For 25 years, Rick Simpson worked as a power engineer in Canada’s medical system. But it was only after a serious head injury in 1997 that you might say he found his true calling in life. In treating his injury, doctors prescribed him all manner of medications, but each came with its own harmful and unpleasant side effects. So, Rick took matters into his own hands and turned to cannabis extracts – which he produced himself – and very quickly discovered a natural solution to his pain.
This led to Rick produce his own form of cannabis oil, which came to be known as Rick Simpson Oil (RSO), and from that moment on, he has been a passionate – and often outspoken – evangelist for the cannabis movement.
What’s In This Guide on Rick Simpson Oil?
Since 2013, Rick no longer lives in Canada, and he is not in a position to supply his oil. But that hasn’t stopped the legend from growing around his story.
We’ve created this guide to help dispel some of the myths and provide the facts about RSO and cannabis oil in general. When you read this guide, you’ll learn more about Rick Simpson, the science behind RSO, its possible benefits, where to buy it, how to use it, and the legality of doing so.
Who Is Rick Simpson?
Rick’s Story – It All Started with a Ladder…
If you speak to someone with even a cursory knowledge of the cannabis industry, chances are they’ll have heard of Rick Simpson. But long before he gained his notoriety, he was a humble and hardworking engineer plying his trade in a Canadian hospital.
It was there, in 1997, that he was tasked with covering the asbestos on the hospital’s pipes with a strong aerosol glue. Working in a poorly ventilated boiler room meant exposure to the glue’s toxic fumes, and this caused a temporary nervous system shock. Rick, in his late 40s, fell from his ladder and hit his head, and he lay unconscious for a period. When he came to, he alerted his colleagues, who whisked him to the emergency room.
For years following the accident, he suffered from dizzy spells and ringing in his ears, and the medication he was prescribed only served to make those symptoms worse.
In a fit of desperation, Rick asked his doctor to consider medical marijuana as a possible treatment. This was spurred by watching a documentary that highlighted the possible medicinal benefits of cannabis. However, his doctor dismissed his inquiry out of hand.
So, Rick decided to take matters into his own hands. He sourced and used cannabis himself and, according to his many testimonies, witnessed a significant improvement in the symptoms associated with his accident.
Then, in 2003, some six years after his fall, Rick noticed three rather odd looking bumps on his arm. His worst fears were all but confirmed when a doctor agreed that the bumps appeared cancerous, and a biopsy was taken for testing. The diagnosis was basal cell carcinoma, a serious form of skin cancer.
A Topical Treatment
Having previously treated his symptoms using cannabis, Rick was quite prepared to do so once again. He had read a study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, which found that THC had successfully killed cancer cells in mice. This was just the prompt Rick needed, and he decided to try and treat his skin cancer with a concentrated cannabis oil. He applied the oil to a bandage, which he wrapped around the cancerous area.
Four days later, he removed his bandages to observe the results of his topical treatment. To Rick’s astonishment, the growths had disappeared. And while his doctor refused to believe this was down to the cannabis oil, Rick was now a fully-fledged believer in the wonders of cannabis.
From that point on, he started to carefully cultivate and harvest his own cannabis plants to create a special form of cannabis concentrate, which is known today as Rick Simpson Oil, or simply RSO. He saw it as his mission to produce and distribute his oil to those who desperately needed it, completely free of charge. Some 5,000 patients used RSO in their own treatment – but this only brought Rick more scrutiny.
The Authorities Intervene
Upon discovering the apparent healing properties of the cannabis extracts, Rick made it his calling to spread the word. Yet, he encountered his fair share of obstacles in attempting to do so.
His own doctor refused to acknowledge the benefits while law enforcement in his native Canada threatened him with arrest and raided his property on several occasions. In 2009, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police conducted one final raid, cutting down and confiscating over 2,500 plants, therefore preventing Rick from continuing to give his oil away for free.
The reason for this scrutiny perhaps lay in the fact that his oil was very high in THC with low amounts of CBD. This particular makeup of cannabis oil was named for him by Jack Herer, a cannabis activist also known as the Emperor of Hemp.
