Rick Simpson Oil (RSO) – How to Make Cannabis Oil That Saves Lives

There are just a couple of truly epic stories in the world of cannabis, and in my opinion, the most fascinating one is the story of Rick Simpson and the potent THC oil he created.

Although this tale has all the elements which make it easily transferable to the silver screen, it’s very doubtful that this information will ever reach a wider audience, because of the sheer gravity of Rick’s wonderful discovery.

Even if you’re already familiar with some of the aspects, we should probably start off from the beginning and cover all the important milestones in the life of Rick Simpson.

If you’re looking for a step by step guide on how to make your own Rick Simpson oil, scroll down to the bottom where I prepared a tutorial for you.

But first…

Rick Simpson’s story

Long before Rick became famous for his THC oil, he was just a regular engineer working in a hospital of a small town in Nova Scotia, Canada.

One day in 1997, he was working on the pipes in a tiny boiler room with a powerful aerosol glue.

Because the room was very small and insufficiently ventilated, he was stunned by the fumes of the glue which caused him to faint and hit his head pretty badly while falling from the ladders he was standing on.

The severity of his fall plagued him for a long time, causing frequent dizziness and forceful ear ringing. The painkillers that the doctors prescribed weren’t able to help with his condition at all while causing even more harm because of the gruesome side effects they were inducing.

After watching an episode of doctor David Suzuki’s Nature of Things on the subject of medical cannabis in 1998, Rick realized that cannabis could be a viable treatment for his affliction.

He found a way to purchase some illegally and was fascinated by how beneficial it was for his tinnitus and general wellbeing. Rick subsequently tried to get his doctor to prescribe him a hemp treatment, but the medical officer was completely reluctant to oblige him, stating that cannabis smoke is just too harmful to the lungs.

Even his family doctor agreed that smoking hemp is too dangerous.

Simpson asked him would it be healthier to create an essential oil from the cannabis flowers and ingest it orally (after seeing this technique on the Nature of Things), and the doctor acknowledged that this would be a much safer way of use, but still refused to prescribe him this type of treatment.

In 2001, after depleting all the prescription options with no results, his doctor informed him that there was nothing more they could do for his condition and that he was on his own from now on.

Disappointed by the medical system, Rick continued to self-medicate using the essential cannabis oil he manufactured by himself, and as soon as the mind-boggling haze from the use of pain medication was lifted, he started feeling better than ever.

After severely injuring his head on work in 1997, Simpson was prescribed opioids that did nothing for his chronic pain. He found that cannabis (which he procured illegally) greatly eased his symptoms, but the medical system in Canada was very reluctant to provide him with a medical cannabis card. Rick continued to self-medicate and managed to cease using opioid-based pain meds.

Rick’s first experience with cancer

At the end of 2002, after a routine physical examination, it was discovered that two areas on his face and a one on his chest had skin cancer (basal-cell carcinoma). The doctors attempted to surgically remove the one close to his eye, leaving the other two for a later date. About a week after the surgery, the operated area was infected and became intensely malicious-looking.

At this time Rick remembered what he heard on a CKDH radio show in late 1975, shortly after his cousin died of cancer. The reporter was talking about a research which discussed how THC is capable of killing cancer cells.

This left a strong impression on him, because of the traumatic experience of his young cousins’ death from cancer shortly before. Young Rick dismissed this information because he hasn’t heard this claim anywhere after that, but now when facing cancer, it popped right back into his mind.

He was aware that the oil he’d been manufacturing had high levels of THC in it, so he decided to apply it directly to the cancerous parts of his face and chest, using simple band-aids.

The result astounded and baffled him at the same time.

In just four days, all three cancers were completely gone.

Once he realized what he had done, Rick quickly returned to his doctor’s office, but once he explained the situation to the receptionist, she refused to connect him with his doctor.

Bewildered by the strange reaction that the receptionist showed, he tried to contact the Pain Management Center in Halifax, Nova Scotia in April 2003.

Rick heard from a friend that this particular institution can provide him a license for the possession of cannabis, but all he got was an automated message that there was a 21-month waiting period and that you had to get a referral from your family doctor.

