Activism Blog Canada Medical

What is Rick Simpson Oil or RSO?


As originally seen on
By Owen Smith

For years, Rick Simpson and have spread the message through the internet that cannabis can be used to treat cancer, to anybody willing to take the necessary risks. Although Rick’s work has been a recent public revelation, the technique he uses to make his oil have been well known for some time. Rick has taught people to reduce the plant matter in a solvent solution (i.e. alcohol), concentrating the cannabinoids to make “Rick Simpson Oil”, otherwise known as “honey oil”. Honey oil is commonly smoked in a pipe on a bed of ashes or smeared across a rolling paper, producing a powerful impact that can last many hours. Part of the Rick Simpson revelation was that to treat serious medical conditions, you have to eat this gooey extract or apply it directly to your skin.

Eating resinous concentrated cannabis oil (ex. Rick Simpson’s Phoenix Tears Hemp Oil) is intended to deliver a high dose of Cannabinoids to assist with serious conditions. Rick Simpson decarboxylates his cannabis a heating process which transforms all of the THCa into active THC, before reducing it with a solvent. He explains that it may take a person eating the concentrated oil “pheonix tears” up to five weeks before being able to reach a one gram a day dose, “the daytime tiredness associated with this treatment fades away but the patient continues to sleep very well at night.”

cannabis-oilsWhile Rick Simpson calls his product “hemp oil,” it is not made from hemp varieties, but exclusively from high quality female cannabis, containing at least 20 percent THC or more. Industrial hemp is grown all around the world. In Canada, hemp is grown specifically to contain very little THC. Rick Simpson Oil (RSO) should not be confused with hemp oil products like “Real Scientific Hemp Oil” (RSHO), a product actually made from industrial hemp available in the United States with concentrations of CBD.

Rick Simpson’s film ‘Run from the Cure’ has become an internet phenomenon with over 2 million views on YouTube. While Rick’s sentiment echoes many suffering from this life threatening condition, some of his followers have taken his crusade to new levels of zeal. This fervour was exemplified during the SensibleBC campaign to decriminalize cannabis when a volunteer made a spectacle at a ‘Terry Fox, Run for the Cure’ event. “I ran the whole race screaming that marijuana cures cancer, because it does,” said Skidmore. He was shortly after asked to stop canvassing. Campaign organizer, Dana Larsen responded that cannabis derivatives have been shown in studies to kill cancer cells, but he believes that describing marijuana as a “cure” goes too far.

22-Buzz-DONALD-ABRAMS1-Photos-by-Amanda-Holguin-jp.3621.widea.0Dr. Donald Abrams, Chief of Hematology-Oncology at San Francisco General Hospital and an outspoken cannabis advocate agrees, “I do integrative oncology,” he says, “So I hear about ‘miracle cures’ all the time. I hear about noni juice and graviola and many products. I think it does a disservice to the cannabis community to make claims that are not supportable. I may be seen as a nay-sayer but I’m not. I say ‘Let’s study it.’” (source)

Since the outcome of my constitutional challenge in the Supreme Court of Canada, the Canadian government has granted an exemption 56 for Licensed Producers to create cannabis oil. However, they have restricted this oil to diluted preparations, which rules out honey oil or RSO. Medical patients with MMAR licenses were also granted an exemption 56, but it included a prohibition on all highly flammable solvents, which also rules out Rick Simpsons methods. Their are simple methods that patients can use to create solvent free cannabis concentrates including Dry Sifting, Water Hash and Rosin.

An unfortunate trend over the last couple of years has led to an increase in Rick Simpson oil hustlers, spamming social media; trolling forums and filling up the comments section of blog articles like those found on the Cannabis Digest. These secretive spammers tend to deliver hope to those with advanced cancers and leave an email address to contact the supplier of the oil. Contacting these people is not advised; instead, for those with a serious medical condition seeking to use a cannabis oil, if you cannot find doctors approval to join the MMPR, then you should be able to access a cannabis oil at a local dispensary or by ordering from a dispensary online.

Owen Smith
Owen has been writing for the Cannabis Digest since 2009, covering a wide range of topics related to medical cannabis. Owen’s articles are closely related to his constitutional challenge to legalized cannabis edibles extracts and oils. He is the founder of Ethical Growth Consulting

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