Rick never tried to patent his oil, nor the method used to produce it, as he believed it should be common knowledge – something everyone should know and learn how to produce to treat their own medical issues. He made the information available online in 2004, but, by 2013, he had moved from Canada and was no longer able to supply the oil.
Resources: Learn More About Rick Simpson
If you’d like to learn more about the man himself, there are a number of resources online that recap his journey and experiences – none more so than his own personal website, Phoenix Tears, which you can visit here.
This website exists to share Rick’s message, and it also provides dosage instructions for his oil and all the information you require to produce your own hemp oil.
He also notes the following:
“The only way to know that you have the real thing is to produce the proper oil yourself.
There are many criminals who say that they are producing RSO and who are using Rick’s name. Rick Simpson has no connection with these suppliers, and he has no involvement with the Phoenix Tears Foundation from the U.S., although there is a link on their website that leads to his website and Facebook page.”
Run from the Cure – The Rick Simpson Story (Documentary)
A documentary entitled Run from the Cure has been made to spread Rick’s message further than before.
If you have an hour to spare, we highly recommend you watch to learn more about Rick and RSO.
RSO Controversy: Fact or Fiction?
While Rick Simpson is passionate about medical marijuana and swears by the efficacy of his oils, there are many people who just do not share his enthusiasm. As is often the case when it comes to the supposed healing effects of cannabis, Rick Simpson has encountered his fair share of skeptics – and with good reason.
Rick Simpson is not a medically trained expert, and he has not conducted controlled, double-blind studies to support his claims of the effectiveness of RSO. Instead, he speaks from his own personal experience and the testimonials of those who have used his oil.
But for medical professionals, anecdotal evidence will never be enough. They expect detailed studies to be underpinned by real data before making significant claims regarding cannabis oil and its ability to cure cancer. This level of information has never been forthcoming from Rick Simpson or his advocates.
He has claimed that his success rate with terminal cancer patients is about 70% but offers no evidence for that number. And although the testimonials keep rolling in, the fact remains that there simply isn’t enough evidence that cannabinoids can effectively treat those afflicted with cancer.
What Is Rick Simpson Oil (RSO)?
In short, Rick Simpson Oil is a cannabis oil extract. It’s made by soaking cannabis plant material in a solvent such as ethanol, which is then evaporated to leave only pure cannabis oil.
Rick Simpson Oil, also known as RSO, was first created by Rick Simpson following his 2003 cancer diagnosis. He discovered the more potent version of his oil rather serendipitously when cleaning a glass-topped vaporizer he’d purchased to inhale the vapor of the oils he’d been producing. Rick realized that the cannabinoids held within the vaporizer hadn’t actually been burned off, merely vaporized. He emptied the contents into a stainless steel measuring cup and sat it on a coffee warmer, which, in turn, evaporated the alcohol he’d used in the cleaning. What was left was a beautiful amber oil with a slight reddish tinge.
RSO is popular due to its potency and the many claims of its effectiveness in treating various types of cancer.
The Difference Between CBD Oil and Rick Simpson Oil
The main difference between CBD oil and Rick Simpson Oil is in its makeup. CBD oil, also known as hemp oil as it’s typically derived from the hemp plant, contains a great deal of the beneficial cannabinoid CBD and almost none of the illegal and psychoactive tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). You cannot get high from CBD, and purchasing it is completely legal in all states and in many countries worldwide.
On the other hand, RSO typically contains a high percentage of THC (around 60 to 90 percent) and very little CBD as it’s derived from the marijuana plant. This means that you will get high from using Rick Simpson Oil. And, depending on the amount of THC contained within the bottle, the high can range from mild to indescribably strong.
You should note that purchasing products high in THC is still illegal in many states and countries worldwide. However, changes in legislation in some states have seen THC legalized for medical use, and this has ensured the interest in RSO is higher than ever before.
The Possible Benefits of Rick Simpson Oil
Rick Simpson Oil may contain the same possible benefits as medical marijuana. It may be used to alleviate the symptoms associated with a number of ailments, improving wellness and providing a sense of calm at the end of an otherwise stressful day.
