RSO (also known as Rick Simpson Oil) was developed by Rick Simpson, a Canadian medical marijuana activist. RSO differs from a lot of other cannabis oils because it contains higher levels of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). RSO is an unrefined, potent oil extracted from cannabis using ethanol.
While the RSO process does extract the full range of compounds, the process of removing the solvent from the solution requires heat. Heat changes the cannabinoids from their acid form into their activated form in a process called decarboxylation (i.e. THCA decarboxylates into THC and CBDA into CBD). The heat also volatilizes most of the terpenes that were initially extracted, leaving an oil that may not have all the bioactive compounds that were available in the plant’s trichome glands.
RSO is typically not smoked. It is applied in the following ways:
- As a topical rubbed onto the surface of the skin
- As a sublingual (under the tongue) for the fastest absorption rate
- As a capsule taken orally for slowest-acting effects that last longer
- As an addition into the baking of edibles.