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RSO versus FECO: Understanding the Difference

RSO & FECO Understanding the Difference

There is a heated debate regarding terminology and differences between cannabis oil extracts. Rick Simpson Oil (RSO), whole plant medicine, and Full Extract Cannabis Oil (FECO); what is the difference and how can you benefit from using one over the other?

Let’s get one thing straight, FECO can always be RSO, but RSO is not always FECO. To understand this we need to first understand how RSO and FECO are made, what their applications are, and their key differences.

What are full extract cannabis oils?

To keep it as simple as possible, FECO products are the concentrated compounds of the cannabis plant. The cannabis flower and sometimes the leaves are used to make the oil extracts to allow patients to receive the maximum benefits from the entire cannabis plant.

How is cannabis oil made?

Each producer of cannabis oil has a different technique and extraction method. Depending on the extraction method, consistency in appearance and contents will vary. This is why the debate can get heated surrounding the names given to each cannabis oil.

Cannabis oil is made using a solvent to separate the plant matter from the cannabis or plant resin to create a hyper-concentration of cannabinoids. Depending on the solvent and strain used, and extraction method, you will produce a different product with varying degrees of cannabinoid and terpenoid potency.

How do cannabis oils work?

Because cannabis oils are made as a whole plant medicine they work naturally with the body’s endocannabinoid system. Cannabis oils work by saturating the endocannabinoid system with cannabinoids such as THC and CBD, among others, to promote homeostasis in the body.

Cannabis oils, unlike other cannabis concentrates, are taken orally (usually from a syringe) which makes them more bioavailable. What does that mean? Bioavailability is important when medicating with cannabis because it determines how much of the medicinal matter is getting absorbed, entering circulation directly after being introduced into the body, and able to have an active effect.

Why is RSO different from FECO

The traditional method of extracting the cannabis oil from the plant matter, as outlined by Rick Simpson, strips the oil of all of its terpenes while FECO products keep all cannabinoid and terpenoid properties. This is primarily due to the solvent used during extraction. If you follow Rick Simpson’s at home extraction methods, which we do not recommend for safety reasons, you won’t be getting a FECO product. Instead, you could be getting a product that includes residue and traces of the solvents.

Why should you care that all of the plant’s qualities remain intact? Contrary to what Rick Simpson believes, terpenes play a big role in how the plant interacts with your biochemistry and aids in amplifying the cannabis plant’s therapeutic value. Terpenes not only give the cannabis the aroma’s we experience but depending on the concentration of certain terpenes, your cannabis will make you feel very differently.

Terpenes: What Are They & Why We Love Them

Terpenes are the essential oil compounds that exist in all plant matter, making them non-exclusive to cannabis, but they play a big part in how we use medical cannabis. In the cannabis plant, terpenes are produced in the same glands that produce THC and CBD and make up part of the flower’s sticky resin. They are what give plants their aromatic diversity and why certain strains have such unique scent profiles that we have come to identify with. Each terpenoid is also attributed to the effects we love in every cannabis strain.

More cannabis doctors and nurses are looking to terpene profiles to incorporate into what they recommend to their patients to alleviate ailments. Like cannabinoids (THC and CBD), terpenes bind to receptors in the brain and produce a variety of effects. However, when combined with other other compounds, terpene effects may change in their presence. We call this the entourage effect which makes medicine more effective; not only in potency but in its ability to target specific pain points on patients. For example, the piney aroma we love from Jack Herer is caused by the presence of pinene. Pinene is the reason why Jack wakes you up and keeps you alert while its medicinal benefits are the key to treating inflammation and pain.

Extraction and Choice of Solvents

To make a FECO product, you have to choose a solvent that will help retain as many of the terpenoids, flavonoids, and cannabinoids as possible. Rick Simpson’s method calls for isopropyl alcohol, naphtha or petroleum ether which destroys all of the natural terpenes. Not to mention those solvents are considered harmful, are flammable, and in some cases can be neurotoxic. These solvents are also considered cancer hazards in their material safety data sheets (MSDS). Many producers that opt to go this route sometimes add terpenes to the extracted product, but because of the solvent used, only limited beneficial scent molecules.

