Concentrated extracts of cannabis, also known as cannabis oils because of their viscous and sticky appearance, are always more popular among patients who self-medicate, and who sometimes present themselves as a "cancer cure". In general, the methods of manufacturing cannabis oils are quite simple and do not require specific equipment. In this field, the best-known example of this type of product is the so-called "Rick Simpson oil", also know as RSO, for its acronym in English.
The story about Rick Simpson oil
In 1997, Rick Simpson worked as an engineer in Canada and, due to an accident at work, began to suffer constant headaches and tinnitus. Despite several check-ups at the hospital, the prescription drugs could not provide any relief.
In 1999, after watching a television show that talked about medicinal cannabis, Rick called one of his friends to let him try a joint. I was really surprised to notice the feeling of relief, much stronger than when I used prescription medications. For this reason, he asked his doctor to prescribe marijuana but, unfortunately, he was denied completely.
During the following years, the symptoms of the disease worsened, preventing Rick from having a normal life. After having thought about suicide a few times, he decided to look for an alternative to heal himself on his own. He recalled that smoking marijuana felt a great relief and wondered what effects a concentration of cannabinoids could produce, in the form of oil.
Then, he started growing cannabis plants and making an extraction of the flowers he took daily, from very low doses. As stated by Rick, the symptoms of the injury were quickly mitigated, his sleep improved and the pain and blood pressure decreased. In addition, Rick lost most of his extra weight and appeared to be still in good shape. He came back to normal life!
In 2002, he was diagnosed with basal cell carcinomaone (The most common malignant skin tumor that doctors generally suggest surgically remove, with a cure rate of 98% 2).
In 2003, he underwent surgery, but a few weeks later, the tumor had already reappeared. After the limited success of conventional treatments, Simpson relied on THC oil in an attempt to heal. Because of this, thanks to his experience with marijuana, and after reading Antineoplastic activity of cannabinoids, a study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, Rick again chose cannabis as a treatment for his disease. Rick tested his marijuana oil directly on the affected skin:
"Why not put a little oil on the other two cancers and see what happens? I applied the oil, covered the affected areas with a bandage and left it for four days. In the meantime, I did not feel anything happening, so I thought it was not working. "
Simpson says that, just four days later, her skin cancer disappeared and she has been in remission since then. So, excited about this news, Rick wanted to try to help his mother with psoriasis and started applying some of her oil on infected skin. In a few weeks, his injuries disappeared and the skin healed. At that time, Rick decided to share his cannabis oil for free with all the patients who were requesting it.
During the first year, Rick had already treated about 50-60 people for various skin problems. In a few years, Rick Simpson proposed his marijuana oil to more than 5,000 people with different pathologies: cancer, leukemia, melanoma, diabetes, chronic pain, warts, viral and bacterial infections … Rick stated that approximately 70% of his patients, following their protocol, they were released from cancer, assuming 60 grams of their high quality cannabis oil. In addition, Rick specifies that, in the event that, unfortunately, it is too late to cure the ailment, his oil allows to improve the end-of-life quality of the patient, so that, at least, he can die with dignity.
What is Rick Simpson oil?
The oil of Rick Simpson (known by the acronym RSO, by its name in English) is an oil derived from cannabis, which has a very high concentration of THC. This fact makes the oil completely different from the one we usually find in the market, since, as we say, it has a high concentration of THC.
Anecdotal uses and benefits of the RSO
According to what is published on the Rick Simpson website, the RSO is used primarily as an alternative cancer treatment, but apart from cancer, it can also treat:
Although Rick affirms that they are the most common pathologies that can be treated with his oilone, it is necessary to understand that Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (Delta-9-THC), the main psychoactive compound in marijuana, can also cause a variety of psychological disorders and physical symptoms:
- Cannabis hyperemesis syndrome3.
At the same time, it is important to mention that the publication Antineoplastic activity of cannabinoids, which Rick trusted to start treating his cancer with oil, is still under investigation4. In fact, the main risk associated with Rick Simpson's oil is the lack of evidence to show its effectiveness in cancer treatments. This becomes even more dangerous if the patient stops following the conventional recommendations of doctors to treat their cancer.
What the science says about the oil of Rick Simpson
Before following the path of Simpson, it is necessary to know how the scientific community evaluates the efficiency of cannabis and, especially, of Rick Simpson's oil to cure cancer.
