RSO cannabis oil in a syringe with cannabis buds and leaf

What to Know About Rick Simpson Oil (and FECO)

Who is Rick Simpson?

Rick Simpson’s (and Rick Simpson Oil) claim to fame began when he fell off a ladder in a Canadian hospital after breathing noxious fumes from a caustic solvent with which he was working. For years after this episode he suffered from dizziness and ringing in the ears, conditions that were not alleviated by prescribed medications. He started using cannabis and saw some improvement. A few years later, in 2003, Simpson developed three nodules on his arm which were diagnosed as basal cell cancer of the skin.

As an engineer who already had some knowledge of cannabis, he formulated a concentrated oil (FECO – Full Extract Cannabis Oil) that he applied directly to the lesions which he then covered with bandages. Four days later, he removed the bandages to find the cancer had disappeared. After that, he made it his personal mission to help others’ suffering – free of charge.

What is Rick Simpson Oil (RSO)?

RSO is a concentrated oil made from the THC-rich indica cannabis plant using a solvent. Following several more steps, the final product is a thick resin mixture that looks like black tar. Most people who use this 80+% THC (best known as the psychoactive ingredient in cannabis) have cancer and there is an outlined protocol for its use. Normally a dose begins as the size of a grain of rice which is ingested with another food like a cracker due to the bitter taste of RSO. Gradually the dose is increased over a twelve-week period. The main side effect is drowsiness which is good, because sleep helps the body heal.

What are FECO and Rick Simpson Oil (RSO)?

You know about CBD and THC so what are these new acronyms, FECO and RSO, we are using and what do they do?


FECO stands for Full Extract Cannabis Oil which is a highly concentrated whole plant extract that offers one of the broadest spectrums of cannabinoids available.

Rick Simpson Oil (RSO)

Essentially RSO is a type of FECO. The main difference between them is that FECO is extracted using food-grade ethyl alcohol while traditionally RSO is extracted with naphtha, a flammable petroleum product or isopropyl alcohol.

The Entourage Effect

As we all know, cannabis is best when it contains the most cannabinoids (full spectrum) rather than isolating certain ones (isolate). Full spectrum allows for the entourage effect, when all cannabinoids are working to potentiate the maximum health benefit. By extracting all of the goodness the plant has to offer, it is easy to understand why full extract cannabis oil is one of the strongest and most beneficial medicines available.

What do FECO and RSO best treat?

Although most people think of RSO as a cancer treatment, it is also useful in treating many other ailments such as MS, Crohn’s and other digestive issues, depression, PTSD, insomnia, anorexia… the list goes on and on.

How do I know if RSO or FECO are right for me?

As with all things cannabis, it is a very personal choice and everybody responds to it a little differently. If your normal cannabis regimen is working, don’t change it. However, if you are not getting the desired effects and relief from your go-to cannabis product, this may be a good solution. It is best to speak with your cannabis doctor to see if RSO is a good fit for you and your overall health and wellness.

What are the best ways to consume Rick Simpson Oil?

Because of the way it is extracted, it is not advisable to smoke, vape, or cook with FECO products. However, you can take it orally or sublingually, rectally, or topically. Let’s explore which method might be right for you.


Most people take full extract cannabis oil orally. Typically it can be put on a cracker, cookie, etc. and eaten. However, it should be noted that the taste of the oil can be a little overpowering. To cut the flower flavor, try adding mint, cherry, or another strong taste to tame it down a bit.


Another way to consume it orally is through capsules which you can easily make at home. Simply put the desired dose in an empty capsule and consume immediately or store in a cool dry place. Capsules are also a great time saver since you can do a bunch of them at once.


Depending on the illness affecting you, it may be beneficial to make the RSO into suppositories and use them rectally. Because the medicine is going directly where it is needed most, this is a fantastic method for prostrate, colon, or rectal cancer as well as digestive ailments.

This method of consumption also delivers zero head high or psychoactive effects to the patient, allowing them to continue throughout their day with no mental impairment. Why doesn’t it make you high? It is because of the direct application of cannabis to the bloodstream which bypasses the liver.


In some cases, women have also used vaginal suppositories for reproductive organ issues such as cancer, endometriosis, and menstrual cramps. (Yes, it works great for menstrual cramps!)


Lastly, you can apply RSO topically just as Rick Simpson did to cure his own cancer. Apply the RSO (it’s really really sticky) to the area and cover with a bandage, repeating every one to three days.

Dosing RSO: The Rick Simpson Protocol

When we talk about dosing RSO, we usually discuss the Rick Simpson Protocol. Typically, with this method, a patient will take about 90 days to consume the full 60g treatment and this treatment is used for most any ailment that responds well to cannabis.

Starting Dose

The starting dose is the size of a half of a piece of dry short­grain rice (a quarter drop) … Yes, that it! Trust me, even with such a small amount, it still packs a whallop. (For comparison, two grains of short-grained dry rice is equal to one drop.)

Week One

Treatment starts at three doses per day in eight hour increments: one in the morning, one in the afternoon, and one about an hour before bed (i.e.: 7am, 3pm, and 11 pm).

Week Two

Starting with week two, the dose should be doubled every four days (increase to the size of one grain of rice, then two grains, then four…). Remember, everyone is different and this it isn’t a race. If you feel uncomfortable don’t increase the dose until you feel you are ready to do so.

Week Three - Four - or - Five

It takes the average person about three to five weeks to get up to the 1g per day (.33g per dose).

Maintenance Dose

After the treatment has ended, many patients will remain taking the RSO, but in much smaller doses. A typical maintenance dose is one to two grams per month which equates to a drop or two a night.


Because full extract cannabis oil is so strong and powerful, one has to be extremely mindful when using it. This is where I give you the “don’t operate heavy machinery or drive a car until you know how you respond to this medicine” speech. Also…

Uh Oh! What do I do if I overconsume?

If you do overconsume (remember, you can’t overdose on cannabis) here are a few tips to get you through.

  • Breathe and remember that the feeling is temporary. And the feeling will end soon.
  • Have a bottle of CBD on hand. CBD counteracts the psychoactive effects of THC and can lessen the high.
  • Go for a walk. A bit of fresh air could be just what you need to distract yourself.
  • Hydrate. Drinking water is just a good idea, especially when you have overconsumed.
  • Ingest lemon or pepper. Both of these contain terpenes that help counteract the effects of THC.



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