The Essential Guide to Understanding Rick Simpson Oil

A Scientist Concentrates On Refining Rick Simpson Oil In A Tranquil, Well-Lit Lab Amidst Herbal Plants.

Key Highlights

  1. Rick Simpson Oil (RSO) is a concentrated extract of the cannabis plant, high in THC, named after a Canadian engineer and cannabis activist, Rick Simpson.
  2. The Origins of RSO are rooted in Simpson’s personal health journey, first discovered as a treatment for his symptoms from a fall, and later for his skin cancer.
  3. The process of making RSO involves washing cannabis buds with a solvent, followed by boiling off the solvent to leave behind the oil.
  4. The authenticity of real RSO can be determined to avoid counterfeits, with a focus on identifying the high concentration of THC that makes RSO distinct.
  5. RSO has potential medical applications for cancer treatment and pain management, but more research needs to be done to confirm its efficacy.
  6. Comparison between RSO and other cannabis oil concentrates like CBD oil shows the potent effects and benefits of RSO, but dosage guidelines must be followed to use RSO safely.
  7. Patients can manage potential side effects of RSO to reduce uncomfortable experiences.


The growing interest in the therapeutic uses of cannabis has brought many substances into the spotlight. With a range of forms from flowers, edibles to oils and tinctures, people are finding new ways to explore the potential health benefits of this versatile plant. One product that has garnered significant attention in this regard is Rick Simpson cannabis oil, also known as RSO. Named after the Canadian cannabis enthusiast who created it, Rick Simpson cannabis oil seems to promise relief from many severe symptoms and ailments. This concentrated cannabis extract, dense in psychoactive compound tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), comes with a galore of claims and controversies. In the early 2000s, Canadian engineer Rick Simpson reported using his handmade cannabis oil to soothe his ailments and claimed even to cure his skin cancer. While a compelling narrative, scientific research on these claims remains nascent, leaving many questions unanswered. This guide serves to provide an overview of RSO, shedding light on its origins, preparation, use, and much more to help consumers make informed decisions.

Cannabis Plant

What is Rick Simpson Oil (RSO)?

Rick Simpson Oil, also known as RSO, is an oil extracted from the flowers of the cannabis plant. Unlike other cannabis oils, RSO retains the full spectrum of the plant’s components, including a higher THC content compared to other cannabis extracts, making it distinct from cannabidiol (CBD) oil, commonly used in medical marijuana. While not a branded product, RSO is produced following a specific method openly shared by Rick Simpson himself. Despite its illegality in many places, RSO’s potential therapeutic uses have piqued significant interest.

The Origins of RSO

RSO’s story is wholly linked to its creator, Rick Simpson. A Canadian engineer, Simpson found solace in marijuana after a catastrophic fall in 1997 led to a series of health issues, including tinnitus and recurrent dizziness. He discovered that marijuana eased his symptoms better than the conventional medications prescribed to him. His personal experience inspired him to explore further, creating the bespoke oil that bears his name today – Rick Simpson Oil, also known as phoenix tears. An unforeseen twist arrived when Simpson developed basal cell skin cancers. Drawing on an early study[4] suggesting cannabis’ potential in curbing tumor growth, he used his cannabis oil as a treatment. The reputed success of this self-experiment spurred Simpson to share his knowledge with others, marking the genesis of Rick Simpson Oil.

Who is Rick Simpson?

Rick Simpson is a Canadian former engineer who became an unlikely figure in the world of medical cannabis. His experience using marijuana to mitigate his post-concussion symptoms ignited his exploration into cannabis’s potential therapeutic uses. After reportedly curing his skin cancer using homemade cannabis oil, Simpson devoted his life to producing and distributing his namesake oil at no cost. Despite legal consequences, Simpson continues his advocacy for wider access to medical cannabis from his residence in Croatia. His steadfast commitment to his vision characterizes Rick Simpson as a trailblazer in the cannabis sphere, highlighting the numerous benefits of cannabis.

