Have you ever heard of Rick Simpson Oil or RSO? It’s not a brand but a way to use marijuana that a man named Rick Simpson, a Canadian engineer, discovered. It’s one of the most talked about and well-thought-of discoveries in the marijuana realm and has a most interesting history in its rise to fame.
Rick Simpson was working at a hospital in 1997. His job was to work on some pipes covered in asbestos located in a boiler room. The ventilation down there wasn’t great and the toxic fumes he was breathing in caused him to pass out while he was perched on top of a ladder dutifully going about his task. He was taken to an emergency room. But that’s really where the story of RSO begins.
As a result of the injuries sustained from the fall coupled with the toxic fumes, Rick developed tinnitus and dizzy spells. No prescription seemed to help so Rick, being an engineer, decided there must be some way to get some relief. Even though it was illegal at the time, he was using marijuana and had great results and an almost immediate relief from his symptoms. Rick became a cannabis advocate after seeing what this plant could do. But the story goes on.
Just a few years later, in 2003, Rick was diagnosed with basal cell carcinoma, a type of skin cancer. He already knew that marijuana could help, but it was almost impossible to find a doctor to support it. By then, Canada had legalized medical marijuana. Still, Rick forged ahead and began to search for uses that might help his skin cancer. He came across a 1975 study in The Journal of the National Cancer Institute that showed how cannabis compounds inhibited tumor growth in mice. From that discovery and after some trial and error, he created RSO for use on his cancer. To this day, Rick says just one application of the oil inhibited cancer growth and, if applied and bandaged for four days, would cure it.
He was so amazed by the results, that he began to mass produce the oil and distributed it to thousands of patients at no charge. But, in 2009, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police raided his property and confiscate thousands of cannabis plants. He moved to Croatia shortly after that to avoid persecution. However, he still maintains a website where he shares RSO recipes, dosing guides and books. Unfortunately, he suffered a stroke in 2018 and, though he continues to advocate for medical marijuana and RSO, he is unable to make many public appearances. If you want to know more about Rick Simpson, he wrote a book called “Phoenix Tears. – The Rick Simpson Story.”
Even though his oil reached near miraculous levels of notoriety and personal recovery, the results have not been verified by an outside party, making the scientific community believe RSO lacks consistent results to back up his claims. But, anecdotally, patients claim that RSO helps them to manage conditions such as multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, cancer, insomnia, chronic pain, and asthma along with many, many others.
The oil results from stripping the cannabis plant’s trichomes (tiny, translucent, crystalline structures with bulbous heads on their ends. They coat the leaves, buds, and flowers of cannabis), which are rich in therapeutic cannabinoids (every chemical substance, regardless of structure or origin, that joins the cannabinoid receptors of the body and brain) and terpenes (the primary constituents of essential oils and are responsible for the aroma characteristics of cannabis). The final product is a powerhouse of healing compounds, including potent tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
RSO is an incredibly potent THC product that offers medicinal effects with a very broad range of symptom relief, according to patient accounts. However, until more research can be done, RSO is not considered well documented by the medical community. Until then, it has been receiving some positive results in patient testing including a 14-year-old terminal patient with tests showing the use of RSO severely decreased the leukemic blast cell count with NO toxic side effects.
You can purchase RSO in some dispensaries where medical marijuana is legal. Ask your dispensary pharmacist if they carry Rick Simpson Oil. Do be aware that RSO is high in THC and is NOT carried by CBD stores or stores located in states where marijuana is not legal.
You may be a thrill seeker who wants to make your own Rick Simpson oil. If so, you should know that it’s fairly dangerous and requires boiling solvents. There are instructions online on how to accomplish this. RSO is usually made from the Indica cannabis strain.
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