50 Shades of Rick Simpson Oil: Does Color Determine Potency?

By Dr. Sacha Nemcov

rick simpson oil

When extracting cannabis concentrates to make Rick Simpson Oil, a variety of factors plays an important role in determining the quality of the final product. The temperature of the solvent may also have an effect on the color of RSO; or lack thereof. This may bring some perceived benefits by certain users, however, much of this is subjective and not universally agreed upon. Some of the potential reasons people might feel they “get higher” with room temperature ethyl alcohol extracted concentrates (darker RSO) could include:

  1. Broader spectrum of compounds: Room temperature ethanol extraction is less selective and pulls more plant compounds, including a wider range of cannabinoids, terpenes, and even some impurities such as chlorophyll and lipids. This broader spectrum of compounds might create a more complex and potentially potent entourage effect, which is the synergistic interaction between cannabinoids, terpenes, and other compounds in cannabis. The entourage effect is believed to enhance the overall experience and efficacy of cannabis consumption.
  1. Presence of impurities: The presence of impurities, such as chlorophyll and lipids, can change the taste, color, and texture of the concentrate. Some users might associate these qualities with a stronger or more potent product, even though these impurities do not necessarily contribute to the psychoactive effects.
  1. Individual preferences and experiences: People have different preferences, tolerances, and experiences when it comes to cannabis consumption. Some users might find that they prefer the effects or taste profile of room temperature ethanol-extracted products, while others might prefer the cleaner, purer experience offered by cold ethanol extraction.

Finally, it is important to note that much of the information that’s available dates back over 20 years ago, when Rick Simpson first discovered RSO. The majority of images online only show the darker colored Rick Simpson Oil, influencing many to believe that color determines potency. This could be farthest from the truth. In fact, for cancer patients who are seeking a smoother, more tolerable Rick Simpson Oil, may want to consider the lighter stuff (cold ethanol extraction).


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