Can You Get High on RSO? Understanding the Dangers of Rick Simpson Oil (RSO)

Medical marijuana is legal in several states across America. While many people believe THC has medicinal value for a variety of conditions including chronic pain disorders, the benefits of medical marijuana are not fully known. Similarly, the risks of using medical marijuana require further research to provide users with a clear picture.

One of the forms of THC that is used medicinally is known as Rick Simpson Oil (RSO). RSO is a cannabis oil that is derived from marijuana plants and is thought to cure cancer and asthma, as well as aid the process of opioid detox.

However, critics of RSO claim that there isn’t enough evidence to support any medicinal value of RSO. Additionally, critics believe that the negative effects of Risk Simpson Oil far outweigh the possible benefits.

What is Rick Simpson Oil (RSO)?

Rick Simpson Oil is a cannabis extract with a high potency of THC. THC, tetrahydrocannabinol, is the active ingredient in cannabis that creates the mind-altering effects that users seek.

On average, the cannabis plants that are sold on the street or within legal dispensaries contain a 15% potency of THC. However, RSO is known to contain high levels of THC that may be up to 90%. With that being said, it is obvious that Rick Simpson Oil is incredibly potent.

RSO was created by a man named Rick Simpson, who is a medical marijuana activist. The idea behind Rick Simpson Oil is that it can treat cancer, help alleviate asthma, treat epilepsy, and help individuals detox off of opioids. He created RSO to have extremely high levels of THC to help treat individuals with extreme levels of pain and tolerance to medical marijuana treatment.

Unfortunately, using a cannabis extract that is as potent as RSO can lead to an array of adverse side effects. Many people believe that the risks far outweigh the benefits.

Side Effects of RSO

The side effects of RSO are a direct result of the THC that this oil contains. Because THC is a psychoactive substance, some individuals may be more sensitive to it than others.

THC is the active ingredient that causes the euphoric effect that marijuana users seek. However, this substance is also known to cause adverse effects when used in excess. When it comes to RSO, the potency levels of THC are so high that individuals can expect to experience the more severe side effects of THC.

The possible side effects of high THC levels in RSO include:

  • Anxiety
  • Paranoia
  • Panic attacks
  • Hallucinations
  • Irritability
  • Disorientation
  • Dry, red eyes
  • Dizziness
  • Low blood pressure
  • Insomnia
  • Impaired memory
  • Loss of appetite without consuming THC

While these side effects can be extremely difficult to experience, they typically subside once the RSO leaves an individual’s body. However, there are several dangers associated with this substance that may be long-lasting.

The Dangers of Rick Simpson Oil

Rick Simpson Oil contains high levels of THC. Because of this, repeated and excessive use of it may lead to an array of health issues, from impaired thinking skills to tachycardia.

Cardiovascular Issues

According to a study conducted by the National Library of Medicine, “Cannabis consumption has been shown to cause arrhythmia including ventricular tachycardia, and potentially sudden death, and to increase the risk of myocardial infarction (MI).”[1]

Because RSO is known to have high levels of THC, the risk of experiencing heart arrhythmias, tachycardia, and myocardial infarction becomes increased.

Additionally, the consumption of cannabis products has been found to increase blood pressure and orthostatic hypotension. This can cause healthy and young individuals to experience ischemic strokes.[1]


Excessive cannabis consumption has an extensive reputation for causing individuals to experience psychosis and triggering the emergence of psychosis in individuals who suffer from mental health conditions.

According to the National Library of Medicine, “Converging lines of evidence suggest that cannabinoids can produce a full range of transient schizophrenia-like positive, negative, and cognitive symptoms in some healthy individuals. Also clear is that in individuals with an established psychotic disorder, cannabinoids can exacerbate symptoms, trigger relapse, and have negative consequences on the course of the illness.”[2]

Cognitive Dysfunction in Young People

According to an article on young people who use cannabis, “A recent analysis of previous research on the impact of cannabis on young’s people’s cognition found that many of the known learning and memory difficulties — such as slowed processing speed, and difficulties in focusing — could linger for weeks. Verbal learning, retention, and recall were especially affected for longer periods when the person was no longer high”.[3]

In other words, even small amounts of THC can cause cognitive dysfunction among young people. This means that high potency forms of THC like Rick Simpson Oil have the potential to cause significant damage to young people.

Explosions Due to Homemade RSO

Lastly, Rick Simpson himself has encouraged people to create RSO by themselves in their own homes. While this could lower the cost of an individual’s medical marijuana, creating the oil is no easy task.

Rick Simpson recommends individuals use naphtha oil as a solvent when creating RSO at home. Naphtha is an extremely flammable substance, putting individuals at risk of burning themselves, causing a fire, or causing an explosion.

Finding Help for Addiction

While medical marijuana might be beneficial, using any form of THC on a long-term basis can lead to dependency. If you or a loved one suffer from cannabis addiction, it’s time to seek professional help.

At Addiction Intervention, our team of addiction treatment experts can help you or your loved one find a rehab program suited to your individual needs. Contact us today for more information on how to get started.



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