Concentrates come in many forms. Regardless of which, one thing is common – all contain high levels of cannabinoids and terpenes. One, in particular, that is extracted and typically consumed as an edible is the Rick Simpson Oil (RSO).
RSO contains the essence of cannabis and being highly concentrated, that makes it highly effective in managing stress and pain. It does not even have to be bought from dispensaries or online retailers exclusively. Going DIY at home does not require specialized equipment nor does it entail a complicated process.
The Rick Simpson Oil
RSO, sometimes referred to as “phoenix tears,” is an edible concentrate made by purging oils from medicinal cannabis plants through alcohol extraction. It typically contains high levels of THC and CBD. As such, anecdotal reports suggest that it is an effective alternative medicine for conditions such as chronic pain, multiple sclerosis, and insomnia among others.
While there are several dispensaries and online retailing shops that sell RSO, it is hard to assure the concentrate’s purity and quality. Hence, extracting it at home is an appealing option. Moreover, it allows a degree of customization.
Creating DIY RSO offers the benefit of having sole control over the process and ingredients used. It entails having the freedom to customize the strain used and potency of the final product. Thus, the quality of the oil could be guaranteed to be superior – depending on the method of preparation and how pure the used components are.
Versatile Application Methods
Although typically ingested on its own, RSO can be used in various ways. For instance, incorporating in meals mask its bitter taste. On the other hand, topical salves and creams can be used to treat localized pain of those who prefer not to consume it orally. Moreover, since RSO is typically viscous, it may also be mixed with essential oils to reduce its viscosity. This way, it will be easier to apply on the skin.
The DIY version of the Rick Simpson oil costs less than commercially sold products. This is because the ingredients needed in the process are usually already found within the confines of the household. Moreover, cannabis trims that are often discarded can be used to create an edible hash.
Although homemade RSOs have several leverages over dispensary-procured concentrates, it also comes with few disadvantages. Fortunately, these shortcomings can be easily remedied and prevented.
Just like any other concentrates, RSO possesses high levels of THC. As such, it is quite easy to overconsume it, especially for first time users with low tolerance. Consequently, overdosing in THC can cause adverse effects such as greening out, paranoia, hallucinations, and delusions among others. Despite this, the side effects are temporary and do not pose significant health risks. It can also be prevented by taking small portions – preferably one tiny drop a day.
Creating RSO from scratch is commonly favored due to the freedom it entails in choosing the ingredients and materials. However, making it at home also carries risk. First off, acquiring cannabis legally in states where it is prohibited proves to be difficult without breaking the law. Moreover, heating solvents such as alcohol for cannabinoid extraction is risky. Even small miscalculations could end up in disastrous fire explosions. Hence, precautionary steps must be taken accordingly.
Making And Using Edible RSO
The process of creating RSO from scratch is straightforward and cost-efficient. However, it must not be taken lightly for the procedures also entail fire hazards. But once the final product is procured, its benefits will be well worth the trouble of making it.
Strains To Use
Making DIY RSO begins with selecting the preferred potent strains. Just about any cannabis plant can be used in crafting the oil. However, some strains have peculiar properties that exert different effects suitable for various needs. It must be identified whether the situation calls for high THC or CBD content. Each compound induces different physiological reactions upon consumption.
Cannabidiol is renowned for its anti-emetic, anxiolytic, analgesic, anti-proliferative effects, and many other benefits. Thus, cannabis products with high CBD content are often preferred by patients for delivering a broad spectrum of medicinal benefits without inducing intense psychoactive effects.
Concentrates derived from strains with low THC still induces psychedelic high. Extracting CBD with less than 1% THC is only possible with hemp plants, and this is not a viable option for most people.
- Cannatonic. This hybrid stain has a CBD content as high as 17% with less than 6% of THC. It also contains a wealth of health-enhancing terpenes such as Myrcene, a-Pinene, Linalool, D-Limonene, and many others. As a premier medical strain, Cannatonic is often used to treat pain, anxiety, insomnia, and epilepsy due to its relaxing and uplifting effects and high CBD content.
- CBD Shark Shock. Being an Indica-dominant strain, CBD Shark Shock is often used to aid in managing stress, fatigue, depression, and pain for its calming effects. It has equal ratios of THC and CBD at 6% to 7%.
- ComPassion. The Sativa-dominant ComPassion contains 8% THC and CBD. It produces a clear-headed and mellow high accompanied by calming and relaxing effects. It is often recommended for novice users due to its mild yet useful effects.
- Pennywise. Bred from Harlequin and Jack the Ripper, Pennywise delivers analgesic and relaxing properties with its 12% to 15% THC and CBD levels. This Indica-dominant strain also often induces couch-locking effects.
- MED GOM 1.0. This strain possesses 5% to 12% THC and 6% to 15% CBD content. Anecdotal reports suggest that it is ideal for combatting chronic pain, stress, and psychotomimetic effects including tachycardia, memory loss, and anxiety.
The use of THC-rich strains entails psychotropic effects along with its therapeutic benefits including anti-inflammatory, antinociceptive, and anti-emetic effects.
