RSO 2.0 2022 Shop Manual

Work in Progress Ahead

FYI - This is a living document and will be updated over time to reflect the best, most current information. 

RSO 2.0 2022 Shop Manual 


Welcome to the 2022 shop manual. These pages give full detail on the RSO 2.0 2022 process. If you don't find what you are looking for, or wish further discussion, let us know on the Facebook group. This document will be regularly updated to bring you the most accurate information on the process.

In the early 2000’s, Rick Simpson brought the healing quality of cannabis oil to the masses using simple extraction techniques. In the larger picture of extraction processes, this methodology is simple and oils are crude. The following is a deep discussion of each step and the science behind it. At the end of each section, there is a troubleshooting FAQ to help overcome obstacles encountered when first using this process. 

Tools at our disposal

The chemistry tools used in this process are Polarity, pH, salinity, and temperature. These four provide the catalyst of change using only what is found in the kitchen. 

Polarity dominates this process. Polarity is the reason water and oil do not mix making it very easy to recover the oil. 

Salinity is the chemistry that gives us the magical Snow Globe effect in Silting. Saturated salt water causes a disruption of hydrogen bonding at the molecular level that plays a role in Silting and Distillation for cleaning out unwanted compounds.

Hot and cold temperatures are used to control the oil's behavior as cannabis resins are solid at room temperature. At certain times heat is used, and other times, ice cold temperatures are used to keep all the ducks in a row.

At that leave's us pH but pH is a tool best left on the table. Every effort has been made to keep a neutral pH throughout this process. The reason being, in a more complex chemical process, CBD can be Isomerized into THC essentially using heat and strong acids to move molecules. The technical aspects of Isomerization are well beyond the scope of CHS's mission and virtually all home users. Without proper chemistry, Isomerization is roll of the dice as to where the cannabinoids will orient. And it's just not CBD that will change molecular configurations. All cannabinoids can play along in the game of musical chairs, and can end up in new configurations.    

Steps in Making Oil

This new process is radically different by reordering the classic steps for making RSO. Small extraction runs can be done with a Mason jar, Isopropyl alcohol, salt, water, and a couple shots of Ethanol. Reducing this to oil is performed in cooking pans using electric heat. This is only the starting point. Larger extractions can use consumer equipment like a 3+ gallon moonshine stills to reclaim the alcohol for future extractions. The illustration below shows all the steps in the process.  Each step is presented as a chapter with explanations and videos.  

Table of Contents - 5 steps top oil

1. WASH.....................Extract the cannabis oils with Isopropyl.

2. SILTING................Remove gums, trichomes and water soluble compounds

3. DISTILL.................First reduction to oil removing Isopropyl.

4. WINTERIZE..........Remove waxes.

5. REDUCE.................Final reduction in Ethanol.

Here are some additional pages of helpful information.

Decarboxylation......Activating the Cannabinoids

Harvest Waxes.........Saving the scraps.

Tips and Tools..........Trouble shooting, tips and useful tools.

Presented below are three approaches to making oil, from the highest quality to the lowest.  Choose your path to oil.

Pictured here are three ways to make oil and the steps required. The highest quality oil will be made with a sub-zero temperature wash, with all other steps remaining the same.  The Fast Path to oil performs the steps at room temperature but skips the Winterize speed bump.  The Classic RSO procedure skips both Silting and Winterize which creates the low end crude oil affectionately known as La Brea.

Highest Quality: The best quality oil uses all steps but is the slowest taking as little as 6 hours.  Using cold temperature wash techniques using either Dry Ice or Freezer temperatures, represents the best way of extracting oils without extracting the unwanted plant compounds. 

Fast Path to Oil: The Fast Path avoids speed bumps. Room Temperature wash is done, then Silting to shake out the trash, then straight to a double reduction. The Winterize step is skipped because the majority of bad actors are removed during Silting. Wax you can live with, but phospholipids bring along unwanted compounds into the oil.

Classic RSO: This is the baseline crude oil with no attempt to clean it up. The wash is done at room temperature then straight through reduction to final oil. This final oil is affectionately called La Brea.  Others call it FECO standing for Full Extract Cannabis Oil. Problem is, there's a lot more than cannabis oil in it and not everything as beneficial as believed.


Through recent innovations, cleaner RSO can now be made faster and cheaper at home than ever before. The novel use of brine opens the door to many significant improvements. Remember, water is only detrimental during extraction when the alcohol is in contact with plant material, but after that, as brine, it cleans the oil by removing water soluble compounds such as sugars, acids, and semi-polar phospholipids. Brine also allows for lower temperature distilling which saves terpenes and avoid unintentional decarbing. Adoption of Gray Wolf’s Quick Cold Wash technique helps avoid extracting plant impurities from the very start. What impurities that are picked up, Silting and Winterization will scrub clean, all combined resulting in a cleaner RSO product.

Final words – DON'T PANIC!  If you have ever made RSO, this process is going to look very different.  Follow the Quick Start Guide and you will be fine. Get ready to freeze, heat, then refreeze again as temperature is an important tool when doing liquid-liquid separations.  

Note: All the temperatures discussed in this procedure assume sea level atmospheric pressures. Higher altitude require adjusting the target temperatures. 

Note: It’s highly recommended to follow the written practice for each step. Each step will use the results from the prior step, and lends itself to succeeding steps so it makes it much easier to execute. 

Note: Sprinkled throughout this site and the Quick Start Guide are links to the products used. All these links point back to the RSO 2.0 equipment list page. Often products from a vendor will go out of stock resulting in broken links. Having the product links on the web site allows us to keep the list up to date. Live links will be maintained on the website to avoid link rot that happens in a static .pdf file.

   Join our Facebook group to discuss all the science around these projects.

WARNING: Never distill alcohol near open flame.  Alcohol vapors are highly flammable so always distill in well ventilated spaces.

This oil is appropriate for oral ingesting and vaping.  Due to the potential of residual salts, do not torch this oil.  Torch temperatures can reach over 760c/1400f and can vaporize any residual salts. 

Disclaimer:  Your use of any information or materials on the C.H.S. Website is entirely at your own risk, for which we shall not be held liable. It shall be your own responsibility to ensure safe use and operation of any processes, products, services or information made available through C.H.S publications and Website.