FAQ ABOUT RSO
The text on this web site has been put in many different categories, to enable the public to find the answers to their questions more quickly. One should slowly go over the entire contents of this website, which will inform you about Rick’s views concerning many different aspects of this oil’s production. This text is available for free here on this website, but if you wish to support this cause you can make a donation.
The content of this part has been organised in the form of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ).
The description of The Rick Simpson Process of Producing RSO you can find here.
Before you are making your own oil, please read carefully everything that has been written on this web site.
We advise you to watch the process in the documentary Run From The Cure
WHAT DO I NEED TO PRODUCE RICK SIMPSON OIL?
“I think that these instructions should make producing this oil quite easy for anyone and indeed I have often stated that producing the oil is not much harder than making a cup of coffee. But before you start, make sure that you have everything you will need to perform the extraction properly. To produce high quality oil’s for medical use, you need a pound or more of dry bud from very potent and sedative medicinal Indica varieties or Indica dominant Sativa crosses, which preferably contain no more than 10% Sativa.” (Rick Simpson)
All one requires to perform a full 60 gram or 60 ml oil extraction, is 450 to 500 grams of high quality bud material which is completely dry, 8 to 9 litres of solvent, a length of wood about a meter long to crush and wash the bud material, two 20 litre buckets which should be quite deep to prevent the oil solvent mix from splashing out, a few small containers to catch the oil solvent mix after it has been filtered, funnels which can fit in the opening of the small containers, coffee filters which fit into the funnels, an electric rice cooker, a large fan, a stainless steel measuring cup, a coffee warmer or oven to finish the oil properly and plastic syringes without needles to draw the finished oil into, which also allows the patient to measure their doses more accurately.
WHAT I SHOULD KNOW BEFORE PRODUCING THE OIL?
In essence, all you are really doing is washing the medicinal resins off the bud material, with a solvent and the resins which have now been removed, contain the medicinal cannabinoids needed for healing. Then, after the solvent cannabinoid or oil mix has been filtered and the solvent has been boiled off properly, you are left with the resin in its most medicinal form. Perhaps I should explain again that once the solvent is removed from the medicinal resins, these resins take on the form of an oil when warm, but when cooled to room temperature, they will become a thick grease like substance.
For best results, the starting material must be as dry as possible. Be sure the area you are working in, is well ventilated and there are no sparks, open flames, or red-hot elements which could cause the fumes from the solvent to ignite.
If the area you are working in is well ventilated and you are careful, to avoid breathing in the fumes from the solvent, I feel that there is no need to use breathing equipment in most cases. But if you feel the need and you have the proper equipment available, it may not be a bad idea to put it to good use.
WHAT STRAIN SHOULD I USE ?
The best would be to use pure Indica, which gives the oils they produce the sleepy sedative effects that aid in healing the patient’s body and causes the patient to relax while this is taking place. If an Indica strain has been crossed with a Sativa strain, the resulting oil can often have far too many energising Sativa traits, if the genetics of this cross contain too much Sativa. The energising effects such oils often exhibit, can have a detrimental effect on the patient’s treatment and that is why, it is not good to use a strain which contains more than 10% Sativa.
Many seed companies tend to supply the same strains, but if you ordered the same strain from five different seed suppliers. You would probably find that you are actually growing five different varieties of cannabis and they will also all have different medical values. Sadly as yet, there is not much stability in the seed industry, so in many cases when people order seeds they have little or no idea what medical values the strain they have ordered will have.
This lack of stability, in the seeds from different strains that many seed companies are supplying, is causing a great deal of confusion for those who wish to grow the best strain possible, to treat their own medical problems. So when trying to purchase seeds from a strain that you wish to grow, I think it is best to acquire the seeds from the company or grower who originated the strain in the first place.
Many seed suppliers, also provide information concerning the medical values of the different strains they are providing, so I think that it is a good idea to go over this information carefully before placing an order. This is why I can only tell people that if they wish to produce this medication properly, they should use a sedative Indica strain which has a THC content of 20% or more and other than that, there is little more I can tell them.
