You may have heard about Rick Simpson Oil (RSO), and maybe even seen it at the dispensary. But once people get their hands on some, many are at a loss as to what to do with it! Don’t worry—we’re here to help. In this article, we’ll go over the basics of RSO and the recommended ways to use it.
What Is Rick Simpson Oil (RSO)?
RSO is a potent cannabis resin extract that is higher in THC levels than many other extracts. RSO is named after the man who first developed it, medical cannabis activist Rick Simpson. Rick was inspired after reading a study in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute where THC was shown to kill cancer cells in mice.
Rick developed cancer after working as an engineer around different kinds of hazardous materials. According to Simpson, using cannabis oil on his skin cleared away the basal cell cancer spots on his arm in a matter of days. (Note: this was his belief and does not align with the beliefs of Greenside Rec.)
This was in direct defiance of the advice of his doctor, who suggested that Simpson should stay away from medical cannabis treatments—but Rick’s results led him to become a faithful believer in the power of medical cannabis and the developer of Rick Simpson oil.
What is RSO Oil Used For?
In Simpson’s mind, RSO tincture isn’t really about getting high. Instead, he intended for people to use the extract as medicine. While Simpson himself used RSO to combat his cancer, the extract has several uses. For example, some people take an RSO dosage orally to help them reduce pain and inflammation or to improve sleep.
What Does the Research Say About RSO?
There’s still a huge need for clinical research to support the self-reported evidence of RSO’s effectiveness as a medical treatment—let alone as a cure for cancer. But the good news is that we already have some scientific evidence supporting the use of cannabis in fighting the horrible side effects that come with treating cancer.
A 2014 study looked at how THC and CBD extracts work alongside radiation therapy in mice with brain cancer. The researchers discovered that cannabis helped increase the effectiveness of the radiation treatment on mice. While RSO itself hasn’t undergone any large clinical studies, anecdotal evidence and case reports show that it holds promise.
How to Use RSO
If you want to use RSO for a medical condition, it’s always a good idea to seek the advice of a medical professional before beginning a treatment regimen. While many physicians aren’t well versed on the medical uses of cannabis, now that a majority of states have medical marijuana programs, more and more are becoming versed in the science of the endocannabinoid system—so you should be able find a doctor who can help.
If you choose to follow the dosage instructions recommended by Rick Simpson, remember they haven’t been medically researched—but they have been used by thousands of people. Dosages can vary from person to person depending on many factors, including the potency of the oil. As with any cannabis treatment, proceed at your discretion and “start low and go slow” when finding your optimal dose.
You can usually find RSO tincture at your local cannabis dispensary. But what are you supposed to do with it once you get it? This dark, potent oil can seem a bit intimidating at first, but the method most people use to take it is simple.
Can You Smoke RSO?
Smoking RSO is not how Simpson intended for people to use his oil. Instead, Simpson thought patients should either apply RSO topically or take it orally. Simpson himself used it topically when he allegedly cured his skin cancer with the extract.
In fact, smoking or dabbing RSO may actually be dangerous. Depending on the type of solvent your RSO uses, it may be flammable. As a result, trying to smoke or vape it can have explosive results. When in doubt, ask your budtender if the product you’re buying is smokeable.
Rick Simpson Oil Dosage Instructions
The goal of the Rick Simpson method is to gradually increase the amount of oil consumed each day, over 90 days.
The First Week
Rick Simpson recommends beginning with three very small doses each day. This RSO dosage should be the size of half a grain of rice (1/4 a drop of RSO tincture), taken about every eight hours: One in the morning, one around noon, and one at night.
After the first week, double the dose every four days. Most people will take three to five weeks to reach the maximum dosages of one gram of RSO per day.
Weeks 5 to 12
Keep taking one gram a day of RSO until the full 60 grams are consumed. For most people, that’s about 8 or 9 rice-sized doses of RSO every eight hours.
Even after you finish a 12-week RSO dosage regimen, you may continue to take the extract. You may want to reduce your overall dosage, though. Dial your Rick Simpson oil dosage back to a gram or two per month, split up into equal daily doses. For many, this “maintenance dose” will be enough to carry on RSO’s possible benefits.
RSO: Things to Keep in Mind
Remember that highly concentrated whole-plant extracts like RSO tincture aren’t meant to be smoked or vaporized. These types of extracts are typically used in one of the following three ways:
- As a topical applied directly to the skin surface
- As a sublingual drop under the tongue for the fastest absorption rate
- As an oral capsule for slower-acting but a longer-lasting effects
It’s also important to remember that RSO generally has a high THC content in comparison to many other types of medical cannabis products. As a result, the recommended method of daily consumption of large amounts of Rick Simpson oil has the potential to bring about some strong psychoactive side effects. But when it’s used topically on the skin, the THC doesn’t enter the bloodstream. Therefore, you won’t feel any psychoactive effects
However, you will likely feel the effects of THC with oral consumption. The more frequently you use it, the higher your tolerance will become. As a result, you’ll likely feel less of THC’s psychoactive properties with regular consumption.
While RSO tincture is generally safe, a 90-day Rick Simpson oil dosage regimen may present some minor side effects. People often report sleepiness as a side effect, and when used medicinally this may actually improve a patient’s healing—since rest is one of the most important aspects of recovery.
Here’s another important thing to remember. There’s no “standard recipe” for creating RSO. While Simpson did publish his own recipe online, there’s no way to tell if a certain company followed it completely or just used it as a template for their own extract. Therefore, you may need to experiment a little bit before you find a company that makes the right kind of RSO for your specific needs. Even using different strains as a basis for RSO may be change the extract’s overall effects. Luckily, we have a huge array of RSO available for purchase.
Rick Simpson Oil at Greenside Recreational
Check out RSO from companies like Hitz Cannabis, Ionic, and Trichome Extracts in our store.
Finally, there’s one last thing to remember: RSO isn’t a cure-all. While many patients have reported success using the extract, data is hard to come by. When in doubt, don’t hesitate to consult your doctor.