Rick Simpson Oil (RSO) is cannabis oil made from the plant’s flowers. Lately, this oil has been a “hot commodity” all over the globe. Early results show that RSO can even offer potential health benefits, including cancer treatment.
Still, we are far from concluding that THC or other cannabinoids can help cure cancer. Get comfortable, and read on to learn more about RSO, the health claims surrounding it and whether it can live up to all the hype or not.
Rick Simpson Oil (RSO) has been a potent cannabis extract since the early 2000s. A Canadian engineer named Rick Simpson invented it. RSO has a syrupy and thick consistency and an unpleasantly bitter taste. You can utilize the oil as a topical on the skin or ingest it orally, just like an edible.
Usually, RSO is a THC-rich cannabis extract. It comes with percentages ranging as low as 20% THC to as high as 90% THC (average: 50-70%). Furthermore, there are also high CBD RSO and balanced 1:1 CBD: THC RSO available. But most of the time, you’ll see THC-dominated RSO on dispensary menus.
It’s also worth mentioning that RSO is highly potent. Hence, researchers are examining it for its potential to relieve consumers from physical pain, insomnia, and other ailments.
Who’s Rick Simpson?
Rick Simpson is a Canadian citizen who contributed to pioneering full-extract cannabis oils. In 2003, Mr. Simpson was diagnosed with a form of skin cancer. Mr. Simpson reviewed research wherein THC was shown to kill cancer cells in mice. He then tried to treat his cancer by applying total cannabis extracts to the affected areas of his body and covering them with a bandage.
After removing the bandage several days later, he discovered that the affected area had healed. Once he made a full recovery, he produced the full extract marijuana oil. Naturally, he became famous for it, and the extracted oil became known as “Rick Simpson Oil” or RSO.
Where’s Rick Simpson Today?
After suffering a stroke, Rick Simpson disappeared from the public eye. He has been trying to recover from his stroke since 2018, and his only source of income comes from the books he’s written. Mr. Simpson and his wife have recently launched a Go Fund Me campaign. They’re calling on the cannabis community to help support him as he regains his health.
Ingredients & Consistency
Cannabis oils come in many forms and have a wide variety of compositions. They contain cannabidiol (CBD), a significant component of medical marijuana.
But, unlike most marijuana oils, RSO contains very high levels of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). This compound is the primary psychoactive chemical in cannabis. THC is the marijuana component that produces the “high.”
A single syringe of RSO contains about 600 mg of THC, but the content can vary depending on the source plant. Traditionally, producers obtain RSO from Indica plants, which have high levels of THC. But you can use any strain to make RSO.
The texture and properties of the product depending on what strains are used during manufacturing. Another important factor determining RSO’s qualities is the plant’s moisture content.
The source strains determine the oil’s color and consistency too. Some cannabis plants yield a light amber color and a viscous consistency. Others result in a darker, thicker texture. Sometimes, producers use other plant parts (fan leaves) to obtain the highest cannabinoids. In this case, the final product has a more astringent taste and a darker color.
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RSO Medical Use
RSO delivers concentrated cannabinoids that have therapeutic effects (THC & CBD). With medicinal value in mind, manufacturers make RSO from potent Indica strains. The products are best known for inducing sedating, analgesic, and anxiolytic effects.
We recommend any medical patient interested in RSO speak with their doctors before starting any treatment. Some physicians may be hesitant to prescribe cannabis. If you wish to consume RSO, do so at your discretion and caution.
Note: The recommended regimen for consuming RSO is usually 60 grams over 90 days. Soon, we’re going to show you how the dosing is done.
How To Consume RSO
You can consume RSO orally or apply it topically. This possibility makes RSO more versatile than most marijuana products, allowing easier cannabinoid ingestion. As such, RSO providers offer two options:
RSO capsules offer more accurate dosing. You can use syringes to apply oil under the tongue, on the skin (topical), and into foods or liquids (oral). Eating RSO leads to a slower onset of action but a longer-lasting relief than other methods.
While each of these alternatives comes with its benefits, RSO applied syringes. Although it’s possible to dab RSO or use it in vape pens, you better apply it to the body as a topical or take it orally. Although, many tend to mix RSO with their food and beverages because of the bitter taste.
A proper dose of Rick Simpson Oil is a tiny drop, approximately the size of a grain of rice (three times/day for a week). Therefore, the dosage should be doubled for three weeks. Ultimately, increase the dosage to a gram of RSO per day.
In the first week, start with three doses every day. Keep each dose about the size of half a grain of rice. Moreover, it would be best to take your administered dose once every eight hours– i.e., morning, noon, and night. You can try 1/4 drop of RSO for your first dose.
Weeks 2 Through 5
During this period, double your dose every four days. It’ll take three to five weeks for the average person to take a full dosage (one gram/day).
Remember that RSO is a full-spectrum extract. So, it can be pungent and sometimes bitter to some users! Fortunately, you can mask the bitter taste with food or drinks. Tasty and “fatty” snacks such as peanut butter, avocados, or yogurt are ideal options.
Snacks can also help increase your body’s absorption rate. Another idea to mask the taste is to freeze favored doses on parchment paper. You can then drop the oil in your morning tea or coffee.