I DON’T HAVE EXPERIENCE WITH CANNABIS. HOW CAN I CHOOSE THE RIGHT MATERIAL?
If you don’t have any experience with cannabis, the best thing you can do is take someone who smokes cannabis with you, if you try to acquire the needed bud material from illegal growers. A person who has smoked cannabis in the past, should be able to tell you if the bud material they have sampled for you, has the proper qualities to fulfil your needs. When the proper bud material to produce this medication is smoked, it should have a sedative sleepy effect, which Indica strains of cannabis are well known to produce.
WHAT I NEED TO KNOW ABOUT GROWING?
If you do not require the oil immediately then it is best to grow your own plants and this could save you a great deal of money. but if you require the oil now then you may have to acquire the needed material, from an illegal grower in your area. As for growing instructions, you can buy a book such as this: “The Indoor Outdoor Medicinal Grower’s Bible” by Jorge Cervantes and this will tell you all you need to know about growing the cannabis hemp plant and there are also videos on the internet concerning this subject, which can be very helpful to those who are beginning to grow for themselves. Go online to find cannabis seed suppliers and then go over the information they provide about the medicinal qualities of the strains they are providing, and look for an Indica strain with 20% THC or more, which can meet your medical needs.
WHAT ABOUT DRYING THE BUD MATERIAL?
“I always removed the bud material from the limbs of the plant and then dried the buds that I intended to work with, by placing them on screens suspended over a dehumidifier and within about 36 hours, it was usually completely dry and ready to process into oil. There are also many other ways that one could dry the bud material, but please keep in mind the fact that as the bud dries, the healing resins will then begin to separate from the bud material very easily. So if the dry bud material is not handled gently, a good portion of these medicinal resins can be lost and therefore, you will not be able to produce as much oil. “
HOW MUCH OIL CAN I EXPECT TO PRODUCE?
An ounce or about 30 grams of good bud will usually produce 4 to 5 grams of high-grade oil and the amount of oil produced will vary from strain to strain. You are never really sure how much oil you will be able to extract, until you have processed the bud material you are working with.
On average, a pound of good bud should produce at least 60 grams of high-grade oil and sometimes you may even get substantially more from some varieties.
WHAT COLOR AND TEXTURE SHOULD BE RSO?
Many seem to believe that the finished oil must be amber in color and that it should be transparent and often the oils I produced did exhibit these traits but not always. The color and texture of the oil you are producing depends a great deal on the strain, method, and solvent that you are using to produce the oil.
Don’t be concerned if the oil you produce happens to be darker in color, this does not mean that such an oil is not a potent medicine. Indeed some of the strongest oils I have ever produced were darker in colour, but they still had the desired medicinal effects. Even though the oil you produce might appear to be darker than you would like, if you take a small amount of this oil and use your finger to spread it on a piece of white paper and hold it up to a light, you will find that it still has a golden transparent appearance.
If the oil you have manufactured exhibits a green color instead of amber when spread on a piece of white paper, then it probably still contains a small amount of water. By putting an oil such as this in an oven at 120 degrees C for a short time, it will evaporate this water off and then it should have the desired medicinal amber appearance. Even if the finished oil which you have produced does have the proper appearance, it is often still not a bad idea to put it in an oven at 120 degrees C, to insure that the oil has been decarboxylated properly.
The oil should never be exposed to higher temperatures than 300 degrees F or about 148 degrees C, because just above that temperature the medicinal cannabinoids will begin to vaporise off the oil and this could lower the oils medicinal qualities dramatically.
WHAT KIND OF SOLVENTS SHOULD I USE?
There are also many other solvents which could probably be used to perform an extraction effectively such as acetone, but the only solvents that I have direct experience with are ether, naphtha and 99% isopropyl alcohol, therefore I do not feel qualified to tell the public what other solvents they can use.
The process I am about to describe, involves washing the starting material twice with a good solvent such as pure light aliphatic naphtha or 99% isopropyl alcohol etc. To effectively remove the available resin, which contains the medicinal cannabinoids from the plant material.
