FSO stands for Full Spectrum Oil. This is a concentrated cannabis extract that is almost like distillates. The difference between distillates and FSO is the process of refining cannabis and the final product. Distillates typically go through a very complicated refining process. This refining process strips the plant material to maybe a couple of active cannabinoids (usually THC and CBD) and a specific terpene profile. However, when we consider Full Spectrum Oil, the process is in a way that keeps the plant’s natural profile intact. 

The Difference Between Distillate and FSO

The average distillate has all of the terpenes and cannabinoids. And even though these cannabinoids and terpenes make a strain or cannabis product beneficial, it lacks the benefits of the entire plant. FSO, after its concentration, does not rid itself of the fatty lipids, phenols (contains antioxidants), and flavonoids, which may provide health benefits through cell signaling pathways. These are just some of the naturally occurring components found in the cannabis plant.

The final product of FSO is an extract that is thicker and darker in appearance. Moreover, it is more potent than a refined distillate due to a potentially more complex Entourage Effect compared to just cannabinoids and terpenes. The Entourage Effect is a term coined for the combined effects of cannabinoids plus another cannabinoid. This has been a term used typically for mixing cannabinoids with terpenes. Additionally, Full Spectrum Oil is chalked full of the same potential of whole plant benefits that you would typically get from more traditional products like regular flower.

The only real difference between distillates and concentrates is that distillate is a typically pure cannabinoid. It lacks any flavors or aromas because it removes terpenes. It gets its name by the distilling process to get the virtually pure cannabinoid concentrate. 

Who is Rick Simpson?

Rick Simson is a Canadian native who helped pioneer full extract cannabis oil. He was diagnosed with a form of skin cancer back in 2003 called basal cell carcinoma. He read about a study where THC was found to kill cancer cells in mice. The study by the National Cancer Institution inspired him to attempt treating his cancer with full extract cannabis oil. He would apply it directly to the affected area and cover it with a bandage. After several days, he discovered the affected area had cleared up upon removing the bandage. Following this magnificent discovery, Rick Simpson began to create the full extract of cannabis oil for whoever needed it. This is what has made him a legend in cannabis culture. Thus, the full extract oil was named after him. 

Is Full Spectrum Oil the same as Rick Simpson Oil?

RSO is similar to FSO, but they are not exactly the same. Though Rick Simpson made his discovery, he did not conduct any kind of tests to determine its exact content or quality. No evidence or information about the exact cannabinoid ratio or just general chemical makeup. This means nobody, not even Rick Simpson knows what the ratio of THC to CBD, terpenes, flavonoid, lipids, etc. existing in his full extract oil batches. Thus, it would be scientifically impossible to claim that anything produced now is the same as the original extracted oil that Rick Simpson was making.

This is why there has been so much push to legalize cannabis back in the 1900s. There were benefits we were seeing as a result of cannabis consumption. However, these benefits could not be confirmed or studied because it was illegal to possess any cannabis, let alone testing it for its benefits. Rick Simpson’s discovery was at the turn of the century, yet he faced many issues with the law because he was trying to bring the healing benefits of his oil to other people in need.

The terms Rick Simpson Oil and Full Spectrum Oil are now used almost interchangeably. The real reality is that the products being advertised as Rick Simpson Oil are actually Full Spectrum Oil products that are more carefully crafted and monitored. This goes for all of the companies, big and small, that claim to be selling Rick Simpson Oil. These products probably should be listed as Inspired by Rick Simpson Oil. In conclusion, Rick Simpson Oil refers to a specific batch of Full Spectrum Oil created by Rick Simpson back in the early 2000s, but his formula/recipe was never documented. Though Rick Simpson Oil is Full Spectrum Oil, FSO is not RSO because there is no documentation of the formula/recipe used to create RSO.



How could I benefit from Full Spectrum Oil?

A lot of people trust that FSO has helped them manage a variety of symptoms and medical conditions. This includes cancer, ALS, MS arthritis, insomnia, and mental health. Additionally, it helps with depression, PTSD, and eating disorders. 

According to the Canadian cannabis pioneer, he was able to treat three of the cancerous bumps on his skin when he applied the oil and covered them. Legend states that Rick Simpson’s cancerous growths vanished and were never to be seen again.  Again, keep in mind that there were no clinical studies or trials that were actually held to reinforce these claims. But many people lucky enough to receive some of Rick Simpon’s famous cannabis oil extract attested to its benefits. Furthermore, many patients who use FSO for treatment claim to benefit from both ingesting it and applying it topically.

Full Spectrum Oil would be the perfect alternative to consuming unrefined cannabis without smoking it.

How do I use Full Spectrum Oil?

Just like any new treatment, consult with your physician to determine the method and dosage intake or if it is safe or not for you to take it. A low and slow start is best since FSO is still extremely concentrated and potent with cannabinoids and the full properties of the cannabis plant. The taste of FSO is very bitter and can be considered hard to put down. It’s recommended to take it with some food. Additionally, you could cook with the oil to try to make the consumption a bit more enjoyable. If you are applying it topically, just start with a small amount and use more as needed. Remember, FSO is an alternative to smoking. Don’t try and smoke or vape FSO.

Every cannaseur should try FSO if they truly believe in the medicinal benefits of cannabis. They might find a lot of healing from it.


*The statements made regarding these products have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The efficacy of these products has not been confirmed by FDA-approved research. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.