Rick Simpson’s Inspiring Story

Rick Simpson’s journey with cannabis oil began with a personal health crisis. Working as an engineer in a Canadian hospital, he suffered a major fall due to poor ventilation and toxic fumes exposure. The fall left him with a lingering post-concussion syndrome and tinnitus. Conventional medication failed to bring relief, pushing him towards seeking alternative treatments. Quite reluctantly, despite concerns about cannabis’ legality and potential side effects, Simpson turned to medical marijuana. The positive impact was immediate, providing notable relief from his health issues. When Simpson developed basal cell skin carcinoma in 2003, he decided to tread on an experimental path. Drawing from early research suggesting antitumor activity in cannabinoids, he made oil from cannabis and applied it to his tumors, which he claims led to their subsequent disappearance. Thereafter, Simpson started producing cannabis oil on a large scale, sharing it freely with patients in need. Following a police raid and amidst ever-evolving marijuana laws, Simpson relocated to Croatia. Today, he continues advocating his namesake cannabis oil, promoting it through his digital platforms while staying out of public eye.

Cannabis Buds

How is Rick Simpson Oil Made?

Rick Simpson Oil is produced through a method that combines solvent extraction with heat treatment. The process starts by soaking cannabis buds in a solvent such as pure light naphtha. The cannabinoid-laden solvent is then strained off the plant material. This step is repeated with fresh solvent to extract more cannabinoids. The solvent-cannabinoid mixture is then heated, evaporating the solvent and leaving behind the concentrated cannabis oil. This extraction process is crucial to creating RSO’s unique full-spectrum composition, capturing all valuable elements of the cannabis plant in the final product.

The Process of Making RSO

Making RSO involves a straightforward yet meticulous process defined by Rick Simpson on his website. Here is the step-by-step overview:

  1. Gather Material: Obtain roughly one pound of dry cannabis. Preferably, use a strain rich in THC and known for its potent medicinal benefits.
  2. Prepare Solvent: Secure approximately 8-9 liters of pure light naphtha, a solvent known for its ability to effectively extract THC from the plant matter.
  3. Soak and Stir: Submerge the cannabis buds in the solvent in a large container, stirring the mixture to help dissolve the cannabinoids into the solvent efficiently.
  4. Strain: After a few minutes, strain the liquid using a cheesecloth or coffee filter into another large bucket. Make sure no plant material passes through.
  5. Repeat: Add more solvent to the remaining plant material, stirring again. Strain the solvent into your second bucket and discard the left-over plant material.
  6. Evaporate: Pour the dark solvent into a rice cooker until it is about ¾ full. Set the cooker to around 210-230°F to evaporate the solvent while decarboxylating the cannabis, which activates the cannabinoids.
  7. Add More: As the solvent evaporates, the liquid thickens. Continue adding your solvent until it has all been heated and evaporated. The appliance maintains the temperature at a safe level ensuring cannabinoids aren’t destroyed by overheating.
  8. Transfer to Syringe: Once the solvent has comprehensively evaporated, the hardened residual substance is transferred to plastic syringes for easy dosing. If the oil is too thick, immerse the syringe in hot water to soften it before use.

Small but important measures include ensuring your space is well-ventilated during the process as the fumes from the evaporation stage can be hazardous. Understanding how to make RSO is fundamental to appreciating its properties and potential therapeutic benefits.

Cannabis Dispensary

Authenticating Genuine RSO

While Rick Simpson outlines how to make RSO, there isn’t one standard “Rick Simpson Oil” available for purchase, increasing the risk of counterfeits. The crucial characteristic that sets RSO apart is its high THC content. It’s essential for consumers to identify authentic RSO, ensuring they receive a product with the right composition and potency. As RSO isn’t a branded product, the process for verifying genuineness largely relies on understanding its features including its deep brown to black color, dense consistency, and a strong, distinct aroma that’s often likened to a rich earthy scent.

