Rick Simpson Oil (RSO)

how to make RSO, DIY rick simpson oil
A syringe of RSO (kmatija/iStock)

Rick Simpson Oil, more commonly referred to by its abbreviation “RSO,” is a cannabis concentrate that is usually applied topically or ingested. It is made using an ethanol (alcohol) extraction, which pulls the essential compounds out of cannabis buds, resulting in a dark, syrupy oil that is often put into applicators for easier dosing and use. It is named after Rick Simpson, who popularly used the oil as a skin cancer treatment. 

“I usually take my RSO by mixing it into smoothies.”

“I’ve tried RSO for my nausea symptoms, but I prefer smoking.” 

What is Rick Simpson Oil (RSO)?

Rick Simpson Oil (RSO), sometimes called “Phoenix Tears,” is an alcohol extract that is most commonly ingested or applied topically. Although the oil can be ingested on its own, some prefer to mix the oil into a smoothie or other foods for more palatable consumption. 

RSO is an extract, meaning it offers a concentrated dose of cannabis compounds (such as THC and/or CBD) in oil form. The potency of RSO can vary from batch to batch, depending on the potency of cannabis used and the precision of the extraction process.

Benefits of Rick Simpson Oil (RSO)

Rick Simpson originally used his homemade topical RSO extract to treat his skin cancer. There are no clinical studies that demonstrate RSO’s success in treating cancer, however, such claims have made it a popular product among medical patients.

RSO can be used for a wide range of symptoms and conditions. It is typically rich in THC, CBD, or a combination of the two. Before using Rick Simpson Oil, you should first determine how much THC or CBD you prefer, as RSO can vary in chemical composition and content. The benefits of RSO vary based on its chemical formulation; for example, a CBD-only RSO may be used for seizure management whereas a THC-rich oil may be used for appetite stimulation or easing nausea.

Medical patients may prefer RSO because it is discrete, odorless, and does not require smoking. 

How to use Rick Simpson Oil (RSO)

Rick Simpson Oil is most commonly ingested. To make ingestion easier, RSO is commonly mixed into food or drinks or prepared as capsules. It may also be applied topically to skin.

When purchasing RSO from a cannabis shop, it typically comes in a plastic applicator that allows you to easily dose and apply the oil. It is recommended to start with a very small dose or drop to see how the extract affects you, especially if it contains a high level of THC. Like edibles, ingesting cannabis oils can take 45 minutes to 2 hours to take effect. You can gradually increase your dose until you have determined the right amount for your symptoms.

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