Posts in Science
Why are Essential Oils so Expensive?

doTERRA is committed to providing the purest, most potent essential oils possible. doTERRA employs a global network of farmers who knows intimately the process of growing plants for essential oils. Every doTERRA essential oil is put through the highest standard of rigorous and thorough testing and sets the bar for quality, purity, efficacy, and consistency.

Are oils expensive?

Essential Oils have always been part of my life. When I was an infant, my mother (who immigrated from Germany at the age of 18) had family send her some peppermint essential oil. Throughout my childhood, adolescence, and well into adulthood, I used Lavender, Peppermint, and Melaleuca. I used them primarily for Aromatic and Topical application. When I found doTERRA, I knew something was different... special... a class of it's own in quality. We (my husband, son, parents, extended family) have been using doTERRA oils exclusively since March of 2013, and it has been one of the most life changing decisions for us. I am so proud to be part of a company that cares so much for the wellbeing of everyone all over the world, including those that harvest and source our oils.

I am so grateful that we have such pure and potent essential oils, that are safe for all members of the family. Today I am excited to share a couple short videos with you and some fun science info, so that you can see why the purity of an essential oil matters so much. Before you dive in, think of it like this: If you went to Starbucks and ordered an Americano, you expect it to be strong and pure black coffee. If they instead served you up a hot cup of water with 1-2 drops of Americano coffee in it, do you think you would experience the same thing as that pure black coffee? I didn't think so.

The purity of an essential oil is its most important characteristic. An essential oil that isn’t pure means you run the risk of putting germs, heavy metals, or adulterants onto or into your body, which can provoke irritation, adverse effects, or even sickness. Without an accepted standard for essential oil quality, doTERRA created its own testing process, calling it CPTG Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade. The CPTG process certifies that there are no added fillers, synthetic ingredients, or harmful contaminants in their essential oils that would reduce their efficacy. doTERRA even goes a step further, putting all their products and the packaging through a battery of tests to ensure a long and effective shelf-life. This protocol ensures potency, purity, and consistency batch to batch.

Before the CPTG® Process Begins

Proper methods of growing, harvesting, and distilling are also crucial to maintaining purity. Poor production practices and the development of synthetic essential oil variations suggest that it is impossible to accurately identify a pure essential oil without scientific analysis. Appropriate analysis of the constituents within an essential oil is one of the most challenging and detailed aspects of quality assurance.

Knowing which of the many different species of a given plant will provide the most profound therapeutic health benefits is the first step in producing the highest quality essential oil. Relying on the expertise of botanists, chemists and wellness practitioners, botanical materials are carefully selected for their natural concentrations of active aromatic compounds.

Nurturing plants in the most favorable environment and carefully harvesting and transporting plant material for processing ensures an optimal yield of pure and potent essential oils. Spanning the continents of the globe, doTERRA’s exclusive network of growers and harvesters are experts at cultivating plants specific to the essential oil industry.

The CPTG® Process

The CPTG testing begins immediately after distillation with each oil being reviewed for its chemical composition. A second round of testing is carried out at our production facility to ensure that what was distilled and tested is the same essential oil as was received. A third review of the chemistry of the oil is conducted in a three-phase procedure as the oils are packaged into the bottles we use as consumers. Each of these tests confirms that the essential oil is free of contaminants and unexpected alterations during production.

The CPTG Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade quality protocol includes the following tests:

  • Organoleptic testing

  • Microbial testing

  • Gas chromatography

  • Mass spectrometry

  • Fourier Transform Infrared spectroscopy (FTIR)

  • Chirality testing

  • Isotopic analysis

  • Heavy metal testing

Historically, gas chromatography was sufficient to identify individual components in an essential oil. However, as more sophisticated methods for developing synthetic essential oil products formed, further validation methods were needed. Over time, additional testing methods such as mass spectroscopy, chiral analysis, FTIR Scan, carbon isotope analysis and others have been developed to more accurately identify each individual essential oil constituent. Providing CPTG (Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade) essential oils is part of doTERRA's promise to you to give you the best the world has to offer. doTERRA is continuously creating new ways to provide the quality you deserve by focusing on the details.

