Rick Simpson Oil: The History And Benefits Of RSO

Everyone loves a story that tells how a near-miraculous discovery came about by happenstance or accident. The story of how Rick Simpson Oil (RSO) came about is just as catching as the story of penicillin or the microwave coming about by accident and changing modern health and convenience.

While working in a boiler room as an engineer encapsulating asbestos Rick Simpson had a major accident that led him to self-treat the side effects with cannabis. A few years later cancer (basal cell carcinoma) had formed on his arm and he turned to cannabis oil once more.

To his surprise, after four days of applying topical cannabis, the skin cancer growths had disappeared! And so began Simpson’s journey of growing and manufacturing his own cannabis oil and distributing it for free to those in need.

What is Rick Simpson Oil?

RSO is a potent cannabis oil that was developed by its namesake, Rick Simpson, by happenstance in the early 2000s. It is unrefined and extracted by using isopropyl alcohol. RSO differs from traditional CBD in that it contains more constituents of the hemp plant.

CBD does not contain THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol), the part of the cannabis plant that gives it the psychoactive side effect.

RSO does contain THC, in fact, it contains high levels of THC at nearly 20 percent along with all of the active cannabinoids found in the marijuana plant. These high THC levels set RSO apart from other medicinal marijuana.

Who is Rick Simpson?

Rick Simpson was originally a Canadian engineer now living in Europe running his medicinal marijuana website. Simpson treated and cured his own skin cancer after watching a documentary on the possibility of CBD having positive impacts on cancer and other diseases or illnesses.

Even though his own cancer doctor refused to treat him with medicinal marijuana and denied that it cured him on his own cancer, Simpson went on to pioneer a new front in the field of therapeutic marijuana.

The Research On RSO

A 1975 study on the successful treatment of lung cancer in mice with THC and CBN fueled Simpson’s personal research and application of medical marijuana for his own cancer diagnosis. This particular study was one of the earliest looks at the effects of cannabis and cancer.

Since then, and in recent years, studies abound regarding how cannabis can treat many ailments and diseases.

Clinical trials involve human subjects and tend to add more validity with positive outcomes in the case of new medical treatments. Since until recently marijuana has been altogether illegal it has been difficult for clinical trials with humans to be conducted.

However, there are studies beginning to come out. In fact, there are some early stage trials that show cannabinoids are safe and useful as a part of a treatment regimen for cancer patient’s symptoms.

In 2013 there was a family with a 14-year-old daughter with leukemia that had been working with Simpson to develop a medical marijuana treatment specific for her. Over the two months of her treatment with these CBD oils, her cancer was shown to be decreasing.

However, she passed due to unrelated gastrointestinal issues causing the results to be unconfirmed.

RSO Controversy

Simpson was headstrong when it came to distributing his medical marijuana. Because of his deep belief in its effectiveness, he happily gave away this medical cannabis to those in need. However, this placed him at odds with Canadian and American governments that urged him to stop his distribution.

In fact, he now resides in Europe due to his inability to enter the US as a result of his cannabis oil.

The major controversy surrounding Simpson and his medical marijuana comes from physicians, even his own cancer doctor. Their specific concern and skepticism regarding RSO are due to Simpson’s lack of clinical trials and trustworthy scientific research.

What Are The Benefits Of Rick Simpson Oil?

While current, “official” research may be lacking to prove benefits to the medical world’s liking there are benefits to RSO, still. Cancer patients may find that this medicinal marijuana could lead to promising results in the life of their cancer treatments.

While there is no current definitive cure for cancer there may be hope in utilizing cannabis for cancer treatments. Curing cancer, however, especially breast cancer, is becoming a focus of medicinal marijuana producers.

Could it be that RSO and other CBD’s could replace chemo one day?

The higher levels of THC in RSO are thought to be effective in reducing plaques in the brain. This is an especially important element in terms of Alzheimer’s patients. However, it is highly recommended that dosing is done gradually as the psychoactive effects of THC may cause adverse side effects for these patients.

Crohn’s disease is an inflammatory bowel disease associated with a wide variety of gastrointestinal issues that are often life-altering. Persistent diarrhea, rectal bleeding, abdominal cramps, fever, weight loss, and fatigue are among the most common symptoms those with Crohn’s disease must endure.

Some Crohn’s sufferers have found their symptoms resolve with the use of RSO. CBD oils are often used to treat chronic pain, RSO is no exception.

How To Make Rick Simpson Oil At Home

Rick Simpson Oil

To better serve RSO enthusiasts and consumers, Simpson has made his extraction methods available to the public. Instructions on how to produce one’s own RSO can be found on Simpson’s website, Phoenix Tears.

Simpson suggests using indica cannabis rather than sativa cannabis, as it contains more THC, which appears to be the most active ingredient in his medicinal marijuana.

For in-depth directions on making RSO follow this link. But, the directions below will give the reader a great starting point. The materials needed to make 60 grams include:

  • 450 to 500 grams of high quality, dry plant material (cannabis indica).
  • 8 to 9 liters of solvent (such as isopropyl alcohol, butane, or ethanol) The primary purpose of the solvent is to dissolve the majority of the THC leaving approximately 20 percent in the final product.
  • Wood about a meter long
  • 2-20 liter buckets
  • A few small containers to catch the oil solvent
  • Funnels
  • Coffee filters or cheesecloth
  • An electric rice cooker not to exceed 300 degrees Fahrenheit, otherwise, all the THC will burn off and the oil will not be usable.
  • A large fan
  • A stainless steel measuring cup
  • A coffee warmer
  • Plastic syringes without needles to draw out the oil and dispense. The oil may be thick requiring the producer to run the syringe under hot water to allow it to dispense more easily.

How To Use RSO

Anyone attempting to treat a medical condition with RSO or any cannabinoid oil should always consult with their physician first. It is recommended that the consumer using RSO take in 60 grams over a 90 day period.

With 60 grams of tincture of this hash oil, RSO, the patient or consumer should divide their dose progress into three stages.

  • Stage 1: During the first week the consumer should take three doses per day at ¼ of a drop each.
  • Stage 2: Weeks two through five the dose should be doubled every 4 days.
  • Stage 3: Weeks five through twelve are spent taking one gram per day until the 60 grams have been consumed.

Where To Buy Rick Simpson Oil From?

Simpson states himself that the only way to know you are obtaining pure RSO is to manufacture the product yourself. Because of this, the consumer cannot buy original Simpson oil. Rick Simpson’s sites are for educational purposes only regarding RSO, not for dispensing the product.


As with most successful and limited products, RSO has its share of copycats. Simpson states on his website that he is not affiliated with any sites other than phoenixtears.ca & simpsonramadur.com. In fact, the site “Phoenix Tears Foundation” has no affiliation with Simpson even though they directly link to his site and social media.

While local and online dispensaries may be able to mass produce legitimate RSO it is unlikely that they are 100 percent pure. Considering RSO requires high rates of THC and thorough extraction processes it is doubtful that most companies would take the time, care, and money to make the product to exact specifications.

The Advantages Of Rick Simpson Oil

Still not sold on RSO? One major advantage of producing one’s own RSO is that the producer is fully aware of everything that has gone into that product. There are no concerns with additives or dangerous chemicals that may be present unaware.

Another primary advantage of utilizing RSO is the amount of THC present in this oil. While this is the psychoactive element of marijuana, it is also beginning to be found, as with RSO, that there are some potential positive health outcomes.

This element is missing from common CBD oils that can be easily obtained on the market. RSO may be fairly new to the world of medical marijuana, but it is catching up and becoming a major player rapidly.

Farma Health Desk Editor

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