A quality full extract cannabis oil (FECO) is typically produced with food-grade ethanol. This solvent has been proven to retain the most terpenoid and cannabinoid profiles.


Why is FECO considered RSO?

Rick Simpson Oil is a cannabis oil that was dubbed RSO because it was developed by Rick Simpson and users followed his methodology of medicating dosage and production. That simple. Because of the variations of how people produce it, including strain and solvent used, the color will vary making it hard to rule out anything as RSO. However, most people identify RSO with a black tar-like substance, but color can vary from a transparent amber color to the black tar everyone knows.

FECO is just a full extract alternative to traditional RSO. Same use with more potential because of the fact that the cannabinoid and terpenoid profiles remain intact.

Rick Simpson Oil & Full Extract Cannabis Oil: Which One is Better?

Everyone’s biochemistry is different, so we can’t fairly rule out anything. FECO will give you a whole plant effectiveness, but some may not take well to the specific strains used or terpene content within the medicine. Some may not like the taste of FECO as keeping the terpenes retains the earthy flavor of cannabis, so one may turn to a traditional RSO.

The best way to medicate is by consulting a cannabis nurse or doctor so that they can guide you in which products are best suited for you. Consuming products that are lab tested for potency and terpene profile is also a good way to tailor your medicine. Without lab tests, you won’t know what is truly in your medicine.

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Pain Management with Akasha Care

pain management with akasha care

Pain management is the number one reason that people turn to medical cannabis. When you live an active, healthy lifestyle it seems like a no-brainer to want a natural therapy to manage an ailment. After undergoing medical procedures and trying conventional treatment, Carla decided to return to cannabis for her pain management therapy.

Pain Management – Carla’s Story

Carla was always an active runner and ran track and cross country while in school. She lived a healthy active life and considered herself as a competitor in anything that she decided to try. When she was involved in multiple accidents, her active life was severely affected.

The following was taken from a recent interview with Carla

What conditions are you medicating for with cannabis products?

I have a combination of chronic pain and anxiety.

Was this a result of an accident, surgery, etc?

My conditions all stem from a few major accidents that happened between the ages of 17 and 20; then, again 5 years ago I was involved in an accident as a pedestrian.

When I was 17 I went head first through the windshield of a car traveling about 90mph. At 20 I was driving down a mountain and was hit from behind several times by a fully loaded semi-truck that had a sleeping truck driver behind the wheel. The state trooper told me how lucky I was to not have touched my brake because that semi would have probably rolled right over me. 5 years ago, while walking my dog, a car involved in an accident spun out of control in my direction and as I ran out of its path I caught the tailend of the car.

What are you using to manage your conditions and how long have you been using it?

I am using the Akasha Care Full Spectrum tincture. I’ve been using the full spectrum for almost a year, but I have been using cannabinoid tinctures for about a year and a half. I also use Akasha Care’s Joint and Muscle Balm topical.

What are some of the improvements or or affects you have experienced since using Akasha Care Full Spectrum?

The main improvement is having my mobility back. I no longer use a cane to walk and I am able to keep my balance. You would never know that I once needed a service dog to maintain my balance.

Overall, though, my pain is under control and cannabis has helped my anxiety tremendously.

How often do you medicate and what is your current dose?

I medicate everyday by method of microdosing to maintain a consistent level of the cannabinoids in my system. My current dose is 10mg of the Akasha Care Full Spectrum about 3-4 times a day.

What is your build (height and weight)?

I am 5’6” and weigh 145 lbs

Are you doing anything else holistically? Is there a certain diet that you follow?

Yes, I eat organic and sustainably farmed whenever possible; I eat a whole foods diet that is low in sugar. I drink a lot of water daily; it’s amazing how good your body feels when you are well hydrated.

