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The Truth About Rick Simpson Oil: RSO Recipe, Facts, and Tutorial

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Today’s Wake + Bake post about Rick Simpson Oil was written by a very special guest – Jay Jay O’Brien. Jay Jay is a Certified Cannabis Coach and stage 4 cancer survivor.

This post references her personal experience using RSO as part of her cancer treatment and her updated Rick Simpson Oil Recipe.

This post is not to be used as guidance or medical advice and is just for informational purposes.

The research on cannabis and cancer is complicated. From the research we have, we know that some types of cancer cells respond well to certain components in cannabis, and others do not.

Cannabis – including CBD – can interact with other medications commonly prescribed for cancer.

rick Simpson oil cannabis coach

If you are approaching the decision of whether or not to use cannabis on your cancer or health journey, always consult with and receive guidance from your health care provider each step of the way, keeping them notified when changing your cannabis regimen.

If you’re looking for a clinician that has received cannabis training, visit the Society of Cannabis Clinicians.

Please check your local and national laws to ensure that the way you are obtaining, possessing, and consuming cannabis is legal.

And with that all said, we’ll turn you over to Jay Jay to share her incredible story and Rick Simpson Oil recipe.

Fun fact: This post is being published on her birthday. Happy Birthday, Jay Jay! Sending you so much love as you start your next spin around the sun ❤️🌅 Thank you for sharing your wisdom with us today 🙏

Since my cancer diagnosis in 2019, I’ve been on a full-time Rick Simpson Oil learning journey. Today I’ll share with you everything I’ve learned, so you don’t have to do all the research.

In November 2019, I was diagnosed with Stage 4 non-small cell lung cancer.

I was offered a death sentence but refused to accept that as my only option.

That’s when I began to research natural ways that I could heal the disease I knew I had created. 

After losing myself down many rabbit holes, I found my way to a documentary called “Weed the People.” In it, I heard terms I had never heard before, like Rick Simpson Oil (RSO), Full-Extract Cannabis oil (FECO), and Phoenix Tears. 

Researching these terms, I came across another documentary called Run from the Cure: The Rick Simpson Story. After watching this film and hearing Rick’s incredible story, I was completely sold that RSO was the option I had been looking for.

I had always had a relationship with Cannabis, but it wasn’t until I watched these documentaries that I understood it for the medicine that it is. 

That understanding led me to the Cannabis Coaching Institute (CCI), where I learned a lot about the science of the plant and how I could better bring information about Cannabis medicine to people in a constructive and responsible way. 

My three years of research on the Rick Simpson protocol have made me the resident RSO and cancer expert at CCI. 

Jay Jay O'Brien

*This post is not intended to be taken as a substitute for medical advice. I am not a physician. I’m a Cannabis Coach, and learning about cannabis and sharing that knowledge with others is my life’s mission.

Despite all the science we do have, we still don’t have all the answers about cannabis, so please speak with a health care professional before using cannabis.

I’ve learned a lot, and I’ve endured a lot. 

Now, as I wait for my doctor to confirm that there is “no evidence of disease,” I am compelled to share as much as I know about this plant and this medicine. My hope is that it can save others the time and stress of navigating their way through the endless rabbit holes presented to us when we’re faced with a cancer diagnosis.

Here are the top 10 things to know about RSO (including a super easy RSO recipe), so you can be informed about what Rick Simpson Oil is, what we know about it, and how to make it.

  1. What is Rick Simpson Oil (RSO)?
  2. What is Rick Simpson Oil used for?
  3. Rick Simpson Oil – What does the science say?
  4. Is there CBD RSO?
  5. What are the benefits of Rick Simpson Oil?
  6. Rick Simpson Oil side effects
  7. RSO Dosage
  8. What is the Rick Simpson Protocol?
  9. What else can you use RSO Oil for?
  10. How to make RSO. A simple recipe.

1. What is Rick Simpson Oil (aka RSO)?

RSO is a full-spectrum, highly concentrated, THC-rich, decarboxylated cannabis oil. Back in the day, it was referred to as “hash oil.”

It was redubbed Rick Simpson Oil when its namesake, Rick Simpson, a Canadian engineer turned Cannabis activist, who reportedly used the oil to cure himself of his basal cell carcinoma.

Rick’s oil is a thick, tar-like substance with a very viscous consistency and a strong (not always enjoyable) flavor.

Rick didn’t exactly create the process for making the oil, but he did popularize the method and its use.

The method he used wasn’t the cleanest or the safest, but over the years, we’ve made some refinements to this process to make it safer & easier to make at home.

The RSO you make at home can be very potent, usually coming in between 70-90% THC. Comparatively, the cannabis flower that you smoke or vaporize contains approximately 15-25% THC.

So why choose RSO over smoking a joint?

