The Healing Potential of Cannabis: How to Use RSO
The story of Rick Simpson Oil (RSO) is a legend of the world of cannabis. How did a hospital maintenance engineer stumble upon a potential cure for skin cancer? We’ll share the tale, plus information on how to use RSO.
Rick Simpson: The Man and the Oil
If you think taking control of your own health and well-being is a pipe dream, think again.
In an age in which medical advancements often depend upon million-dollar investments and years of painstaking research, the story of RSO is—literally—a head-spinner.
In 1997, Canadian hospital worker Rick Simpson had his own sort of “pipe dream.” One day he was insulating pipes in a hospital boiler room with an aerosol glue when the noxious fumes caused a temporary shock to his nervous system. He fell off his ladder, hit his head and was knocked unconscious; luckily, he managed to call for help and was taken to the ER.
Simpson wasn’t seriously injured, but he suffered from dizzy spells and tinnitus (ringing in the ears) for years afterward. Frustrated that none of the medications he was prescribed seemed to help, he chanced upon a documentary detailing the healing potential of medical cannabis. When his doctor refused to recommend it, he sourced his own and found that it significantly improved his symptoms.
Fast-forward to 2003, when Simpson was diagnosed with skin cancer on his arm. Inspired by his own healing experience with cannabis and by a study demonstrating that THC could kill cancer kills in mice, he decided to experiment with how to use RSO, his name for a potent homemade cannabis concentrate.
Placing his homemade concentrate on the cancers, he bandaged them and waited. After four days, he removed the bandages: The cancers were gone.
How to Use RSO: Pros and Cons
When it comes to the question of how to treat cancer with cannabis—or even whether or not it’s possible—most medical professionals urge caution. Even Rick Simpson is clear on the fact that there are many different kinds of cancers, and much, much more research is needed to validate his medical claims (although there is now a wealth of stories about patients treating cancer with only cannabis concentrate or RSO).
But while we don’t recommend the use of RSO in place of validated cancer treatments, we agree with many physicians trained in the use of medical cannabis: RSO and other cannabis products can help manage certain cancers—as demonstrated by one study—and the overall risks are relatively low. On top of that, there’s little doubt cannabis helps with many of the side effects of standard cancer treatments, including:
- Chronic pain
- Anxiety and depression
- Nausea and appetite loss
How to Use RSO: The Nitty Gritty
Rick Simpson has developed a graduated dosing protocol for those wanting to try RSO to treat various medical conditions, including:
- Chronic pain
- Multiple sclerosis
- High blood pressure
The protocol involves ingesting RSO over a two-month period, with patients steadily increasing their dose as their tolerance allows.
Be aware that—unlike high-CBD products—RSO contains high levels of THC. This means that it’s psychoactive, and will produce similar side effects to any other cannabis product containing THC.