Rick Simpson Oil for Cancer: Does It Work? Claims, investigations and risks

What is Rick Simpson oil?

Rick Simpson Oil (RSO) is a product of cannabis oil. It was developed by Rick Simpson, a Canadian medical marijuana activist.

RSO differs from many other cannabis oils because it contains higher levels of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). This is the main psychoactive cannabinoid in marijuana that makes people "high". Other therapeutic cannabis oils tend to contain a cannabinoid called cannabidiol (CBD) and little or no THC. Also, Rick Simpson does not sell RSO. Instead, it encourages people to create their own use of their methods.

Read on to get more information about the health claims behind RSO and if it lives up to the hype.

What are the potential benefits?

The main claim that surrounds the RSO is that it treats cancer. After Simpson was diagnosed with skin cancer in 2003, he began to apply RSO to the cancerous spots on his face and neck. According to Simpson, the spots healed in a few days.

According to the Rick Simpson website, the RSO is made from a particular type of cannabis called Cannabis indicates, which produces a sedative effect that helps the body to heal.

In addition to cancer, it is said that the RSO also treats:

  • multiple sclerosis

  • arthritis

  • asthma

  • infections

  • inflammation

  • high blood pressure

  • depression

  • insomnia

What does the research say?

Rick Simpson decided to try cannabis oil after reading the results of a 1975 study that tested the use of cannabinoids in mice with lung cancer. The study found that both THC and another cannabinoid called cannabinol (CBN) slowed the growth of lung cancer in mice.

Since then, there has been a good deal of research with cell samples and animal models that analyze the effects of cannabinoids on cancer growth.

A 2014 study in mice examined the effects of THC and CBD extracts together with radiotherapy. Cannabis extracts seemed to increase the effectiveness of radiation against an aggressive type of brain cancer. According to the authors of the study, these results suggest that THC and CBD can help prepare cancer cells to respond better to radiation therapy.

However, another study with human cells found that THC actually increased the growth rate of certain lung and brain cancer cells.

Recently, some early-stage clinical trials have been conducted with human participants with cancer. While these studies have shown that cannabinoids are safe for use in cancer patients, they do not fully prove whether cannabinoids can help treat or control cancer.

There is also a 2013 case report that involves a 14-year-old girl with a specific type of leukemia. His family worked with Rick Simpson to create a cannabinoid resin extract, known as hemp oil, that he took daily. Finally, he tried to use some other oils from different sources with mixed results. However, hemp oils seemed to treat his cancer, although he died a little more than two months after treatment due to an unrelated gastrointestinal condition. This makes it difficult to conclude anything about the long-term effectiveness of cannabis for cancer.

While these results are promising, much larger long-term studies are needed to fully understand how different varieties of cannabinoids and cannabis affect cancer cells.

Are there any side effects or risks?

THC is a psychoactive substance, which means that it can produce a variety of psychological symptoms, such as:

  • paranoia

  • anxiety

  • hallucinations

  • disorientation

  • depression

  • irritability

It can also cause physical side effects, such as:

  • low blood pressure

  • eyes injected with blood

  • dizziness

  • slow digestion

  • trouble sleeping

  • Deteriorated motor control and reaction time.

  • memory impairment

However, these side effects can last only a few hours and, in general, do not pose any significant health risk.

The greatest risk associated with RSO is that there is not much evidence that it effectively treats cancer. This becomes very dangerous if someone stops following the cancer treatment recommended by their doctor. If the RSO does not work, the cancer can continue to grow and become increasingly difficult to treat, even with conventional methods, such as chemotherapy.

In addition, Rick Simpson advocates making his own RSO, which carries some risks. First, you must get a good amount of marijuana, which is illegal in some areas. Second, the process to create the oil is quite risky. If a spark reaches one of the solvents used to make RSO, it can cause an explosion. In addition, these solvents can leave cancer-causing waste if not handled properly.

If you want to try using RSO for cancer, it is best to keep up with any other treatment recommended by your doctor while using it. You should also read about the medical marijuana laws in your area. If you live somewhere that allows medical marijuana, consider asking for advice on how to obtain a pre-made oil at your local dispensary.

The bottom line

While there is some promising research on the use of cannabis to treat cancer, experts are still far from having conclusive evidence on which cannabinoids and strains work best. In addition, some research suggests that THC can increase the growth of cancer cells. Large human studies are needed before cannabis becomes a recommended treatment for cancer. If you are interested in using cannabis for cancer or to treat the side effects of conventional treatments, talk to your doctor.

Reference: https: //www.healthline.com/health/rick-simpson-oil-cancer


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