Cannabis Distillate, RSO (Rick Simpson Oil)

Understanding the Difference Between Distillate and RSO

Posted, Editing and Photos Added by Valkyrie Extractions Admin

What Is Distillate?


Cannabis is composed of hundreds of individual compounds, including cannabinoids, flavonoids, and other essential oils. The distillate process removes these compounds to create a highly refined extract that contains only a single cannabinoid in a pure, potent form. Terpenes are responsible for the final product’s taste and smell, so removing them provides complete control over the final product and produces an odorless, flavorless, translucent, and amber-colored product.

Delta 9 THC distillate

While all distillates are oils, not all cannabis oils are distillates.

Distillates contain up to 98% cannabinoids, making them more potent than other extracts – undistilled cannabis oil extracts usually sit between 60-80% cannabinoid content. One of the drawbacks of distillation is the loss of some of the therapeutic benefits that the terpenes provide.

Understanding The Difference Between THC And CBD Distillates

Distillates are available in THC and CBD forms. THC causes the psychotropic effects that cannabis is known for, while CBD produces wellness benefits without the characteristic “high.” These effects can help alleviate the symptoms of many medical issues, such as chronic pain, muscle spasms from MS or paraplegia, insomnia, and nausea, vomiting, and low appetite common among cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy.

CBD distillates offer an alternative for those who seek wellness benefits without the cerebral effects associated with THC. CBD can reduce inflammation, pain, arthritis, depression, anxiety, insomnia, and migraines. It also reduces the frequency of seizures in patients with epilepsy and shows promise in improving the quality of life of patients with Parkinson’s disease. Regardless of whether you prefer THC or CBD, knowing which is best to take in these distillates can actually improve your experience and the efficacy of your product.


How Are Distillates Created?

Creating distillate involves a multi-step process of cultivation, extraction, and processing to remove all excess compounds from the cannabis plant. In the extraction process, the raw material from the marijuana plant is dried and cured after harvest. The compounds are then extracted by utilizing a solvent, often carbon dioxide, butane, or ethanol. Some processors take it a step further and perform a winterization on their extracts to remove fats and waxes using ethanol and colder temperatures.

This initial process creates oil with a concentration of 60-80%. Post-extraction, manufacturers take further steps to purify the crude oil, including exposing it to heat. The oil is placed in an apparatus to purify the cannabinoid at the lowest possible boiling point, causing the desired cannabinoid to evaporate without degrading it. At the end of this process, you are left with a translucent and potent distillate.

What Is RSO?

RSO, abbreviated from Rick Simpson oil, is a high THC oil that can be used in a multitude of ways and for numerous purposes. In appearance, it is a sticky, gooey black oil with almost a tar-like consistency. The appearance can vary slightly in color due to the variety of marijuana strains used to create the oil. You’ll often find RSO packed in syringes for easier consumption, application, and storage.

RSO (Rick Simpson Oil)

Who Is Rick Simpson?

When discussing what RSO oil is, it helps to understand how it came to be. Rick Simpson is a medical marijuana cultivator and activist from Canada who was diagnosed with a form of skin cancer known as basal cell carcinoma in the early 2000s. Throughout his life, he had turned to cannabis as a natural form of managing other health conditions.

After his diagnosis, he began to formulate his own oils to help treat his cancer symptoms, and the trial-and-error process began. He would apply his oil to areas of his skin with cancerous growths and cover them with a bandage. Within days, he noticed his skin clearing up. From that point on, he tried to get RSO out to the public to help others with similar conditions – in fact, he gave it away for free in his native Canada, calling them “Phoenix tears.” Simpson’s trial and error created new options for those looking for medical marijuana strains.


How Is RSO Made?

RSO is a whole plant extract that retains all the compounds of the cannabis plant, including cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids. RSO is created using a solvent, most commonly grain alcohol. The cannabis buds are placed in a large container and with the alcohol added stirred and crushed until well combined. The alcohol is drained, and the container is heated to further remove any traces of solvent. This leaves a dark, tar-like oil with a high THC potency.

It’s important to note that RSO oil can vary when it comes to potency, largely due to the strain extracted.


