Unlocking the Mysteries of Rick Simpson Oil (RSO)
Rick Simpson Oil: What is it and how do I use it?
If you’ve seen Rick Simpson Oil (RSO) on your dispensary’s medical marijuana menu, perhaps it’s time you gave it a closer look. Especially if you struggle with significant chronic body pain, you may discover that RSO can help.
History of Rick Simpson Oil
Back in 2003, a discovery made by Canadian wellness advocate and hospital maintenance engineer named Rick Simpson led to a revolutionary new way to consume cannabis as medicine. Simpson suffered from dizzy spells and tinnitus caused by a work injury. He stumbled upon a documentary about cannabis that convinced him to seek out potential further treatment with it for his condition. Because his doctor couldn’t recommend or prescribe it due to it’s illegal status, Simpson resorted to sourcing and making a cannabis oil on his own.
Upon finding that his cannabis oil improved his tinnitus symptoms, he later went on to try the oil topically to treat his basal cell carcinoma (a form of skin cancer). After only four days, his cancer disappeared.
Simpson began to spread the word about his cannabis oil. Fast forward nearly twenty years, believers in the healing effects of RSO span the globe. RSO has taken an important place in medicine and is readily available for patients in dispensaries worldwide.
Rick Simpson’s Method
Clinical studies of cannabis oil and cancer are scarce. Traditional medical doctors cannot prescribe cannabis for patients without a license to recommend medical marijuana. Therefore, there is no official protocol regarding daily dosing amounts for Rick Simpson Oil.
Simpson shared his own method for ingesting the oil that is still used and shared widely around the internet and in cannabis communities around the world.
Simpson’s method called for ingesting 1 gram (1000 mg) of cannabis per day for 60 days. His method accounted for an adjustment period so that the patient could slowly become accustomed to the effects of the THC. Considering the average recreational edible user consumes about 20-30 mg of THC per serving, ingesting a whole gram when you aren’t experienced with the effects could make for a very bad trip!
Simpson suggested starting with a dose about the size of a half a grain of rice taken every eight hours. Over the next five weeks, you double your dose every four days until you reach the full dose of one gram of RSO per day.
Doctors and dispensary budtenders alike will echo that it’s important to exercise caution and follow the gradual step-up method if planning to take RSO via Simpson’s method. The standard advice for trying any new marijuana product applies here especially: Start low, move up slow.
What Is RSO and How Do I Take It?
To make RSO, the whole cannabis plant gets soaked in pure naphtha or isopropyl alcohol. Therapeutic compounds get drawn out of the plant, leaving behind tar-like brown liquid once the solvent fully evaporates. Unlike edibles, RSO comes decarboxylated, so you don’t have to do anything to it to make it effective.
While odorless, the taste of RSO can be quite pungent. It is also extremely sticky.
You can dab or vaporize RSO, but typically users eat it or apply it topically. RSO comes packaged in a syringe. Dispensaries and cultivators often refer to these syringes as darts and you may see them listed on menus that way.
The syringe can be tricky to open. It’s designed to dispense a single serving with each plunger click. If you’re struggling to release the RSO from the syringe, simply run it under some hot water. You might also consider watching a YouTube tutorial so that you don’t waste any product trying to figure out how to open or close it. If you believe your syringe is broken or has malfunctioned, return it to the dispensary to be inspected for possible return.
Other Points to Consider about Rick Simpson Oil
Putting your RSO on a cracker or other palatable food can be a great way to consume it without having to taste it. However, sometimes you can chew it in such a way that it just gets all over in your mouth. Sipping hot tea or coffee afterward can help with getting it off your teeth!
You may have seen FECO listed interchangeably with RSO on dispensary menus. (FECO stands for full extract cannabis oil.) But just how is FECO different than RSO?
FECO is a very similar type of cannabis concentrate to RSO that’s produced in approximately the same way. FECO is produced at lower temperatures with grain alcohol or ethanol. RSO is extracted from isopropyl alcohol.
FECO and RSO are similar, but have competing features that make both products attractive. RSO retains more of the cannabinoids that burn off quickly when processing RSO at higher temps. The benefit of the higher-temperature processing is that more of the cannabinoids are retained in the remaining resin extract. Conversely, the low-temperature FECO process retains more terpenes.
So it really depends on the user and the effect they are trying to achieve whether FECO or RSO is a better product for them. The respective properties of FECO and RSO are important to note. Some users with dietary allergies may be able to tolerate one type, but not the other.
Where to buy Rick Simpson Oil in Ohio
Ohio cultivator Wellspring Fields produces a Rick Simpson Oil (RSO) product for Ohio medical marijuana patients. The syringe is a half gram and retails at Ohio dispensaries for around fifty dollars. I purchased mine at Verdant Creations in Cincinnati.
A Caveat About Cancer
While new studies and anecdotal evidence confirm many of Simpson’s claims, only future research will tell us whether RSO or FECO effectively treats cancer or any other conditions. Doctors don’t recommend the use of RSO in place of current cancer treatments. Doctors trained in the use of medical cannabis agree that RSO and other cannabis products may help manage certain cancers with minimal overall risk to the patient.
Interested in trying cannabis infused honey as an alternative treatment for your medical condition but don’t have your Ohio medical marijuana card yet? Reach out to DocMJ today to schedule your evaluation.
Gabrielle has been writing and editing professionally for the medical and wellness industries for more than 20 years. She’s held positions with The Journal of Pediatrics, Livestrong, The Cincinnati Enquirer, and Patient Pop. She currently writes articles about medical marijuana for DocMJ, Duber Medical, and is the founder of the Ohio cannabis journalism non-profit, MedicateOH.