Rick Simpson Oil (RSO)


Rick Simpson Oil (RSO)


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What is Rick Simpson Oil? Your complete guide to RSO

Rick Simpson Oil, called RSO for short, is one of the most versatile and lauded cannabis innovations—an oil created by Rick Simpson, a Canadian engineer and cannabis advocate who was radicalized to cannabis activism by a work accident that led to various health issues.

The story goes that he was able to resolve his health issues with RSO, a dark, tar-like cannabis extract that straddles the line of concentrate, edible, and topical. In short: There’s very little it can’t do, and a lot it can do for both patients and stoners. Here’s everything you need to know about RSO.

What is RSO?

Put simply, RSO is an oil derived from cannabis. But rather than a solvent extract that strips trichomes from buds, RSO contains all the cannabinoids, terpenes, and additional compounds of the whole cannabis plant.

The extraction process is complex and fairly long, similar to making a tincture. It’s typically near-black in color, and, admittedly, doesn’t taste great due to its high amount of plant matter (it uses the whole plant).

RSO was created as a medicinal therapeutic for cancer and other chronic health conditions, like MS and asthma. While Rick Simpson no longer produces the oil himself, it remains a crucial ingredient in the treatment plans of patients across North America.

Benefits of RSO

Despite Rick Simpson’s near-miraculous recovery from cancer and tinnitus, cannabis’ Schedule I status means the scientific community lacks consistent research to back up these claims. As more and more states legalize adult-use cannabis, however, more data becomes available.

There have been promising reports that attest to RSO’s efficacy, such as a 2013 article showing that the use of RSO severely decreased the leukemic blast cell count in a 14-year-old terminal patient, with no toxic side effects.

Anecdotally, RSO has helped patients manage conditions such as multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, cancer, insomnia, chronic pain, and asthma, among many others.

As an incredibly potent THC product, RSO offers potential therapeutic effects, such as pain relief and appetite stimulation, and it can aid with sleep aid and nausea. But because studies haven’t been done, we can’t guarantee that RSO will impart these benefits.

2021 study indicated that while many cancer patients use cannabis in conjunction with cancer treatments, their primary care teams lacked insight on how to integrate cannabis into a regimen. Clearly, much more research needs to be done on how best to use RSO to amplify treatment.

Rick Simpson Oil for cancer treatment

Rick Simpson was motivated to create RSO by his own cancer diagnosis. His recipe is based on creating a product that produced the same results as a 1975 study, which showed cannabis killing cancer cells in mice.

Simpson has said he cured his skin cancer by using RSO topically, but that it can be taken orally to address internal cancers as well. This claim has not been independently verified, but in the years since RSO was invented, thousands of patients have used it to address symptoms and improve their quality of life.

Cancer patients seeking to use RSO should always first consult their primary care doctor to discuss their options.

RSO for back pain

One of the most common uses for RSO, and cannabis in general, is chronic pain. Back pain is one of the most common forms of physical pain, with as much as 80{de02c789bee1c1907d41c61f45163025bfc57eefd6b3dbd1b104ccf736217635} of people experiencing it at some point in life.

RSO recipes typically call for high-THC and indica-dominant cannabis (although CBD-rich options do exist), and the final product is highly intoxicating, hence the gradual dosage increase to prevent too strong of a high. THC binds with CB1 receptors in the endocannabinoid system, most of which are concentrated in the brain and nerve cells. When THC binds to these nerve receptors, the sensation of pain lessens.

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