How many mg in 1 g of RSO?

RSO stands for Rick Simpson Oil, which is a concentrated form of cannabis oil. RSO gets its name from Canadian medical marijuana activist Rick Simpson, who developed the oil and touted it as a potential treatment for various conditions. But how many milligrams (mg) of active compounds are actually in 1 gram (g) of RSO? Let’s take a closer look.

What is RSO?

RSO is a thick, sticky cannabis oil extract. It contains high levels of THC and CBD, which are the main active compounds in cannabis. RSO is made by using a solvent like ethanol or isopropanol to extract cannabinoids and other compounds from cannabis plant material. The solvent pulls the desired components from the plant matter and is then evaporated off, leaving behind a potent, viscous oil.

RSO tends to be dark green or black in color. It’s also sometimes called “hemp oil” or “cannabis oil,” although technically RSO is just one type of cannabis oil. Unlike oils made for vaping, RSO is meant to be ingested orally.

RSO gets its name from Rick Simpson, a Canadian man who developed the oil in the early 2000s. Simpson claimed that RSO helped treat his own skin cancer. He began distributing RSO for free and providing instructions for making it to other patients. However, there is still limited scientific evidence on RSO’s effectiveness for medical uses.

How is RSO made?

There are a few key steps to making RSO:

  1. Start with dried cannabis plant material. This can include flower/bud, trim leaves, and stems.
  2. Grind up the plant matter into small pieces to increase surface area.
  3. Place the ground cannabis into a container and cover with a solvent like 99% isopropyl alcohol.
  4. Swirl or shake the mixture to dissolve the cannabis compounds (cannabinoids, terpenes) into the solvent.
  5. Drain off the solvent and collect it. Repeat steps 3-4 until the solvent runs clear.
  6. Evaporate off the solvent slowly using a rice cooker or double boiler. This leaves behind a thick, potent cannabis oil.
  7. Decarboxylate the oil by heating it to around 230°F for up to 2 hours. This activates the cannabinoids.

High quality cannabis and properly conducted extraction and decarboxylation are key to producing a potent RSO with maximum cannabinoid levels.

Cannabinoid content in RSO

The two main active compounds in cannabis that provide effects are tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). RSO can contain high levels of both THC and CBD, typically in a ratio of around 20:1 THC to CBD, but actual amounts can vary.

THC is the main psychoactive compound responsible for the “high” feeling from cannabis use. CBD does not cause a high but may have other therapeutic effects. Other minor cannabinoids like CBN and CBG may also be present in RSO.

According to testing, typical RSO contains:

  • 50-70% THC
  • 10-20% CBD
  • Small amounts of other cannabinoids like CBN, CBG, etc.

However, exact cannabinoid percentages can vary quite a bit, depending on the strain and quality of the starting cannabis material and the extraction technique used.

Calculating mg of cannabinoids per gram of RSO

Knowing the approximate cannabinoid percentages in RSO, we can calculate the milligrams of the compounds per gram of oil.

For example, let’s assume an RSO contains:

  • 60% THC
  • 15% CBD

There are 1000 milligrams (mg) in 1 gram (g). So based on the percentages:

  • 1000 mg per g x 60% THC = 600 mg THC per g RSO
  • 1000 mg per g x 15% CBD = 150 mg CBD per g RSO

This means that 1 gram of this hypothetical RSO contains approximately:

  • 600 mg THC
  • 150 mg CBD

The total cannabinoid content would be 600 mg THC + 150 mg CBD = 750 mg total cannabinoids per gram of RSO.

Of course, concentrations vary. RSO lab testing results often show THC levels ranging from 40-80%, translating to 400-800+ mg THC per gram. CBD levels from 5-20% would give 50-200+ mg CBD per gram.

Dosing considerations

RSO is very potent, so proper dosing is crucial. When ingesting RSO, it’s best to start with a very small dose such as the size of a grain of rice.

Starting with 1-5 mg of THC can allow you to assess your tolerance. Increase the dose gradually over time to find the optimal amount that provides relief without unwanted effects.

It’s challenging to measure tiny RSO doses accurately at home. However, knowing the mg of cannabinoids per gram of RSO can help guide dosing. For example, assume 1 gram of RSO contains 600 mg THC total.

If starting with a 2 mg THC dose, you would take approximately 0.003 grams or 3 milligrams of that RSO, which is about 1/200th of a gram. While not exact, this demonstrates how knowing the cannabinoid concentration can direct dosing.

For medical patients it’s ideal to work with a healthcare provider to determine appropriate RSO dosing and frequency. Always err on the side of caution when trying RSO for the first time.

How to take RSO

There are a few different ways to take RSO:


Simply ingest the oil by mouth like you would any other medication or supplement. Place the dose on a small piece of food like a cracker or fruit to make it easier to handle.

Under the tongue

Place the oil under your tongue and hold it there for 60-90 seconds before swallowing. This sublingual method helps absorption.


RSO can be applied to the skin alone or mixed into lotions, salves or oils. This may provide localized benefits.


