If you’ve spent any time investigating the world of medical cannabis, there’s a good chance you’ve heard of Rick Simpson Oil, or “RSO.” RSO is a highly concentrated ingestible form of cannabis concentrate, often containing 75% THC or higher. This rich, viscous oil is typically made from potent indica strains, which tend to impart more of a sedative full-body effect rather than a cerebrally stimulating experience.
While RSO is often associated with the medical cannabis world—more on that in a moment—it can also be used recreationally. Either way, if you have questions such as “How much RSO should I take?” or “Can you dab RSO?” you’re in the right place. In today’s post, we’ll share everything we know about RSO oil dosage, including an RSO dosage chart.
Ready? Let’s begin.
WHAT IS RSO? An introduction
RSO typically takes the form of a brownish, viscous, semi-solid oil. To make determining the RSO oil dosage a little easier, producers often pre-package it in small plastic syringes.
RSO is classified as a full-spectrum extract. This means that it contains a high concentration of the most important active ingredients in cannabis, including not only the cannabinoids such as THC and CBD but terpenes, the fragrant “essential oils” that give different strains their individual flavor and aromatic characteristics (as well as many potential medical benefits).
RSO takes its name from Canadian engineer and cannabis activist Rick Simpson. Inspired after reading a study about the potential effects of THC on cancer cells in mice, Simpson crafted the original recipe for RSO himself after developing skin cancer in 2003.
We should note that while Simpson claims that RSO helped cure his cancer, this was never verified by medical professionals. However, in the last decades, a vast body of clinical and anecdotal evidence supports the use of RSO to treat many of the symptoms of cancer, including chronic pain and insomnia, and studies have found that patients find it particularly useful for soothing nausea and stimulating the appetites while undergoing chemotherapy treatment.
Simpson’s original creation was a THC-rich extract, and he primarily used indica strains for his own RSO recipe. Some of his batches boasted THC levels reaching as high as 90 percent. This is where the distinction between medical and recreational use blurs. Because with THC levels that high, RSO is a highly intoxicating product. While it has clear recreational applications, it’s highly potent and should be used with caution.
Benefits of RSO: A Medical Powerhouse
What is RSO good for, anyway? As a full-spectrum extract, RSO often contains a broader array of cannabinoids including THC, CBD, CBC, THCV, CBN and CBG than other types of extracts do. And as we referenced a moment ago, the terpene profiles in RSO are typically higher as well.
Why? This is primarily due to RSO being a whole-plant extraction, meaning that it’s produced using raw cannabis flower. This in turn contributes to a phenomenon known as the entourage effect, in which various cannabinoids, terpenes, and potentially other cannabis compounds interact to potentiate or increase each others’ therapeutic effects. If, like many cannabis patients, you’re looking to use RSO to alleviate symptoms many clinicians believe leveraging the entourage effect is a smart move that can yield outsized results.
Here in Maryland, the State currently recognizes a variety of qualifying conditions that allow Marylanders to use medical cannabis (and by extension, RSO). These conditions include:
- Severe or chronic pain
- Severe nausea
- Severe or persistent muscle spasms
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Any other condition for which traditional treatment has proven ineffective
Again, we want to address the question of cancer treatment head-on by pointing out that the scientific community still hasn’t reached a consensus as to whether RSO—or any cannabis products—can actually cure cancer. Again, that hasn’t stopped countless cannabis patients from using RSO to successfully and sustainably address a wide range of symptoms and conditions.
How Long Does It Take for RSO to Take Effect?
That depends on how you use it. If you consume RSO orally, it can take up to 3 hours to experience peak effects (although this can also happen much faster). By contrast, some infused topicals can take just a few minutes to start working.
And as with all cannabis edibles, it’s crucial to keep RSO out of the hands of children or anyone else who shouldn’t be consuming cannabis products). Stored in a dark container with a tight-fitting lid in a cool, dark place, RSO should be shelf-stable for at least a year, if not more.
RSO Oil Dosing Recommendations: The RSO Dosage Chart
As with all other edible cannabis products, we recommend starting low and going slow with RSO. Patients who are new to RSO should start with a drop roughly the size of a half grain of rice, consumed on its own or mixed into a food or beverage as described above.
If you’re asking yourself “how much RSO should I take,” we’ll outline a basic 12-week RSO oil dosing regimen below.
- Week One: Three doses per day, eight hours apart. Each dose should be the size of half a grain of rice.
- Weeks Two – Five: Continue three doses daily, eight hours apart but double your dosage amount every four days. Stop increasing once you’ve reached one gram of RSO per day.
- Weeks Five – Twelve: Take one gram daily, split up into even doses eight hours apart.
Keep in mind that this is a basic RSO oil dosage schedule, and you may need to adjust dosages up or down to address your specific needs. If you’re considering an RSO regimen for the very first time, we recommend a consultation with your healthcare provider and a dispensary agent before starting your regimen.
Can You Smoke or Dab RSO?
RSO is an extremely versatile extract, and traditionally it’s used as a topical or an edible. However, some adventurous patients wonder: “Can you dab RSO?”
There’s no reason you can’t vaporize RSO, provided you exercise caution. It’s important to know how the RSO you wish to vape or dab was made. RSO is often made with an alcohol solvent and is generally not recommended for inhalation—it may even be flammable. Additionally, before you try to smoke or vape RSO, it’s important to remember that it’s extremely potent. And to be sure you’re using a product that was carefully made and lab-tested, you should only buy RSO from a licensed dispensary such as ours.
How to Make Your Own RSO Topicals
RSO is an extremely versatile extract. Traditionally, patients use it as a topical or an edible. However, there’s no reason you can’t smoke RSO. Some adventurous patients even wonder whether you can dab RSO.
Before you try to smoke or vape RSO though, it’s important to know where it came from. Some RSO makers use flammable solvents during the extraction process. You want to avoid smoking or dabbing these extracts. If you’re not sure about a form of RSO’s extraction process, ask your budtender!
HOW TO MAKE RSO TOPICALS
Provided you’re using reputable RSO from a dispensary, making your own topicals with it couldn’t be easier. All you’ll need are a few simple ingredients and cooking tools:
THINGS YOU’LL NEED:
- 1/2 Cup Coconut Oil
- 1/2 Cup Shea Butter
- 1 Syringe of RSO
- Double Boiler or Steamer
- 1 Glass or Pyrex Bowl
- Hand Mixer
- Bring water to a boil in the steamer, or double boiler
- While the water is heating up, add the coconut oil, shea butter, and RSO into the glass bowl (try to keep the RSO off of the walls of the bowl)
- Once the water in the steamer or boiler has come to a boil, place the glass bowl over the top
- As the contents begin to liquify, mix everything thoroughly, and evenly distribute the RSO (BE CAREFUL! the bowl can be hot)
- Once everything has mixed, use oven mitts or heat resistant gloves to pull the bowl from the boiler/steamer
- Place the bowl in the fridge on a hot pad and let it chill for an hour
- Take the bowl out of the refrigerator and use the hand mixer to whip the topical into an easily applicable consistency.
OTHER RSO RECIPES
WHERE TO BUY RSO
If you believe you might benefit from introducing RSO into your health and wellness regimen, we invite you to stop by our Maryland dispensary to learn more about RSO from one of our highly knowledgeable budtenders. It’s a pleasure and an honor helping our customers take control of their symptoms with the help of medical cannabis. You can also explore the RSO products we currently have in stock on our live menu. Either way, we look forward to seeing you soon!
Disclaimer: Please consult your healthcare provider before starting a new regimen. All information provided is recommended based on each individual situation, and results may vary from patient to patient.