"Start low and go slow" is a well-known general rule when using concentrated cannabis extracts like RSO, but what does that actually look like? I recently made and gifted a batch of oil to my friend's adult son, who has a terminal brain tumor. He asked for clarification around dosing, and I thought it would be a great idea to share what I told him, in case other people are looking for this knowledge.
Some people dose their medicine out into capsules, others into food or drink, and some just dissolve the oil right in their mouth. However you ingest it, calculating how much is important. Being exact is NOT necessary, but being in the right ballpark IS!
A majority of patients I've known and worked with prefer to "eyeball it", which gets easier and easier with practice.
Those happy guys are supposed to be grains of rice. The idea is that you take an amount of oil equal to about half a grain of rice, with food, usually in the evening. After 4 or 5 days, double the amount to an amount of oil equal to a full grain of rice. Every 4 or 5 days, the amount roughly doubles. Within a month, you're able to take a full gram every day. It can be divided into 2 or 3 portions through the day, as long as you're getting about 1000mg (approximately 30 grains of rice).
Many cancers can be cured with 50 grams of oil. (Yes, even at retail price and buying the best organic oil you can find, cancer can often be safely cured for a couple thousand dollars. Compare that with hundreds of thousands of dollars for a course of conventional treatment!)
There are nuances, but essentially that's it! People think it's complicated but it doesn't need to be. You're trying to get as much of the oil into the patient as you can, without distressing them with side-effects (drowsiness, paranoia, nausea, etc). It's almost impossible to do harm with cannabis, other than those mild side effects which can be bothersome (but not dangerous). We develop a tolerance to cannabinoids, which is good, because it allows us to tolerate large doses (like 1 or more grams per day). These large doses are what it takes to destroy tumor cells and rid the body of cancer.
More information which I shared with the patient and his father:
Here is some additional information about medicinal cannabis oil in general, and on this particular batch.
This is 10 mL (2x 5mL syringes) of full-spectrum organic cannabis oil extract.
Full spectrum means it contains a full variety of cannabinoids, as well as other plant compounds like terpnes and flavinoids. The alternative would be an isolate, which would contain just a single cannainoid (such as THC, CBD, etc). Full spectrum oil is best for cancers that respond to a combination of cannabinoids, and for boosting general health. It does contain some THC, which is important in fighting the cancerous cells, so you will experience a buzz or high when taking larger doses of the medicine.
Dosing. The rule is "start low and go slow". On the first day, take an amount of oil that is the size of half a grain of rice. After a few days, increase to a full grain of rice, and see how that feels. Every few days, slightly increase the amount you are using. You will know when you're taking enough when you feel a bit buzzed or high. Not uncomfortably so, of course, but that's how you know you're on a therapeutic dose.
It is normal to have to increase the dosage over time, in order to experience the same effect, and same level of healing. In fact, that is a good thing, because ultimately you want to be taking about 1 gram (about 1 mL) of the oil per day. It may take a few weeks to reach that dosage.
Take the oil with food, at any time in the day you prefer. If it makes you sleepy, consider taking it at night. If you find it gives you energy, there's nothing wrong with taking it in the morning. Putting it onto a cracker or bread works. It's very sticky, so you'll have to learn how to handle it. There may be a little waste at first, as you realize it sticks to metal utensils and has to be removed! Try to dispense it from the syringe into the food you will take it with. Some people eat it with peanut butter, or a spoon of honey. It absorbs best if you have something fatty in your stomach at the same time, like nuts, oils, meats, seeds, etc.
You can also put a little bit of the oil on the end of a joint, to give it a little boost. But this method is less efficient, and smoking itself isn't the best method of administration. The best for health and efficiency would be to take it with food. If you want, you can bake it into cookies or brownies. Just add the desired amount in with the melted margarine, it will dissolve and then you can add the other ingredients. With the dosage on edibles, start low and go slow.
It takes about 30 to 90 minutes for the effects to come on, so it's much slower than smoking, but it will last longer (4 to 6 hours). You may want to split your daily dosage up into 2 portions instead of taking it all at once, that's up to you.
Side effects are mostly very minor, like dry mouth, sleepiness, disorganized thoughts. Anyone who has experience with cannabis should be just fine.
A positive mindset is important. Know that there is a very real chance this can work. We need to believe something is possible, otherwise our chances of success go way down. Give it a chance, and remember that it may take weeks before a significant change is seen. This tumor did not appear overnight and it can't be healed overnight either. But this has a good chance of slowing or stopping the growth, and also a chance of reversing it.