Appalled by this reply and feeling really confident after what he’d achieved on himself, he decided to take matters into his own hands and started to give out the THC-rich oil to the sick people in the area of Maccan, Nova Scotia.

This rapidly gained the attention of local media, but also of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. They didn’t arrest Rick, but they did confiscate the plants he was growing on his property to create cannabis oil which he was giving to his neighbors while asking for absolutely nothing in return.

This didn’t discourage Rick who still remained determined to help the people in his community, but the police raids also continued, happening four times over a three year period.

The story of Simpson and his oil was quickly spreading, and it reached Rick Dwyer, who was the president of the Royal Canadian Legion (a non-profit veterans organization) in Maccan at the time.

Rick Simpson met with Dwyer shortly after and began telling his story to him. He also organized meetings with all the people that were using his oil, and Dwyer was truly fascinated with what he found.

He even started to give the oil to his father, who was also ruled off by the doctors and given 24 hours to live because of his lung cancer.

Once he witnessed the rapid recovery of his father, Rick Dwyer started asking the Royal Canadian Legion command to come down to Maccan and inspect what they discovered, but instead, the local branch of the Legion was closed and Dwyer was pulled from his position as acting president.

In 2004, Rick Simpson contacted the Canadian Cancer Society about his THC oil, and this was their official response:

“The Society does not endorse or support medical products or dietary supplements… thanks for the information. We wish you luck in your work.”

In 2005, Rick was arrested and imprisoned for 4 days for owning, cultivation and distribution of cannabis, and also for the “false” claims that he can cure cancer.

He recalls on the entire ordeal: “The worst of all was that the jurors were people whose dearest I had cured with cannabis oil. Even the judge knew it was all a farce! At one point he even told me that I should be rewarded, instead of trialed! All knew, and no one could do anything! They didn’t even allow ten patients I have cured to testify! They also didn’t allow the doctors to come out on the bench, nor me to show a pile of medical documents about the effects of my oil. If you don’t know the meaning of a “coward court,” go to Canada and you will see what I mean.”

In the end, he was only fined $2,000.

It becomes evident that the medical establishment not only doesn’t want any truly potent medicine for serious illnesses (which doesn’t create any dangerous side effects) but in fact they’re actually actively trying to prevent the general public from accessing such a cure.

This, unfortunately, doesn’t come as too much of a surprise, because the way modern economy works it would be very bad business to allow the common man a cheap and powerful tool for the majority of the worst diseases of the 21st century.

What’s also very saddening is that in 2018, over a decade after Rick discovered what he did, and medical cannabis is completely legal across all the provinces and territories in Canada, it’s still totally illegal to buy, or to create the essential oil that’s made by using his recipe.

This comes to show that even though cannabis has the potential to become one of the most lucrative branches of economy in the western world, the true medicinal capabilities of this plant still seem to be kept hidden and strictly forbidden.

In his modest but truly wonderful documentary (which you should definitely watch), Rick lists all the conditions, ailments and diseases his oil can help alleviate:

It’s very difficult to see Rick who hasn’t taken any money from absolutely anyone and has given all the information on how you can safely make your own THC oil, as any kind of a charlatan or swindler.

I personally find it much more plausible that the Big Pharma players are actively trying to keep a lid on this because the simple equation is more sick people equals more money from drugs and treatment.

Even though hemp is undoubtedly beneficial in all its other forms, it seems that in its concentrated form it offers the most powerful results and that this oil is the only outlawed method of cannabis consumption. Sounds like quite a scheme right?

After a routine examination in 2002 doctors discovered that Rick had basal-cell carcinoma (a type of skin cancer). Simpson heard about the cancer-fighting properties of cannabis and began applying the THC-rich oil directly on the cancerous areas of his skin. In just four days, the cancers were completely gone.

How to make Rick Simpson oil, step by step

All the information on how to create your own essential oil is free and available on Rick’s official website, Phoenix Tears and in the video above.

We’re going to share with you the basics on how to make your own RSO, and Rick is naturally very critical about people that are using his name to sell their variation of the oil, because the buyers cannot be certain if those manufacturers followed his recipe to a full extent. Also since it still remains illegal, there is a lot of room for conning people.

He adds that the best way to make sure you’re using the right oil is to make it yourself, because you don’t require anything except the bud material and a couple of kitchen appliances.

