Both RSO and CBD oil are extracted from cannabis and have gained popularity for their medicinal properties. In simple terms, RSO is a highly concentrated version of CBD oil.
To fully understand the difference between RSO and CBD oil, it's important to first understand the legal difference between products derived from marijuana and those derived from hemp. In the United States, a cannabis product that has more than 0.3% THC is considered to be derived from marijuana. A product with less than 0.3% THC is considered to be derived from hemp.
This is an important distinction since marijuana and products derived from marijuana are still federally illegal. Those looking to buy RSO and CBD oil products derived from marijuana (more than 0.3% THC) can only get them legally from licensed dispensaries in states where marijuana is legal.
Conversely, hemp-derived extracts were made federally legal in December 2018 with the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill. There continue to be some grey areas in terms of state and local laws with regard to hemp-derived products. But generally, CBD oil products derived from hemp (less than 0.3% THC) can be legally purchased online and in an increasing number of local stores.
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What is Rick Simpson Oil (RSO)?
Rick Simpson is a Canadian medical marijuana activist who gained notoriety from successfully treating his own cancer with homemade cannabis oil. His story and recipe for making high THC (~90%), high-potency oil from marijuana flower has become a worldwide phenomenon. Over time, Rick Simpson Oil (RSO) has become a general term used to describe highly-concentrated cannabis-derived products.
RSO is one of the more common cannabis oil extracts being made in the personal homes of medical cannabis patients. The process is relatively simple. Dry flower and an oil solvent are mixed together and soaked, followed by the straining of the flower to separate it from the solvent. This is repeated a few more times with fresh solvent to continue extracting cannabinoids.
Once this process is completed, the flower is discarded and the strained solvent is transferred into a heated vessel, such as a rice cooker. From there, the solvent is heated up. This causes the cannabinoids in the solvent to decarb into their “activated” forms, including THC. The solvent is then slowly evaporated off, leaving behind a thick, concentrated oil. Once all the solvent has evaporated, the oil is ready to be used.
More information about Rick Simpson's story and instructions for making RSO are available at his official website phoenixtears.ca.
Real RSO Cannot Be Purchased Online
"Real" RSO that is commonly used to treat cancer and other severe conditions is very high in THC. It contains levels of THC that are far in excess of anything that can be legally purchased online. Those interested in real RSO need to learn how to make it themselves or visit a dispensary in a legal state to learn more about their options.
Do not attempt to buy marijuana-derived RSO online. Not only is it illegal but you will be scammed pretty much 100% of the time. Sadly, there are many unscrupulous websites and scammers who are actively looking to prey on people who are desperately trying to buy real RSO online. The scammer will request money by Western Union or other non-traditional payment methods. After they get your money, they will disappear. Not only will you not receive any product, but you'll also have no recourse to get your money back.
What is Hemp-Derived RSO?
Hemp-derived RSO is generally defined as a product that contains highly-concentrated full spectrum hemp extract. These products often come in a syringe form and are similar in look and consistency to real RSO.
But there's a key difference. Hemp-derived RSO products contain high levels of CBD but less than 0.3% THC. This is an important distinction since the unique effectiveness of real RSO is usually attributed to its high levels of THC derived from marijuana.
Hemp-derived RSO products are not without merit. But they should be thought of as just a more concentrated version of traditional hemp-derived CBD oil tinctures. For example, Lazarus Naturals sells a hemp-derived CBD product that they call RSO. It's sold in a 10ml syringe or 50ml syringe and has 100 milligrams of CBD per milliliter. That's twice the potency of their full-spectrum CBD oil tinctures.
These high-potency hemp products from Lazarus Naturals and other reputable brands like Endoca are still useful and more potent than typical sublingual CBD oils. But for those seeking treatment for more serious ailments, hemp-derived "CBD RSO" is much different than the real RSO that they may be seeking.