• Post last modified:January 31, 2022
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As an avid cannabis enthusiast/consumer, you have most likely heard about Rick Simpson Oil. This concentrate is especially famous and widely used by medical marijuana consumers. If you are here, it means you are curious to find out more about this marijuana extract that promises a myriad of therapeutic benefits.

This article explores what Rick Simpson Oil is, how it is made, how and how not to consume it, and whether or not it can be smoked or dabbed. 

What is Rick Simpson Oil?

Rick Simpson Oil is a contemporary cannabis concentrate that is highly viscous (syrup-like consistency). Its inventor, Rick Simpson, introduced it as a treatment for skin cancer and a potent option for alleviating numerous conditions. 

RSO Oil is full-spectrum, meaning it contains all the compounds present in a cannabis plant (cannabinoids, terpenes, fatty acids, and flavonoids). This unique blend produces a synergy of effects commonly referred to as the ‘entourage effect.’ Consumers enjoy intense psychoactive and medical benefits with full-spectrum products compared to isolates and broad-spectrum. 

RSO oil is found in various dispensaries and can also be made at home (recipe provided below). It can be found in the form of a capsule or packaged in a syringe to make ingestion (sublingually) or topical application much more straightforward. One can also add it to food and beverages to help mask its bitter taste. 

To make RSO, you will require your medical strain of choice (preferably an Indica), a solvent, and some equipment. The process is straightforward; thus, you spend less time and energy on it. 

This oil is highly potent, usually recording THC levels of 60% and above. Consequently, novice consumers are advised to proceed with caution as overconsumption of cannabis can lead to unwanted adverse effects. 

The tale behind the invention of RSO oil

Rick Simpson discovered some lumps on his skin back in 2003, which were later diagnosed as cancerous. He was suffering from the most common form of skin cancer known as Basal Cell Carcinoma. In his past, Rick had a work-related injury that caused ringing ears and dizzy spells. He used cannabis to help with this, and it was successful. Owing to the fact that he had experienced previous success with marijuana, Rick researched the effectiveness of cannabis and cancer.

He came across a 1975 study that concluded that THC, a prominent marijuana cannabinoid, had anti-cancer properties that fought skin cancer in mice. This inspired him to begin cultivating cannabis and creating the Rick Simpson Oil. He applied the oil to the affected areas of the skin and covered it with a bandage. Within days, the cancerous lumps on his skin had disappeared.

Despite the almost miraculous recovery, Rick’s physician refused to recognize cannabis as an effective alternative treatment for cancer. However, this did not deter Rick Simpson as he had become a firm believer in the plant’s healing potential. He continued cultivating cannabis and making the oil, which was later named after him. Despite the legal constraints in Canada at the time, Rick went ahead to help over 5000 people using his famous oil. Today, he is a vocal cannabis activist focusing on sharing his marijuana success story with the world.  

How to make RSO oil

Have you made cannabutter or cannabis-infused oil before? If you have, then the process of making RSO Oil is similar. If this is your first time making cannabis-infused products, don’t fret. Below is a simplified procedure of making RSO oil. As mentioned before, Indica strains are preferred due to their therapeutic potential. However, one is free to use any strain that meets your medical needs. 

RSO Oil recipe

With this recipe, one will make about 60 grams of oil. This is enough for a 90-days treatment plan, which is recommended. However, if you are looking for a shorter treatment course, you can use half or a quarter of the ingredients. Every ounce of the flower produces 3-4 grams of RSO Oil. 

You will need

  • 1 pound (454 grams) of your preferred strain 
  • 2 gallons (7.57 liters) of isopropyl alcohol (preferred) or wood-grain alcohol. 
  • 5-gallon (18.93 liters) bucket
  • Large bowl
  • Stirring apparatus (spoon, spatula)
  • Rice cooker
  • Cheesecloth
  • 60ml catheter tip syringe


