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Cannabis Column | May 11, 2022

What Is Rick Simpson Oil (RSO)?

Do you want to know the answer to, “what is Rick Simpson Oil (RSO)?”

You may have heard about RSO for its medicinal effects. In this article, we’ll explain what RSO is, who Rick Simpson is, discuss Rick Simpson Oil and cancer, and answer the question, "can you smoke RSO oil?"

RSO is a cannabis oil that has been gaining popularity as a treatment for cancer and various other illnesses. Some people call it "miracle oil" because of its reported healing effects. Please note we are not suggesting RSO is a treatment for cancer or any other diagnosable disease.

What is RSO: Rick Simpson Oil Explained

Rick Simpson Oil, also called RSO or RSO oil, is a thick, sticky full-spectrum cannabis oil concentrate, usually extracted from an Indica strain. RSO has a high level of THC (>60%), and is typically used for medicinal purposes.

Full-spectrum oils like RSO have increased wellness benefits because they leverage synergistic effects between cannabinoids, terpenes, anthocyanins, and flavonoids – an effect commonly referred to as the entourage effect.

RSO is extracted from cannabis using alcohol and was originally developed to topically treat skin cancer. Today, in addition to skin cancer, people use RSO for:

  • Anxiety
  • Arthritis
  • Asthma
  • Depression
  • Drug addiction
  • High blood pressure
  • Infections
  • Inflammation
  • Insomnia
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Nausea
  • Other forms of cancer

How to Take RSO

RSO oil can be consumed:

  • Buccally, by placing and holding RSO inside the mouth on the mucosa of the cheek allowing it to absorb directly into the bloodstream
  • Orally through RSO capsules, Rick Simpson Oil edibles, and adding RSO to beverages such as coffee or tea
  • Sublingually, by placing and holding RSO under the tongue and allowing it to absorb directly into the bloodstream
  • Topically by applying it to bandages or applying it directly to the skin
  • Through inhalation, by smoking or vaping it

RSO is a cannabis concentrate with a potent THC content. Most of the medicinal benefits stem from the high level of THC. While RSO has many benefits, it is important to be aware of the side effects of consuming high levels of THC, especially if you have little to no previous cannabis experience.

Side effects of RSO can include:

  • Anxiety
  • Coordination problems
  • Dizziness
  • Dry mouth
  • Increased heart rate
  • Impaired motor control
  • Low blood pressure
  • Red Eyes
  • Slow Digestion
  • Sleeping issues
  • Slowed reaction times

How much RSO should I take?

The regimen to treat ailments other than skin cancer is 60 grams of RSO over 90 days.

To avoid THC side effects when consuming RSO it is recommended to build a THC tolerance by starting with small doses about half the size of a grain of rice several times a day and to work up to doses that are the equivalent of eight to nine grains of rice (a unit of measurement easily measured when consuming RSO oil from a dosing syringe). 

Who is Rick Simpson?

Rick Simpson is a Canadian medical marijuana consumer, activist, cancer survivor, and creator of RSO.

In 2002, Simpson was diagnosed with basal cell carcinoma, a type of skin cancer. He previously used cannabis medicinally to alleviate other ailments and was inspired to research, and use, cannabis' properties to treat his skin cancer.

After reading a study in which THC reduced the size of tumors in mice, Rick Simpson developed an oil (later to be named after him). He put the oil on a bandage, applied it to his cancer, and after several days, reports indicate that the cancerous cells were gone.

Please note that we are not advocating that anyone treat cancer with cannabis products.

Simpson was inspired to share his story and the recipe to make the oil. This resulted in the oil being named “Rick Simpson Oil.” He never patented the formula.

Rick Simpson Oil and Cancer

Limited research on cannabis and cancer has shown THC may have medicinal properties including:

Unfortunately, cannabis is classified as a Schedule I Drug, so there are no extensive clinical studies on Rick Simpson Oil and cancer.

If you are considering using RSO to support the treatment of cancer, it is important to consult your doctor.

Can You Smoke RSO Oil?

If you’re wondering “Can you smoke RSO oil?” the answer to the question is “You can smoke RSO oil if a highly flammable solvent was not used to create it and if the extraction alcohol was completely burned off during the production process.”

Smoking RSO oil that contains a highly flammable can result in injury. Before you try to smoke RSO oil, determine how the oil was extracted and if it is safe to smoke.

An easy way to confirm your RSO is safe to smoke is to: 1.) purchase legal, lab tested RSO oil from a dispensary, and 2.) ask your dispensary operator about the RSO oil options and how each one should and should not be consumed.

RSO is a potent and effective full-spectrum cannabis extract that has many benefits. To reap the benefits, and avoid the side effects of potent THC, you must use RSO properly and build up a tolerance gradually over time.

Get Started on Your Cannabis Wellness Journey

Have you started your cannabis wellness journey? Jointly is a new cannabis wellness app that helps you discover purposeful cannabis consumption so you can achieve your wellness goals with cannabis and CBD. On the Jointly app, you can find new cannabis products, rate products based on how well they helped you achieve your goals, and track and optimize 15 factors that can impact your cannabis experience. These 15 factors include your dose, the environment in which you consume cannabis, who you are with when you ingest, how hydrated you are, the quality of your diet, how much sleep you got last night, and more. Download the Jointly app on the App Store or the Google Play Store to get started on your cannabis wellness journey.

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