Identifying Real RSO from Counterfeits

Identifying true RSO from counterfeit versions requires a keen eye and thorough knowledge of the product characteristics. Here are some key factors to help distinguish genuine RSO:

Features of Genuine RSO

Counterfeit Red Flags

High THC Concentration: RSO contains a high amount of THC, notably higher than most other cannabis oils.

Low THC Levels: Products with THC levels lower than expected might not be genuine RSO.

Dark Colour: Authentic RSO typically has a dark hue ranging from deep brown to almost black.

Light Color: If the oil has a light or clear color, it may not be real RSO.

Thick Consistency: Genuine RSO has a thick, syrupy consistency.

Thin or Watery Consistency: If the oil is thin or watery, it may be diluted or not correctly processed.

Rich Aroma: RSO balances between potently aromatic and subtly earthy.

No Smell or Unpleasant Odor: If the oil lacks aroma or smells unpleasant, chances are it’s not real RSO.

Packaging: Genuine RSO is often sold in plastic syringes for easier dosing.

Poor Packaging: Counterfeit products might come in unprofessional or impractical packaging.

Properly informed consumers can avoid falling prey to counterfeit RSO products that might lack efficacy or worse, be potentially harmful.


Medical Applications of RSO

As a full-spectrum cannabis extract, RSO has potential therapeutic applications in managing health conditions. Despite a largely anecdotal foundation, its potential benefits have garnered interest from both patients and researchers. Reports suggest RSO may help manage symptoms related to multiple sclerosis, asthma, epilepsy, pain, and cancer. More concrete evidence points to RSO’s ability to alleviate chemotherapy-induced side effects such as nausea, vomiting, and loss of appetite. RSO has also shown promising results in reducing the leukemic blast cell count in certain patients. Cancer-related pain may also find relief with RSO. While promising, it’s important users view RSO as complementary to conventional treatments unless approved by a medical professional.

RSO for Cancer Treatment

Rick Simpson’s oil, mainly known for its alleged cancer-treating properties, has stirred quite a discussion in the medical community. Early research on animal models has shown cannabinoids’ antitumor activity. However, these results need to be viewed cautiously till human trials confirm these effects. Currently, no definitive research validates RSO, or any forms of cannabis oil, as a standalone cure for cancer cells. However, its role in symptom management for cancer patients is becoming increasingly acknowledged.

  1. Reduces Nausea and Vomiting: Cannabis has been long noted for its antiemetic properties. RSO, with its high THC content, appears beneficial in controlling chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting.
  2. Stimulates Appetite: Cancer treatments often lead to loss of appetite, resulting in nutritional deficiencies. Anecdotal reports suggest RSO may stimulate appetite, supporting better health and recovery.
  3. Alleviates pain: Chronic pain is a common concern for cancer patients. RSOs high THC content could potentially alleviate pain by interacting with CB1 receptors in our brain and nerve cells.
  4. Improves Sleep: Difficulty in sleeping can significantly impair the quality of life for patients undergoing cancer treatment. Given its high THC content, RSO may help induce sleep and ensure better rest for patients.

Despite existing gaps in research, anecdotal evidence coupled with preliminary studies provide hope for cancer patients seeking complementary treatments. It’s important to emphasize that RSO is not a proven treatment for cancer, but an adjunctive therapy that might help manage adverse symptoms. Individuals interested in using RSO for cancer should discuss this with their primary care teams before embarking on a cannabis treatment plan.