- Northern Lights. Perhaps one of the most popular Indica-dominant strains, Northern Lights has a 16% to 21% THC content and 0.1% CBD. It is considered to be one of the most potent medicinal cannabis strains perfect relieving low back pain, arthritis, anxiety, nausea, and depression.
- LA Confidential. The insanely potent 19% to 25% THC content of this pure Indica strain makes it a popular choice among patients craving for intense relaxation. It can soothe the mind and body from insomnia, stress, anxiety, and nausea.
- Blueberry. With a THC content of 20%, Blueberry is ideal for creating the Rick Simpson oil intended to be a stimulant. It can be used to treat chronic pain and stress.
- White Rhino. A cross between White Widow and North American Indica, White Rhino is a strain that contains exceptionally high levels of THC – about 18% to 22%. This strain has a reputation for alleviating pain, migraine, and anxiety.
- Grape Ape. Aside from its distinct fruity grape flavor, Grape Ape is also known for its 15% to 23% THC content. It also owes its popularity for its anti-depressant, anxiolytic, and anti-stress properties.
Despite the simple steps of making RSO, proper caution must be taken, especially when dealing with flammable alcohol.
- Heating highly concentrated alcohols can easily make it ignite and explode. Avoid accidents by working in a spacious room with appropriate ventilation. Open the windows and use an oscillating fan to improve airflow. Also, have a fire extinguisher nearby in case of emergency.
- Avoid respiratory problems by using a mask to protect air passageways from exposure to the fumes of evaporating alcohol.
- Refrain from cooking with open fire. Alcohol’s high flammability can cause fire explosions. Heat the double boiler in an electric stove or use the steamer feature of a rice cooker.
- When heating alcohol, cover the pan or pot with a lid that fits it perfectly. Otherwise, the alcohol vapor will escape which can ignite when it comes in contact with open fire.
- Keep an eye on the temperature of the entire process. Heating cannabinoids beyond 148°C (300°F) will deem the RSO unusable.
DIY RSO Recipe
This recipe will yield 60 grams of Rick Simpson oil suitable for a 90-day regimen. However, the measurements of the ingredients can be scaled down to smaller proportions. Just remember that 28 grams of cannabis will yield 3-4 grams of RSO.
- 500 grams of dried cannabis trims or buds
- 7.5 liters of high-proof alcohol (e.g., Everclear)
- Pyrex glass bowl
- Wooden spoon
- Separate container for strained liquid
- Double-boiler setup or rice cooker
- Plastic catheter tip syringe (60mL)
- Place the ground cannabis into the glass bowl and pour the solvent until the material is fully submerged in the liquid.
- Stir the mixture while crushing the plant material with a wooden spoon. This will agitate the trichomes and make 80% of the THC molecules dissolve in the liquid. Continue stirring for around three minutes.
- Strain the mixture into a separate bowl lined with cheesecloth.
- Gather the strained plant material and put it in the bucket once more. Add a fresh batch of solvent and continue stirring for another three minutes. The second wash would dissolve the remaining 20% of the THC.
- Drain the mixture to the same bowl as the first wash. Discard the remaining plant material.
- Put the solution in a double boiler setup.
- Ensure that the temperature will not exceed 100°C (210°F). Maintain the heat at steady levels for decarboxylation to occur.
- Heat the solution until most of the solvent evaporates.
- Once the solvent is almost oil-like, turn off the heat but leave the solution on top of the hot water. Its lower temperature should be enough to make the remaining alcohol evaporate entirely.
- Let the oil cool then transfer it in the syringe for accurate dosing. The end product should have a thick consistency. As such, it would be challenging to dispense the product. To resolve this, briefly run the syringe under hot water.
Using The Oil
The Rick Simpson oil can be eaten “raw” or on its own – although it tends to have a bitter aftertaste. Alternatively, a drop of this oil could be incorporated in foods and beverages.
Unlike other concentrates, RSO must never be smoked or vaped as it would burn and become unsafe for consumption.
For optimal results, the potency of the RSO requires a calculated dosage per intake. Typically, the goal is to consume a total of 60 grams throughout 90 days. However, every person has a unique physiological response to different doses. Hence, personal discretion must be made upon consumption.
Week 1: Take three doses daily. Each dosage during the first week should only be 1/4 of a drop. It should be about half the size of a grain of rice. Administer the product once every eight hours.
Week 2-5: Double the dose every four days. A full dosage of 1 gram per day can be consumed within two to five weeks of consumption.
Week 5-12: Take one gram of RSO daily until all 60 grams are consumed. Upon adjustment, 8 to 9 rice-sized drops of RSO can be taken once every eight hours. This dosage must be maintained until all the 60 grams are consumed.
The Rick Simpson Oil is a testament of cannabis’ versatility in its way of use and application. It also demonstrates just how far human ingenuity can go in the quest for effective alternative medications without much side effects. Ultimately, the continuous innovation of various cannabis products with a plethora of therapeutic benefits will likely dominate and change the medical landscape.