RSO, like CBD oil, can essentially “take the edge off,” making you feel very relaxed and, in some cases, sleepy without feeling groggy or sedated.
As it stands, there’s enough evidence to support the following when it comes to CBD and THC. It may…
- Help Reduce Nausea (helps people undergoing chemotherapy)
- Improve Appetite
- Relieve Pain
- Reduce Inflammation
- Reduce Stress and Anxiety
However, should someone offer to sell you Rick Simpson Oil as the ideal cure-all for a devastating disease or chronic health problem, it is likely that they are trying to scam you. Research is still ongoing when it comes to the effects and success of RSO, and there can be no guarantees that it will work in treating your illness. You can, of course, experiment with RSO as long as you accept that there is a chance that it won’t work as you might hope.
The Science of RSO
How Rick Simpson Oil Works
To understand how Rick Simpson Oil works, it’s helpful to know a little more about the human endocannabinoid system.
While some of us will use cannabis for its psychoactive properties, others wish to consume it to alleviate medical symptoms. Whatever your reason for using it, the truth is it wouldn’t have the desired effect if our bodies didn’t already possess the means of interacting with cannabis’ chemical compounds.
Our endocannabinoid system is primed to interact with the likes of THC and CBD, but its purpose isn’t to get us stoned. Rather, it exists to regulate key elements of our health and wellbeing. To better understand this important system, there’s another biological concept you ought to know: homeostasis.
Homeostasis is the concept that our biological systems must be regulated to maintain an ideal condition. For example, we don’t want our blood sugar to be too high or too low or our body temperature to be too hot or too cold. For our cells to maintain optimum performance, the conditions need to be just right.
Our bodies’ endocannabinoid system is one such system that helps us maintain homeostasis. It is made up of cannabinoid receptors, endocannabinoids (small molecules that activate those receptors), and metabolic enzymes that break down the endocannabinoids after they’re used.
The reason users feel high when using Rick Simpson Oil is that our endocannabinoid system can interact with the high levels of THC contained within. The THC activates the CB1 receptor within the brain, providing a feeling of euphoria.
It’s entirely reasonable to be skeptical when it comes to claims, such as those from Rick Simpson himself, that cannabis oil can cure cancer. So many scientists, across generations and around the world, have been searching for the cure for cancer, and we’re to believe a retired power engineer discovered it via some trial and error?
However, the possible medicinal properties of cannabis aren’t being overlooked by the scientific community. A great deal of CBD research is being undertaken to better understand how cannabinoids interact with and affect our system, and, as we’ve already discussed, many symptoms of cancer can be greatly alleviated.
But a cure? Well, according to Canada’s own Cancer Research Society (CRS), the use of cannabis oil in general – and Rick Simpson Oil in particular – in treating cancer has never been validated by the scientific or medical communities. The CRS, therefore, urge caution to those with cancer.
RSO Success Stories
While the scientific community continues to conduct research to better understand cannabis’ effect on various illnesses and ailments, much of the positivity and popularity around Rick Simpson Oil has come from its users.
The testimonials on Rick’s website point to a passionate group of advocates with many making remarkable – and, at times, unbelievable – claims, including disappearing varicose veins, shrinking moles, cancer mass reductions, and skin cancer cures.
These success stories, while unverifiable, certainly add fuel to Rick’s crusade as a cannabis evangelist.
The Legality and Regulation of RSO
In many states across the US, and in many countries worldwide, Rick Simpson Oil is illegal due to its high THC content. You, therefore, risk prosecution for possessing or producing RSO.
That being said, this stance has softened in a number of states that have legalized marijuana or have established medical marijuana programs. If you live in one of these states, you can purchase Rick Simpson Oil without fear of repercussions.
Remember: Due to its high levels of CBD and minimal levels of THC, CBD oil is completely legal to purchase in most countries worldwide. And CBD oil can provide a similar therapeutic quality to Rick Simpson Oil without the concern regarding its legality.