Rso For Pain

RSO for Pain Management

Chronic pain management stands out as one of the significant potential applications of RSO. Pain, notably chronic types, can be debilitating and interfere with daily living. While the mechanisms are not entirely understood, early evidence suggests that components of cannabis, including THC and CBD, may help manage pain symptoms. They interact with the endocannabinoid system within our bodies, which plays a role in regulating pain perception. Here are some ways RSO might contribute to managing pain:

  1. Interacts with Endocannabinoid System: The THC in RSO can bind with CB1 receptors in our brain and nerve cells, potentially reducing the sensation of pain.
  2. Anti-Inflammatory Actions: Chronic inflammation is a common underlying factor in various chronic pain conditions. RSO, owing to its cannabinoid content, might exert anti-inflammatory effects possibly benefiting conditions like arthritis.
  3. Multiple Application Modes: RSO can be used topically or ingested orally, providing versatile options for users. Depending on the nature of the pain, users can opt for the method that offers optimal pain relief.
  4. Aids Sleep: Chronic pain often interrupts sleep. The potential sedative properties of RSO might improve sleep quality, aiding overall pain management.

Type of Pain

How RSO Can Help

Neuropathic Pain

The effects of THC and CBD on CB1 receptors could potentially reduce neuropathic pain symptoms.

Inflammatory Pain

RSO’s possible anti-inflammatory effects can help manage conditions associated with inflammatory pain, such as arthritis.

Cancer-related Pain

In addition to potentially mitigating cancer treatment side effects, RSO may also help manage cancer-related pain.

While early findings seem promising, it’s essential to consult with a healthcare provider before incorporating RSO into an existing pain management plan.

Cannabis Oil

Why Choose RSO Over Other Cannabis Oil Concentrates?

RSO distinguishes itself among other cannabis oil concentrates due to its high THC levels and full-spectrum nature. Unlike other cannabis oils that may isolate certain components or focus on a single cannabinoid such as CBD, RSO retains the full properties of the entire cannabis plant. This enables a holistic experience where all the cannabinoids, terpenes and other compounds operate in a synergistic manner. The unique manufacturing process prioritizes the preservation of these elements, resulting in an oil that offers potentially robust therapeutic benefits.

Benefits of RSO vs. CBD Oil

Comparing RSO with CBD oil reveals significant differences, influencing the potential benefits each can offer. While both derive from cannabis, their primary distinctions lie in cannabinoid concentration, legal status, psychoactive effects, and specific therapeutic applications:

  1. Cannabinoid Concentration: RSO contains high THC levels along with other cannabinoids, yielding a full-spectrum product. On the other hand, CBD oil mainly features CBD with low-to-zero THC, making it non-psychoactive.
  2. Psychoactive Properties: Thanks to its high THC content, RSO can induce euphoric effects. CBD oil, however, does not have intoxicating properties owing to its low THC content, making it a preferable choice for users seeking therapeutic benefits without the high.
  3. Legal Status: Because of its high THC concentration, RSO falls under restrictive legislation in many regions. CBD oil, especially hemp-derived variants, faces fewer restrictions, making it more accessible.
  4. Therapeutic Applications: The high THC present in RSO potentially adds analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties ideal for conditions such as chronic pain and insomnia. CBD oil, however, shines for managing anxiety, inflammation, seizure disorders among others without inducing psychoactive effects.

Key differences between RSO and CBD oil include:

  1. High THC vs. Low THC: RSO’s high THC concentration contrasts starkly with CBD oil’s minimal THC composition.
  2. Psychoactive vs. Non-Psychoactive: RSO’s high THC can produce a high, whereas CBD oil doesn’t possess intoxicating properties.
  3. Full-Spectrum vs. Single Cannabinoid: RSO encompasses the entire spectrum of plant cannabinoids versus CBD oil’s focus on mainly cannabidiol.
  4. Potency: Due to its high THC concentration, RSO is perceived as more potent than standard CBD oil.
  5. Legal Restrictions: RSO’s legal status is reflective of cannabis laws due to its THC content. In contrast, hemp-derived CBD oil has wider legal acceptance.

The choice between RSO and CBD oil largely depends on individual needs, preferences, and the specific health conditions one wishes to address.

