Thursday, February 14, 2019

RSO 'Rick Simpson Oil' - an affordable, versatile cannabis preparation for vaping, smoking or eating

Hi Guys RSO cannabis extract available in WA legally
Hi-Guys RSO - 1g tubes $15-$18, at Seattle Tonics
Extracts of cannabis in their many guises have proliferated since the legalization of recreational marijuana in Washington State. Edible cannabis preparations are widely available, albeit relatively expensive compared to other formats of cannabis like good-ole smoking grade flower. Marijuana extracts have proliferated and increased in potency and consistency across the board - like the 1g cartridges of super-pure distillate claiming potency north of 97% (not RSO).

RSO is a preparation popularized by the medical marijuana community, but is also enduringly popular with ganja farmers and other bulk users as a way to to utilize cannabis scraps and leftovers. RSO is a versatile cannabis format, more suitable for medical use than formats limited to consumption via smoking. RSO can be put into capsules, used as an edible, smoked, vaporized or mixed with emollients and made into a topical formulation for use on skin.

To make RSO, cannabis is pulverized and extracted into a solvent - isopropyl alcohol, hexane or others. Ethanol - even in its purest drinking form as Everclear, is 95% alcohol - contains 5% water requiring subsequent removal.The principle of GIGO, garbage-in-garbage-out, applies to RSO extractions - starting with inferior material won't yield a superior finished product.

Several processes can be found online, including the original from Rick's website. Different techniques vary in equipment, solvent and time/ temperature paradigms. The liquid is strained out of the spent material, and gently evaporated to leave the concentrated marijuana extract - Rick Simpson Oil. RSO is a thick, tarry, blackish goo mostly because it still contains chlorophyll, which is also alcohol soluble. Chlorophyll gives plants their green color, it adds (generally undesirable) aroma and flavor compounds and does not increase potency in terms of cannabinoid content.
RSO close up of label and Activated warning stcker on cannabis extract
Not to be eating this!

There are medical marijuana preparations made via 'whole plant' extractions, including leaves, stems and plant components not generally included in extracts. Some medical proponents believe complex and possibly unelucidated compounds contribute to the effect of RSO. But the 'Wellness' industry is brimming with products that over-promise and under-deliver and some of the claims made about medical marijuana are simply too fantastic to be true. As a patient with a chronic, autoimmune condition I am privy to novel forms of quackery hitting the street. Often these products are sold by multi-level marketers who operate with a pseudo-religious zeal.

The blackish-hue of RSO and its thick, unwieldy nature (just TRY to get it off your bathroom vanity) diminish the potential reach of this marijuana extract. However, Stoners are over-indexed in the waste-not-want-not school of thought, so a scrap using paradigm has appeal. Smokers may enjoy adding RSO to extract laden joints and other specialty products. RSO is widely available at attractive price-points in some markets and almost unheard of in others. Go figure.

RSO is an extract which can be used in a variety of ways - smoking, vaping or as an edible. However, most states have enacted strict laws restricting product and package size for medibles. In WA, the serving size of a marijuana edible is 10mg of active ingredient, with no total container having more than 100mg active ingredient per package.

The High Guys RSO pictured above comes packaged as 1g (1000mg) in a needleless syringe sealed in a plastic/mylar bag. This is an excellent, affordable RSO option produced by the fine people at Cowlitz County Cannabis, under their Hi Guys brand, focused on providing great value products for the working man. Their 1g containers of RSO are available at a marvelous price point $15-$18/g and are currently available at Seattle Tonics and other Washington retailers.

MR brand Lemon Droppers or Chill Pillz with 10mg extract per candy, ten per bag
10mg/candy or 100mg per bag
With the Hi-Guys RSO label showing total cannabinoids at 72%, we know the container contains 720mg Cannabinoids or seventy two servings of edible cannabis (at 10mg/serving). So don't eat it! This product is not labeled nor intended for edible use. Most boxes of medibles run $15-$30 for a box of 10 candies, a total of 100mg in the box. One tube of this is the equivalent of seven boxes of 10mg candies in their usual packaging configuration, or seven bottles of the very strongest beverages available (no container with more than 100mg).

When it comes to dosing with marijuana edibles, it is a delicate art with several moving parts. The same dose on different days will impact an in individual in varied ways. With smoked cannabis, the 'high' hits a plateau beyond which the stoner will not climb. With eaten cannabis, a protracted lag-time often leads to errant re-dosing and subsequent over-dosing. The subjective experience of overdoing cannabis edibles/beverages differs from the experience of smoking too much; the edible experience can bend toward the psychedelic, akin to eating psilocybin mushrooms or the substituted phenethylamines like 2-CB.
MR Cannabis lemon candies, 10mg each, 100gm cannabinoids per bag
Seven bags of these equals one RSO tube

Fortunately, cannabis is non-toxic and has an extremely wide therapeutic index. In practical terms, that means the amount people use to get high is very different from the dose required to kill them. Some drugs, notably the opiates, have narrow therapeutic index, causing unfortunate consumers to accidentally kill themselves. That isn't going to happen to a stoner who eats what the Liquor Control Board considers to be 72 servings of marijuana all at once. But they better buckle up, because it is going to be an extended, weird-ass ride.

A budget oriented consumer desperate for cheaper cannabis edibles could split a RSO tube into ten servings, each with about 70mg cannabinoids. This would provide about 7x bang-for-the buck in terms of price per mg (for $15 you could make about seventy RSO servings, each with ~10 mg cannabinoids). Or you can spend $15 and get 10 servings of a legit product which is exactly what you should do! RSO packaged in this format is not intended for use as an edible and Stoner Living is not encouraging product misuse.

'Dosage makes the poison' goes the old adage, and though you probably won't kill yourself, why risk making a single day suck?

So, put that in your pipe and smoke it.

(C) 2019 Stoner Living Blog