Light naphtha has proven itself to be a very effective solvent to produce this oil and it is also quite cheap to purchase when compared to the cost of other solvents. This solvent is called light naphtha in Canada, and in Europe it is often called benzin(e) and it is sold as cleaning fluid or solvent in many hardware stores.
In addition, naphtha is usually quite easy to locate in many countries, while other pure solvents that are well suited to preform extractions, can be very expensive and hard to find. Naphtha comes in different forms and under many different names and the temperatures at which they boil can vary a great deal, which is something that must be taken into consideration if one is to obtain the proper solvent. The naphtha which I preferred to use had a boiling point around 70 degrees C, which is about the same amount of heat required to bring 99% isopropyl alcohol to its boiling point.
Any solvent that you intend to use should be colourless, the same as water and if you dip your finger into it, within about 40 seconds it should completely evaporate from your finger leaving no oily residue behind.
Naphtha is sold under many names but if you go to a fuel supplier, you should not have too much trouble tracking some down, if you tell the supplier that you are looking for a solvent which has a boiling point around 70 degrees C. Light naphtha has many industrial uses, and it is often used to degrease engine parts or thin paints etc., so I’m sure you should not have too much trouble finding what you need. Just to give you an idea of its many uses, naphtha is the same substance used to fuel Coleman lamps and stoves. Unfortunately, rust inhibitors are added to Coleman fuel, so I do not recommend that this fuel be used to produce oil. But as I understand it, some companies actually do supply camping fuel with no additives, so this should work very well as a solvent to perform an oil extraction.
There is also medical-grade naphtha (hexane) available in many countries in the world, but it is a bit more expensive and usually harder to get and I have not found any significant difference, between pure light naphtha and the medical grade version of this solvent.
Butane can also produce oil, but I do not recommend its use as a solvent to produce this medication, since it is very volatile and would require the use of expensive equipment to neutralise the danger.
In addition, using butane to perform an extraction does not decarboxylate the finished oil, because there is little or no heat used in this process. So oils produced in this manner would be less effective for medicinal use, unless the extra time is taken to decarboxylate the oil properly.
WHAT IS YOUR OPINION ON THE USE OF LESS EFFECTIVE SOLVENTS, SUCH AS EVERCLEAR?
Many people in the US and some other countries as well, are finding it quite hard to locate the pure solvents, which I recommend and some have turned to the use of substances such as everclear, which in its purest form is about 95% alcohol, but usually you will find that the remaining 5% is water.
This makes everclear a less effective solvent due to its water content and at the end of the oil making process there will be quite a bit of water, which will have to be evaporated off before the oil is in a finished state. So if need be substances such as everclear can be used, but I much prefer to use the pure solvents that I have described. Many people have contacted me to ask if they could use such things as 151 proof alcohol as a solvent. But in my opinion trash such as this is not even fit for human consumption and I would never even think about using such a substance to produce the oil.
Decarboxylation occurs, when you add enough heat to the oil to rotate the molecules within the oil to the delta 9 position, which brings the finished oil to its highest medicinal potency. There are many who have different opinions about the temperature required to decarboxylate the oil properly. But Dr. Paul Hornby a man who is regarded to be an expert in this field, produced the oil following my instructions and he told me that this simple process, which I showed the public achieved perfect decarboxylation.
If you have any concerns that the oil you have produced has not been decarboxylated properly, you can simply place the oil in an oven at 120 degrees C for thirty to sixty minutes, to insure that it is now decarboxylated. One could even set the oven at 130 degrees C and still not harm the medicinal value of the oil, but I think that 120 degrees C is more than enough heat to perform the task properly.
The only solvents that I have direct experience with thus far are ether, light aliphatic naphtha, and 99% isopropyl alcohol. To date ether is my personal favorite and it is a very effective solvent, but ether is expensive and can be quite hard to acquire. Personally I think the use of ether is better suited for closed distilling devices, but actually the same could be said about naphtha and alcohol and many other solvents as well, especially if one plans to produce oil on a larger scale.