Rick Simpson makes his oil using the sedative Indica strains, as they create a relaxing and restful sensation, opposed to the energizing Sativa strains.


  • Cannabis-indica buds, one pound
  • A 5-gallon bucket
  • A deep bowl
  • Wooden spoon for mixing
  • Cheesecloth
  • Rice cooker
  • 2 gallons of solvent (99% isopropyl alcohol, or butane/ethanol)
  • A plastic syringe

This amount of cannabis will create around 60 grams of oil, but you can also make smaller batches by dividing the recipe into smaller parts.

Step 1)

Place the buds into the 5-gallon bucket and pour the solvent until the buds are completely covered in it. Stir and crush the buds with the wooden spoon which will make the THC dissolve into the solvent you’re using. Do this for about 3 minutes.

Step 2)

Drain the mixture from the bud material using a cheesecloth and a deep bowl. Once that’s done, return the bud material and the now already THC-infused solvent liquid back into the bucket, and repeat the process of stirring and crushing for three minutes, while adding the remaining part of the solvent into the mixture.

Step 3)

Once you’ve filtered the solvent using the cheesecloth and the deep bowl, throw away the bud material. Place a part of the THC-rich solvent into your rice cooker, until it’s about ¾ full.

The thing that’s great about rice cookers is that they’re exceptional at maintaining a steady temperature, which is really important for this procedure, because if the heat gets over 300 degrees Fahrenheit (148 Celsius), THC will burn, leaving the oil totally unusable and purposeless. For the best results, set the temperature between 210 and 230 Fahrenheit (100-110 Celsius), which is perfect for decarboxylation.

Step 4)

When heated, the solvent will slowly start to evaporate, so just keep adding more solvent to the rice cooker while the process is taking place.

Because this solvent is extremely flammable, absolutely make sure that there are no open flames, sparks of any kind, cigarettes or turned stovetops anywhere near, to avoid putting yourself and others around you in any danger. You should also use a fan or a ventilator to reduce the density of the fumes that the solvent expels while being heated, especially if you’re doing this in a confined closed space.

Once there is only a small amount of liquid left in the cooker and starts to get a thick oil-like appearance, you can either extract it with a syringe directly from the rice cooker, or if you see that the RSO isn’t thick enough, pour the oil into a small metal container, and place it on a coffee warmer to further evaporate any additional excess water.

There is a possibility that once you’ve extracted the oil into a syringe (and when it cools off), that it’ll become too thick for dispensing.

In that case, just place the syringe under warm tap-water, this will make the oil runny again, and easy to manage for dosing and further usage.

How to take Rick Simpson oil (dosage guide)

Precisely administering the oil is quite important, and the end-goal is to take 60 grams of oil over a 90-day period of time.

First week (3 doses a day)

Every 8 hours, take a half-grain of rice sized dose and repeat this process every day in these first seven days.

Weeks 2-5 (doubling every four days)

While also using the oil three times a day, with eight hours apart, gradually increase your dose by doubling the amount after every four days. People usually require three to five weeks to reach the optimal one-gram-a-day dosage. Once you’ve reached the one-gram-a-day plateau, you’ll be using this dose until the end of the treatment.

Weeks 5-12 (a gram a day)

Consuming one gram a day is around 8 or 9 rice-sized drops every 8 hours, and in this phase, people tend to mix the RSO with their food or drinks, because the taste can be a bit bitter, but it all depends on your own personal sensibility.

The gradual increase in dose over the first couple of weeks is mostly there to get you slowly used to the oil, and the side effects that include drowsiness and daytime sleepiness should stop after the first three or four weeks. But they aren’t anything to be concerned about, because the deep sleep induced by the oil is a paramount part of the healing process.

Rick explains that this amount of oil administered responsibly and gradually should be enough to fight even the most severe cases of illnesses and conditions which we listed the RSO is capable of helping with.

Once you’ve completed the 12-week regimen, you can even continue to consume the oil in what he calls a “maintenance dose”, which is around 1-2 grams a month. This helps keep the body in perfect harmony.

In case you’re taking some prescription medication and want to consume RSO at the same time, I suggest you consult with this page on Rick’s website, as it contains all the necessary information about this possibility.