Some reports suggest rectal administration of RSO can provide relief as well. Absorption occurs through the colon.

Oral ingestion remains the most common and well-studied method. Taking RSO under the tongue or sublingually can allow faster absorption into the bloodstream.

RSO benefits and uses

What conditions could RSO potentially help treat? Some of the main reported benefits of RSO are:

  • Pain relief
  • Anti-inflammatory effects
  • Appetite stimulation
  • Improved sleep
  • Reduced anxiety and depression
  • Neuroprotective properties

Based on primarily anecdotal evidence, RSO has been used by some people for:

  • Cancer: May help relieve pain, nausea, and other symptoms. RSO should not replace conventional treatment.
  • Arthritis: Reduces inflammation and discomfort.
  • Chronic pain: Provides analgesia.
  • Multiple Sclerosis: Helps muscle spasms, stiffness, pain.
  • Parkinson’s: Reduces tremors and improves sleep.
  • PTSD: Decreases anxiety and fear and promotes rest.
  • Insomnia: Promotes relaxation and sleep onset.
  • Lack of appetite: Stimulates hunger.
  • Skin conditions: Applied topically for localized benefits.

More research is still needed to fully understand RSO’s medical efficacy for different conditions.

Potential side effects of RSO

Some potential side effects of using RSO can include:

  • Impaired coordination and motor function
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Short-term memory issues
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Anxiety or paranoia
  • Dry mouth
  • Red eyes
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea

These effects are usually temporary and resolve once the RSO has worn off. Proper dosing helps minimize side effects.

Is RSO legal?

The legality of RSO depends on your state’s cannabis laws. In states where recreational and/or medical marijuana is legal, RSO is allowed within the parameters of state laws.

However, in states where all cannabis remains illegal, possession of RSO could potentially result in criminal penalties. Before accessing RSO, it’s important to understand your state’s laws.

RSO must also be purchased from a licensed dispensary to be considered legal. Homemade or black market RSO exists in a legal gray area.

Recipes using RSO

Looking for ways to use RSO besides taking it orally or applying it topically? RSO is very versatile and can be included as an ingredient in many edibles and drink recipes.

Here are a few recipe ideas:

RSO chocolate bars

Melt chocolate chips in a double boiler. Mix in warm RSO according to dose needed. Pour chocolate into molds and refrigerate until set.

RSO gummies

Simmer fruit juice, gelatin, honey, and corn syrup. Remove from heat, add RSO, and pour into silicone molds. Refrigerate 2-3 hours until firm.

RSO honey

Gently heat honey in a saucepan until loosened. Remove from heat, mix in RSO, and stir well to incorporate. Store in an airtight container.

RSO baked goods

Add RSO as an ingredient to cookie, brownie, cake, or other baked good recipes. Be sure to account for the extra oil in the recipe.

RSO smoothies and shakes

Blend RSO into your favorite smoothie, milkshake, or protein shake for a dose of cannabinoids.

Get creative and have fun experimenting with RSO as an ingredient! Just be sure to calculate dosage accurately.

How to make RSO at home

While it’s preferable to obtain lab-tested RSO from a licensed dispensary, some people do make it themselves at home. Here is a basic RSO recipe and instructions:


  • 1 ounce high-quality cannabis flower and/or trim
  • 2 cups 99% isopropyl alcohol (or ethanol)
  • Double boiler or rice cooker for heating
  • Cheesecloth
  • Glass or stainless steel containers


  1. Grind cannabis into small pieces with a herb grinder, blender, etc.
  2. Place plant matter into a glass or stainless steel container.
  3. Pour in enough solvent to cover the cannabis by 2-3 inches.
  4. Stir vigorously for 3 minutes, then let sit for 10 minutes.
  5. Drain solvent through a cheesecloth-lined strainer into another container.
  6. Repeat steps 3-5 two more times, until solvent runs clear.
  7. Pour combined solvent into a rice cooker or double boiler. Heat on low setting for 30-60 minutes to evaporate solvent.
  8. Once most solvent has evaporated, add a few drops of water and continue heating. This removes residual solvent.
  9. After 30 minutes, remove oil from heat and let cool.
  10. Decarboxylate oil by placing it in an oven safe container back in the rice cooker or double boiler on low heat for 1-2 hours.
  11. When finished, the RSO will be thick, sticky, and very potent. Store in an airtight glass container away from light and heat.

Be extremely cautious when making RSO yourself using flammable solvents. Avoid open flames or sparks.


In summary, RSO is a concentrated form of cannabis oil with high levels of THC and CBD. Typical RSO may contain 600-800+ mg of THC and 50-200+ mg of CBD per gram.

RSO provides potent effects that may help certain medical conditions. But proper dosing is essential to avoid unwanted side effects. Speak to your healthcare provider before using RSO therapeutically.

Knowing the approximate cannabinoid concentrations in RSO can help guide dosing. Start very low, around 1-5 mg THC, and increase slowly over time. Be aware of potential risks and talk to a doctor, especially for serious conditions.

While RSO shows promise for some applications, more research is still needed on its medical efficacy and proper therapeutic use.

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