Due to the fact that distilling devices allow you to reclaim the solvent and therefore, can save you a great deal of money plus reclaiming the solvent is much more environmentally friendly. I strongly suggest that if one plans to produce large quantities of these extracts, then the use distilling equipment is a very good idea. Since ether boils at a very low temperature and can be quite expensive and hard to acquire, plus the fumes it gives off when boiling make it dangerous to work with, I have very limited experience with its use.
Therefore since ether has a very low boiling point, I am not as yet sure that using this solvent will decarboxylate the finished oil properly, so when I have the opportunity I will do more research into this. Both ether and light naphtha are more selective solvents in nature, which means that alcohol is not quite as effective as a solvent, but still it does work well, to produce high quality medicinal oils.
Alcohol will dissolve more chlorophyll from the starting material and due to this, oils produced with alcohol will usually be more noticeably dark in color and the presence of chlorophyll can also give the resulting oil an unpleasant taste.
For a solvent to be effective, it should be 100% pure and 100% pure alcohol is expensive and can be quite hard to find. Light naphtha on the other hand, is quite cheap to acquire and is usually not too hard to locate. Next to the use of ether, pure light aliphatic naphtha is my solvent of choice.
WHAT ABOUT THE SOLVENT RESIDUE IN THE FINISHED OIL?
All these solvents including alcohol are poisonous in nature, but if you follow my instructions properly, solvent residue in the finished oil should be of no concern. After the finished oil cools to room temperature, the oil or to put it more accurately the resins form a thick grease-like substance, rather than an oil and it is about as anti-poisonous, as any substance that you could possibly ever hope to find. Even if there was a slight trace of solvent residue remaining, the oil itself would act upon any remaining residue to neutralise any harmful poisonous effects. I have been ingesting this oil myself now, for 14 years and I have supplied the oil to thousands of others in the past, but I have never received a complaint from anyone, who stated that they felt as if they had been poisoned in any way.
CAN I PRODUCE THE OIL FROM LESS MEDICINAL STRAINS OR PARTS OF THE CANNABIS PLANT?
Quite often some individuals wish to produce oil from the leaves, or lower quality strains of the cannabis plant, to treat less serious issues such as skin conditions and often these oils can have some medical benefits as well. But if you wish to do so, be aware of the fact that these oils will be much less medicinally potent, than the oil which can be produced from high quality bud material itself and the quantity of oil extracted per pound of starting material, will be much less.
When someone is suffering from serious conditions such as terminal cancer, I would not consider giving them a lower grade oil, unless I had no other choice. For their life is handing in the balance and as far as I am concerned, only the highest quality oil will do in such a case. It also should be noted that since lower grade oils will usually contain a great deal less healing cannabinoids, much more of this lower grade oil would have to be ingested, to achieve the same results one would expect from much smaller quantities of high grade oils.
HOW ABOUT THE OILS WITH HIGH CBD CONTENT?
If you wish to produce oils with a high CBD content, this can be accomplished by simply using the same methods I describe, to produce oils which contain high levels of THC. The only difference is, you will be using strains high in CBD content, instead of strains that contain a great deal of THC. While I have always stated that I have never met a natural cannabinoid that I didn’t like and although I do believe that CBD does have its own medicinal values. I still tend to think that oils with a high CBD content and little or no THC, are being somewhat overrated when it comes to their healing abilities.
It is now common knowledge that the cannabinoid CBD, can be quite effective in the treatment of such things as epileptic seizures and some other medical disorders. Even though this cannabinoid can reduce the number and frequency of seizures that a person suffering with epilepsy experiences, patients still tend to have these seizures quite often, even when they are using these high CBD oils.
The oils that I used to produce, which had THC levels of 90% or more and small percentages of CBD, still seemed to work very well to prevent seizures of this nature and most other medical problems as well. So I tend to believe that if these high CBD oils contained a bit more THC that they may indeed, prevent these seizures from occurring completely, but as time goes by I expect that this will be proven.
Many individuals still seem to be afraid to use oils which contain high levels of THC, because it appears that they feel if the patient were to become somewhat high during their treatment that it could harm them in some way. In my opinion getting what they call high, has never really harmed anyone and I firmly believe that if the high is removed from this medication that it will also reduce the healing effects, commonly associated with its use. I am also troubled, by the extravagant prices that some suppliers are charging for these high CBD oils and I feel that far too often, the public is simply being robbed of their hard earned money.
