Long before any cannabis was legal, there were pioneers out in the world taking their health into their own hands. Those that rejected the harsh procedures and medications of the mainstream instead opted to risk their freedom to treat themselves with an illegal substance, marijuana. Of all of those individuals turning to alternative methods, none are more prolific than Rick Simpson.
If you’ve never heard this man’s name, you’re missing out on a huge part of cannabis history.
Rick Simpson and his story
Rick Simpson was a man working in the harsh environment of a boiler room in a Canadian hospital in 1997. His job involved spraying aerosol glue over the asbestos covered pipes in a poorly ventilated space. One day, the hazardous fumes took their toll and left Simpson unconscious on the floor after collapsing on his ladder. When he awoke, he alerted his colleagues and they rushed him to the emergency room, but the impact on his head left him with a constant ringing in his ears and unrelenting dizziness.
As with a majority of medical issues, Simpson was prescribed medication, but it did very little to aid his condition and even made symptoms worse on some days.
When he approached his doctor about the benefits of medical marijuana, his suggestions of cannabis were not even considered. Instead, he was consistently berated about the supposed harm of hemp.
That’s the first time Simpson took his health into his own hands.
Using cannabis, he experienced significant improvements to his symptoms and in 2003 when he was faced with three cancerous growths, he again turned to cannabis. After having one cancerous growth surgically removed and infected soon after, Simpson recalled a 1975 study published by the Journal of the National Cancer Institute that claimed that THC killed cancer cells in mice. Before opting for two more surgical removals, he chose to apply cannabis oil topically and after only four days saw his growths disappear.
Thus came the birth of Rick Simpson Oil. Simpson was convinced of the healing properties cannabis seemed to offer and began to create as much concentrated cannabis oil as he possibly could to distribute to suffering patients.
And the man did it all for free.
What is Rick Simpson Oil?
But what exactly is RSO?
In a simple explanation, it’s a whole plant extract made with a method that breaks down the leaves and stems of cannabis flower and leaves behind virtually nothing but cannabinoids. Depending on the starting plant material, RSO can have high levels of CBD, THC, or any other cannabinoid and any combination. It’s a thick, sticky, black oil that typically comes in a 1 gram plastic or glass syringe clearly marked for accurate consumption. It doesn’t look too appealing and it tastes worse than it looks, but it sure is effective.
The hundreds of milligrams of cannabinoids are activated and the oil is completely edible, often finding its way into food-grade capsules for easy dosage (and to avoid the taste).
RSO – Medical and Recreational Uses
There are countless resources around the web that have great breakdowns for how to treat medical conditions with RSO, but the gist is to start slow and ramp up consumption until you’re taking a full gram each day. While that may seem extreme, working up to that amount over the course of a few weeks drastically heightens your tolerance and makes the psychoactivity less effective. Plus, most consumers won’t continue taking full gram daily doses for very long.
While RSO’s real claim to fame is for medicinal use (accompanied by many stories of successful treatment), the recent spur of recreational cannabis has brought RSO to a whole new level.
In the wise words of one of our budetenders, “RSO is the Costco buy of edibles.” For many weathered stoners, the state maximum of 50mg per package just isn’t enough, so you’re forced to buy several edibles to get your desired high.
So what can you do to get the edible high you’ve been chasing since that first pot-brownie?
Squeeze out some high-THC RSO and blast off (in about 45-60 minutes of course). Like we’ve mentioned, it isn’t going to taste great, but you can put it on something like a gummy or a banana to help mask the taste!
No matter what effects you’re looking for, RSO has a range of uses to meet your needs and offers versatility unseen by many other forms of cannabis. Discreet, accurate, and effective, what more could you want?!
You can hear Rick Simpson tell his whole story himself in his documentary, Run from the Cure (which you can watch for free on youtube).