According to what was published in Cancer Research UK, the largest independent cancer research in the world, there is no general consensus within the scientific community about the use of cannabis as an effective treatment for cancer.5.
Open letter: Dr. Franjo Grotenhermen's criticisms of Rick Simpson's oil
Medical doctor Franjo Grotenhermen, founder of the International Cannabinoid Medicines Association, sent a letter to Rick Simpson urging him to be more cautious, especially in relation to his claims and promises of healing, which the doctor considers excessive.
In the first part of the letter, Dr. Franjo observed how, today, many desperate people, who suffer from cancer and other serious disorders, trust their hopes in the recommendations of Simpson. At the same time, he agrees with Simpson's willingness to preserve the survival and prosperity of humanity, with the aim of sharing the truth with as many people as possible, in order to obtain a substantial change.
However, in the second part of the same letter, Dr. Franjo highlights six main critical points about Simpson's approach:
1. Lack of knowledge
The main criticism that Franjo identified comes from the words of Simpson. He states that decarboxylation occurs when the molecules inside the oil are converted to the delta-9 position, when they undergo a heating process, so that they become their medically active form (Pos. 717, Kindle).
Franjo replies that before decarboxylation, the substance is already delta-9-THC, while the process involves the removal of carbon dioxide from the molecule, converting the THC acid (THCA) naturally present in phenolic THC, responsible of most of the medical benefits of delta-9-THC. In addition, Franjo clarifies that it is not a protein contained in the cannabis plant that is in charge of the properties to fight cancer, but phytochemicals may have such activities.
2. Wrong beliefs
Simpson shows even more erroneous beliefs when talking about the importance of administering the oil as close as possible to a tumor, emphasizing the strongest effect that can be obtained in this way (Pos. 1012, Kindle). However, cannabinoids reach cancer through the cardiovascular system of the body, Franjo replies.
3. Confused amount and concentration
According to Simpson, it is impossible for a cannabis tincture to be as powerful as an extract. The truth is that the effect does not depend on the concentration, but on the absolute amount ingested.
4. Missing and misleading data
Simpson confesses that approximately one in ten people publicly tells what they have experienced, but most patients do not. Since 2003, according to Simpson, he has administered his extract to approximately 5,000 people, who suffered from various medical problems, and most of these people have been controlled and cured with this oil (Pos. 1377, Kindle).
This statement already shows many critical problems. Especially if Simpson claims and complains about the fact that he did not receive a response from most of his patients. However, he boldly asserts that most of his cancer patients, including those for whom he did not receive any news, were fully cured or under control with his oil. Claims based on such limited data become directly absurd, especially if we take into account that there are approximately 1,000 different types of cancers classified – says Franjo in his letter.
5. Fixation by THC
Simpson always recommends high-grade cannabis extracts, with THC levels between 80-90%. According to Simpson, the higher the quality of the oil, the more pronounced will be its healing effect (Pos. 368, Kindle).
Today, several studies show the cancer-inhibiting properties of other cannabinoids, in particular the non-psychoactive cannabinoid, Cannabidiol (CBD). There is evidence that CBD may play a more important role than THC in some types of tumors. In addition, the known retinal effect, and especially the combination of THC and CBD together, may offer more effective benefits than only isolated THC. Among other factors, CBD can be of great importance when THC is not well tolerated and, clearly, large doses are out of the question. In these cases, a treatment with a high dose of CBD can be tried, both to reduce the psychoactive effect of THC and for the proper properties of the CBD against certain types of cancer.
Simpson developed his theory 15 years ago, when the CBD had not been taken into account. However, the real knowledge of the effectiveness of the whole plant phytocomplex in the treatment of cancer is of a preliminary nature, and researchers and physicians must always keep in mind the new data to offer the most effective advice and treatments. updated for patients.
6. Warning against effective conventional therapies
Simpson writes that most people who contact him have been severely damaged by the medical system due to chemotherapy and radiation, etc. Ensures that the damage caused by these treatments have a lasting effect on patients, which makes them more difficult to cure. However, he says, his oil still has a success rate of 70 to 80% (Pos. 970, Kindle).
This is one of the most important topics for Franjo. The German doctor strongly criticizes Simpson's recommendations for his patients to avoid conventional treatments, arguing that radio and chemotherapy treatments cause serious damage.
