What is CBD RSO aka Rick Simpson Oil

If you are taking CBD for medical purposes, then some people may have recommended that you check out RSO instead. CBD RSO is a highly concentrated product that is said to provide a variety of benefits, if taken correctly. So, what is the correct dose of CBD RSO? And how is RSO made? What does RSO even stand for?

by: Amy B. | 04/06/21 1:30PM


What is CBD RSO?

If you have dived deep into the world of CBD products you will have already come across the term “RSO”. You may have also become immediately intimidated by the product since it's commonly packaged in a syringe. However, there is no need to be afraid of a little RSO -- with the keyword here being “little”. This is one of the strongest CBD products on the market and a little dose can go a very long way. Read on to learn more about why it was first created and what its name stands for.

In the simplest of terms, RSO is a hemp plant concentrate that has a thick, almost syrup-like consistency and a heavy dose of CBD. It is either used as a topical or edible but is not normally recommended to smoke. It was created by a man with a mission to find a treatment for skin cancer, named Rick Simpson.


CBD RSO title with a cbd plant and smiley face in the background

Who is Rick Simpson?

“RSO” is the abbreviation for the oil Rick Simpson created, or "Rick Simpson Oil". In 2003, Rick Simpson created this concentrated plant oil and applied it to cancerous bumps on his skin, known as basal cell carcinoma. He applied this oil to his skin with patches, according to a regime he created and within days he claimed to have the cancerous growths disappear. At the time, his physician refused to acknowledge the connection between his use of this concentrated plant oil and the disappearance of his skin cancer, but there are many who still believe in the treatment. RSO has become increasingly popular amongst medical patients looking to use hemp plants as alternative medicine.

Picture of a cbd plant with the chemical breakdown next to it

How is CBD RSO Used?

There are a couple of different ways that RSO is recommended to use. Although Rick Simpson used the oil topically, it is commonly ingested as well. However, most RSO should not be smoked or vaporized. Depending on the way the RSO is made, it can contain highly flammable solvents that could result in a fiery mess if you try to apply heat. It’s best to check with the manufacturer to see how they recommend using it and in what size doses.

It is also best to check with your medical provider before using RSO as a potential treatment. Although many people use RSO to treat skin cancer, it can also potentially relieve other symptoms when ingested. However, no scientific studies have been created to look into the potential benefits of this hemp-derived product, yet.


CBD RSO As A Topical

Rick Simpson was the first to apply RSO as a topical to his skin, in the hopes that it would treat his form of skin cancer. He applied the oil three times a day, in doses that were the size of half a grain of rice. He then continued to apply the RSO, doubling his dose every four days for five weeks. He continued this dosing with one gram of RSO for the rest of his at-home twelve-week treatment.

When used as a topical, CBD RSO is said to take about an hour to have the onset of effects. It can either be rubbed onto your skin in a specific spot or placed on a bandage to be applied to the skin over time. Many people choose to place it on the bottom of their feet or back of their neck though for discreet micro dosing of CBD throughout the day.

CBD edible text with cbd gummies in the background

CBD RSO as an Edible

The other popular option for dosing CBD RSO is by ingesting it orally. By taking the RSO into your digestive system, the potent product can provide long-lasting effects that are stronger than your average edible. Although, it will not taste as good as an edible since it is made from concentrated hemp plant matter.

You can choose to take RSO sublingually, similar to a CBD tincture. By placing a half-grain of rice size piece of RSO under your tongue and allowing it to be absorbed into your bloodstream and digestive track, the CBD has effects that may onset faster than when applied topically. Others choose to take the RSO in the form of a capsule since the product can taste bitter and unpleasant when placed under your tongue. By swallowing the RSO, the effects might have a slower onset than when taken sublingually, but they will also usually last for longer.

However, if the plant-like taste of RSO really bothers you, you can cook with the hemp product instead. You can drizzle it over the top of your favorite treat or place a drop on a bite of chocolate for a heavily dosed edible. You can also mix CBD RSO into sauces or your favorite baked food recipe, depending on the consistency of the mix. Keep in mind that RSO has a thick, syrup-like consistency that will not mix easily with dry ingredients. An easy go-to is to simply mix the RSO into a banana smoothie so that it becomes a healthy snack as well as a heavy dose of CBD.

Rick Simpson was one of the first people to use concentrated plant oil as a treatment, but he will definitely not be the last. There is still much to be learned about how CBD and RSO interact with the human body, but Simpson’s anecdotal evidence that it can treat skin cancer is too much for some to overlook. Although treating skin cancer is not RSO’s only use. Others have found that RSO is a good solution for taking CBD edibles in medical-level doses, without the added ingredients in gummies, cookies, or other sugary treats. However, all users agree that the journey into using RSO should go very slowly. It is a highly concentrated product where a little goes a very long way.

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