What Is Rick Simpson Oil (RSO)?

Rick Simpson Oil (RSO) is typically associated with medicinal therapy for cancer and chronic health issues (e.g., asthma and MS) [1]. 

Now a revered product in the cannabis space, RSO was invented by Canadian engineer and fierce cannabis advocate–Rick Simpson. The catalyst for Simpson’s innovation was when he suffered a work accident that caused many health issues.

In a story we’ll delve into in a later section, Simpson resolved his multiple afflictions with his tar-like cannabis invention, an equal part edible, topical, and concentrate.

Versatility is the name of the game with RSO. Its various purposes are ideal for recreational users as much as for medical patients. 

Before going further–we feel obliged to acknowledge how far cannabis and related products have come. As you’ll find out, the story of RSO is one of activism and passion. Rick Simpson believed in his innovation and saw the positive it could bring to the world.

Mavericks like Simpson are why, in 2023, Stash Dispensaries can legally sell you reliable, high-quality cannabis products like RSO.

Sacrifice is a significant component of Rick Simpson’s story. He bore the brunt of ignorance surrounding the cannabis plant and was willing to fight for what he believed. While hurdles remain as we strive for federal legality, the likes of Rick Simpson–and his magnificent oil–have taken the hard road so ours can be easier.

Thus, Stash Dispensaries is proud to be a reliable source of RSO products. As such, we’re taking a deep dive into the topic. 

Read on as we explore the many facets of Rick Simpson Oil.

What Is RSO?

RSO is an oil derived from cannabis. 

It holds onto all cannabinoids and other compounds (e.g., terpenes) from the whole cannabis plant instead of being a solvent extract that strips buds of trichomes. For this reason, RSO has exceptionally high THC content [2]. THC is the psychoactive component of cannabis. Unsurprisingly, then, RSO usage yields a potent high.

Specifically, RSO can reach up to 90% THC but is 50% to 70% on average and can dip as low as 20% [3].

Extracting RSO takes a long time and necessitates a complex process akin to making a tincture. 

The extensive amount of plant matter in RSO (a product of using the whole cannabis plant) causes the near-black oil to have an unappealing taste. 

However, the unappealing taste means very little when considering RSO’s positive impact over the years.

The Story Behind RSO

The origins of RSO started in 1997 when Rick Simpson was a humble Canadian engineer working on a hospital-based project. His work environment was a boiler room, and he was dealing with pipes covered in asbestos. 

Succumbing to toxic fumes (caused by poor ventilation), Simpson passed out and tumbled off his ladder, and he was taken to the emergency room.

Soon after, Simpson developed dizzy spells and tinnitus. No prescription pharmaceuticals could quell his symptoms. 

Here’s where Rick Simpson began his path as a trailblazer. He started using medical marijuana to relieve his symptoms, going against his doctor’s advice and Canadian law at the time.

Then, Simpson was diagnosed with skin cancer in 2003. Medicinal cannabis was legal in Canada by this point. Yet, finding a doctor to support his therapeutic cannabis usage was challenging.

Inspired by a 1975 Journal of the National Cancer Institute study that showed how cannabis compounds mitigated mouse tumor growth, Simpson created RSO. He’s always been adamant that applying RSO as a topical to his cancer growth, and bandaging it for four days, cured the disease. We’ll point out this has never been verified independently. 

Later, Simpson mass-produced RSO and gave it to thousands of patients without charging them a dime. 

Sadly, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police raided his property in 2009 and confiscated his cannabis plants. 

Simpson remains a fierce RSO and medical cannabis advocate in Croatia, where he lives to escape legal persecution. After a stroke, he’s remained far away from the spotlight but is still an activist in the cannabis space.

Uses And Benefits Of Rick Simpson Oil

The high THC levels and often jaw-dropping potency of RSO make it ideal for chronic pain relief. More specifically, THC activates cannabinoid receptors in the nerve cells, helping reduce pain [4].

We’ve already spoken to the RSO benefits for cancer patients. While the positives are all anecdotal (including Rick Simpson’s treating his own skin cancer with it), other reports have proven promising. One 2013 article suggested a 14-year-old terminal patient’s leukemic blast cell count decreased significantly because of RSO. This result came with toxic side effects [5].

