What is RSO oil?

RSO oil is a psychoactive substance obtained from marijuana. It is a kind of concentrate with a high level of THC. Until recently, illegal RSO was associated only with a strong psychoactive effect, but several years ago people began to be interested in its other properties.

RSO is an acronym for Rick Simpson Oil. The man whose name this substance is now called has made a tremendous breakthrough in the perception and application of the oil. In 2003, Rick was diagnosed with skin cancer. He made numerous attempts at conventional treatment, but without much success. He was directed to hemp oil by a radio broadcast on the effectiveness of treating cancer in mice with marijuana.

Rick Simpson, who had been taking marijuana before because of his other ailments, became interested in the topic and decided to create an oil that he could help himself.

Rick wrapped an oil-soaked bandage on the diseased skin and left it for a few days. The effect turned out to be amazing as the tumor was completely gone. This made Rick Simpson start making his hemp oil by offering it to people suffering from skin cancer. His activity, however, was not appreciated by doctors or the police, yet the creator of RSO acted to prove his point to others.

How is RSO oil sourced?

Current RSO extraction methods are slightly different from the way the oil was made. Rick Simpson used alcohol extraction to extract the necessary substances from the dried hemp. Currently, other extraction methods are recommended – for example using petroleum ether or olive oil.

The finished RSO has a characteristic black color and an exceptionally thick consistency. This makes it easy to distinguish from the equally popular THC-free CBD oil. Cannabidiol is a much lighter oil with a golden color.


RSO and skin cancer

Although many doctors still do not believe that RSO could completely cure skin cancer, studies are being carried out to look at the oil’s effects on cancer cells.

RSO oil, obtained exclusively from marijuana, is mainly characterized by a high concentration of THC. This, in turn, affects the human body through the receptors of the endocannabinoid system.

RSO is a substance that helps in cancer – it blocks the development of disease cells and leads to their death. In addition, the substance temporarily relieves bothersome symptoms of the disease, such as pain or nausea.

However, it is worth remembering that research into the effects of RSO oil is still ongoing and there is still no 100% certainty as to its effectiveness. There are many people who have fought cancer after adding cannabis to their treatment, but this is still not enough evidence. Experts say RSO can cure cancer, but only in people with some types of cancer, and only in some, not all, patients.

In 2013, Dr. Manuel Guzman of the Complutense University in Madrid published an article on cannabis treatment options for cancer. Despite his favorable attitude towards cannabis substances, Dr. Guzman admitted that this path still requires a lot of research.

Doctors are also investigating the effectiveness of combining conventional therapy with RSO oil. Perhaps in a few years we will learn more about it. For now, however, it is known that substances obtained from cannabis should be taken into account in the treatment of cancer, without placing all hope in them and not giving up traditional methods.


1.     Johnson, J. (2019, June 29). Can Rick Simpson oil help treat cancer? RSO. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/325612

2.     RSO Interview with Rick Whitman. (2010). Health Physics, 99(2), S119–S122. https://doi.org/10.1097/hp.0b013e3181d0ce84

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