I follow an integrated pain therapy plan that involves walking daily, regular physical therapy along with occupational therapy to help retrain my body to move, and I also practice mindful meditation as much as possible.

What is important to remember is that this is a therapy not a fix. I know that if I stopped medicating tomorrow that I would start to regress back into my pain and limitations in my mobility. However, cannabis, especially the Akasha Care’s Full Spectrum, has helped me regain my life.

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Rick Simpson Oil (RSO): The Power of Cannabis

RSO Testimonial - Power of Cannabis

When life hits you with a diagnosis like cancer, it is hard to imagine bouncing back with grace. Cancer does not discriminate and affects even the healthiest and most mindful people. A cancer diagnosis often leads down the path of drowning in pharmaceuticals leaving you in a haze. The life altering effects of cancer and finding relief through RSO is an experience our patient, Tara, knows all too well.

Tara’s RSO Journey

Living a healthy lifestyle was always important to Tara; before her diagnosis she taught yoga, meditated regularly, and ate well. Still, her life would be changed with a cancer diagnosis despite her healthy lifestyle.

When were you diagnosed and what type of cancer were you diagnosed with?

I was diagnosed a year ago on March 21, 2016 with stage 3 breast cancer. To be specific, my particular breast cancer is an Invasive Ductal Carcinoma that is Estrogen/Progesterone positive.

After her diagnosis, Tara, decided to try to treat her cancer as naturally as possible for about nine months. She saw no improvement in her condition and went back into the conventional system and treatment for cancer in November 2016.

What type of treatment are you receiving? Are you on chemo?

I am undergoing aggressive treatment that involves Adriamycin and Cytoxin every two weeks for a total of four treatments. Then, my treatment involves Taxol weekly for twelve weeks, and a total of sixteen weeks of intensive chemotherapy followed by six weeks of daily radiation. With that I have been prescribed heavy narcotics for pain and other meds to deal with the side effects from what had already been prescribed.

How did you find Rick Simpson Oil?

Thanks to my son, who did extensive research on Rick Simpson Oil (RSO), I learned about its healing properties and read a lot of information from Phoenix Tears. I was convinced I needed to try it and found an organic Rick Simpson Oil that turned out to be the best at Kaya Collective. There was a time Kaya was out of RSO and I tried to find other sources. Each oil I tried from other dispensaries were promised to be comparable or better than the one at Kaya; I was disappointed every time.

Are you using the Rick Simpson Method? What is your current dose?

In the beginning, after reading all the information from Phoenix Tears, I followed all of his protocols. I have now loosely relaxed the method which is basically following Rick Simpson method protocols precisely around the days I receive chemo. Then, as I start feeling better, I don’t medicate as much in the daytime so I can function more in the world and save the expensive medicine for when I need it most. I am 5’8” and weigh 127 pounds. My current dose is approximately 5 grains of rice or about 3 drops.

How long have you been medicating with RSO and what have been the effects on your symptoms/condition since starting RSO?

I found RSO in November 2016 so I’ve been medicating with it for 4 months now. After undergoing surgery I had very limited mobility and a lot of pain. I was unable to sleep, I had a poor appetite, lost 30 pounds as a result of my change in appetite, and was constipated from the pain medication.

The first time using Rick Simpson Oil was profound and an experience I will never forget. I woke up from a deep, deep sleep and for the first time, since surgery, I could move my arm. This blew my mind because I had been working with a physical therapist to regain movement with little to no results. RSO was truly a miracle maker. I jumped out of bed and woke my husband; through tears I said, “I can move my arm! I don’t feel pain!” It was an emotional moment and all I could do was cry tears of relief.

I also noticed I was hungry for the first time in a while which was a blessing as I had lost 30 pounds already. I sat there savoring each bite of nourishing food and I felt hope which I had begun to lose as I faced months of chemo and already felt so weak.