Other things you can do, which you may already be doing, are to get enough sleep and rest, but also enough gentle exercise (like walking) every day. Avoid alcohol, sugars, meats, tobacco, and processed foods as much as possible. Eat more vegetables, fruit, whole grains, etc. Stay well hydrated with good (distilled or spring) water. Hobbies, socialization, and entertainment as tolerated. Stress reduction techniques like deep breathing, meditation, nature walks, relaxation music, etc. All these things are important in undoing the conditions that allow the tumor to thrive. If you can improve on as many of these areas as possible, without making yourself miserable of course, you will likely notice the positive impacts on your health, and the cancer will have a harder time. Along with the cannabis oil, that is a recipe for healing, and potentially recovery.
This particular batch was made using the dried flowers from a plant grown in my family member's backyard garden this summer, here in town. It was grown organically, without any sprays or fertilizers, in soil amended with compost, and fed plain water. So this is very clean medicine.
Once dried, I extracted the active ingredients from the flowers using 99% isopropyl alcohol, purchased from Costco. After soaking in glassware overnight, the plant material was strained off and discarded, yielding a dark green infused solvent. The isopropanol was then evaporated off using heat. This process also decarboxylated (activated) the cannabinoids. The result was the black resin in these syringes. Rick Simpson was the first to popularize this extraction method, so many people call the resin Rick Simpson Oil, or RSO. Others know it as phoenix tears. Others just call it pure life essence.
In medicinal cannabis circles, this is the most basic and important material. Like a wildcard, it can become anything else. From baked goods, to smoke, to capsules, to tinctures, to suppositories, to creams. Everything and anything can be made from this versatile oil. A sample from this batch has been tested on another patient to ensure quality. My estimation is that it is about 50% cannabinoids (THC, CBD, CBN, THCV, etc), about 25% terpenes and flavinoids (healthy aromatic compounds that give plants their aroma and taste), and about 25% waxes and other inert plant material. There is no alcohol remaining in the oil.
The best time to start is right away, as soon as you're comfortable doing so. If you want to learn more about how the endocannabinoid system works, how cannabinoids fight cancer, how this oil was made, or any related topics, please let me know. If I don't know the answer, I can help you find it.
Personal update, the patient received the package of medicine, and has begun treatment! It's very early, but apparently it's going fine so far. The family expressed their gratitude to me for putting forth the effort to treat their stricken family member, and give them all some hope. The brain tumor has begun to take over parts of the patient's personality, skills, and memories. He is no longer able to work, and losing the ability to enjoy life. Doctors had tried every conventional treatment, but nothing had worked, and they had essentially given up.
I understand why people wait until they're literally at death's door to try cannabis - generally it is simple ignorance, through no fault of their own - but it is incredibly unfortunate. If this had been tried when the tumor was small and before it had spread, this would probably be an easier mission. This has been left essentially untreated for years, and the patient is almost dead. Cannabis is the closest thing from the plant kingdom that can perform magic and miracles, but this is a tall order. People are afraid to try a natural plant resin, but they'll inject buckets of bright green pharmaceutical fluids, take piles of pills, and irradiate themselves until they destroy their organs and give themselves secondary cancers. Cannabis should be the first treatment choice in most cancers, but some people literally almost kill themselves before they consider it. I understand why, but it's just so, SO tragic.
So I'm doing this with eyes open, and have been careful not to impart any false assumptions to the patient or his family. They know there are absolutely no guarantees. My hope is this medicine is tolerated well, and the patient experiences some relief of his symptoms. There could also be a reduction in the tumor size, or the number of metastases. And there could even be a relapse of the cancer, giving him months of years more quality time with his family. I think at this point, with all the damage done by radiation and chemo, and the extremely late stage of the cancer, a total cure and return to full health is unlikely. That said, if anything can do it, it's cannabis.
This life-saving knowledge is not taught in school - not even medical school. I worked in nursing for 10 years and never once heard of the endocannabinoid system, and the only thing we were taught about cannabis was that it causes cancer and every other manner of illness! It was only when I actually embraced the available scientific data, spoke to dozens of cancer survivors whose lives were saved by cannabis oil, and directly became involved in healing with cannabis, that it was clear to me how important this plant is. And why it has been censored and lied about for a century.