Getting and Using Rick Simpson Oil (RSO)
Rick Simpson no longer supplies RSO and instead suggests that to ensure you receive the real deal, you should learn to make Rick Simpson Oil yourself. In fact, the quality Rick Simpson Oil for sale online will typically use his original method, which we’ve outlined below.
How to Make Rick Simpson Oil
- 1 pound of cannabis material, dried and ground
- 2 gallons of solvent (isopropyl alcohol, ethanol, or another solvent)
- Deep bowl
- Coffee filters
- Rice cooker
- Plastic syringes
- First, place the dried and ground cannabis material into a bucket. Pour in the solvent until the plant matter is well covered.
- Stir the plant material, and add more solvent to the mixture. Continue to stir while the THC dissolves into the solvent. Around 80% of the THC will dissolve.
- Next, drain the solvent from the plant material into a bowl. Rick suggests using coffee filters to catch the plant material as you drain the liquid. Place the plant material back into the bucket, add more solvent, and continue stirring.
- Drain the solvent once again using the coffee filters before discarding the remnants of the plant material.
- Transfer the solvent mixture to the rice cooker, filling it until it’s about three-quarters full. Turn it on, and set the temperature to 210-230°F (100-110°C). This is above the temperature where most people say decarboxylation will occur.
Rick suggests picking up a large, inexpensive rice cooker to make your own RSO. This is because they are terrific at maintaining a slow and steady temperature, ensuring that you do not burn off the cannabinoids and render your mixture unusable.
- The solvent will slowly evaporate as the rice cooker heats up. Gradually add more of the mixture to the rice cooker, taking care not to spill any.
- Once the solvent has evaporated, use the syringes to draw up the oil, ready to administer doses as and when required. The oil will typically be quite thick when it returns to room temperature; if this happens, and you find it difficult to push it out of the syringe, sit it in a cup of hot water to loosen the contents.
WARNING: When making your own Rick Simpson Oil, you must ensure your rice cooker is in an open and well-ventilated area. The solvent is highly combustible and can be quite dangerous. It’s therefore important that you avoid any open flames, sparks, and cigarettes when dealing with it.
How to Buy RSO
As we mentioned earlier in the guide, Rick Simpson no longer supplies his oil. However, when he did, he never sold it. Rather, he gave it away for free to those who needed it most.
That’s why you should be very wary when it comes to purchasing RSO online. Chances are it’s just someone looking to make a quick buck off of the Rick Simpson name without taking the time to produce a quality product.
Also, if you’re concerned about the legality of RSO due to its high THC content, you should consider purchasing the perfectly legal CBD oil for the same cannabinoid benefits minus the high.
The Dangers of Buying Rick Simpson Oil Online
The best and safest way to possess and use Rick Simpson Oil is to simply make it yourself. Instead of buying it online from a faceless producer, use plants that you’ve grown yourself to ensure you’re in control of the entire process.
However, if you do decide to purchase Rick Simpson Oil online or from a stranger via a social media website, you must be aware of the following dangers. Ask yourself:
- Was a high-quality solvent used for the extraction? If not, poisonous residues might remain in the oil extract.
- Was the plant material grown in soil contaminated with pesticides? If so, they may be present in the oil extract.
- Was the solvent completely evaporated from the oil? Those motivated by money will overlook this step as they’re left with more oil, even if it’s impure.
- Was the extract filtered correctly? If not, the RSO can contain a great deal of plant material and waxes, meaning the extract will taste unpleasant. It can even burn the back of your throat if you administer it orally.
- Was the correct ratio of THC:CBD achieved? If not, you might end up purchasing a strong THC oil to which you react poorly. THC has psychoactive properties that can cause unpleasant side effects in some people. Having the right balance of CBD can mitigate those effects.
- Was the product properly tested? When purchasing online, trust is paramount. If they can’t prove that the product has been tested, then you could be buying just about anything. We’ve even heard stories of people purchasing “RSO” and receiving what amounts to olive oil. There are no industry standards – it’s very much “buyer beware.”
- Was the seller involved in the manufacturing process, and have they practiced proper health and safety measures? While many RSO sellers are well-meaning individuals, a lack of proper health and safety precautions during the manufacturing process could lead to contaminants in the extract, subsequently putting your health at risk.