Weeks 5 Through 12
During this final period, take one gram of the oil every day until you’ve consumed 60 grams. The patient should take about eight to nine rice-sized drops of RSO every eight hours.
Producers crush cannabis flowers (buds) and place them in a large container. Next, they add alcohol to the mixture, stir it, and leave it for some time. Afterwards, they drain the alcoholic solvent from the final plant material.
They do this by heating the blend in a container till the remaining alcohol evaporates. The final product is a very potent oil, often dark in color with a thick consistency. Finally, they siphon RSO with a syringe applicator for better dosing.
The ensuing RSO has the advantage of a long shelf life since it doesn’t oxidize easily.
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Manufacturers make RSO using a solvent to extract desired components from the plant. Of course, the most important components are its cannabinoids. The most common solvent used to make RSO is grain alcohol. But producers also use some other solvents like ethanol or butane.
RSO Effects on the Body
Some claim that RSO can treat cancer, although there’s no solid scientific evidence to support this. Yet, some cannabis compounds have already proved their promising potential as cancer drugs.
Applying RSO to the cancerous skin of some patients demonstrated miraculous results. But we need more research to verify claims like these. We know that RSO is produced from a particular type of plant called Cannabis indica, so it’s rich in THC and can induce sedative effects.
But Can RSO Treat Cancer?
Let us be a little more careful!
Marijuana oils containing high levels of THC can help control vomiting and nausea. There’s some evidence that these oils can treat chronic pain and improve appetite. These benefits are especially true for people undergoing chemotherapy.
But research has not yet proven that RSO or any other cannabis product can treat cancer. Although, early studies suggest that THC (or other cannabinoids) can be helpful.
Researchers have long examined lung, skin, breast, prostate, and other common cancers. In these lab studies (animals, in particular), researchers have observed how THC and other cannabinoids have helped stop the growth of tumors.
So there is evidence that cannabinoids prevent the spread of cancer cells in some cases. Other studies show that cannabinoids can kill cancer cells. This happens while sparing healthy cells. However, these statements are inconclusive since our knowledge of cannabinoids is anything but complete.
Cannabis research in humans supports the use of the drug as a supportive therapy that helps treat the side effects of chemotherapy. People looking for alternatives to their cancer treatment should consult a physician.
Findings Of Other Studies
First, we must fully understand how different cannabinoids affect cancer cells to ascertain their potential cancer-treatment properties. However, the findings are controversial at best.
In 2014, a study on mice examined the effects of CBD and THC extracts along with radiotherapy. The cannabinoids enhanced the radiation performance in fighting an aggressive type of brain cancer.
A few early-stage clinical trials have recently involved human participants with cancer. These studies revealed that cancer patients could safely use cannabinoids. However, they still haven’t reached a solid conclusion about whether cannabinoids can help control and treat cancer or not.
In a nutshell, we can announce that the results are promising. But we need more systematic and long-term studies to be sure.
Risks & Considerations
As mentioned above, there’s little evidence suggesting that RSO can cure cancer. Thus, it’s not recommended to stop your prescribed cancer treatment instead of taking RSO.
That being said, Rick Simpson Oil is a very potent cannabis concentrate containing more than 90% THC. And it’s a well-known fact that inexperienced users can easily over consume high THC concentrates like this. So, be careful as overconsuming can lead to serious side effects, such as tachycardia and paranoia.
Some people may worry that cannabinoids can pose long-term risks, especially teenagers. While this isn’t necessarily true, a 2015 study noted that younger people using THC might develop impaired thinking. This is because teenage brains are still developing, and cannabis may interfere with this development.
Can You Overdose On RSO?
As we mentioned before, it’s possible to consume too much RSO at once, but it’s almost impossible to die from it. To our knowledge, there has never been a single confirmed death due to a THC overdose.
Hence, you can consume too much THC-rich oil, but you shouldn’t worry. We always recommend consuming standard amounts of THC; start low and go slow.
Don’t forget to always pay attention to your RSO dosage. Also, observe how your body reacts to certain levels of THC at any given time. This also helps ensure proper cannabis consumption.
RSO: Potential Risks & Side Effects
RSO is a cannabis extract rich in THC (a psychoactive substance). It can induce a range of psychological side effects, including:
THC can also cause physical symptoms, such as:
- Low blood pressure
- Bloodshot eyes
- Slow digestion
- Sleeping issues
- Impaired motor control & reaction time
- Impaired memory
Nonetheless, these side effects last only for a few hours and typically don’t pose significant health risks.
The one serious risk associated with RSO is replacing it with your drugs. We never recommend that our readers abandon their physician-recommended cancer treatment in favor of RSO. Cancer can grow and become even harder to treat if the oil doesn’t work.
Rick Simpson Oil (RSO) is an extracted marijuana oil consumed orally or applied topically. There are promising, early results on the use of cannabis (THC & CBD) to treat cancer.
However, scientists are still several years away from providing conclusive evidence on this topic. They don’t fully know which cannabinoids and strains can help cure cancer. If you want to take RSO or any other cannabis product, do your research and talk to a well-informed physician.