If you or anyone you know had any experiences with RSO, please let us know in the comment section, because the dialog for this particular subject is extremely important for the people who’re still doubtful about this fascinating treatment method.

Categories Basics

29 thoughts on “Rick Simpson Oil (RSO) – How to Make Cannabis Oil That Saves Lives”

  1. Marco thanks for the complete info, the history and the “how to” both make and consume RSO. The vid was invaluable also. Anyone in a life or death situation with cancer would be smart to investigate this procedure even if you live in a that doesn’t allow MM usage. I personally would move or go to more open state and procure the necessary, life-saving ingredients. Note that during the first few weeks of following the RSO plan you will sleep virtually all day until your bod gets accustom to the THC levels.

    • Thanks for the kind words SomewhereInMT.
      Regarding the treatment, it is quite probable that a person will experience sedation to some degree, but this is actually a good thing, as the body recovers the most as it is resting, especially in the “deep sleep” phase of slumber.

    • I take 3 to 5 grams of rso that tests about 65 -70% thc per day. Is this excessive? I’m 67 and still working. I credit the oil with the fact i can still move. Been doing this for 5 years or so. It has affected my short yerm memory.

      • Hello Patrick, since I’m unfamiliar with the nature of your condition, it’s somewhat difficult for me to answer this question. So let’s start with that.
        The potency of the oil is slightly lower than usual, and Rick recommends a dosing regime that lasts significantly shorter. You can check it out here – http://phoenixtears.ca/dosage-information/

        As long as you’re feeling good you can follow your routine, and THC is well known to affect short term memory, but that’s definitely not dangerous in any way.

    • Thanks for letting us know Ashton, I’m certain that Rick wasn’t aware of this.

      Stick to 99% isopropyl alcohol, butane or ethanol, and you’ll be just fine.

  2. Don’t you need to decarb the weed first? It doesn’t matter that you set the rice cooker to 210-230f if isopropyl boils off at 180, and ethanol at 173.

    The solvent will never get to the set temp of the rice cooker, except during the last few minutes when all of the solvent has burned off. And getting the oil to 210 for 2-5 min may not be enough time to decarb it.

    • This excerpt is from phoenixtears.ca , the official website of Rick Simpson. There, it says: “When producing oil, if the temperature gets a little over 300°F (148°C), it will begin to vaporize the cannabinoids off the oil and, of course, you do not want this to occur. If a rice cooker is working properly, it will automatically come off the high heat setting at roughly 210 to 230°F or (100 to 110°C), which is above the temperature where most people say decarboxylation is said to occur.”

      For all additional info on making the oil please consult this page: http://phoenixtears.ca/producing-the-oil/
      It contains all the necessary information.

  3. I was on 240mg a day of opoids for 7 years because of a spinal cord disorder.
    I had to get off because now they cause pain.
    56 days on RSO and I am 100%opoid free!!!!!
    And RSO free. No addiction with cannabis.

    • Thank you so much for sharing George.

      RSO is indeed a powerful medicine for numerous conditions and disorders, including neuropathic pain, and since it’s one hundred percent natural, it is unable to cause addiction.

  4. to whom it may concern

    i would like to make my own rick simpson oil, but i have some questions regarding what plants to use. Eg the thc content etc etc please if someone could give me advise on it would be great.

    • Well the best thing to do is to ask around in your area to find a reliable source from your community, because there are a lot of swindlers out there who are selling fake RSO.

  5. Cannabis is one of the best healing plants and well known. About the same time the legislators made a law in 1917 is the beginning and near the time that big pharma began its push. By the 1940s quite a respectable from the business standpoint market of illicit drugs were created and so on, if you look you will see it, a planned attack.
    I don’t know any really old people but some of the ones I knew when young did accept cannabis and knew the truth about it.
    Like look at the old Sears Catalogue where Cannabis Liquid Preparation was sold there and obviously people were not too concerned many benefiting from it in fact. By eliminating the friendly life loving plant and benefits, more sales and disease until today nearly everyone, in order to live life itself must ask a doctor. Rockefeller bought up the entire medial industry in 1910 aiming to take it all over and form a monopoly. Did a pretty good job of it but I like life not money so he can go fly a kite. Read up these things for your self, doctor school is limited especially in these areas where odd things happened to plant acceptance, price and taxes.

