What is Rick Simpson Oil (RSO)

If you are a fan of medical cannabis, then I’m sure that you’ve heard the term Rick Simpson Oil, or RSO floating around in the marijuana community. RSO is a form of cannabis that is concentrated in order to have medical benefits, particularly for cancer patients. Where did Rick Simpson Oil come from? Who is Rick Simpson? Let’s take a closer look at how RSO came to be.

Who is Rick Simpson?

Believe it or not, Rick Simpson became famous in the marijuana world by pure accident. Well before RSO was coined, Rick Simpson was working as an engineer in 1997, in a Canadian hospital.

As the story goes, one day, Rick Simpson was working in the boiler room helping to spray the asbestos covered pipes with an aerosol glue. The poorly vented boiler room allowed for the toxic fumes to mix creating a nervous system shock to Rick. He collapsed, falling off his ladder, and inevitably hitting his head. After Simpson woke from being knocked unconscious, he notified his fellow employees to get him to the ER. 

For years, Rick suffered from dizziness and ringing in the ears. The medication that was prescribed to him had little to no effect, and sometimes created worse symptoms.

After he saw a documentary on the positive benefits of cannabis products, Simpson decided to take a trip to his doctor. Unfortunately for Rick, the doctor did not seem to find it necessary for him to use medicinal marijuana for his treatment. Rick managed to source cannabis for himself and amazingly, saw improvement to his symptoms, such as his tinnitus. 

The year 2003 was a tough year for Rick Simpson. Three cancerous bumps appeared on Ricks arm, which were confirmed by his biopsy. Those three bumps ended up being basal cell carcinoma, which is a type of skin cancer.

Simpson had stumbled upon a study done by the Journal of the National Cancer Institute stating that THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) was found to treat cancer in mice. From there he decided he would treat his cancerous bumps with concentrated topical made from cannabis oil. He applied the oil to a bandage, and covered the cancerous spots for most of a week. After leaving his arm covered for four days, he removed the bandage, and noticed that the spots had disappeared. (This is not to imply that cannabis oil is a treatment for cancer.) 

Rick Simpson became a full believer in the healing powers of cannabis. 

What is Rick Simpson Oil?

From there Rick Simpson began planting and cultivating his own cannabis, in order to create his own specialized version of cannabis concentrate, now known as RSO, or Rick Simpson Oil. He knew his mission and would go on to help over 5,000 patients in need of RSO, and he did it free of charge!

It may seem like a happy ending, but his breakthrough came with many struggles and setbacks. Because Rick’s own doctor refused to believe, or acknowledge the benefits of his cannabis oil, he faced charges, and was arrested and prosecuted in his homeland of Canada. 

Rick Simpson’s home was raided multiple times, and had over 2,500 plants chopped down by the RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police). Even through all of the trials and tribulations, Rick Simpson persevered, and continued to pass along his knowledge, along with his concentrated cannabis oil.

DIY: How to make Rick Simpson Oil at Home

Making your own Rick Simpson Oil at home is actually quite simple. If you have any experience making canna-butter or other kinds of cannabis infused oils, then you shouldn’t have any problems with RSO. Rick Simpson was a big fan of using Indica strains for his RSO, but you can use any strain that works best for your medical condition. 

Reminder: The recipe below can produce a 90 day treatment (about 60 grams of oil). If you don’t need a 90 day supply, you can always cut down the ingredients to smaller amounts. Example: When using an ounce of cannabis, you can produce around 3 to 4 grams of Rick Simpson Oil.

*Please make sure that you obey your state and local laws regarding the use of cannabis.


  • Dried cannabis (1 pound) * indica is best
  • 2 gallons of 99% IPA (isopropyl alcohol) Other solvents such as Ethanol, and Butane work as well.
  • Bucket (5 gallons)
  • Bowl
  • Stirring spoon
  • Cheesecloth
  • 60ml Tip syringe 
  • Rice Cooker


Step one: Take your dried cannabis and place inside of your 5 gallon bucket. Cover the plant material by pouring in your solvent.