If you cannot find adequate answers to these questions, you should think twice about purchasing.
What’s more, many scammers are now using social media to target the most vulnerable individuals and pressure them into buying their RSO. This can include the reprehensible act of sending images of people dying of cancer and claiming that loved ones will die without it.
It goes without saying that, should you encounter this, you should report the person’s account to the social media platform in question.
And, if the price you’re being asked to pay seems unreasonable, chances are it is. All the information you need to make your own Rick Simpson Oil is available in this guide and elsewhere online. Take the time to calculate how much it would cost someone else to produce it before buying.
How to Use RSO
According to Rick, it takes the average person around 90 days to fully ingest the 60 gram or 60 ml oil treatment. He suggests starting with three doses per day – each around the size of half a grain of rice. The dosage should be administered every 8 hours, once in the morning, again in the afternoon, and finally around an hour before bed.
Note: If you’re opting to use RSO in an attempt to treat a medical condition, it’s highly recommended that you speak with your doctor prior to beginning. Of course, many medical professionals will simply refuse to discuss cannabis oil or other marijuana extracts as viable treatment options with their patients, so, if you’re set on using Rick Simpson Oil, you do so at your own discretion.
It can take the average person anywhere from 3 to 5 weeks before they can ingest 1 gram or 1 ml of RSO per day. As you begin to ingest the oil, you typically won’t feel its effects until around an hour after administering the dosage. You should be aware of this to avoid taking too much.
RSO can taste slightly bitter, which can be unpleasant for some. Rick suggests placing the oil on a small piece of bread or between thin slices of fruit such as banana to mask the taste and make swallowing the oil easier.
To help you through the first 90 days of using Rick Simpson Oil, here’s what your weeks should look like:
Start with the three doses per day outlined above. The beginner’s dose should be equal to around ¼ of a drop. Space these doses out, keeping them around 8 hours apart.
Week Two – Five
Begin to double your dosage every four days as you look to achieve the recommended full dosage of one gram or one ml of RSO per day by week five.
Week Five – Twelve
Continue to take one gram or one ml of Rick Simpson Oil daily until you’ve consumed the full 60 gram/ml course. At this point, you should be taking around 8 or 9 rice-sized drops every eight hours.
Post Week Twelve – Maintenance Doses
At the end of the 90-day treatment period, many people continue to take the oil at a much-reduced rate. Rick recommends administering between 1 and 2 grams a month as a maintenance dosage. This equates to a drop or two before bed in the evening.
WARNING: It is not advisable to “dab” Rick Simpson Oil. It is made with very high-proof solvents, and vaporizing the oil in this manner could adversely impact your health.
The Side Effects of Rick Simpson Oil
The main side effect of using RSO is sleepiness, which – according to Rick himself – is a very important part of the healing process. Typically within an hour of administering the dose, you will feel the need to lay down and relax.
The oil can also cause your mind to wander as you experience the high caused by the THC. You may also feel unsteady on your feet, but, as you increase your dosage and build your tolerance, these effects will diminish. The daytime sleepiness associated with the oil usually fades within the first three to four weeks.
It’s also recommended that you do not operate machinery or get behind the wheel of your car until you are more accustomed to the oil’s effects. This is for your own safety and the safety of others. The oil does not impair your motor skills or your ability to drive, but, with the side effects outlined, it’s better to err on the side of caution.
Remember, Rick Simpson Oil is not a cure-all for medical conditions. While many patients have witnessed relief from and improvements to their symptoms and conditions, you should still seek medical advice and take the oil at your own discretion.
Our Recommendations & FAQ
Rick Simpson is not a medical professional, but that fact hasn’t stopped him from making some very strong claims online, in his documentary, and in print. These claims made sure his oil grew in popularity, but they also attracted the ire of both the Canadian authorities and the wider medical community, who were both keen to pour cold water on his suggestion that his oil could cure cancer.
Without clinical trials or documented research, his anecdotal claims have been largely overlooked by scientists and physicians. However, his own testimony – and those of his “patients” – means Rick Simpson Oil is still highly sought after by those looking for a panacea.
