Rick Simpson Oil Benefits: Can Rick Simpson Oil Treat Cancer?

Rick Simpson Oil Benefits: Can Rick Simpson Oil Treat Cancer?

What is Rick Simpson oil?

Rick Simpson oil (RSO), is a cannabis oil product. It was created by Rick Simpson, a Canadian medicinal marijuana activist.

RSO is different from other cannabis oils in that it contains more tetrahydrocannabinol. This is the main psychoactive ingredient in marijuana that makes people "high". Other therapeutic cannabis oils may contain a cannabinoid called CBD but little or no THC. Rick Simpson does not sell RSO. He encourages people to make their own using his methods. However if you don’t want to make your own RSO, you can easily buy it from a cannabis dispensary near you.

Continue reading to find out more about RSO's health claims and to see if it lives up the hype.

What potential benefits are there?

RSO claims that it can treat cancer. Simpson was diagnosed in 2003 with skin carcinoma. He began using RSO to treat the cancerous areas on his neck and face. Simpson claims that the spots were healed in a matter of days.

Rick Simpson's website explains that RSO is made from a specific type of cannabis, Cannabis Indica. This produces a sedative effect which aids the body in healing.

RSO can also be used to treat cancer.

  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • arthritis
  • Asthma
  • Infections
  • inflammation
  • High blood pressure
  • Depression
  • insomnia

What is the research saying?

After reading about the 1975 study which tested cannabinoids on mice suffering from lung cancer, Rick Simpson decided to experiment with cannabis oil. THC and another cannabinoid, called cannabinol, slowed lung cancer growth in mice. There has been a lot of research that involves cell samples and animal models to study the effects of cannabinoids in cancer growth.

An 2014 study examining the effects of THC, CBD and radiation therapy on mice found that THC and CBD extracts had a positive effect. Radiation therapy against aggressive brain cancer was more effective when cannabis extracts were used. These results, according to the researchers, suggest that CBD and THC may be able to help cancer cells respond better to radiation therapy. Another study with human cells showed that THC actually increased growth rates of certain brain and lung cancer cells.

Recent clinical trials that involved human patients with cancer have seen some success in the early stages. These studies show that cannabinoids have been safe for cancer patients. However, they do not fully prove whether or not cannabinoids can be used to treat or control the disease.

A case report from 2013 also describes a 14-year old girl with a particular type of leukemia. Rick Simpson, her family, created a cannabinoid extract known as hemp oil that she used daily. With mixed results, she tried other oils from different sources. Although the hemp oils seemed to be effective in treating her cancer, she passed away two months later from an unrelated gastrointestinal problem. It is difficult to say if cannabis can be used for long-term cancer prevention.

These results are encouraging, but more long-term studies are required to understand the effects of different cannabis strains and cannabinoids on cancer cells.

Are there side effects or potential risks?

THC can cause a variety of psychological symptoms.

  • Paranoia
  • anxiety
  • Hallucinations
  • Disorientation
  • Depression
  • irritability

It can also have side effects that cause problems such as:

  • Low blood pressure
  • bloodshot eyes
  • dizziness
  • slow digestion
  • Sleeping problems
  • Motor control and reaction time impairments
  • Memory impairment

These side effects can last only a few hours, and are not considered to be a major health risk.

RSO poses the greatest risk because there isn’t enough evidence to prove that it is effective in treating cancer. If someone does not follow their doctor's advice, it can be very dangerous. The RSO may not work and cancer can grow, making it more difficult to treat.

Rick Simpson also advocates making your own RSO. This comes with some risks. You will need to get a lot of marijuana, which can be illegal in certain areas. The second is the risk involved in creating the oil. An explosion can occur if a spark hits one of the solvents that are used to make RSO. If these solvents are not properly handled, they can cause cancerous reactions. That’s why we recommend buying it from your local cannabis dispensary.

You should continue to receive any treatment recommended by your doctor if you are considering using RSO to treat cancer. Also, you should research the laws regarding medical marijuana in your region. You might be able to get a pre-made oil from your local dispensary if you live in an area that allows medical marijuana.

The bottom line

Although there is some promising research on cannabis' ability to treat cancer, experts still have a lot of work to do before they can provide definitive evidence. Some research has shown that THC may increase the growth rate of cancer cells. Before cannabis is recommended as a treatment for cancer, large-scale human trials are required. Talk to your doctor if you are interested in cannabis as a treatment for cancer, or to reduce side effects from conventional treatments.