2. What is Rick Simpson Oil used for?

For me, the fact that I had lung cancer was enough to put me off wanting to smoke anything again, ever. 

Even though I learned at this Cannabis Training Program that smoking a joint has its own benefits, it still wasn’t something I was comfortable with. 

What I was after was something to help me heal the damage I had done to my body after years of neglect and abuse. I was looking for a way to help me reverse my dis-ease and to create an overall state of wellness in my body. 

Rick Simpson said it worked for him. Thousands of others were saying the same. And I believed it would work for me too.

When I came to the medicine, I was completely ‘green’ about what I was taking or how it would impact me, if at all. Cannabis, as amazing a plant medicine as it is, is not a panacea. 

After my very first minuscule dose of RSO, the deep, debilitating pain that I had been experiencing due to the metastasis in my bones was completely eliminated, permanently.

It also completely eliminated my need for opioids. 

Research has suggested that through proper supervision, cannabinoids can be the gateway to reducing or eliminating opioids, which for me, weren’t really doing much to touch the pain and consequently created more side effects to deal with.

In 2019, this study showed that “CBD could significantly reduce opioid use and improve chronic pain and sleep quality among patients who are currently using opioids for pain management.”

I’ve also personally witnessed RSO eradicate the need for sleeping pills, anti-depressants, mood stabilizers, and blood pressure meds all under medical supervision. (Always talk to your health care provider first before coming off any prescribed medications).

3. Rick Simpson Oil – What does the science say?

Rick Simpson Oil

This study from 1975 is the one that inspired Rick Simpson to make his first batch of his namesake oil.

He had heard about the study on the radio long before he needed to make cannabis oil for himself. 

The study was one of the first to highlight the potential anti-cancer effects of cannabinoids, showing a significant decrease in the tumor sizes of mice treated for 20 days with high doses of various cannabis components, including THC.

Another study in 2019 exhibits that the Endocannabinoid System (ECS) is an important mechanism in anti-cancer activity. The cannabinoid compounds THC and its derivative CBN interact with this system and were both shown to inhibit cancer progression and cell growth. 

Unfortunately, due to the decades of Cannabis prohibition, we have no studies on the activity of RSO, in particular on cancer treatment. What we do have are thousands of anecdotal stories, like mine and Rick Simpson’s.

THC use for me reduced my pain, anxiety & depression.

It increased my appetite, helped me to get proper healing rest, and subdued my stressed-out subconscious.

I believe that it stopped my tumor in its tracks, stopped the metastasis in my bones, and induced apoptosis (programmed cancer cell death) to the point where I’m now showing no evidence of disease. 

Before my use of RSO, I was unsure of what the future had in store for me or if I was going to have a future at all. What modern medicine offered couldn’t compare to what this medicine provided for me after just one dose. 

Six daily Percocets couldn’t touch my pain. My targeted therapy couldn’t reverse my disease. I was offered no chance of healing by my doctors, even though I knew it was possible. 

There are many studies showing that Cannabis induces programmed cell death and prevents cancer cells from growing or spreading.

I hope that one day we will have definitive studies so that Cannabis can be considered a first-line treatment instead of a last-ditch effort!

4. Is there CBD RSO?

It is not as common or as easy to find, but yes, there is CBD RSO. 

Some of the most popular uses for CBD are anxiety, inflammation, and stress. Preliminary research shows that it can reduce inflammation and may support healthy immune responses in the body. 

Using the recipe I provide below, you can easily make your own CBD RSO if you can’t find it near you.

5. What are the benefits of Rick Simpson Oil?

For me, there are too many to count. The use of Rick Simpson Oil completely changed my life and my circumstances.

The reduction of pain, promotion of sleep and healing, improvement of appetite and mood, suppression of anxiety and depression, and the spiritual awakenings brought forth by the plant significantly improved my health.

The large doses of THC provided by the RSO prompted some psychedelic experiences, which brought me deeper healing, greater health, and an overall feeling of wellness in my body and mind. 

On the threshold of where “just enough” meets “too much,” the high doses of THC brought me to a place that I’ve referred to as the “whoosh.” 

Being in the “whoosh” grounded me in a place of acceptance and accountability for my circumstances. It was in this place that my true self was revealed to me. 

This shift in my mindset was a catalyst for my healing.

The ability of RSO to provide high quantities of THC within the tiniest of doses makes it simple to get the maximum effect from the minimum dose. And, with the capability of tolerance building, I was able to benefit from higher amounts of THC without having to experience the euphoria that often comes along with these doses. 

Just like how our endocannabinoid systems are all unique, tolerance is an individual thing as well. Paying attention to my own body allowed me to figure out what worked for me.

Tolerance is a two-way street. Each year in January, I take a 30-day tolerance break to reset my receptors before beginning my next protocol. This ensures for me that my RSO regimen will always be effective. 