Today, research into the human cannabinoid system continues at pace, and THC has been successfully used in palliative care for cancer patients, helping to reduce nausea, vomiting, and pain. But we’re still far from using cannabis for anything more. Further research is required to better understand how the endocannabinoids produced by our body can promote health and wellbeing.
That’s why these cancer cure claims by Rick himself, and anyone else attempting to sell his oil, should be taken with a rather large pinch of salt. The oil is still illegal in most states and countries, and production is entirely unregulated.
Rick Simpson Oil – At a Glance Facts
THC – Rick Simpson Oil contains a high amount of THC, and this will make you high. This is in contrast to CBD oil, which has low amounts of THC, is not considered psychoactive, and will not get you stoned.
Ratio – The THC:CBD ratio is entirely dependent on the cannabis strain used to produce the RSO. Typically, marijuana is used to produce RSO while industrial hemp is more often used for CBD oil.
Method – Rick Simpson Oil is made using a solvent extraction.
Health and Safety – Rick Simpson Oil is generally made at home. If you purchase RSO online or via social media, chances are it has not been properly tested for pollutants. CBD oil, on the other hand, is typically commercially produced from notable manufacturers and will be carefully lab tested.
Legality – Rick Simpson Oil is generally illegal in most states across the US and countries worldwide. CBD oil is legal and widely available in most countries around the globe.
If you’re worried about the legality of Rick Simpson Oil, or its psychoactive side effects, consider trying CBD supplements made from hemp oil first.
Frequently Asked Questions
Question: What is in Phoenix Tears?
Answer: Phoenix Tears is another name for Rick Simpson Oil, or RSO. It is a cannabis oil made using solvent extraction, and it contains high levels of Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
Question: Where is Rick Simpson from?
Answer: Rick Simpson is from Canada but no longer lives in the country. He is unable to travel to the United States due to a criminal record issued by the Canadian government. Since 2013, Rick Simpson has been living in Europe.
Question: What does RSO stand for?
Answer: RSO stands for Rick Simpson Oil. It is also known as Phoenix Tears. It is a cannabis oil made using solvent extraction, and it contains high levels of Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
Question: How is hemp oil made?
Answer: Hemp seed oil is made from varieties of cannabis sativa. Typically, industrial hemp is used, but all varieties selected contain low levels of the psychoactive element THC. The seeds are then cleaned to 99.99% clean, removing all leaf matter, dirt, and other contaminants. The hemp seeds are then pressed to extract the oil.
Question: Can hemp oil give you diarrhea?
Answer: Yes, hemp oil can result in diarrhea in some cases. People have experienced stomach problems such as softening of the stool, which can result in diarrhea and painful cramps. If you are susceptible to bowel movement disorders such as IBS, you should consider steering clear of hemp oil.
Question: Can you cook with hemp seed oil?
Answer: Yes, you can cook with hemp seed oil, but only at low temperatures. Hemp seed oil is best used in baking and light cooking. However, it can start to smoke at low temperatures, and, if you cook at too high a temperature – for example when frying – it can hydrogenate, which can be harmful.
Question: How does CBD help cancer?
Answer: CBD cannot cure cancer. However, cancer patients have used CBD oil to reduce nausea, vomiting, and pain and to improve appetite during chemotherapy.
Question: What are CBD pills?
Answer: CBD pills (also known as CBD capsules) are pre-measured CBD supplements. They provide the same benefits as CBD oil but without the hassle of measuring the correct dosage or the risk of overdosing. CBD pills are also a good alternative to smoking.
Question: What is CBD good for?
Answer: CBD is good for alleviating symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, and pain and improving appetite. It also has therapeutic benefits, reduces anxiety, and promotes feelings of relaxation.
Question: Can you get stoned on CBD oil?
Answer: No, you cannot get stoned on CBD oil. CBD oil is most often extracted from hemp as opposed to marijuana. This means it is naturally higher in CBD with lower levels of THC, the psychoactive property that produces the high when marijuana is consumed.