RSO has been my lifeline. I don’t have to take and pharmaceuticals prescribed for nausea and all the many side effects. All my doctors support my choice 100%…nurses too. I have definitely seen that RSO helps extensively with:

  • Pain and mobility
  • Sleep- which is important for your body to begin healing itself
  • Appetite- which helps with weight gain
  • Mitigates nausea
  • Reduces anxiety and depression- feel at ease and positive
  • Easier bowel movements

What are your goals with RSO?

My goals are definitely to heal my body. The deep sleep I experience with RSO allows my body to facilitate the job of the chemo. RSO has been integral in both mitigating side effects AND supporting my body to process out the cancer.

Is there anything else you do holistically? Do you follow a certain diet?

I have integrated extensive holistic support in my treatment that includes:

  • Meditation and yoga
  • Acupuncture and massage
  • Energy work including reiki, sound healing, and healing touch
  • Castor oil packs to detox liver
  • Organic diet (75% vegetarian, juicing, wheatgrass, pre/pro-biotics, chicken bone broth as a staple, and I keep meat and poultry down to 1-2 times per week.)

Who is your medical provider? We love hearing that our medical community is supporting cannabis use in treating cancer.

Sharp. My doctors all support my choice 100%…nurses too. I tell everyone, doctors, nurses, fellow chemo patients, how beneficial this medicine has been for me and I compare the negative effects of the pharmaceuticals I had to take in the hospital to the positive, deep healing I receive with Rick Simpson Oil. Everyone is interested and have a lot of questions. Three people I have shared my story with have now also weaned off the pharmaceuticals and are using RSO or other forms of marijuana.

Though Tara has gone through something that many will be fortunate not to ever have to experience, she has kept a positive outlook on life. Tara thinks it is important not to think of herself as “fighting cancer.” She doesn’t like to feel that her body is in battle. As a yogi, instead she decides to believe her body became sick because it was not in balance. She is now restoring that balance and creating a healthier lifestyle. Kaya is gracious for the opportunity to provide its patients help in attaining a higher quality of life!

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Does Rick Simpson Oil Cure Cancer?

Rick Simpson Oil Cure Cancer


Although it is believed that Rick Simpson Oil doesn’t help all cancer patients, anecdotal evidence abounds as to its effectiveness for many when used in conjunction with other Western medical treatments. A slowly growing body of research shows the drug’s promise as well.


Scientific research on dosing Rick Simpson Oil in the treatment of cancer is minimal, mainly due to the drug’s classification as a Schedule 1 control substance by the
Rick Simpson Oil
U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. While certain cannabinoid drugs are now approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to mitigate the nausea, vomiting, poor appetite and weight loss caused by chemotherapy.


So, does Rick Simpson Oil cure cancer? We’re not totally sure yet, but there’s been some promising results in the past.


Combining Chemotherapy and Rick Simpson Oil Works

A few years ago, an San Francisco East Bay marijuana grower skilled at distilling high-grade cannabis into oil began receiving referrals from a local oncologist. The physician wanted her to use the cannabis oil to help treat the referred patients, all of whom had stage 4 cancer. As reported in SFWeekly News, 26 patients were referred for treatment over the span of a year. They were treated with Rick Simpson Oil (RSO), named for the man who developed the distilling process. The seriously ill patients, most of whom had been told they had less than six weeks to a few months to live, were treated with Rick Simpson Oil while also receiving traditional treatments such as chemotherapy.


All but one patient survived and were cancer free at the time of the article was written.


According to information on, a number of studies with humans or animals have shown that cannabis has anti-tumor effects. It is believed that cannabinoids may reduce the risk of colon cancer and inhibit tumor growth, killing cancerous cells and protecting non-cancerous cells.


What’s In Rick Simpson Oil?

RSO has both THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), which has a psychoactive effect, and CBD (cannabidiol). While CBD oil alone is more common because of it’s lack of a “high”, research indicates that a combination of CBD and THC is more effective than CBD alone.


