What’s the Difference Between RSO and Distillate


When it comes to cannabis concentrates, there is a whole world of products to choose from, ranging from shatters and crumbles to meringues, sugars, distillates, RSO, and kief, and they all fall under the term “concentrate.” What this means is that these products have gone through a process of refinement to extract the THC from the plant (flower) and make it more potent.

How Can I Use a Concentrate?

There are a variety of ways to use concentrates, but most are consumed by dabbing them or otherwise inhaling them into the lungs. They can also be used to enhance flower, top bowls, and line blunts and joints. Marijuana concentrates can also be consumed orally by letting them dissolve under the tongue sublingually, and they can also be added to a carrier oil or lotion and applied topically.

rso distillates oral application

What is a Distillate?

Distillates are a type of marijuana concentrate that is strongly desired for their potency, ease of use, and multiple applications. Distillates are refined in a process that separates the plant matter from other components, leaving a very pure and potent end product.

The only disadvantage to distillate is that terpenes and flavonoids are removed during the extraction process, so some flavor is lost. Terpenes can be added later for taste and effect, but the main advantage of distillate is the purity and potency of the product.

One of the most popular ways to use distillate is by dabbing it, which consists of heating the product and vaporizing it. This is usually done with a glass device called a “dab rig,” but sometimes a vaporizer pen is used.

Distillates can also be used to “paint” a blunt or joint, enhancing the potency of the flower. If smoking or vaping is not your thing, distillates can also be consumed orally, by eating them directly or adding them to your favorite baked good. They can also be used topically when combined with lotion or a carrier oil, such as coconut or almond oil.

glass vessel heated by small hand torch

What is RSO?

RSO stands for “Rick Simpson Oil” and is also a diverse product that falls under the umbrella term “cannabis concentrate.” This should not be vaporized, smoked, or otherwise inhaled into the lungs. RSO can be used both orally and topically by adding it to a carrier oil such as olive or coconut oil and made into capsules or by adding it to food. It also can be added to lotion or balm and rubbed directly on the skin.

RSO vs Distillate?

Since RSO cannot be dabbed or smoked, why would one choose it over distillate? What is the difference between RSO and distillate? During its refinement process, all the cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids are kept intact, unlike distillate, which strips the oil of everything except the THC. This preserves the flavonoids, terpenes, and full-spectrum of cannabinoids; it is the concentrate closest to the cannabis plant itself.

It is important to note that Rick Simpson, the man who invented RSO, never consumed RSO orally; he used the product topically to cure his skin cancer.

A documentary called “Run from the Cure” was released in 2009 about Rick and his story. You can check it out on Vimeo or watch it below. For more information on Rick and his story, visit his website here.

Come see Dr. Pulido and his team at Affordable Marijuana License today and let us help you kick-start your journey to wellness!

Dr. Rene Pulido is a Mayo Clinic-trained Jacksonville-based family medicine practitioner and expert in medical cannabis and alternative treatments. He was tired of seeing patients needlessly suffering from common ailments such as chronic pain, hypertension, anxiety, and stress and saw how medical cannabis improved and saved lives without relying on pharmaceuticals.


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