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RSO Oil and CBD Oil? What’s the Difference?

When you’re new to the world of cannabis products, it can get a little confusing when trying to keep up with the many cannabinoids in the cannabis plant. That’s especially true when you first get introduced to Rick Simpson Oil (RSO) and CBD oil.

You might know the obvious facts, like the one that RSO oil is used to treat some forms of cancer and CBD is used for treating epilepsy, and that’s it. However, there’s a lot more to both these products than those surface-level facts, and we’re here to cover them all.

Well, luckily for you, we decided to make your life a little easier today. Throughout the length of this article, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know about the difference between RSO oil and CBD products.

So, without wasting any more of your time, keep on reading to learn everything there is about both RSO and CBD oil, including their benefits, appropriate doses, and how they’re made.

Rick Simpson Oil

What Is Rick Simpson Oil?

Rick Simpson Oil (RSO) is extracted from cannabis plants. It was developed by a Canadian man who had a form of skin cancer. He decided to use cannabis oils on the infected area by applying it and covering the area for a few days after reading that cannabis oil was used on mice to treat lung cancer.

Upon removing the bondage, he discovered that the skin cancer had stopped growing. He was cured. Since that day, RSO oil gained popularity for its cancer-treating abilities as well as other health benefits the oil has to offer.

So, you must be wondering what makes Rick Simpson oil so magical, and the answer is the large percentage of THC found in the oil.

THC, or Tetrahydrocannabinol, is one of over 100 cannabinoids found in the marijuana plant. Yes, that is the compound that gives people the feeling of being “high”, and it’s the primary psychoactive compound found in the plant.

Of course, that also makes RSO (Rick Simpson oil) a psychoactive oil that can affect your nervous system and cause mind-altering effects. We know how scary that may sound, so let’s talk more about how Rick Simpson oil is consumed and how much you might need.

Dosage and Consumptions

When dealing with any psychoactive substance, you need to be very careful of your dosages, let alone when consuming a substance as strong as Rick Simpson oil. We strongly recommend talking to a medical professional before starting to consume RSO oil products.

Rick Simpson oil can be applied topically on the skin. That way, it doesn’t enter the bloodstream, so you won’t feel the “high” from the THC, but you’ll still get the benefits of the RSO. On the other hand, you can also consume the oil by placing the dosage under your tongue. That method is the most effective and has the fastest absorption rate.

If you’re new to the Rick Simpson oil world, we strongly recommend starting with very little amounts (half a grain of rice). Once your body starts getting more used to and more comfortable with RSO, you can start increasing the doses gradually.

It goes without saying that you shouldn’t drive or operate machinery under the influence of RSO oil.

Benefits and Uses of RSO Oil

You must have seen a lot of claims about what RSO oil can and can’t do. To make things a little clearer for you, here’s a list of the benefits and uses of RSO oil.

  • Cancer treatment (including leukemia and skin cancer)
  • Reducing anxiety
  • Curing asthma
  • Treating anxiety
  • Treating inflammations
  • Fixing sleep issues (like insomnia)
  • Balancing high blood pressure
  • More illnesses

It’s still worth noting that there’s very little research and studies done around RSO, its benefits, and effectiveness. So, keep that in mind before deciding to start using RSO.


CBD oil: Risks and recent research | Nebraska Medicine Omaha, NE

What Is Cannabidiol Oil?

CBD oil, otherwise known as Cannabidiol, is yet another cannabis oil. Unlike RSO, CBD oil doesn’t make you feel high or affect your nervous system. As you can guess, that’s due to the small (or nonexistent) amount of THC in CBD.

In fact, there are many different kinds of CBD products. Some may have trace levels of THC, especially if that CBD oil is extracted from the marijuana plant. On the other hand, if it’s extracted from hemp, it’ll have very little to no THC, making it more convenient for a lot more people.

On top of that, CBD products are easier to get because if they have less than 0.3% THC, they’re federally legal in all states, and you don’t need to be living in a state where marijuana is legalized to purchase them.

The most popular use of CBD oils is to treat disorders like epilepsy and muscle spasticity. However, there’s one medicine containing CBD that has been approved by the FDA, which is Epidiolex that’s used in treating some seizures. Could that be the first step into regulating CBD products? We sure hope so.

Dosage and Consumptions

CBD comes in many different forms; the most popular one is oil. Even though it doesn’t have that much THC, you still need to be cautious around it. Much like RSO, we strongly recommend starting with a small dose and increasing it gradually to allow your body to get more familiar with the oil.

You can apply it topically or place a few drops under your tongue for quicker absorption; your choice of the method of consumption is strictly up to you.

Benefits and Uses of CBD

CBD oil has many health benefits on the body and the mind. These include:

  • Reducing anxiety
  • Treating depression
  • Treating acne
  • Ease cancer symptoms
  • Treating neurological disorders like epilepsy

However, whenever the benefits of CBD are mentioned, we must also mention its potential side effects. CBD might cause diarrhea or fatigue. Again, we strongly recommend following up with a medical professional when using CBD products.


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The Difference Between RSO Oils and CBD Oils

Even though RSO and CBD are cannabis oil products with (almost) the same extraction process (most likely using ethanol), there are a few differences between the two cannabinoids.

First of all, as we covered before, Rick Simpson oil is psychoactive, while CBD isn’t. RSO oil has much higher percentages of THC than CBD, which makes all the difference between the two oils.

Usually, RSO oil is derived from marijuana plants, which is the reason behind its high percentages of THC (usually over 20%). Contrarily, CBD is derived from the hemp plant.

On top of that, RSO oil is a full-spectrum cannabis plant product, meaning it has other cannabis compounds. These compounds help the product get absorbed by the body easily. On the other hand, CBD can be full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, or isolated.

To finish things off, let’s talk about the legality of each product, which is another critical difference. CBD is federally legal in all states as long as its THC content is less than 0.3%. Also, you’ll most likely pass a drug test if you’ve consumed CBD oil products, but there’s still a possibility of failure, so keep that in mind.

On the other hand, RSO is a marijuana product, so it’s only legal in the states where marijuana is legal. We strongly recommend you do your homework well before investing in an RSO product to make sure you aren’t breaking any state laws.

Final Words

The difference between RSO oil and CBD oil isn’t obvious, simply because both CBD oil and Rick Simpson Oil (RSO) are cannabis plant compounds. However, by this point, you should be able to differentiate between the two easily. Still, here’s a quick memory refresh in case you’re in need of one.

RSO is mostly known for its cancer-treating abilities. After being first used by Rick Simpson to treat his skin cancer, RSO started to gain popularity for its magical curings. RSO oil contains extremely high percentages of THC, which is what makes you feel “high”. 

For that, RSO oil must be approached with caution. Start with small doses and increase them gradually once your body gets more familiar with the cannabinoid.

On the other hand, CBD is much more “mild” than RSO, thanks to its low percentage of THC, usually less than 0.3%. CBD is popular among those with neurological disorders, especially epilepsy, as it seems to treat their symptoms. Moreover, it’s an excellent pain reliever and can treat some forms of cancer, too.

About the Writer

Shelley W.

Shelly is Saha's Head of the Editorial Team. In addition to personally contributing blog articles, Shelly is responsible for sourcing new writers and editing their work. Shelly is driven by her passion to educate about cannabinoid relief while finding ways to support those most impacted by the industry. Shelly has a degree in Media Communications and is currently working on a Masters in Digital Media and Integrity.