  1. Take your dried flower and put it in the bucket. Pour the solvent until the cannabis is fully immersed.
  2. Use the spoon to crush and stir the cannabis plant while adding the alcohol-based solvent. To ensure that the cannabinoids completely dissolve into the solvent, continue stirring the mixture for 3-5 minutes. Within this time, a majority of THC (80%and above) will dissolve. 
  3. Place the cheesecloth over the large bowl and drain the solution (solvent + cannabis compounds). Return all the plant material to the bucket. Add more solvent while stirring to drain the remaining compounds. Do this for 3-5 minutes. 
  4. Take the bucket, drain the mixture into the large bowl, and dispose of the cannabis plant remains. 
  5. Take your rice cooker and pour the solvent inside. Ensure that it does not pass the ¾ mark and then turn it on. Rice cookers are essential in maintaining stable temperatures of 210⁰F – 230⁰F, which is the ideal setting to facilitate the decarboxylation of the cannabinoids. 
    • NB: Using a rice cooker is not a must. However, it does help maintain constant temperatures. Using any other heat source, especially for a person making RSO for the first time, might lead to the cook-off of cannabinoids. This happens when cannabinoids are exposed to more than 300⁰ F. 
  6. Over time, the solvent will evaporate, which leads to less liquid in the rice cooker. Keep adding the solvent from the bucket until it’s finished. 
    • Word of caution: alcohol-based solvents are highly flammable. Ensure that the rice cooker is used in a room that is well ventilated. Additionally, avoid any source of flames around the rice cooker. Such actions may lead to accidents that you would have otherwise avoided. 
  7. A thick oil is left behind once all the solvent evaporates. This is your RSO oil. Take the 60ml catheter tip syringe and siphon the oil. If the oil is too thick to dispense, running the syringe under hot water will help lower the viscosity. 

RSO treatment regime dosage

Before starting on any kind of alternative treatment, consult your physician. They are best-suited to help you come up with a suitable treatment plan that matches your medical needs. Pro-cannabis doctors will help you tap into the numerous benefits the plant has to offer. However, if, like Rick’s doctor, your physician refuses to acknowledge cannabis as a viable treatment, and you still decide to use it, we highly advise proceeding with caution. 

In the previous section, we made 60 grams of Rick Simpson Oil. The goal is to incorporate this Oil in a treatment regime and complete it within 90 days for optimum results. Below is the recommended treatment plan

Day 1-7: Three doses daily

Take a quarter (¼) drop of the oil in the morning, noon, and nighttime (basically once every eight hours). The drops will equal the size of a grain of rice. Small doses are recommended due to the oil’s extreme potency. 

Day 8 – 35: After every four days, double your dose

On the 8th day, double your dose, and keep doing the same after every four days. Following this plan, a patient will be taking 8-9 drops of RSO oil by week 5.

RSO treatment regime dosage plan

Day 36 – 90: A single gram of RSO daily

From day 36 to 90, medical consumers are advised to take a gram of RSO oil daily. This is equivalent to taking 8-9 rice-sized drops three times a day. 

Day 90 and beyond

By day 90, the patient is likely to have achieved desired results. However, if you feel the need to continue with the regime, there is a need to tone down the dosage. The recommended amount is 2-3 grams of RSO oil per month. 

What can one expect while consuming RSO oil? 

As hinted before, Rick Simpson Oil has a bitter taste. It is sold in capsule form to make the ingestion process easier. When made at home, one can mask the taste by mixing it with food and beverages. 

During the first 35 days, a consumer will experience daytime sleepiness. This is the main side effect of RSO oil. However, as the body develops a tolerance, sleepiness subsides. 

Can you smoke RSO oil?

RSO oil can be applied topically, absorbed sublingually, or ingested as a capsule, but can it be smoked? What about dabbing RSO? If you have made the oil using the recipe above, we advise against smoking or dabbing it. This is because isopropyl alcohol is highly flammable, and it’s impossible to ascertain whether all of it evaporated while the mixture was in the rice cooker. To be safe, avoid exposing the oil to any flames. 

If the oil is bought from a dispensary, consult the budtender to determine how it was made and the materials used. Find out first hand from them if it can be smoked or dabbed safely. 

The man behind RSO oil

Rick Simpson is a dedicated cannabis activist, author, and inventor. In his early days, he worked as an engineer in a Canadian hospital. One day while in the boiler room, he got exposed to toxic fumes, which caused him to collapse. The side effects of the fall included dizzy spells and ringing years. After suffering for years, he came across a documentary that highlighted the benefits of cannabis. 

Rick tried to consult his physician about the alternative treatment, but he was dismissive. Eventually, Rick Simpson took it upon himself to experiment with the plant. Surprisingly, he experienced significant relief, and this made him believe in the power of cannabis. Later on, in 2003, he was diagnosed with skin cancer. He turned to cannabis immediately, and the tumors disappeared within a few days. 

The oil he used to fight cancer is what is referred to as Rick Simpson Oil. Since then, he has helped over 5000 patients battling different conditions and wrote a book – Nature’s Answer for Cancer. 

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