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Uses and Benefits of Rick Simpson Oil

by in Medical Marijuana February 15, 2024

The world of cannabis is ever-expanding, with different products entering the market every year. One of the products you may have heard less about is Rick Simpson oil, which takes its name from its Canadian creator.

The various uses and benefits of Rick Simpson oil have turned many heads. If you learn more about RSO’s benefits, you may realize that it is just what you need.

Below, we will discuss everything you need to know about Rick Simpson oil so you can decide if it is right for you.

What is Rick Simpson Oil?

Rick Simpson oil, or RSO, is a concentrated cannabis oil. It was first made by the Canadian cannabis activist Rick Simpson in the early 2000s as a remedy for skin cancer. We will tell you more about that story later.

The extraction of Rick Simpson oil involves a process that preserves all the benefits of the cannabis plant. This process uses whole plant matter, yielding a nearly black oil with all the cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids, and other plant materials.

It’s a long process, and the final product doesn’t taste that appealing. However, studies show that it may have some remarkable health benefits.

The Story of Rick Simpson

Rick Simpson was a Canadian engineer working in a hospital when he had an accident and was taken to an emergency room. He left the hospital with dizziness and tinnitus. None of the medications the doctors prescribed managed to ease his symptoms.

Finally, he decided to turn to cannabis.

Rick Simpson didn’t know about the benefits of CBD oil at the time. However, he had watched a documentary on the medicinal benefits of hemp. So he decided to give marijuana a try. And much to his surprise, it worked!

Marijuana reduced his symptoms and helped him feel better. But he wouldn’t create his own recipe until a few years later.

Rick Simpson and His Battle with Cancer

One of RSO’s benefits is its potential to help those fighting cancer. Rick Simpson went face-to-face with cancer himself in 2003. Doctors diagnosed him with basal cell carcinoma, a type of skin cancer.

By that time, Canada had legalized marijuana, and studies were showing its potential for cancer treatment.

Rick Simpson was eager to use the benefits of cannabis oil for his condition but couldn’t find a doctor who supported it.

So he extracted his own, applied it directly to the cancerous area of his skin, and bandaged it. Four days later, there was no trace of the tumor!

Spreading the Word

After recovering from cancer, Rick Simpson dedicated his life to sharing this new-found knowledge with others. He started mass-producing cannabis oil with his own recipe and distributing it to patients for free.

In 2009, the Canadian government raided his house and confiscated his cannabis plants. Rick moved to Croatia, where he lives, and runs a website advocating cannabis.

Rick Simpson Oil vs. CBD Oil 

The uses of Rick Simpson oil and CBD oil are similar, while the benefits of Rick Simpson oil may be more cancer-centric. What makes RSO’s benefits different is its high THC levels.

THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, is the primary psychoactive cannabinoid that gets users high. Since Rick Simpson oil is an extract of the entire cannabis plant, it contains an extremely high level of THC.

How is Rick Simpson Oil Made?

An oil dropper next to a cup of tea

Rick Simpson wanted everyone to reap the benefits of this oil. So he published the recipe for everyone to use. The process involves extracting the plant’s compounds with a solvent and then removing that solvent to produce the final oil.

Here are the steps for making Rick Simpson oil:

  1. Cover whole cannabis plants with solvent (alcohol) and stir them for a few minutes.
  2. Strain the plant material to recover the extracted oil. 
  3. Add more solvent to the plant matter and repeat the process.
  4. Discard the remaining plant material and remove the solvent by heating the oil. 
  5. Once the solvent has fully evaporated, transfer the oil into syringes for later use.

The Benefits of Rick Simpson Oil 

While Rick Simpson attributed his recovery to cannabis oil, there aren’t enough studies to confirm that. However, due to its high THC content, Rick Simpson oil may be able to help with many diseases.

Here are some conditions that may benefit from RSO:

  • Nausea
  • Asthma
  • Arthritis
  • Epilepsy
  • Chronic pain
  • Inflammation
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Sleeping disorders

As you can see, Rick Simpson oil has many uses. However, the most promising benefit of Rick Simpson oil is its potential to help with cancer.

Rick Simpson Oil for Cancer

Rick Simpson used cannabis oil on his tumor after reading the result of a promising 1975 study. That study showed the efficacy of THC and another cannabinoid called CBN in slowing down cancer growth in mice.