Strains of cannabis which can produce oils with high CBD contents are essentially legal to grow in many areas, because they lack the psychoactive component THC, so why are these suppliers now charging so much for their products? I’ve been told by experts in this field that many medicinal strains of the cannabis hemp plant, contain well over 100 different cannabinoids and as yet to the best of my knowledge, many of them have not even been identified.
So I feel that we still have a great deal to learn about this medical wonder of nature and all the different benefits, it can have on our health and wellbeing. But as yet there are still many restrictions, which were put in place by our governments that are preventing us from doing so. In the near future I hope to see these restrictions abolished completely, which are preventing us from doing further research in the proper way. But this will only happen, once we can rid ourselves of all the corruption that still stands in our path, regarding the free growing and medicinal use of this plant.
OTHER EXTRACTION METHODS USING OLIVE OIL ETC.
Often I am contacted by people who want to know my opinion about other extraction methods, which involve the use of expensive complicated equipment, but since I do not have any experience using these methods, I really do not feel qualified to answer such questions. If anyone truly feels the need to know more about these other more complicated methods, then I feel that they should contact individuals, who use these different processes to perform their extractions.
The simple method to produce these extracts which I showed the public, was designed to produce this medicinal oil in a very pure state, using equipment that can often be found in many homes. Due to the fact that I was usually dealing with patients who had serious medical disorders, I needed to provide them with the most medicinally active and purest oils possible. Extracts produced in this manner proved to be very effective in the treatment of a vast array of medical difficulties, so due to its simplicity this is the method that I decided to show the public.
In my opinion, doing extractions with olive oil and other substances such as butter, may produce a substance that could work quite well to treat less serious external medical problems such as skin conditions. But when it comes to treating serious internal conditions, I would prefer that patients ingest the oil in its purest form.
When you perform an olive oil extraction it will remove the medicinal resins from the plant material, but the resins are then mixed with the olive oil and if a patient try’s to ingest this substance as a treatment. They will probably find that they will begin to spend more and more time in the bathroom, due to the effects of the olive oil.
The protocol which I developed calls for the patient to ingest 1 gram or 1 ml of high grade oil every 24 hours, once they have built up their tolerance for this medication, which usually takes anywhere from 3 to 5 weeks to accomplish. Now just imagine the dosage which would be required to achieve the same results, if the medicinal resins were mixed with olive oil and think about the effects that ingesting large amounts of olive oil could have on the patient.
As I have already stated olive oil extractions may have their uses, but if for some reason I felt the need to mix the medicinal resins with olive oil, I would produce the oil properly first and I would then add whatever amount of olive oil I felt was required. In my opinion olive oil extractions and processes of that nature, produce substances which are much less medicinally active than the pure oil itself, so in most cases I see no need for anyone to produce their medication in this manner.
Some people have reported that they have achieved good results by performing water extractions, to remove the medicinal resins and if this is really true, I would have to agree that this method would indeed be much safer. But many years ago I tried to perform two water extractions myself that proved to be complete failures, when compared with the methods I use, which employ the use of solvents instead of water. When I performed these water extractions, I was only able to obtain about half the amount of resins, which would have been present if I had done the extractions, using solvents to extract the same plant material. In addition the resulting resin from the water extractions, seemed to have lost some of the attributes which the resins would normally have. Such as their ability to stick together as the resins normally should, when one applies heat and pressure with their hands to combine them.
If you have pure resins available, it usually requires little effort to form the resins into what is commonly referred to as being hashish. But when I tried to do the same with resins obtained from water extractions, no matter how hard I tried the resins refused to stick together. I am not as yet sure how this would affect the medicinal qualities of these resins, but in my opinion if the resins refuse to combine with each other, then I think that there is something lacking and this could very well have an effect on their medical qualities. As I have already stated I have only tried to perform water extractions twice and since at that time, there was not much information available on this subject to go by, perhaps I did not perform the extractions properly.