Although, responds Franjo, nobody knows the success rate of this oil, due to the small amount of comments, the medical community widely accepts the effectiveness of standard therapies, showing so far, a success rate of around 55%. In addition, Franjo also wishes to highlight the great possibilities offered by a combination of cannabinoids and conventional therapies, instead of relying solely on cannabis.
At the end of the letter, Franjo wants to clarify that the fact that Simpson presents erroneous data, not understanding the bases of chemistry, physiology and medicine, is not what he holds against Rick. But nevertheless, "Even if one does not need to know all the details, this is a matter of life or death, and it is clear that it is not up to their responsibility and, therefore, their own aspiration."
"It's about the welfare of the people who come to us. They have the right to the best and most recent information possible, as well as the best possible advice. When it comes to medical treatment, especially when faced with a serious illness, it is not enough to treat patients trusting good intentions and condemning them with vehemence. I am convinced that his reputation among supporters would improve if he could review and update his advice. I am convinced that cannabis and cannabinoid therapies are valuable in the treatment of cancer. Let's approach your potential with great care and awareness! " 6.
The criticisms shown by Franjo are completely shared by all the medical team of Kalapa Clinic. Due to the different morphologies and physiological functions involved in cancer, the "curative" effect of cannabinoids remains poorly understood. Even so, there is complete support for conventional treatments, such as radio and chemotherapy, as well as for the medical use of cannabinoids as adjuvant therapy.
Did you like this post? Make an assessment. This post has been made based on existing research until the date of publication of the article. Due to the increase of studies around medical cannabis, the information exposed may vary over time and we will inform in subsequent writings.
- The story of Rick Simpson, Phoenix Tears.
- Gandhi, S.A., & Kampp, J. (2015). Skin Cancer Epidemiology, Detection, and Management. Medical Clinics of North America, 99 (6), 1323-1335.doi: 10.1016 / j.mcna.2015.06.002
- Temple, L. M., & Leikin, J. B. (2019). Tetrahydrocannabinol – friend or foe? – Debate Clinical Toxicology, 1-7. doi: 10.1080 / 15563650.2019.1610567
- Munson, A.E., Harris, L.S., Friedman, M.A., Dewey, W.L., & Carchman, R.A. (1975). Antineoplastic Activity of Cannabinoids2. JNCI: Journal of the National Cancer Institute, 55 (3), 597-602. doi: 10.1093 / jnci / 55.3.597
- Kat Arney, Cancer Research UK. Cannabis, cannabinoids and cancer – the evidence so far "July 25, 2012
- com "An Open Letter to Rick Simpson by Dr. Franjo Grotenhermen
Here’s what you need to know before visiting your regional medical dispensary:You may require a doctor’s recommendation, medical cannabis certification, and/or whatever appropriate documentation is required by your condition. Ordinarily, you need to be 18 or older to qualify for a medical consent, but exceptions may be made in some states for minors with especially debilitating conditions. You will often register with a medicinal dispensary. This is to maintain your medical cannabis recommendation or certification on file for legal and regulatory purposes. There will be a waiting space. This is to control the circulation of patients and product, but a simple dividing wall gives patients privacy and direct one-on-one contact using a budtender to discuss medical issues. This procedure can assist budtenders and patients monitor effective medicine in addition to possess a living listing of manufacturers and products for future reference and follow-up. Medicinal dispensaries usually permit you to smell and examine the buds before buy. This may vary from state-to-state.
DOES AN APPLICANT NEED MUNICIPAL APPROVAL BEFORE RECEIVING A RETAIL CANNABIS LICENSE? Yes, municipal approval is required before the AGLC will subject a retail cannabis license. Applicants should get in touch with their planned municipality to find out requirements concerning municipal retail cannabis legislation, zoning requirements, land-use limitations, and location requirements concerning how close a retail shop is to a provincial medical care facility, college, or parcel of property designated as a school reserve.
Keep non-medical cannabis legal Adults who are 19 years or older are able to:Possess up to 30 gram of legal dried cannabis or the equivalent in their person. Share up to 30 g of legal cannabis with other adults in Canada. Buy cannabis products from a Yukon Liquor Corporation licensed merchant. Grow up to four crops per household. It is illegal to present non invasive cannabis to anyone under the age of 19 and also for anyone under the age of 19 to have any quantity of anti inflammatory cannabis in Yukon.It is illegal and dangerous to drive while under the influence of cannabis or other intoxicants.