Since then, other studies have also shown that medical marijuana can help cancer patients by improving their symptoms.

A 2013 study exploring the benefits of Rick Simpson oil for leukemia patients showed that it can reduce tumor cell count without causing side effects.

Another study in 2014 revealed that cannabinoids enhanced the anti-cancer effects of radiation therapy in mice with brain cancer.

Although studies are limited, the few available reveal that RSO may benefit cancer patients by boosting the efficacy of their treatments and relieving some of their symptoms.

Is Rick Simpson Oil Dangerous?

Despite the high THC content, Rick Simpson oil is not harmful, especially if you buy it from a licensed dispensary. Dispensaries carry oils that are lab-tested and free of microbes.

Trying to reap the benefits of Rick Simpson oil by making it yourself at home can be dangerous since the recipe requires flammable ingredients. If you decide to make it at home, be cautious.

The only risk of using Rick Simpson oil is when cancer patients decide to self-medicate with it and forego any other conventional treatment. There aren’t enough studies to prove the use of RSO as the only treatment for cancer.

So, you must consult with a licensed physician before using RSO, and use it only as a complementary supplement.

Side Effects of Rick Simpson Oil

Rick Simpson oil may have many health benefits, but it can also produce some negative side effects. Taking too much Rick Simpson oil can have the same adverse effects as using other cannabis oils, including:

  • Anxiety
  • Paranoia
  • Dizziness
  • Depression
  • Disorientation
  • Bloodshot eyes
  • Impaired motor control

These adverse side effects are short-lived, and there are strategies you can use to sober up quickly.

How to Use Rick Simpson Oil

Adding cannabis oil to coffee

Now that you know about the benefits of Rick Simpson oil, you can try the product yourself. Here are the different ways you can take this oil.

Topical Application

To reap RSO’s benefits topically, you can apply it directly to your skin. Rick Simpson himself covered the area after application for better absorption. You can do this too or forego this step.

Reapply every other day to nourish your skin with the beneficial components of the oil.

Direct Ingestion

To benefit from the oil internally, you can ingest it. Fill up a syringe with RSO and empty it directly into your mouth, or take an RSO capsule.

Consuming this oil is different from using cannabis tinctures. It requires a carefully planned dosing schedule to help you avoid feeling too high.


Another way you can enjoy the benefits of Rick Simpson oil is through edibles. You can add RSO to your foods.

Remember not to expose the oil to temperatures above 300ºF, or it will burn the cannabinoids. Instead, add it to already-cooked foods, such as salads and soups.


If you like inhaling cannabis, you can smoke or vape RSO to reap its benefits. Remember that oils extracted with a flammable solvent are not safe for smoking. So choose your product carefully.

For a better experience, combine the oil with cannabis flower before smoking it with a bong or pipe.

Dosing Rick Simpson Oil

Dosing Rick Simpson oil to derive its benefits depends on the type of health condition you have.

Considering the high level of THC in the product, it’s best to start with the lowest dosage possible. Monitor the effects for a while and increase the dosage every other week.

You can use this edible dosing guide as your starting point, but consult your doctor if you plan to use RSO for a specific health condition.

Where to Buy Rick Simpson Oil

You can enjoy the health benefits of Rick Simpson oil by purchasing it from licensed dispensaries across the US. Not all of them will have it since it’s not as popular as other cannabis products.

Those that carry RSO will not be selling it at an affordable price.

The general cost of Rick Simpson oil is $30 – $70 per gram. This price may not seem like a lot compared to other cannabis products. However, patients will need about 60 grams. This makes the total cost over $2,000!

Try Rick Simpson Oil with Ozark MMJ Cards

Now that you know about RSO’s benefits, you can try it yourself. You can make it at home using Rick Simpson’s original recipe and instructions, but we don’t recommend it due to safety concerns.

To safely reap the benefits of Rick Simpson oil, you should purchase it from a reliable dispensary. You will need a medical marijuana card for that. We are here to help you get one!

Ozark MMJ Cards offers affordable MMJ certifications and card renewals in Arkansas, Missouri, and Oklahoma. You can get certified 100% online in Oklahoma and Missouri.

Contact our team today to talk to an expert and begin your certification. If you enjoyed this article, visit our cannabis blog for more educational reads!

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