How To Make Your Own Gel Caps for RSO

Jessica McKeil April 10, 2019 4 comments

RSO refers to highly concentrated oil made from a cannabis chemovar rich in THC.

One of cannabis’ most famous advocates, Rick Simpson, said it best, “Lose your fear of this medication, there is nothing to be afraid of.”

The former engineer is known for his creation of Rick Simpson Oil (RSO), a cannabis oil he created after his doctor refused to prescribe cannabis to treat allegedly treat Simpson’s basal cell carcinoma. Here we’ll cover the RSO recipe, including how to make gel caps for easy dosing.

Why Make Your Own Gel Caps?

Gel caps are an easy and convenient way to take medicine. Cannabis is no different. Many studies, at various phases, suggest cannabis may have efficacy in helping manage symptoms of chronic pain, neuropathic pain, spasticity related to multiple sclerosis, as well as cancer-related pain. Furthermore, different combinations of THC, CBD, and other cannabinoids plus terpenes are demonstrating different medicinal capacities.

Smoking, vaping, and even edibles are not always easy to manage. Nor are these appropriate to use in all settings.  The bonus for patients using gel caps is that these are a familiar format, already used for pharmaceuticals.

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Additionally, when you make your own gel caps, there is opportunity to personalize your medicine. This can be done by adding terpenes and by controlling the ratio of major cannabinoids. You can choose a CBD-rich strain or one with high THC, depending on the needs of your condition. Furthermore, participating in a little DIY gives you full control over the ingredients. Choose organically grown, high quality bud as your start.

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How to Choose the Right Chemovar

If you have experience with cannabis, you’ll know a little about dosing and chemovar (strain) selection. Each of the 100+ known cannabinoids is thought to have a therapeutic effect on the human body, not all of which are fully understood at this time.

Experienced consumers can safely choose their preferred strain based on their THC tolerance. For those with little-to-no-experience with THC, it’s best to stick to high CBD strains at first and slowly introduce THC as tolerance builds. The caveat is, to make true Rick Simpson (RSO) oil requires an indica that is at least 20% THC.

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Additionally, research which cannabinoids and terpenes and if possible, speak with a cannabis-friendly healthcare professional to get a better idea of how to choose strains are the best match for you.

How to Make Concentrated Cannabis Oil (According to Rick Simpson)

What You Need to Get Started

  • 2 gallons (8L) of solvent (like ethanol)
  • 500 g of high quality bud. You can also include trim. All must be completely dry.
  • Pkg Coffee filters
  • 1 foot Cheese cloth
  • Rice cooker
  • Gloves
  • Fan

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  1. Roughly grind the cannabis. You can adjust the recipe as needed, keeping in mind that 30g bud makes approximately 4 to 5g of RSO.
  2. Place the cannabis into a large bowl, and pour the solvent over it.  Don’t worry, you don’t need to completely cover the cannabis, it just needs to reach roughly a 1/3 of the way up the bowl.
  3. With gloves on, wash the cannabis with the solvent. Mix, rub, and agitate the cannabis in the alcohol for about five minutes. The liquid will become dark green/brown with cannabinoids and terpenes.
  4. Strain the mixture through a cheesecloth to remove the plant material, which can be put through a second or third wash, depending on the quality. The first wash removes roughly 80 percent of the available cannabinoids.
  5. Next, strain the solvent infusion through a coffee filter. The second wash should remove any lingering pieces of plant material.
  6. Set up the rice cooker outside in a well-ventilated area. Set the rice cooker on high and pour in the twice-filtered solvent cannabis infusion. Keep the lid off the cooker.
  7. Set up a fan over the rice cooker to blow away the solvent fume. The fan needs to continue blowing away the fumes throughout the process.
  8. Add a few drops of water to help release the solvents from the oil. As Simpson says, “water is the magic ingredient”.
  9. Allow the mixture to reduce for five to eight hours on low setting. , depending on how much original product you used.
  10. As the oil reduction finalizes, it will become the consistency of thick grease. All bubbling should cease by this point.
  11. Turn off the rice cooker, and tilt the container on its side to allow the oil to collect.
  12. Store in a cool, dark place.

How to Make Gel Caps (As per Cannadish)

What You Need to Get Started

  • Rick Simpson Oil (in a syringe)
  • Vegetable capsules (available at pharmacies), emptied


  1. Take one half of an empty vegetable capsule, and squeeze in a dose of RSO oil.
  2. Use the other half of the capsule to close.
  3. Repeat, until you have enough gel caps on hand.
  4. Store in the refrigerator, as heat may cause the capsules to stick together.

What is the Right Dose?

According to Simpson and other experts, if you are totally unfamiliar with THC, you’ll want to start low and go slow. It will always depend on the potency of the original product, but a standard initial dose is the size of a grain of rice.

If you are self-titrating up to this recommended one gram a day for cancer, Simpson suggests one grain of rice worth of cannabis every eight hours. After four days, double the dose up to two grains of rice every eight hours, and so forth until you reach the desired daily dosage.

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Even if you are not treating a chronic illness, like cancer or chronic pain, Simpson advocates for using RSO as a daily supplement. Despite being cancer-free for years, he continues to use between one to two grams of RSO a month, in what he calls a maintenance dose.

There is no bigger advocate for taking control of your health than Simpson. For decades he has been traveling around the world, showing people how to make their own medicine from cannabis grown in their own backyards. With your homemade gel caps, you can follow in his foot steps.

Author avatar

Jessica McKeil

Jessica McKeil is a freelance writer focused on the medical marijuana industry, from production methods to medicinal applications. She is lucky enough to live in beautiful British Columbia, Canada where the cannabis industry is exploding. When not writing, she spends much of her time exploring in the coastal forests.

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  1. These are not gel caps. They are capsules. Your vernacular is incorrect and misleading.

    Further, your recipe is unrealistic. Folk who need FECO can rarely afford 500 grams of quality bud and 2 gallons of ethanol (e.g., 190 proof Everclear). They need to start out with what they can afford.

    • Jennifer Grant

      Thanks for your feedback, Roger. People are definitely welcome to down the ratio in order to figure out how much Everclear they need for the cannabis they can afford. 500g bud will get you about 50g of RSO. For every ounce of quality bud, you will get about 2 to 4 g of RSO. So, it ultimately depends on what you are treating. Caps is the short form of capsules. Gel is short for gelatin. You can get hard gelatin or soft gel caps (gelatin capsules). You’d use the former to make your own medicine as you can’t open soft gel cals (think Vitamin E).

  2. Tiffany Alfonso

    What else can I use beside gelcaps? I’d like to explore something similar to blot paper

    • Jennifer Grant

      Interesting! I like that idea. Let us know how that goes. I don’t know anyone that has tried that route.