Other anecdotal evidence suggests that Rick Simpson Oil is a tremendous sleep aid. The high cannabinoid count remains in the bloodstream, helping regulate sleep patterns [6]. 

High THC content will generally create a “burnout” effect when “coming down” from intoxication. Furthermore, RSO often contains CBD and calming terpenes like terpinolene and myrcene. 

Sleep comes easy from there.

Getting enough sleep can be a significant help in combating anxiety symptoms. Furthermore, sleep can help neutralize chronic pain (which can also trigger anxiety symptoms).

How Is Rick Simpson Oil Consumed?

Below are the different methods of consuming Rick Simpson Oil:

  • Sublingual absorption:
    • This process requires a dropper.
    • You drop the oil under your tongue and hold it for half a minute at minimum.
    • Don’t eat or drink for a few minutes after sublingually absorbing RSO.
    • The advantage of sublingual absorption is that the effects are immediate–similar to smoking or inhaling a vape–but without the need to smoke.
  • Incorporating into edibles:
    • You can treat RSO as an edible in and of itself. Merely eat it directly.
    • You can also infuse it into food or beverages. While RSO has an overpowering taste, it incorporates well into cannabutter and can be used in a number of recipes.
    • You don’t necessarily need to cook with RSO-infused butter. Nor do you need to drop it in your food (although this can work fine). Instead, you can purchase one of the many edible products pre-infused with RSO.
    • It will take longer to feel the effects of RSO if you incorporate it into edibles than if you absorb it sublingually. Expect to feel the full impact in around an hour or an hour and a half as it works its way through your digestive tract.
  • Topical application:
    • Topical usage of RSO necessitates applying a minimal amount in an affected area.
    • Use a bandage to cover the area.
    • Reapply multiple times throughout the day.
    • Change your bandage every time you reapply.
    • Some experts suggest mixing each dose with some coconut oil. Doing so can help thin out the RSO, making application easier. 

The Importance Of Correctly Dosing Rick Simpson Oil

There is nothing we stress more at Stash Dispensaries than responsible dosing. We have many reasons for this mentality. For one, your safety is of the utmost importance. 

Now, cannabis products aren’t necessarily a severe emergency risk for anyone. You’ll rarely–if ever–hear of a cannabis overdose.

Here’s some context:

  • Alcohol poisoning was responsible for nearly 2,500 deaths per year between 2017 and 2020 [7]. 
  • There are essentially zero statistics about cannabis overdose deaths because they don’t really happen.

We don’t wish to mislead you here. Cannabis has its risks. Be mindful that it does not mix well with certain pharmaceuticals. A multitude of conditions or allergies could clash with cannabis usage, leading to adverse consequences.

If you’re on another prescription for a condition that RSO can potentially alleviate, speak with your doctor before using RSO.  

Discuss any other concerns with a trained medical professional, too. Everybody is different, and being cautious is always your best bet.

Still, it’s worth noting that cannabis products like RSO generally do not cause severe responses compared to alcohol (and other mind-altering substances). 

Then consider how you can purchase alcohol at the gas station once you turn 21. Not that there’s anything wrong with being able to do this. We’re merely shedding light on how–relatively–minimal the risk is when consuming cannabis products.

What’s most important–especially if you want your RSO benefits to be therapeutic or medicinal–is dosing in a manner conducive to the desired outcomes.

Consuming too much cannabis can elevate your heart rate, cause paranoia, trigger anxiety, etc. Generally, going too far with any cannabis product can be awful for you in many ways. It could even trigger harmful behaviors if you have a uniquely poor response.

So, follow our dosage tips below to ensure you’re harnessing all the RSO benefits:

How To Dose RSO

Note how the suggestions below are for sublingual and edible RSO consumption. 

Also, these are general guidelines and not medical advice. Those using RSO for medical purposes should discuss the appropriate regimen with a trained medical expert. 

Patients using RSO are often told to consume 60 grams of the oil over 90 days. Your dosages are meant to increase in amount gradually [8].