With the poor results I achieved, I saw no reason to continue trying to use this process, but today using more up to date information, one may indeed be able to have much better results. Other than this there is nothing more which I can tell you in regards to performing water extractions, but if better methods can truly make water extractions viable, then I think that it would be something worth looking into.
WHAT ABOUT THE OTHER EXTRACTION METHODS?
Some people tend to believe that it is a good idea to break the bud material up into tiny pieces, by putting it through an electric blender or some such device to perform the task. Many years ago when I first started producing the oil I tried this method myself, but I found that often by doing this that one can lose some of the medicinally active cannabinoids. When the blender is breaking the dry bud up into tiny particles, the medicinal resins can take on the form of a very fine powder and most blenders or devices of this nature, will allow some of this fine powder to escape. Therefore to produce the oil and to prevent this from happening, I prefer to use the buds in their natural state to perform extractions, rather than having the buds ground up into tiny particles.
In addition when I performed extractions using powdered buds, the resulting oils did not seem to have as much medicinal potency, when compared to oils which were manufactured from bud material that had not been ground up. While it is true that quite often one may be able to obtain what they perceive as being more oil, by grinding the buds up in a blender before extracting the oil. The extra amount of oil they obtain will probably prove to be just unwanted plant material, which has little or no medicinal value at all. You have to remember that when producing oils for medical use, it’s the medicinal qualities of the resulting oil that matters, not the quantity. It is really up to the person who is producing the oil as to what method they will chose to use, but in my opinion if you wish to obtain oils which have the highest medicinal qualities possible, then I would not tamper with the bud material in any way.
WHAT ABOUT THE TERPENES?
I have stated that the method I use destroys the natural terpenes and flavonoids, which many seem to feel the oil should contain. Since it is true that my methods do eliminate most of the natural terpenes and flavonoids, I feel that this is necessary because if the terpenes and other substances are not removed, their presence often tends to give the resulting oil a very bad taste. Due to the fact that the finished oils which I produced contained little or no natural terpenes or flavonoids and patients have had such wonderful results with their use, it appears to me that the medicinal qualities of these terpenes and flavonoids might be somewhat over rated.
JUICING THE PLANT MATERIAL?
There are those who seem to believe that juicing the bud material and ingesting what results, could in some way produce better medicinal qualities than even the oil which I have showed the public how to manufacture, but I strongly disagree. The cannabis plant draws up toxins from the ground or growing medium, which it is planted in and in most cases it is very hard to grow or to purchase good bud material, which does not contain at least some mold or mildew, which I feel that no one should ingest.
In addition there is no heat involved with juicing, therefore there is no decarboxylation taking place, so how could juicing the bud material provide a more medicinal substance, than the oil which I showed the public how to manufacture? When one produces the oil following my instructions, any danger present in the plant material due to mold or other toxins is eliminated. You should also keep in mind the fact that often tiny insects can be found in even the best bud material. But the process that I use also eliminates this problem and of course the resulting oil has been decarboxylated properly. So unless someone out there, can disprove what I am saying and back their statements up with proof to that effect. Then I think it’s best to pay little attention to these people, who tend to think of themselves as being experts and instead produce the oil following my methods.
MORE COMPLAINTS I HAVE RECEIVED
Quite often I have been contacted by individuals, who seem to have a problem with the simple methods I used to show the public, in regards to performing an oil extraction properly, using everyday items which most of us have access to. They complain about such things as my use of plastic buckets instead of stainless steel containers or the fact that I am not telling the public that they must use distilling devices etc.
But the simple fact is that most of us do not have the money to purchase such things and even if we did, the vast majority of people, do not know how to use distilling devices and lab equipment properly anyway. Even though I agree that the use of proper equipment is a good idea, when you have little money and do not have the time to find better equipment to perform extractions, I think that it is a good idea to follow the instructions which I have provided. So to make things much easier for those who wish to produce small quantities of oil for their own use, I felt that it was necessary for me to show the public, how to produce this oil in the simplest way possible and the results which patients have achieved by using these methods, speaks for itself.