what is Rso?

Rick Simpson Oil, or RSO, is a full extract cannabis oil meant to be taken orally or applied topically. RSO is a marijuana extract made utilizing a solvent to extract cannabinoids. The most common solvent used to produce RSO is grain alcohol, but some other solvents like ethanol or butane are sometimes used. Flower (bud) material is placed in a large container and alcohol is added. The entire mixture is stirred and crushed into the alcohol. After a time, the alcohol is drained from the remaining plant material. That mixture is then heated in a container, such as a rice cooker, so that the residual alcohol evaporates. The end product is a high potency oil often dark in color with a thick consistency. RSO can be siphoned into a syringe style applicator for dosing which offers the advantage of a long shelf life as oxidation does not easily occur.


Typically, a single syringe of RSO contains around 600 mg of THC; however, this is dependent upon the source material used. Traditional RSO is made from indica plants that are high in THC; however, any strain can be used to make RSO. The final results will depend upon what strains were used and the moisture content of the plants themselves. The strains used also account for the color and consistency of the oil. Some plants result in a light amber color with a viscous consistency while others have a darker, thicker consistency. In some cases, other portions of the plant, such as fan leaves, are used in the mixture so as to get the maximum amount of cannabinoids from a crop. This will cause the end product to have a more astringent taste and darker color as well.

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How do I dose it? How do I consume it?

Thankfully, RSO is an activated formulation, meaning no heat needs to be applied to the product when consuming it. Because of this, patients have many options on how to administer it. RSO has a strong, bitter taste that can linger, so I always suggest to take it with a snack high in fats (like a spoonful of peanut butter, avocado, or yogurt) to not only mask its bitter taste, but to increase its absorption throughout the body. We have some patients who like to freeze individual doses on a piece of parchment paper, and then dilute it in their morning tea or coffee.

As the oil is potent, we advise to start low and slowly increase doses only after four or more days of consistent consumption. We recommend measuring doses in comparison to the size of a dry grain of rice. A typical dose is one rice grain. Patients new to cannabis should start with 1/3 of a rice grain size. More experienced patients may start with 1/2 the size of a rice grain.

Effects are generally felt within 30 minutes of sublingual (under the tongue) consumption and last up to 5 hours.

Uses Of Rick simpson oil 

RSO is perhaps most commonly used as an alternative to cancer treatments. But the oil has also been used to treat a variety of other health issues including asthma, multiple sclerosis, anxiety, depression, inflammation and a variety of other conditions. Since RSO is high in THC, it possesses similar medicinal qualities to the compound itself. THC has been known to potentially treat the same conditions and many more – including Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s disease and even eating disorders.

Benefits of Rick Simpson Oil 

The principle benefits of using RSO have been publicized in relation to cancer treatments, but span into other categories as well.

As a concoction high in THC, RSO has been said to have benefits that include treating arthritis, insomnia, depression, high blood pressure, and a variety of other major diseases. Still, due to the lack of research on RSO, experts are reserved in touting its benefits.

Effects and Risks of Rick Simpson Oil 

Still, there are multiple effects and risks of RSO to be aware of. And while there may be some medical concerns regarding THC, a large part of the risk of RSO is in making the oil itself.

Negative Effects

Some studies, like a 2004 American Association for Cancer Research report, showed that cannabis compounds THC and CBD might actually increased the growth of cancerous tumors in the lungs and brain for some cancers. The study involved human cells.

But while the jury largely seems out on the long-term effects of THC and RSO on cancerous cells, some of the more immediate negative effects of RSO and THC use are perhaps more apparent.


But apart from the potential concerns or lack of effect, one of the bigger risks of using RSO lies in the manner in which the oil is made.

Simpson has long advocated for people to make their own RSO. The problem with making RSO is that many of the ingredients used to concentrate the cannabis include somewhat (or outright) toxic agents including naphtha (an ingredient in many camping fuels), petroleum ether, or isopropyl alcohol which can prove toxic.

Additionally, RSO uses cannabis which isn’t federally legal in the United States yet. Recreational and medicinal cannabis are legal in 29 states plus Washington, D.C. in one form or another, but are not legal across the board. So, it’s important to figure out where cannabis might be legal and in what form in your state before trying to use or make your own RSO.