Cannabis Corner: Rick Simpson Oil – Snake Oil or Medical Miracle?


I decided to do my follow up piece to the first Cannabis Corner about Rick Simpson Oil. This was selfish decision because I wanted to learn more about it and none of you had asked me any questions yet. So I set out to dive into this subject yesterday. And I am disappointed to report back that that Rick Simpson himself is a total nut job and digging into the subject was actually exhausting.

I should preface this topic, and any others of the like, by saying that I believe in Western medicine. I don’t believe in reiki or sound baths or healing crystals. I don’t think we can vibrate our problems away, and I don’t think the color of my chakras has any bearing on the outcome of my conscience decisions. But I do believe that there are chemical compounds in cannabis that can be life saving (or at least life bettering). And there is science to back that up. And that’s what intrigues me about Rick Simpson Oil (RSO), or better yet the process of creating RSO for medicinal purposes.

Rick Simpson is a Canadian (so arguably an already less stressed out dude) who got skin cancer and decided to treat it with A LOT of weed. He got the idea from a 1975 study that showed that THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol – a cannabinoid in weed that has the psychotropic effects) stunted the growth of cancer cells in mice. Specifically lung cancer. So he ran with the idea. Isolating the cannabinoids from the plant to create an oil.

To give you an idea of how much weed we are talking about in this oil: California has a law that you prohibits companies from making edibles higher than 100mg a dose. Most commonly people looking to get high through ingesting weed in an oil or buter form will take 10-20mg to feel the full effects (sure – it’s way higher for me, but my tolerance is bonkers). The amount of THC in the doses of RSO that he was treating himself with were around 1000mg a pop. So you aren’t going to combat cancer with a joint a day. But with elephant tranquilizer doses of cannabis, it was a regimen that actually ended up defeating Rick’s skin cancer.

In more recent studies, scientists have found that the THC cannabinoid increases the effectiveness of radiation therapy, which can also stop the growth and spreading of cancer cells. And regardless of how it impacts cancer itself, using THC (and other cannabinoids like CBD) has a myriad of other medical applications. It’s proven to relieve ocular pressure suffered by glaucoma patients, it helps control blood sugar levels, and it’s an anti-inflammatory that offers endless amounts of physical pain relief.

Rick Simpson Oil itself is not a brand name. Although there are companies that manufacturer it like Phoenix Tears. RSO is the process of isolating that THC compound from the rest of the plant matter. It’s something Rick himself is passionate about teaching, and encourages people struggling with long-term medical conditions to learn the process of creating this oil for their own at home treatments. As previously mentioned though, it requires a SHIT ton of weed.

There are plenty of case studies out there, and I was trying to avoid you having to read them all by giving you a quick overview here. But my takeaway is it’s just too new of a science for anyone to report real definitive answers on yet. But I have a friend who is making 750mg suppositories of RSO for her mother as she continues her own personal battle with cancer. I know that when my father was faced with every possible cancer treatment, that was more or less a laundry list of poisons he could choose to fill his body with, that I wish this was an option. That this was that one box we could have checked and said “we really did try everything”. Because there is constantly mounting evidence that this plant we can literally grow in our backyards, has components that are meant to work in conjunction with our bodies. And can. And should.

I smoke weed recreationally. But I firmly believe it ALWAYS being consumed medicinally, as it is intentionally or not doing a lot of good for our bodies while we are elevated.

Next week we’ll take a look about traveling with weed legally (or less illegally) and other caveats of getting around with a substance that’s illegal some places, and totally legit in others. In the interim – send any weed related questions my way at or drop a comment below. See you next week, stoners.

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