The differences between CBD Oil and Rick Simpson Oil

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The differences between CBD Oil and Rick Simpson Oil

Both derived from cannabis it can be all to easy to confuse these cannabis concentrates. Fundamentally different in their make up we cover off the key differences.

A documentary by Rick Simpson made his cannabis-based oil infamous worldwide for its curative powers. In Ricks case helping him to cure his cancer. Whilst the healing powers of cannabis are debating vigorously in all academic circles, what actually is this fabled Rick Simpson Oil (RSO) and how does it differ from the Cannabidiol (CBD) oil that is also available?

With both oils starting life with cannabis at their core it would be easy to assume that they both do the same thing. A similar name and similar in appearance it can be all to easy to confuse the two, it's only when we look at the cannabinoids they comprise of we start to see some of the differences that separate this pair of oils.

Rick Simpson Oil (RSO)


Let's start with the global superstar. Made famous by its ability to cure Rick's cancer, many users have posted testaments on his website claiming similar curative powers. Helping to fight cancer, manage epileptic conditions as well as other life-threatening ailments. With so much healing power what actually is RSO? Derived from the cannabis plant, RSO is a form of cannabis concentrate whereby the cannabinoids within cannabis are separated from the plant matter.

Blog: Concentrates 101: A beginner's guide to cannabis concentrates


Rick Simpson

What makes RSO different from CBD is the actual cannabinoids contained within it. RSO is described as a full-spectrum extract containing just that, a wide spectrum of cannabinoids. Depending on the strain used it can contain THC levels anywhere between 50-60% and CBD levels between 10-15%. It is the THC that Rick claims helps in the fight against these life-threatening diseases, but it is also this THC that separates it so vastly from its CBD brother. The psychoactive properties of THC have made it illegal across most of the world and as such has been the biggest blocker in more established and detailed research into the benefits of RSO, often making it nearly impossible for licences or permits to be issued for its study.

Cannabidiol (CBD)


Whilst RSO is produced mainly from cannabis indica strains; known for their relaxing effects, CBD oil is obtained from hemp, an alternative form of cannabis. Still a cannabis concentrate it is this starting block that gives CBD oil its most fundamental difference. Hemp produces fewer and smaller flowers, whilst producing high levels of CBD but retaining negligible amounts of THC. Possessing no psychoactive elements it is impossible to get “high” as a result of taking CBD oil and as such is widely available and widely “legal” across many parts of the world. Much like RSO, CBD has been used by consumers to help manage chronic pain and ailments, although CBD does come with some medical backing through various studies.

Research Link

As well as being used for medicinal purposes it can be used as a supplement to aid a healthy diet, with Zambeza providing just that, our very own CBD oil. Produced from European hemp it contains 380mg of CBD with no psychoactive effects.

Zambeza CBD Oil

There is no denying that it can be all to easy to confuse these two cannabis concentrates when they are both derived from cannabis using similar extractions methods. It is the compounds contained within the two oils that separate them and the legality that surrounds these compounds. Although CBD oil is widely available, RSO because of its THC content is not. As such instructions on how to make your own RSO are included on his website, helping people around the world to share in the curative power that many users pay testament to.

More information about Rick Simpson Oil