Solvent Science

The Problem is not with the ALCOHOL, but the WATER.

At Genesis Pharms, our solvent choice is pure isopropanol alcohol and I would like to take this opportunity to lay out the facts of the science behind our choice.

When I first heard of RSO I couldn’t help but notice the solvent debate and I knew there had to be a correct answer. So, I consulted with PhD chemists, went into the lab, and learned the science behind solvents. The first thing I learned was that the difference between Ethyl alcohol and Isopropyl alcohol is a single carbon molecule, and that Ethyl is an intoxicant while Iso is not. Now everyone knows that no alcohol is considered healthy, however, I learned that with proper heat control, any alcohol can be easily removed from a final product. We routinely get the residual solvent down to a couple hundred ppm, so with Genesis Pharms Whole Plant Concentrate (RSO), it would take ingesting thousands of grams of oil to get a single gram of alcohol.

Another rule of science is that life can’t survive without water. Those who use 95% alcohol also have water acting as a solvent. This results in a great deal of water and water-soluble matter being in the final product. It is difficult to remove water from the final product, and even more difficult to remove water-soluble matter. Genesis Pharms Whole Plant Concentrate does contain miniscule amounts of water, however, there is not enough present to support microbial or fungal life. Those that leave water in their product run the risk of having living organisms in their product. Believe me, the last things you want to ingest are living, organic organisms!

Ethanol RSO

Ethanol RSO

Genesis Pharms RSO

Genesis Pharms RSO

These photos illustrate the disbursement of ethanol and anhydrous oil in water. Both oils were placed in an incubator for two days. The RSO made with ethanol has only a small amount of oil that sank to the bottom of the jar and a high amount of water-soluble material floating on top. The Genesis Pharms oil has sunk to the bottom of the jar, leaving no water-soluble material floating on top. This illustrates why Rick Simpson says to use only anhydrous (without water) alcohol when making RSO.

Hydrous vs. Anhydrous

Front Side Test Strip

Front Side

Back side test strip

Back Side

Front Side – On the far left is RSO made with ethanol. To the right of this on the same sheet is Genesis Pharms RSO made with anhydrous alcohol. Both were warmed to body temperature and applied to a sheet of paper.

Back Side – The back side of the paper shows that a good portion of the product made with 95% alcohol and 5% water has soaked through, while the Genesis Pharms RSO, made with anhydrous alcohol, has not.

So, for those of you making RSO at home, I strongly recommend using an anhydrous alcohol. Although you will get a lower yield, you will be making a better-quality product, and that is what matters. If you are experienced using ethanol, try using an anhydrous solvent. You will see a difference in quality of oil that you produce.

For those in the industry, please put public safety in front of your profit and stop spreading rhetoric. Science doesn’t care what you believe, it is still science. There really is a best choice for those of us trying to help others.

Sean Beeman
Owner, Genesis Pharms


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