Easily taken by capsule, sublingually by mouth, vaporized, or formulated into a suppository, RSO allows discreet dosing in various situations.

rick simpson oil
Jay Jays’ Rick Simpson Oil Capsules

6. Rick Simpson Oil side effects

The side effects that come with the use of RSO are identical to those that can be experienced through the use of any THC-rich product. However, because RSO is so potent, even a small amount can bring on some of these common side effects.

Side effects of RSO include:

  • dry mouth
  • dizziness
  • euphoria
  • dehydration
  • increased appetite
  • increased sedation
  • short-term memory loss
  • and increased heart rate

Personally, I experienced all of these effects at one point or another in my utilization of the medicine. 

As tolerance builds, some of these side effects may be reduced.

Formulating CBD RSO or different ratios of THC and CBD in Rick Simpson Oil could be of benefit in helping to mitigate these effects because, for some people, CBD seems to blunt the side effects of THC. 

7. RSO Dosage 

*Reminder: this is not intended as medical advice or guidance and is for informational purposes only. Always work with a health care practitioner or a Cannabis Clinician if you intend on using RSO alongside or in place of other medical treatments.

When considering dosing, I think about what cannabis clinician Dr. Dustin Sulak says, “Start low and go slow, but don’t be afraid to go all the way.”

When starting out on RSO, I started with an amount the size of a grain of rice.

We’re talking dry, uncooked rice. 

A half grain of rice will look like just a tiny drop at the end of a toothpick. This tiny half-grain of rice should yield approx. 5-10 mg of THC, depending on the product’s potency. A full grain will be twice that at approximately 10-20mg.

Here’s an example of what a grain of rice-sized dose would look like.

rick simpson oil
A little bit of Rick Simpson Oil goes a long way

This is all it takes to produce a highly impactful response. 

8. What is the Rick Simpson Protocol?

The traditional Rick Simpson protocol calls for the consumption of 60 grams of Rick Simpson Oil in 90 days. Rick and some followers report that it has eliminated their cancer.

I can’t suggest that you try this, but I want people to know that this option is out there for them. Especially those who have exhausted all other conventional alternatives or have been given up on by the medical community.

His protocol begins by taking the smallest of doses (see below) and then building up tolerance by titrating up every few days to achieve a consumption of one gram per day. 

Keep in mind that the consumption of 60 grams in 90 days is the guideline that Rick laid out and I followed. It is not set in stone. It took me almost eight months to work up to one gram a day, but I still had tremendous benefits from the medicine, so I stuck with it. And I’m so glad I did!

At the close of 30 days I was consuming approximately 700mg-800mg of THC daily. 

Again, this isn’t medical advice, but this was my journey. 

Here is a graphic I created to illustrate the concept for my Cannabis Coaching clients.

When I first started, I was careful not to make plans for a week while I worked on building my tolerance.  

The first couple of days were the most difficult as I adjusted to the effects of the dosage.

The original Rick Simpson protocol calls for increasing the dose every four days.

But I took an intuitive approach to increasing my doses. I knew it was time to take more when the usual dose provided little to no euphoria. That meant my tolerance had increased, allowing me to increase my intake of the medicine.

If you’re considering this protocol, make the proper accommodations for yourself so you can allow the medicine to do its thing without it affecting your ability to perform in your daily life.

9. What else can you use RSO Oil for?

Rick Simpson himself used RSO to treat his dizziness and tinnitus before he used it topically and internally to heal his basal cell carcinoma. 

Outside of cancer, one of the prominent reasons people come to RSO as a medicine is to relieve chronic pain. For me, it was the only thing that touched my pain at all.

Researchers are investigating cannabis to support neurological conditions such as Alzheimer’s, Huntington’s, Parkinson’s, and Multiple Sclerosis.

But that’s just touching the surface. Cannakeys shows that there is clinical evidence for THC to support 80+ medical conditions. So highly concentrated THC-rich RSO is just another way to access this amazing plant medicine.

Now that you know what RSO is and what it can do, l can show you how to make it because the best medicine is the medicine you make yourself.

10. How to make RSO. A simple recipe.

You may be able to find RSO in a dispensary or online government store, but I prefer to make my own as I have yet to find a product that can compare to the quality and potency of the RSO I make myself.

Anecdotally it is said that a multi-strain blend is ideal for providing the utmost quantity of beneficial cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids. I use at least six different strains when making my oil and have used up to a dozen varieties at one time. 

There’s a lot of pride and love that goes into my medicine-making, which to me, makes it that much more efficacious. 

The one downfall of the Rick Simpson Method of making RSO is that traditionally, it was not made in the safest manner.

His method called for the use of Naptha and/or 99% Isopropyl alcohol as a solvent.

Besides the fact that any residual solvent left behind could end up in your body, it also runs the risk of blowing up in your face. 

