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Rick Simpson Oil: What is it and How is it Used?

Last updated: October 2019

If you’re familiar with medical marijuana, then you’ve likely heard of RSO, or Rick Simpson Oil. Yet, for those who aren’t into medical marijuana and its benefits, it is probably something you’ve never heard of. Why is RSO potentially important and what does it have to do with skin cancer?

What is RSO?

Rick Simpson oil (RSO) is a cannabis oil product. It was developed by Rick Simpson, a Canadian medical marijuana activist. In 2003, Rick developed skin cancer. After having treated other health issues successful in the past with marijuana, he decided to try a concentrated version on the multiple spots of the basal cell carcinoma on his face and neck. According to him, within days the spots had disappeared.

It was then that he focused on creating his own blend of oil cannabis oil that he could give to others who needed treatment. He did all of this free of charge and has helped over 5,000 patients.

RSO isn’t that different from other concentrated cannabis oils. The difference is that Rick Simpson has been an activist for years and it is due to him that RSO has become a household name in the world of medical marijuana.

How does it work?

There are quite a few components that RSO has that may be potentially beneficial for those with cancer, and even skin cancer, but here is Rick’s story.

Rick Simpson decided to try cannabis oil after reading the results of a 1975 study1 that tested the use of cannabinoids in mice with lung cancer. The study found that both THC and another cannabinoid called cannabinol (CBN) slowed the growth of lung cancer in mice.

His particular blend is an indica-high strain of marijuana that helps the body heal with rest. He had used marijuana in the past to help with other health issues but it was the skin cancer that caused him to try his homemade cannabis oil. The oil is extracted from cannabis plants that are high in THC. Simpson preferred the higher THC blends that had lower CBD content.

What does the research say?

There isn’t research into Rick Simpson Oil in particular but there has been research on the use of THC3 to help with health issues. While some studies have shown its help, such as the article mentioned above, it is too soon to make a judgment call.

If you search for RSO and cancer4, you’ll find tons of articles and many people claiming it has benefited them tremendously. As far as medical studies, those are in their infancy or at the very least, the public is unaware of some of the results.

This isn’t an article meant to persuade anyone of how they should handle their own health. It's always best to check with your doctor before trying any new medicine. What it is meant to do is to showcase some alternatives that people are discussing and that you might find interesting.

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This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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