What is Rick Simpson Oil (RSO)?

By Liam Noonan

RSO, or Rick Simpson Oil, is a concentrated full-spectrum cannabis extract high in THC. 

Created by Rick Simpson, the concentrate rose to popularity for its proposed cancer-fighting properties. With a big claim like that, you probably have plenty of questions about what RSO Oil is and how it’s made.

How Is RSO Oil Made?

RSO Oil is extracted from the cannabis plant with a solvent like grain alcohol or ethanol. The mixture is then heated until the residual alcohol dissipates. The end result is a thick and highly concentrated THC extract that is dark in color and has a similar consistency to tar. It is then typically siphoned into a syringe where it can be administered orally or topically. 

Rick Simpson’s extraction method was unique at the time because it left all of the additional plant compounds like trichomes, terpenes, flavonoids, and cannabinoids intact. This creates a full-spectrum solution that allows for the “entourage effect.” More specifically, full-plant extracts like RSO are believed to benefit from the interaction of all the different plant compounds in your body. 

RSO was traditionally made from high-THC Indica plants, but any strain can technically be used. Simpson advocated for affordable homemade manufacturing, but in legal states, you can easily purchase some from your local dispensary. Continue reading to learn more about RSO, its history, and dosage information. 

Who Is Rick Simpson? 

Rick Simpson is known across the cannabis industry as a medical cannabis activist and revolutionary cultivator. Simpson stumbled upon notoriety after an accidental discovery. In 1997, while working as an engineer at a hospital, Simpson suffered a head injury falling off a ladder. He was sent to the emergency room and seemed to make a full recovery, but dizziness and tinnitus persisted over time. 

He tried countless medications prescribed by his doctor, but nothing seemed to work. Frustrated with his results, a documentary displaying the medical benefits of cannabis sparked Simpson’s interest. At the time, medical marijuana was far less mainstream and his doctor scoffed at the idea of its use as a potential cure. 


photo of rick simpson outside wearing a hat


With a lack of support from the medical community, Simpson began growing and cultivating his own medical cannabis. As soon as he added the plant into his daily regimen, he claims the tinnitus and dizziness quickly subsided. Now a believer in the power of weed as medicine, a study from the Journal of the National Cancer Institue piqued his interest. The study pointed out findings that THC administered to mice successfully killed cancer cells. 

As someone suffering from skin cancer, Simpson wondered if using cannabis topically would help suppress growths. From there, he created the famous oil concentrate that would go on to become RSO. After just 4 days of applying it to his skin, he claims the cancerous growths almost completely retreated. Once again, his doctor still refused to acknowledge any benefits from the plant. 

Now obsessed with cannabis and its potential to help people, he made it his life’s mission to cultivate RSO Oil and distribute it to people in need for free. Simpson continues advocating to this day, but the path was anything but smooth. He once faced arrest and persecution in Canada for illegal cannabis production and even had his home raided multiple times. Now a legendary figure, Rick Simpson deserves his place among the prophets of medical marijuana. 

Benefits of RSO Oil

We must first note that all proposed benefits of RSO and medical cannabis as a whole are based on a small number of limited studies. With that being said, many people report the successful use of RSO as a topical ointment for skin cancer and other conditions. Proponents claim it may help relieve insomnia, depression, inflammation, high blood pressure, arthritis, and more. 

The perceived benefits of RSO are thought to come from its high THC content, which is known as an alternative medication for many of the conditions reported above. Additionally, RSO is fairly easy to make yourself and can be administered in several different forms. There seem to be no known side effects other than what you may already expect from taking traditional forms of cannabis. 

Once again, more research is needed to clearly determine the full range of cannabis as medicine, but support for this alternative form of treatment is growing in the medical community. 

How to Use & Dose RSO

image of rick simpson oil leaking out

Before using RSO or any other form of medication, it’s important to first consult with your physician. With that being said, be prepared for a possible negative bias from your doctor until more studies arise. When it comes to administration and dosing, Rick Simpson recommends a regimen he finds to work for most people. The gist is to slowly work up to and eventually consume at least 60 grams of RSO over the course of 90 days. 


Week 1 Regimen: Start with 3 doses a day (¼ drop of oil per dose) split up into morning, noon, and night. 

Week 2 to 5 Regimen: Continue with 3 doses a day, but double your dose every 4 days. 

Week 6 to 12 regimen: Once you reach a dose of 1 gram per day, continue taking it each day until you reach a total of 60 grams of 90 days. It should take about 3 to 5 weeks to reach the full gram dose.

How to Use & Dose RSO

You can find RSO at most legal dispensaries throughout the U.S. and keep in mind that it is sometimes marketed as Phoenix Tears. You can always opt to make your own RSO Oil, but for immediate relief and precise dosing, it may be better to purchase from a licensed manufacturer. We always recommend going with the highest quality product you can afford especially when attempting to treat a condition or illness. 

More specifically, make sure the product you buy is 3rd party tested for potency and the presence of unwanted materials like heavy metals. 

Popular RSO Choices

  1. Get Zen RSO Oil 
  2. Kind Concentrates Rick Simpson Oil 
  3. 710 Labs RSO 
  4. Remedi RSO 
  5. Wonder Extracts RSO 


We are still in the early days of discovering all that the cannabis plant has to offer. RSO is just one of the many methods to utilize medical marijuana, but it may have a wide range of benefits. Despite potential bias, you should always consult your physician before trying a potent THC regimen. 

If you are a licensed producer or distributor of medical cannabis and RSO, you probably need help educating potential consumers on its benefits. That’s where Stoned Root comes in. We offer affordable and scalable content writing services and SEO-optimized blog posts

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