Skagit Organics News

We think RSO is a unique oil. Do you agree?

Learn a short history of how this oil got it’s name, it’s evolution in the recreational market, why RSO is unique among all concentrates and extracts, and the recommended use of this oil.

RSO is a concentrated form of cannabis oil known to have medical benefits, particularly for cancer, and was popularized by a Canadian gentleman named Rick Simpson. His name followed the spread of this concentrate and became known as Rick Simpson Oil, or RSO. 

Long before RSO was coined as a term, Rick Simpson was an engineer working in a Canadian hospital. In 2003, three suspicious bumps appeared on Simpson’s arm. The doctor agreed that the bumps appeared to be cancerous and took a sample for a biopsy. Sure enough, the bumps turned out to be basal cell carcinoma, a form of skin cancer. After seeing a documentary highlighting the positive benefits of using cannabis, Simpson inquired about medical marijuana but his doctor refused to consider it as a course of treatment for his skin cancer. Rick Simpson had successfully treated other symptoms with cannabis in the past, and he had heard about a study from the Journal of the National Cancer Institute in which THC was found to kill cancer cells in mice. He made the decision to treat his skin cancer topically, applying concentrated cannabis oil to a bandage and leaving the cancerous spots covered for several days. After four days, he removed the bandages and the cancerous growths had disappeared. Although his physician refused to acknowledge cannabis as a treatment alternative, Simpson was now a true believer in the medicinal powers of cannabis. 

From then on out, he began cultivating his own cannabis and harvesting the plants to create his own specialized form of cannabis concentrate, now known as Rick Simpson Oil, or RSO. It became his mission and goal to distribute cannabis oil to those who needed it, and he has helped treat thousands patients with RSO. To this day, he continues to spread the word of his findings.

RSO is intended to be a medical grade product and we believe the only way to achieve a truly medical grade RSO is to use organic food grade Ethanol. When this oil was first being made, Rick Simpson experimented with several different types of solvents, including Isopropyl Alcohol and Naphtha, known as Heptane in the United States. While many people still believe these solvents are safe to use, we do not, and we discourage you from recommending any oil that has been processed with these solvents. We have learned a lot over the last decade in the area of cannabis extraction and we have access to safer, superior solvents and equipment. 

Organic food grade Ethanol is the only consumable solvent used in cannabis and hemp extraction. Not only is it intended for human consumption, Ethanol has unique properties when compared to other solvents such as Butane, Propane, or CO2. These solvents can create some wonderful oils, but they will not have the same medicinal qualities as an oil made using Ethanol. We believe creating an RSO with food grade Ethanol makes the most effective product for medical patients.

Let’s explore in depth why Ethanol creates such a unique oil –

  • At the molecular level, because of its hydroxyl (OH) group, Ethanol is a very polar molecule with high electronegativity of oxygen, allowing hydrogen bonding to take place with other molecules, while the ethyl (C2H5) group in Ethanol is non-polar. Ethanol therefore attracts polar and ionic molecules but also attracts non-polar molecules, thus Ethanol can dissolve both polar and non-polar substances. Because of this, oils made using Ethanol contain more medicinal aspects of the plant. 


We have taken it a step further. We use 190 proof Ethanol, which is 95% Ethanol and 5% water, providing an extra benefit…there are beneficial compounds in the cannabis plant that are only water soluble and not present in oils made using any other kind of solvent. What this means is our Ethanol not only dissolves the cannabinoids, but also many other beneficial plant constituents such as fats, waxes, and chlorophyl that are water soluble, adding additional healing properties to our oils. 200 proof Ethanol, isopropyl, Naphtha, Butane, Propane, and C02 chemically can not produce an oil that contains all of the beneficial compounds found in our RSO.

Skagit Organics also pesticide tests every single batch of oil through the Tested with Confidence program and Leafly has selected us one of the first concentrates to earn their Leafly Certification. We continue to go above and beyond the required state and we are dedicated to creating the highest grade, medical quality RSO in Washington state. 

There is a debate happening within the medical community over what to call this oil moving forward. Many people, Rick Simpson included, still believe the use of  other solvents is acceptable. Many people do not. Because of this a new name has popped up recently – FECO, of Full Extract Cannabis Oil. This term is used exclusively to indicate an oil that was made using only Ethanol. We believe that RSO and FECO can be used interchangeably because we believe the ONLY solvent that should be used to make a medical grade oil is Ethanol. We appreciate the early work of Rick Simpson to develop and spread knowledge of this oil, but we know enough now to move away from the use of toxic non-consumable solvents. 

How to use RSO – Most people ingest RSO, but it can be used topically and as a suppository. The general consensus seems to be that 1 full gram of oil per day is the best treatment, but every person will have a different tolerance level and will need to decide for themselves how much is enough. The goal is to work your way up to consuming as much oil as is needed to achieve the result you are looking for. If you can achieve positive results for whatever condition you are treating with half a gram a day or less, then that is what works for you. It is always recommended to consult your physician before starting any new treatment regimen. However, as there are many physicians who refuse to discuss cannabis as a course of treatment, proceed with the Rick Simpson method at your own discretion.

Side effects mostly include sleepiness, which is a natural part of the healing process. Increasing the dose gradually will help minimize the psychoactive effects and keep your tolerance to a functional level. Daytime sleepiness should fade within three to four weeks. The taste of the RSO is very earthy so patients may prefer to ingest the oil by mixing it with other foods, such as bananas, to help mask the taste.

After a 12-week regimen of RSO, the patient may want to continue the treatment but it should be at a significantly reduced rate. About one to two grams of RSO per month is enough for a regular maintenance dose.

Rick Simpson Oil should not be considered a cure-all for medical conditions, but many patients have experienced significant relief from their medical symptoms and conditions with the use of RSO.

This is the schedule to  gradually consume 60 grams of Rick Simpson Oil over the course of a 90-day period, working up to 1 gram a day. 

Week 1: Start with three doses every day

Each dose should be about the size of a grain of rice and should be administered once every eight hours (in the morning, noon, and night). The first dose will be about ¼ of a drop of RSO.

Weeks 2 through 5: Double your dose every four days

The average person will take between three and five weeks to reach the full dosage of one gram of RSO per day.

Weeks 5 through 12: Take one gram of RSO daily until you’ve consumed the full 60 grams.

Eventually, the patient will be taking about 8-9 rice-sized drops of RSO every eight hours.

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