  6. Hi Marco, you write above – ‘use any Indica strain with a high THC content for the production of RSO, as they provide sedative and restful effects, unlike energizing Sativa strains. ‘ Can you please clarify whether Indica strains are better in terms of healing power, or could you get the same results with a Sativa strain? Thanks in advance!

    • Hey Rob, when consuming RSO, a very important part of the healing process is resting, and the deep phase of sleep. This is where the body recovers the most, and because Sativas are so energizing, they are unable to create these sedative effects.

      Sativa strains definitely have medicinal value, but for very serious conditions such as cancer, high-potency oil of calming Indica strains is the way to go.

  7. Five years ago I dislocated my shoulder and the recovery process took 6 months to get full strength and mobility back. Two months ago I dislocated it a second time and I was dreading the 6-month recovery or potentially longer, since I am now older and it was a reoccurring issue that I did not want to get surgery for. I looked for alternative ways to speed up the recovery, and tried RSO; which to the great surprise of all my therapists, and doctors allowed for a complete recovery in 1 month. I simply took a rice sized drop nightly for 3 weeks. Since I wasn’t sure if it would work or not I bought .5g of 1:1 and .5g of THC only for $50 each at a local dispensary, but if my family or I ever had a serious illness like cancer I would create my own. The 1:1 was 350 mg each, and the THC only was 780mg.

    I have already shared my 1:1 RSO with my father, who applied it topically on his hand which suffers from carpal tunnel surgery and arthritis. Usually his hand would swell up like a balloon for 2 weeks and required heavy opioids, but after one day of applying two rice size drops of RSO topically the swelling was 90% gone and the pain went from a 9 to 0.

    Get some RSO, and store it in the fridge for a rainy day. Regardless of what happens anytime my health is affected I will be try recovering with RSO first.

    • Thank you so much for sharing this. The effects of this concentrated cannabinoid oil are incredibly versatile, and I couldn’t agree more about the rainy day strategy!

  8. Is it possible to start on a higher dosage to get faster results. I’m not sure I can wait 3 months. I’m trying to avoid invasive surgery & medications with severe side affects.

    Thank you!

    • Yes Mary, you definitely can. The “build-up” is mostly there to make the mind more accustomed to the psychoactive effects of high dosages, but if you already have some experience with cannabis, I’m certain you’ll be just fine.

      Otherwise it is completely non-toxic and it definitely isn’t dangerous.

  9. I hope this is some useful information regarding dosing. I am a daily, recreational marijuana user, and have reasonable tolerance. I occasionally have off-periods of a month or more following which my tolerance drops, and I would describe my reaction to substances in general as average-to-sensitive, in terms of dosage/effects. Having used RSO prepared by a reliable person, I am quite surprised by the suggested doses, and cannot understand how one could realistically progress to 1 gram per day. As a daily user (generally after 6 pm) two grains of rice induces a mind-bending high. There are no halucinations at this level, but garbled, trippy thought patterns, edge of vision visuals, and blood-red eyes. I am curious to know how regular, less-experienced users could use RSO to manage pain etc. without major side effects? I would exercise caution. Looking at the recipe above suggests ingesting 1 lb of marijuana bud across one or two months. That is annual consumption for a ‘serious’ weed smoker (where much of the active ingredients are wasted vs ingesting). This seems like the calculations or dosing is not right.

    • I appreciate your question BBQ, and would first of all like to say that RSO is primarily used for very serious illnesses like cancer, while conditions like (chronic) pain can be easily managed with regular smoking/vaping.

      While I do agree that consuming large quantities of RSO can definitely induce unpleasant psychoactive side effect for some people, this doesn’t really seem like a great price to pay when your life is on the line.

      The dosing calculations come directly from Rick Simpson, you should check them out on his website (https://phoenixtears.ca/dosage-information/)

      I also wanted to add that these two grains of rice (which I believe you consume recreationally, correct me if I’m wrong), are reached after 15 days of continuous every-8-hours use of RSO.

      A user consumes 0.5 grain of rice (every 8 hours) during the first week, and after that doubles the dose every 4 days (also following the 8-hour pattern).

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