Potency and Effectiveness of RSO

Among the diverse array of cannabis products available today, RSO stands out for its notable potency. This is primarily attributed to its high concentration of THC, the psychoactive compound found in cannabis. The resulting product is highly potent, and even small quantities can deliver significant effects. As a full-spectrum extract, RSO not only provides the benefits of THC but also other beneficial compounds found in the cannabis plant. The combined action of cannabinoids, terpenes, and other phytocompounds operates synergistically in what is known as the entourage effect, potentially amplifying the overall therapeutic impact.

However, it’s crucial to consider that potency does not equate to effectiveness for every user or condition. The effectiveness of RSO will vary widely based on individual factors such as tolerance, metabolism, body weight, and the particular health issue being treated. Therefore, while RSO’s potency can be beneficial for certain applications, it’s essential to consider individual needs, talk with a healthcare professional, and, if appropriate, start with low doses and progress slowly. Even within its potency, the key to harnessing the potential benefits of RSO lies in careful, customized, and conscious use.

How to Use RSO Safely

RSO’s high potency necessitates careful usage to ensure safety and prevent uncomfortable experiences. It’s crucial to start with a low dose – as tiny as half a grain of rice, especially during the first week – and gradually increase over a few weeks to let your body adjust. If consuming orally, place the RSO under your tongue or mix with food. For topical application, apply a small amount directly to the skin. Always consult with a healthcare professional before starting RSO, particularly when using it for medical purposes or in combination with other medications.

Dosing Guidelines and Recommendations

Determining the right RSO dosage can be complex due to factors like individual tolerance and the condition being treated. It’s essential to remember that RSO is highly potent, and small amounts can induce powerful effects. The general recommendation, especially for new users, is to start slow and proceed with caution. Here is a dosing guideline popularly recommended by Rick Simpson: incorporate the RSO regimen into your treatment plan. Rick Simpson suggests consuming 60 grams of RSO over the course of 90 days. In the first week, three doses should be taken each day, once in the morning, afternoon, and at night. RSO is very potent.

  1. Week 1-3: Begin by taking a dose about half the size of a grain of rice three times daily.
  2. Week 4: Double the dosage every four days.
  3. Week 5: Increase the dosage to a full gram daily, spread over three doses.
  4. Week 6-12: Maintain a daily dose of one gram split over three doses.
  5. Continued Maintenance: After completing the 90-day regimen, cut down to one to two grams monthly.

While this dosage schedule serves as a guide, always consider individual factors. It’s vital that users listen to their bodies and adjust dosages according to their responses. Remember to consult with a healthcare provider before beginning any cannabis regimen, especially if you’re already on medication or managing specific health conditions.



Week 1-3

Half a grain of rice sized dose, three times daily

Week 4

Double the dose every four days

Week 5

Increase to a full gram daily, spread over three doses

Week 6-12

Maintain a daily dose of one gram split over three doses

Post 90-days

Cut back to one to two grams monthly

Managing Side Effects

While the potential benefits of RSO are promising, potential side effects need to be monitored. As RSO is full of THC, it does have psychoactive properties that can induce feelings of euphoria and hallucinations in high doses. Some physical effects might include low blood pressure, inflamed eyes, dizziness, slow digestion, sleep difficulties, impaired limb control, slower reaction time, and memory issues. In most cases, these side effects are temporary and last for a few hours. They don’t typically present serious health risks. However, excessive intake of RSO might cause unwanted experiences, known as “greening out,” characterized by symptoms like paranoia, anxiety, nausea, and rapid heart rate.

To manage these side effects, always adhere to the dosing guidelines and avoid overconsumption. Start with a small amount and gradually increase as tolerated. Keeping yourself hydrated, staying in a comfortable environment, and avoiding heavy machinery operation or driving while on RSO is advisable. Individuals with pre-existing mental health conditions or cardiovascular diseases should use RSO with extreme caution due to the potential exacerbation of symptoms. Consult with a healthcare provider to ensure RSO is suitable for you and how best to manage any side effects.


