- Infections (https://www.karger.com/Article/Fulltext/481824)
- Inflammation (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2828614/)
- High Blood Pressure (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5237375/)
- Depression (https://adaa.org/understanding-anxiety/cbd)
- Insomnia (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28349316)
Note again that RSO’s effect on these conditions is absolutely unproven, and CBD Choice is not claiming that they help or even affect these symptoms. More research is being conducted by government institutions, but it is simply far too soon to be certain what RSO does for conditions such as these.
If you are considering using Rick Simpson Oil as part of your treatment for such a condition, we urge you to discuss the possibility with a medical professional. Note that not all doctors are aware of current trends in cannabis research, or even willing to discuss cannabis products with patients. However, finding the right doctor can make all the difference in ensuring that you’re well-informed and equipped to make the best choice for your health and wellness.
RSO vs. Other Cannabis Treatments
Some users might wonder whether use of other cannabis-derived products might offer the same effects as using RSO oil. After all, the same chemical compounds present in RSO should also be present in any full plant/full spectrum extract. However, the body breaks down cannabis in different ways, depending on ingestion method. These differences may affect the therapeutic potential of the product used.
For instance, smoking or vaporizing cannabinoids does not do the same thing in the body as ingesting them. Smoking or vaporizing allows for incredibly rapid absorption into the bloodstream; moreover, these methods bypass the digestive system, thereby increasing bioavailability and bypassing first-pass metabolism. By contrast, ingesting cannabinoids orally requires the body to break them down through the digestive tract. When cannabinoids hit the liver, chemical conversions occur, changing those cannabinoids into other isomers (such as converting Δ9-THC to 11-Hydroxy-THC).
Moreover, different varieties of cannabis have different concentrations of cannabinoids, terpenes, and other therapeutic compounds. For instance, Rick Simpson suggests that RSO should be made from heavy indica strains of cannabis, because these have a more sedative effect that, he says, is conducive to rest and recovery.
Thus, both the type of cannabis treatment used and the plants from which that treatment is derived can have a significant impact on the potential of RSO or any other cannabis treatment.
- RSO THC
- Rick Simpson’s recommended RSO method uses a high-THC indica strain of cannabis
- THC produces strong psychoactive effects, including a “weed high”
- High-THC cannabis and extracts are illegal for manufacture, sale, or use in most of the United States
- As such, RSO THC is unavailable for legal use in most US jurisdictions
- RSO CBD
- Most commercially-available RSO is made with hemp, which contains a high CBD content but low THC (less than 0.3% by dry weight)
- CBD Rick Simpson Oil is essentially the same product as “Winterized CBD Crude”
- Winterization is a process in which all fats and lipids are removed from the cannabis extract, resulting in a concentrated phytocannabinoid extract
- The THC content in such products is not enough to cause a high, and the difference in cannabinoid compounds likely alters the therapeutic potential of RSO CBD
- High-CBD cannabis and cannabis-derived products are legal in all 50 US states under the 2018 Farm Bill, so long as the cannabis contains very low amounts of THC
- As such, RSO CBD is widely available for legal use throughout the US
Where to buy Rick Simpson Oil (RSO Oil):
There are an increasing number of manufacturers offering RSO oil for sale, both online and in traditional brick and mortars. And while RSO CBD or THC oils are easy to make at home, time or other concerns may force some users to look to buy Rick Simpson oil from a third-party. Those looking to buy Rick Simpson Oil should keep several things in mind, however, before making a purchase.
First, the RSO for sale in legal shops is likely not going to be identical to the RSO made by Simpson himself. This is largely because Simpson recommends using high-THC cannabis, which is illegal in most US jurisdictions. As such, the RSO oil for sale on most websites or stores is RSO CBD and is likely to contain only small concentrations of CBD.
In states where medical or recreational cannabis has been legalized, however, users may be able to find high-THC RSO oil for sale in head shops or dispensaries. CBD Choice recommends checking to ensure that any such product comes with a certificate of analysis; this is important for ensuring that the RSO for sale is safe, pure, and will work as expected.
For users who cannot legally access high-THC Rick Simpson Oil for sale, RSO CBD’s from online vendors such as CBD Choice will likely be the best option. As always, be sure to check each product’s Certificate of Analysis, to ensure that the RSO oil for sale contains a full spectrum extract and is free from heavy metals, pesticides, or other contaminants.