Experts suggest having a first dose no larger than half a grain of rice to allow your body to adjust. RSO is so potent that you’ll definitely feel this tiny amount if you’ve never had it before.

It’s then recommended to double your dose every four days for the first five weeks. Your body will continue to build up tolerance during this time. The maximum RSO dose you should consume should be no more than a whole gram. Don’t exceed this amount during the remainder of the 12 weeks.

While this is a more medicinally focused guideline, we suggest using these tips as a baseline if you wish to use RSO recreationally. 

RSO’s intense potency calls for caution–even recreationally–and going beyond 60 grams over 12 weeks would likely be overkill. You might even skyrocket your tolerance to the point of not feeling the effects of your RSO and other cannabis products. That would be a shame.

Other Important Considerations About RSO

The side effects caused by RSO are the same as other cannabis products. However, they can be more intense due to RSO’s heightened potency.

Therefore, without controlling your dosage, you can end up feeling intensified versions of the following side effects [9]:

  • Nausea.
  • Headache.
  • Paranoia.
  • Anxiety.
  • Mood swings.
  • Elevated heart rate.
  • Delayed reaction times.
  • Coordination issues.

We’ll reiterate the heightened potential for RSO to interact with other medications due to its frequent medicinal and therapeutic usage. To this point, opioids, sedatives, and antidepressants typically don’t mesh well with RSO.

The above reasons are why speaking with healthcare professionals is critical before using RSO medicinally. 

Beyond that, a medical professional will have a good idea of if RSO will actually help you. While RSO has been a boon to many people with chronic health issues, it’s not for everyone. Certain patients might not benefit at all from it, in which case, it should be avoided. 

There’s then the murky waters of legality to deal with:

Recreational users can legally carry up to 5 grams of Rick Simpson Oil in Illinois if they’re residents. Non-residents can carry up to 2.5 grams [10].

Be mindful that cannabis is legal in the state of Illinois but not legal at the federal level. Thus, you can’t transport any cannabis products–including RSO–across state lines.

Conclusion: Rick Simpson Oil Takes Healing And General Cannabis Use To Soaring Heights

Rick Simpson Oil–anecdotally–has the propensity for healing and alleviating chronic symptoms.

The high THC content makes RSO a uniquely potent (and effective) cannabis product that calls for careful dosages–primarily when used medicinally.

Are you interested in RSO? Do you have a condition that causes symptoms that this healing oil could alleviate? Or do you want to experiment with RSO as a recreational adult consumer?

Either way, there’s no harm in exploring RSO a bit further. You might find that it’s not for you–in which case, no harm, no foul. What’s likelier, though, is you’ll enjoy your experience–mainly if you stick to safe dosage practices.

Your pathway to RSO as a medicinal user should begin with speaking to your doctor about this healing cannabis oil. Once you’ve been advised to purchase RSO, visit Stash Dispensaries if you want top-quality products.

Recreational consumers without medical concerns can also visit a reputable business like Stash Dispensaries to purchase industry-best RSO products. We’ll advise you on how to get the most out of your dosages and answer any other questions you might have.


  1. https://www.leafly.ca/news/cannabis-101/what-is-rick-simpson-oil 
  2. https://www.webmd.com/cancer/rick-simpson-oil-for-cancer-overview 
  3. https://www.thebluntness.com/posts/rick-simpson-oil-rso 
  4. https://creakyjoints.org/alternative-medicine/thc-vs-cbd-for-pain-relief/#:~:text=%E2%80%9CTHC%20activates%20certain%20cannabinoid%20receptors,in%20how%20people%20experience%20pain
  5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3901602/ 
  6. https://herbangels.co/is-rso-good-for-anxiety/ 
  7. https://www.health.state.mn.us/communities/alcohol/documents/alcoholpoison2021.pdf 
  8. https://missioncannabisclub.com/blog/ricksimpsonoil/ 
  9. https://leafwell.com/blog/what-is-rick-simpson-oil-rso/ 
  10. https://www.chicago.gov/city/en/sites/cannabis-information-center/home/faq.html 

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