All it takes is four steps. You’re only four steps away from making a Rick Simpson Oil-infused syrup that you’ll want to keep on hand to easily make cannabis beverages at home. No alcohol, no fuss, and you have total control over dosage and ingredients. Sounds pretty great, no?
RSO in the Kitchen
If you’re looking for a potent, relatively inexpensive, full-spectrum extract to incorporate in the kitchen, Rick Simpson Oil (RSO) is the perfect choice. It has a concentrated cannabis-flower taste that adds depth and bitterness to a drink or dish (it even boasts a floral sweetness, depending on the strain), with a powerful dosage that’s convenient to work with when making therapeutic foods.
Rick Simpson Oil/RSO is a super-concentrated cannabis oil that’s also full spectrum, meaning it contains all of the cannabinoids, terpenes and flavonoids of the plant. It’s made with a high-octane solvent, such as ethanol, then left unrefined beyond extraction, resulting in a high percentage of original chemical compounds and chlorophyll left in the final product.
Heat gently applied during the extraction process burns off the solvent and decarboxylates the cannabinoids, so the oil is ready to be applied as a potent topical or eaten as-is. The catch: It tastes terrible. However, this actually makes it ideal for infusing foods that make the most of its fiercely bitter, herbal flavors, and allows for the creation of heavy-hitting edibles that fully maximize the entourage effect (the idea that the specific chemical compounds and oils found naturally in cannabis strains are amplified in strength when left together).
Who’s Rick Simpson?
The eponymous creator and advocate of the dark, sticky cannabis oil recommends making the extract from your own plants so you know precisely what has and hasn’t gone into the final product. He first published his DIY recipe for Rick Simpson Oil—a name first coined by Jack Herer—on the internet in 2004. Simpson himself poetically calls the oil “Phoenix Tears” and has never patented his method, ensuring the information remains freely available to literally anyone who wants it.
For years, he made RSO personally from his home grow and gave it away for medicinal use, but a 2009 raid by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police put a full and final stop to that effort. He and his wife Danijela now live in Croatia, where they continue to be tremendous cannabis activists and educators, despite Simpson suffering a paralyzing stroke in 2018. They currently sell the authoritative books on RSO from their website and offer instructions on how to produce the oil.
- 1-gram RSO*
- 1/8 tsp. Liquid Sunflower Lecithin** (found in health food stores or online; do not sub powder)
- 1 cup Sugar
- 2 cups Water
- Sparkling Water
- Glass Stirrer/Rod
- Immersion or High-speed Blender
- Heavy-bottomed Saucepan
Change the math to correlate to your specific percentages of THC or CBD in your RSO, but as an example: The average RSO contains about 60-80% THC per gram. So, if the gram of RSO used in this recipe had 60% THC, it would come out to 600mg THC in the final bottle of syrup. Divide that total by the number of servings (which in this case is 19), so 19 servings equal roughly 30mg per drink.
* Learn to make your own RSO.
**Liquid sunflower lecithin is the key to creating a stable suspension of oil in liquid/emulsification here, accept no substitutes.
RSO-infused Simple Syrup
1. Bring water to a boil in the saucepan;
2. Turn off heat and whisk sugar into the hot water until sugar is dissolved completely;
3. Let cool slightly, then carefully pour the syrup into a heat-tolerant container safe for blending with an immersion blender. If using a high-speed blender, pour into the blender pitcher;
4. Blend RSO and 1/8th tsp. of liquid sunflower lecithin into the hot syrup until most of the oil specks dissolve. If the oil specks remain stubborn, you can add it back to the saucepan and heat it slightly (the gentlest warmth and stirring should do the trick);
5. Once hot, it’ll foam like crazy which means the sunflower lecithin is creating a stable suspension/emulsion;
6. Scrape down the oil that sticks to the sides of the container as you blend;
7. When most of the oil specks have dissipated, use the glass stirring rod to break up the foam;
8. Let the syrup cool fully. Label clearly as containing cannabis and at what dosage
1. Put ice in a Collins or rocks glass;
2. Fill the glass with sparkling water;
3. Top with 1 oz. RSO-infused simple syrup;
4. Garnish and enjoy
This story was originally published in the print edition of Cannabis Now.
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