The tale of Rick Simpson Oil encapsulates much of what makes the cannabis world so fascinating – a story of personal passion unfolding into a global canvas, a unique product rich in the full spectrum of the cannabis plant’s constituents, stories of potential benefit and healing, yet shrouded by the mists of legal hurdles and limited research. What makes RSO an intriguing player in the therapeutic cannabis scene is this complex interaction of passion, promise, potential, and the gaps yet to be bridged. As science progresses, the hope is for these gaps to narrow, casting more light on RSO’s potentials and limitations. The tale of RSO is but a chapter in the larger narrative of medical cannabis, a narrative shaped by rigorous research, informed decisions, and conscious use. As we continue this journey, the guidance remains the same – stay informed, be cautious and mindful in your use, listen to your body, and always consult with a medical professional when trying new therapeutic regimes.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can RSO be used to treat other medical conditions?

RSO’s potential therapeutic benefits might extend beyond pain and cancer symptom management. Anecdotal reports suggest it might help in managing conditions like multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, insomnia, and asthma. However, comprehensive scientific research is needed to confirm these claims.

How do I store RSO properly?

To maintain the potency of RSO, store it in a cool, dark place, ideally in an airtight container. This prevents degradation of the cannabinoids and keeps the oil fresh for longer. Avoid handling the container with dirty hands to prevent potential contamination.

How long does it take to feel the effects of Rick Simpson Oil?

Experiencing the effects of RSO may vary based on how it’s administered and individual factors like weight and tolerance. If ingested orally, effects might start within 15-45 minutes, while topical application may take longer. Always use the recommended dose to avoid overconsumption.

Is Rick Simpson Oil good for sleep?

Due to its high THC content, many users report that RSO enhances sleep quality. This could be particularly beneficial for those dealing with insomnia or having difficulty sleeping due to pain or other health conditions. As always, consult with a healthcare provider before use.

Does Rick Simpson Oil go bad?

With proper storage, RSO can last a significant amount of time without going bad. Keeping it in a cool, dark, and dry place in an airtight container prevents degradation and maintains its potency. However, if the oil develops a foul odor or molds, discard it immediately.

What Is Rick Simpson Oil?

Rick Simpson Oil, also known as RSO, is a full-spectrum extract derived from the cannabis plant. Named after its creator, Rick Simpson, it’s high in THC and includes all the beneficial compounds of the cannabis plant. It’s used as a potential alternative therapy for a range of health conditions.

How does Rick Simpson Oil work in treating diseases like cancer and epilepsy?

RSO contains cannabinoids which are believed to have potential therapeutic effects by interacting with the body’s endocannabinoid system. For cancer, some evidence suggests cannabinoids may have anti-tumor properties. In epilepsy, cannabinoids might help control seizures. Nevertheless, these claims require further clinical evidence for validation.

How is Rick Simpson Oil different from other forms of cannabis oil?

Key features distinguishing RSO include its high THC content and full-spectrum nature. Unlike other cannabis oils that often focus on a single cannabinoid, RSO retains the entire spectrum of beneficial compounds including various cannabinoids, terpenes, and other plant constituents enhancing its potential therapeutic impact.

Recent Articles

Guide to THCP

Beginners Guide: What’s THCP and Its Effects?

Discover the effects of THCP with our beginner's guide. What's THCP and how does it impact you? Find out in our comprehensive guide.

Electric Dab Rigs vs Traditional Dab Rigs

Electric Dab Rig: Pros and Cons vs Traditional Rigs

Explore the benefits and drawbacks of an electric dab rig versus a traditional dab rig. Get all the details in this article.

Delta 8 Guide

Your Guide to Delta 8: Benefits and Usage

Unlock the potential of Delta 8 THC with our guide. Discover its reported benefits, legal status, and popular products like delta 8 gummies.

Shop Smarter

I'm ready to save
Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Share with email