Few people get the honor of having a specialty cannabis oil named after them. However, one man has the unique distinction of crafting and naming a cannabis product that has been helping people ease the symptoms of painful medical conditions for years.
There is a fascinating story behind Rick Simpson oil, and it starts with a Canadian medical marijuana activist named Rick Simpson.
Who Is Rick Simpson?
Rick Simpson is best known as a medical marijuana cultivator and a marijuana activist. However, he started his career as an engineer working in Nova Scotia. In the late 1990s, Simpson’s job was removing asbestos from a hospital boiler room. The fumes created by the toxic material clouded the cramped space. Eventually, Simpson collapsed and was knocked unconscious.
Although given prompt medical attention, he continued to suffer serious side effects from the incident, including dizziness and ringing in his ears. He took traditional pharmaceuticals and pain treatment medications for ages. However, he never quite felt like he was getting relief from his symptoms. His journey to find more reliable pain relief led him to marijuana.
By 2003, Simpson was diagnosed with basal cell carcinoma, a form of skin cancer. His interest in medicinal marijuana grew and his search for alternative cannabis treatments intensified.
What Is Rick Simpson Oil?
In his pursuit of alternative treatments, Simpson created what is now known as Rick Simpson oil. Rick Simpson oil is an oil made from the flowers of the cannabis plant Cannabis indica. It’s created by washing cannabis buds with a solvent, in many cases naphtha, and then boiling off the solvent, leaving only the oil behind. RSO is different from other types of cannabis oils because it contains high levels of THC, the psychoactive cannabinoid in cannabis plants. Traditionally, medicinal cannabis oils are high in CBD, not THC.
Potential Benefits of RSO Oil
Rick Simpson first crafted his own oil to help him fight skin cancer. There is mixed scientific evidence on whether cannabis oil can help fight the disease. Cannabis can be beneficial in helping cancer patients alleviate symptoms of cancer, like pain. It is also beneficial for combatting the symptoms associated with chemotherapy treatment, like lack of appetite and nausea.
A 2014 study involving mice showed that some cannabis extracts might increase the effectiveness of radiation therapy against aggressive forms of brain cancer. However, another study involving human cells indicates that high levels of THC may increase the growth rate of certain cancer cells.
A case report from 2013 involving a girl with leukemia shows that RSO oil used in conjunction with other hemp oils appeared to help treat the child’s cancer. However, the girl succumbed to an unrelated gastrointestinal condition only two months later. Her death makes it challenging to reach solid conclusions about the effectiveness of the RSO treatments.
The positive news for cancer patients is that the legalization movement is helping to make it easier for scientists to work with and study cannabis. While the effect of cannabis oil on cancer remains under investigation, there are other potential benefits to using RSO oil medicinally. These benefits may include:
- Easing nausea
- Reducing swelling and inflammation
- Boosting mood
- Moisturizing the skin
- Increasing appetite
- Pain relief
Cannabis indica is known to have a sedative-like effect on the body, which may help explain why RSO is a popular treatment for those coping with significant illness and painful medical conditions.
How to Use RSO
You can use RSO in a wide variety of ways. Ingesting the oil is the best way to get the full effect of the product. Most people swallow the appropriate dose of oil. Some people opt to place the oil directly onto a piece of food. A clean syringe can help you measure the correct dose. The recommended starting dose is a drop of RSO no larger than a single grain of rice.
RSO can also be applied topically. For a smoother application, try adding RSO to coconut oil and rubbing it on the skin.
Rick Simpson’s oil is not for smoking. Smoking or dabbing the oil can be dangerous because of the types of solvents used in the production of the product.
RSO and Edibles
Generally, RSO oil is sticky and can have a strong, lingering flavor. For some people, that flavor makes the oil challenging to ingest. However, Rick Simpson oil is great for making edibles. Gummies, brownies, and cannabutter are popular recipes for utilizing RSO. A favorite recipe are these Peanut Butter RSO Cookies.
The nutty richness of the peanut butter helps mask the sometimes-bitter flavor of the RSO. The white sugar adds sweetness, while the brown sugar adds an almost toffee-like note to the cookies. Sea salt helps to bring all the flavors into balance. You get the ultimate indulgent experience while reaping the benefits of RSO.
If you are interested in continuing your culinary journey with RSO or other cannabis-infused products, the LĒVO family of infusion products can help. LĒVO’s patented technology makes infusing oils, butter, and honey with the flavor and benefits of herbs and flowers easy. The LĒVO II, LĒVO Lux, and LĒVO C machines are stylish and easily fit on your kitchen counter. The LĒVO II and LĒVO Lux models dry your herbs, like cannabis, inside the appliance, preparing them for the infusion process. Drying the plant also helps to remove any residual moisture, helping to extend the shelf life of your final product.
The LĒVO C is a large batch machine best suited for frequent infusers or small businesses. All LĒVO machines include non-toxic, dishwasher-safe parts that make cleanup a snap. Owning a LĒVO machine will turn you into an infusion pro in no time, saving you time and money. You can also experiment with turning your infusions into delicious edibles and candies.
Edibles are a fantastic way to explore the benefits of Rick Simpson oil. With a LĒVO infusion machine, RSO, and a few recipes, you have easy access to the flavorful health and wellness benefits of cannabis.