I use a different solvent in my process, but safety still comes first, so you can ensure a positive oil-making experience. 

Super Simple Rick Simpson Oil Recipe

*This process can be dangerous and necessary precautions need to be made to ensure safety. This process needs to take place outside or in a well-ventilated area. A mask and gloves are a requirement for several steps, and oil must not be left unattended.

*This recipe will provide a full 90-day protocol of 60 grams of Rick Simpson Oil. It can be doubled, halved or quartered.

You will need:

rick simpson oil
Making some Rick Simpson Oil!

Step 1. 

Making Rick Simpson Oil is a process so plan on spending the day on the process.

Step 2. 

Grind raw (non-decarboxylated) cannabis and place it into the bucket, pail or pot (or among several Mason jars).

Put it in the freezer for at least one hour. Put your solvent of choice separately in the freezer as well. 

rick simpson oil
Ground, raw cannabis

Step 3. 

If using the crockpot or double boiler method, bring water to boiling, filling the vessels to a little less than halfway with water.

If using the double boiler method, water must be added to the top pot as well.

Turn the crockpot to the high setting.

Step 4. 

Cover plant material completely with solvent. Mix well, squeezing the material to ensure that it becomes completely saturated by the solvent.

rick simpson oil
Make sure the solvent completely saturates your cannabis.

Step 5. 

After at least one hour, remove the mixture from the freezer and filter the plant material from the solvent using a pillowcase or strainer. 

*For big batches like this, I like to use a clean pillowcase to strain the plant material and then give the liquid a final strain through the coffee filters. 

Coffee filters need to be changed often to speed up the filtration process. Paper towels can be used in place of coffee filters in a pinch. 

rick simpson oil
Strain it through a clean pillowcase or cheesecloth first.
rick simpson oil
Finish straining through a coffee filter.

Step 6. 

Fill the rice cooker with liquid and turn it on high, or place the liquid in a large glass mason jar and set, partially submerged, in a water bath in a crockpot or double boiler. 

(Do not let any water into the jars!)

As the solution boils, it also decarboxylates the Cannabis, activating the THC.

Step 7.

Set up a fan to evaporate the solvent and open any available windows. Doing it outside is always good practice with a fan on to avoid fumes surrounding the electrical components. 

When working with flammable substances like alcohol or ethanol, there is always the risk of fire, explosion, or adverse inhalation, so please put safety first when attempting to make your own oil.

The process of evaporation will take several hours, depending on the method and size of your batch.

Make sure never to leave RSO unattended, especially at the end, to avoid the risk of burning the oil. I’ve burnt a batch, and it’s the worst!

It’s a good idea to swirl the contents around as the levels get lower before moving the solution to your metal cup and hotplate.

Rick even recommends adding just a few drops of water when it’s close to the end, as the alcohol will burn off much faster and reduce the risk of burning your oil.

Step 8.

Just before all the alcohol has evaporated off, transfer the contents to a metal cup and place it on a coffee warmer or on an induction cooktop set at 170 degrees Fahrenheit (75 Celsius) in a well-ventilated area.

This process usually takes several hours.

Leave the contents on the warmer for many hours, without the risk of burning it, to ensure all residual solvent has evaporated off all the residual solvent. 

The contents will continue to bubble until all the solvent has been removed.

Once it stops bubbling, oil is ready.

To be sure, you can dip the tip of a toothpick in the oil and light it. If it sparks, then you still have some residual solvent left in your oil. Leave it on the warmer until all the solvent has been evaporated.

What you have just created is the thick, tar-like substance that we described at the top of the article. 

rick simpson oil
This Rick Simpson Oil is almost done.

Step 9.

While the oil is still warm, use a needleless syringe to suck the oil up. I use these.

A syringe is excellent for transport, storage, and accurate dosing. 

You can also store your oil in a glass container or fill capsules for ingestion. 

If you ever have any issues extracting your oil from the syringe, simply warm the syringe in your hands or by placing the covered syringe in a glass of warm water. 

This will soften the oil to make it suitable for dosing.

Your oil can be stored in a sealed container in your cupboard or in the fridge or freezer. 

Just remember that cold oil will need to be warmed to effectively dose. 

The oil should last for years when stored correctly.

Need Help?

I understand the process can seem overwhelming at first, but like anything, it gets easier over time, and you will get more comfortable with the process as you go along.

If you need support, reach out to me, Jay Jay at [email protected] or head to Naturalistically Now for more information.

With love,

Jay Jay O’Brien


Corinne Tobias

My name is Corinne Tobias and I’m the creator of this site that is all about cannabis and health (and having a good time combining those things!). Since 2013, I’ve helped millions of people on their cannabis journey and have been featured in publications like High Times, Merry Jane, Jezelbel, Westword, and Vice.

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