Oils like RSO are markedly more potent than buds. Where a bud may test at as much as 25 percent THC, RSO can be anywhere from 50 to 75 percent. A little RSO goes a long way, and it can be absorbed into the body much faster than smoking flowers.


To read more about RSO, as well as our RSO products, see our articles The Difference Between CBD and Rick Simpson Oil and What Is Rick Simpson Oil?

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Know Your Cannabis Concentrates: Live Resin, Rosin, & CO2 Oil

cannabis concentrates

Cannabis concentrates are the hottest trend when it comes to cannabis connoisseurs. The term “concentrates” is an all-encompassing definition for extracts from the cannabis plant. Kaya Collective currently carries some of the most popular concentrates on the market including Live Resin, Rosin, and CO2 oil.


Because of their high potency, concentrates give patients a method of efficient and fast relief. The following is a quick guide to knowing the difference between them:


Cannabis Concentrates 101

Cannabis concentrates are created by a variety of extraction methods that essentially heat and concentrate the compounds of the plant. Depending on the method, extraction transforms plant matter into an oil or wax that can range from a gooey dab to super clear and viscous oil.

Concentrates are referred to by several different slang terms. Whether it’s shatter, wax, oil, live resin, rosin or dabs, they all have one thing in common; they’re all extracts from the cannabis plant that concentrate cannabis compounds (cannabinoids) like THC and CBD. These extracts can yield up to and over 80% THC content.


Live Resin

Live Resin

The key to understanding live resin stems from how the plant matter is cured before it is put through the extraction process. Live resin uses fresh, frozen flowers that are harvested before they have had the chance to cure and dry. Most other forms of cannabis concentrates such as shatter and wax are made from cannabis flowers that have gone through the normal drying and curing process. Live resin uses a butane hash-oil (BHO) extraction process.

So, what’s so special about live resin? It’s all about the terpenes. Patients agree that live resin has a much fresher flavor profile. Fresh cannabis used in live resin has higher amounts of monoterpenes compared to the other terpenes found in the plant. Monoterpenes are light terpenes responsible for the fresh floral aroma of the cannabis plant that also give the live resin its fresh fruity flavor.



Live Rosin (1)

Not to be confused with resin, rosin offers patients access to a concentrate that is arguably more versatile, efficient, and safer than any other method.

Rosin is special because it is a solvent-less technique, meaning the process does not require use of any foreign substances. Instead, rosin uses a mechanical process involving heat and pressure to extract the resin from the plant.

Other extraction methods use light hydrocarbons such as butane and/or propane that can often change the taste of the end product and potentially leave residue behind and require a lengthy “purge” to safely remove most, if not all of the residual solvents from the final product.

Rosin, on the other hand, simply uses heat and pressure and does not require any additional cleaning, so your final product is clean and many connoisseurs agree- the difference can be felt and tasted in the final product.

Rosin, when made properly, retains many valuable terpenes that account for aroma and flavor. Most importantly, in a lab test, rosin will never contain a single parts per million (PPM) of residual hydrocarbon. In other words, you are essentially getting life resin or shatter without the potential side effects of solvents when using this process.


CO2 Oil

CO2 Oil

CO2 oil is the hottest concentrate on the market. This viscous oil is made possible by expensive botanical extraction machines that use pressure and carbon dioxide to separate plant material. The method, called supercritical fluid extraction, is one of the most effective ways of reducing cannabis to its essential compounds.

Because the extraction methods are so exact, medical patients interested in the pain relieving components of cannabis purchase CO2 oil because it provides a reliable, consistent dose of cannabinoids (THC/CBD/etc). Patients also love that CO2 oils are usually sold in easy to access portable vaporizer pens.

Supercritical CO2 extraction is already a standard extraction method for the food, dry cleaning and herbal supplement industries. In fact, CO2 is used to remove caffeine from coffee beans in order to make decaffeinated coffee, is used to produce carbonated soft drinks, and as an extraction solvent when producing essential oils.

CO2 oil products are the more popular concentrates on the market.

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