How To Use RSO?

It is important to start slow with RSO, and there are often dosage guides that come with utilizing this potent oil. The main suggestion is to make sure that you consume a low dose. This allows you to see how you feel, and add more to your dose if needed to find the effects that best suit your medicinal needs.

Since RSO doesn’t remove any of the compounds of the cannabis plant, it can be an off-putting flavor, so you may want to focus on infusing RSO as a base, or with sauces that are strong enough to mask the taste.


Is RSO Oil The Same As Distillate?

While these are similar aspects to these products, RSO is not the same as a distillate. Both RSO and distillate oil deliver a potent amount of THC for the intended user. They both go through a complex process of cultivation and processing through solvents to break them down to a purer oil form, but this is where they begin to show distinct differences.

RSO is considered a full-spectrum oil because it maintains all elements of the cannabis plant, such as cannabinoids, flavonoids, and terpenes.

Many are drawn to full-spectrum oils for the perceived entourage effect, in which the different elements found within the oil work together to boost each other’s effects.

Distillate oil is not full-spectrum because it removes all elements of the cannabis plant until only the primary cannabinoid, THC or CBD, remains.


Is Distillate Or RSO Better?

Understanding the similarity and differences between distillate and RSO oil can still leave many users unsure of which one is a better choice. One of the most amazing aspects of cannabis culture is that it really does come down to personal preference.

Distillate offers a level of purity that RSO does not. This appeals to a lot of consumers because it opens the door for versatile use. If you enjoy infusing food with cannabis, distillate oil allows you to do so without compromising flavor. Still, for some users, distillate oil doesn’t seem like the best choice because of its level of purity.


How Do You Take RSO Or Distillate In A Syringe?

Both RSO and distillate are sticky and viscous. Lightly warm by placing the syringe’s cap on tightly and placing it in a bowl of warm water. You can also hold the syringe in the crook of your elbow for 10-15 seconds. Be sure not to press too hard on the plunger, as the glass may break.

Methods Of Consumption

Cannabis is available in numerous forms to meet a wide range of consumer needs, and selecting the right form comes down to personal preference. The great part is getting to experiment to find which method you prefer.

Methods of Consumption: Syringes

As the cannabis industry grows, new and exciting methods surface that change the user experience. Many of these changes reflect the need for clear, proper dosing, as well as ease of use. In recent years, the appeal of syringes has grown.

Most RSOs come in a syringe that allows for precision dosing, making it easy to ingest orally or apply topically for sedating or medicinal purposes.

Distillate syringes work in essentially the same manner and make it easy to add oil to your flower or food.


Methods of Consumption: Vaporizers

Inhaling RSO can have negative health impacts such as coughing and even pneumonia due to the presence of fats, lipids, and chlorophyll.

Distillate oil is already the primary ingredient for vape oil. There is no risk in vaping or dabbing distillate oil. Many choose this option for the quick onset of effects.

Methods of Consumption: Oral Consumption And Edibles

RSO is great for users who prefer to consume their THC orally.

Distillate is more versatile since it doesn’t have any taste or flavor. However, for users with stomach issues, distillate may not benefit you as much as RSO would. Consuming a meal high in fats will help the cannabinoids break down more quickly to enter the bloodstream.

Methods of Consumption: Topicals

RSO and distillate oils are both excellent for topical care. This method provides pain relief and can help with a variety of skin concerns such as eczema, psoriasis, pruritus and acne. It can also reduce pain and irritation resulting from inflammatory conditions

While each option depends on the user’s preference, few methods of consumption offer as much control as a syringe. You have power over the volume, and thus, its potency. Some people are concerned about the aesthetics of syringe use. However, it’s a great opportunity to transform the stereotype of needs and illustrate their virtue and efficiency.


Which Option Is Right For Me?

Distillate oils are popular options for users who enjoy their cannabis with high potency and versatility. For those who prefer the tasteless, highly purified concentration of oil, distillate is the best choice.

If you believe in the idea of full spectrum experiences, RSO may be a better choice for you.

Turning to a cannabis expert can help you decide which oil is best for you and your needs.



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