Step Two: Crush and stir the material with your spoon, while continuing to add your solvent to the mixture. Continue this process for about 3 minutes, allowing the THC to dissolve into the liquid solvent. This should dissolve about 80% of the THC into your IPA or desired solvent. 

Step Three: Using your cheesecloth, drain the solvent into your bowl. Replace the plant material back in the bucket, add more solvent, and continue the process for another 3 minutes.

Step Four: Drain the bucket of solvent again using your cheesecloth and pitch the remaining cannabis material. 

Step Five: Take your drained solvent and pour carefully into your rice cooker until it’s about three quarters of the way full.

Note: If you’re wondering if you absolutely need a rice cooker to make RSO, you don’t. This is simply the easiest way to maintain a slow and steady temperature. If you heat your mixture to above 148 degrees Celsius (300 degrees Fahrenheit) the cannabinoids will burn off creating an RSO that is unusable. Slow cookers and Crockpots are even tough, as these can overheat mixtures very easily.

Once you have your mixture in the rice cooker you’ll want to follow the next steps.

Step one: You’ll want the rice cooker to maintain a temperature around 100 and 110 degrees Celsius or 210 to 230 degrees Fahrenheit. This temperature is perfect for decarboxylation.

Step two: As the cooker heats up, your solvent will evaporate slowly. You can continue to gradually add your solvent mixture to the rice cooker. 

Recommendations: The best place for your rice cooker is going to be in a well-ventilated, open area. You should avoid sparks, flames, or smoking around your solvent, considering it is extremely combustible.

Step Three: Once all of your solvent has evaporated, siphon the created oil into a syringe for simple dosing. The RSO should be thick, and may give you trouble when dispensing from your syringe. Run the syringe under warm water, and you should be able to dispense the mixture easily.

How To Use RSO

For patients with medical conditions, it is very important to discuss new methods of treatment with your primary physician before taking any cannabis based products. *Uphempo is not providing specific medical advice. 

For someone beginning the Rick Simpson Oil method, the prevailing recommendation is consuming around 60 grams of RSO over a 90 day period. 

  • First Week: Start gradually at 3 doses each day
    • The dose size can be compared to half of a grain of rice, which should be administered in the morning, afternoon, and night.
  • Week 2 through 5: Every four days you should double your dose.
    • An average person can take anywhere between 3 to 5 weeks to reach your full dosage of 1 gram of Rick Simpson Oil each day.
  • Week 5 through 12: Continue taking 1 gram each day until all 60 grams of RSO are gone.
    • The end result is usually consuming 8 to 9 drops (rice-sized) of Rick Simpson Oil every 8 hours.

Taste and Side Effects of Rick Simpson Oil

The taste of RSO could be unpleasant or bitter when you first start taking it. Patients often prefer mixing the RSO with fruits, such as bananas, to help alleviate the bad taste.

Important: Do NOT under any circumstances Dab your RSO. Dabbing is a popular method used to flash-vaporize concentrated cannabis. Rick Simpson Oil is made with a high-proof solvent, which can have adverse effects on your health if tried to dab.

RSO Side Effects

When taking RSO you may experience sleepiness, which is normal considering your body is healing. The more you increase your dosage, the less psychoactive effects RSO will have on you, helping to build and keep your tolerance at a manageable level. If you’re experiencing daytime sleepiness, this should fade in a few weeks.

After your first 12 weeks of taking RSO, you may want to continue your treatment, but the intake should be reduced. A regular dose of RSO per month should be around 1 to 2 grams for someone that is experienced.

Final Thoughts

Even though there are so many testimonials on RSO’s wonderful health benefits, it should not be treated as a cure-all for medical conditions or symptoms. *Uphempo is not providing specific medical advice. 

We know that Rick Simpson Oil may not be right for everyone, but it should still be mentioned as one of the more effective methods to taking cannabis products. It requires no smoking, or vaping, can be made extremely easy from the comfort of your home, and seems to be quite popular in the marijuana community. 

If you have ever used RSO, and it has impacted your life in a positive way, let us know in the comments below! Also, if you have any questions regarding Rick Simpson Oil, don’t be shy to ask! Thanks for reading!

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