When you purchase and use essential oils, you want to make sure you are putting the best quality product on your body, in your diffuser, and even in your body. I can't tell you how amazed I am, as a lifelong essential oil user, at how incredible the quality is of doTERRA's essential oils.

If you're ready to get started using these products today, click the button below and I will make sure you have all the support you need!


There is so much buzz going on about CBD Oil, but I'm about to show you why Copaiba is far more supportive, and a wonderful essential oil option. Let me assure you, there is no miracle oil out there that will do "all the things", our bodies just don't work that way, unfortunately! Copaiba essential oil has a higher percentage of beta-caryophyllene than any other essential oil! I will share more about beta-caryophyllene, the endocannabinoid system, and CB1 & CB2 receptors below.


Before we jump into science, let's briefly look at some of the benefits of Copaiba essential oil. You can breathe in the aroma periodically throughout the day to calm and soothe emotions and neurological activity. Copaiba can be combined with citrus oils to elevate the mood, or combined with Siberian Fir for a relaxing vibe. This essential oil can also be taken internally. Use two drops in a vitamin capsule, and take in the morning and evening. Blend this oil with Frankincense for increased cellular support. For topical application, apply directly over the affected area diluted in fractionated coconut oil. Combine Copaiba with Blue Tansy for soothing relief to skin irritations and minimize blemishes. Blend with a facial moisturizer and Cedarwood to support the ECM. This oil directly elicits a CB2 response.


As I mentioned before, Copaiba essential oil has a higher percentage of beta-caryophyllene than any other essential oil. Why is a higher concentration of beta-caryophyllene important?

Beta-caryophyllene supports:

  • healthy nervous system function

  • proper immune function

  • relaxation of the body

We do have other essential oils that contain beta-caryophyllene (including Oregano, not pictured) but they just don't come close to the high concentration level found in doTERRA's Copaiba Essential Oil.


A higher concentration of beta-caryophyllene means that the essential oil is providing supportive health benefits, so much more effectively! This is so exciting, and I'm so grateful that doTERRA has taken the time to source and work with the right partner to provide the highest quality Copaiba essential oil in the world!

The following was Contributed by Dr. Damian Rodriguez, DHSc, MS

The Endocannabinoid System

The endogenous cannabinoid system (Endocannabinoid System), the namesake of the plant that led to its discovery, isn’t a controversial topic at all, but one of the most important physiologic systems involved in human health. As recent research is discovering, it is also one of the body systems that can be most positively influenced through the use of essential oils.

Endocannabinoids and the receptors that they communicate with to induce physiological responses are found all throughout the body. Your brain, vital organs, immune cells, and even connective tissue contain endocannabinoid receptors, which are tasked with maintaining the stability of our body’s internal processes while dealing with fluctuations in the external environment. Immune response, inflammatory response, memory, and even appetite are influenced by these receptors. They are a vital link between the brain and the rest of the body, coordinating communication by different cell types.

CB1 & CB2 Receptors

While we speculate that there may be several different types of cannabinoid receptors, we have currently identified two different subtypes: CB1, which is expressed primarily on the nerve cells in the brain, and CB2, which is expressed predominantly on white blood cells within the immune system. Research has shown that CB1 activation influences memory processing and pain regulation, but it is also induces psychoactive effects.1 CB2 receptors support healthy nervous system function, proper immune function, and have soothing and relaxing properties on the body (similar to that of CB1), primarily through their ability to regulate inflammation.2,3 But perhaps most interesting, CB2 activation does not have the same psychoactive side effects as does its counterpart, CB1.4


There is a breadth of research that suggests terpenoid compounds found in many essential oils can have a vast influence on these receptors, but the research is particularly strong in regards to one specific sesquiterpene. Recent research has demonstrated that the bicyclic sesquiterpene beta-caryophyllene has the ability to bind to CB2 receptors (5). What this means is that along with its cellular and skin-health supporting properties, due to its activation of CB2 receptors, beta-caryophyllene may also support healthy nervous and immune function, and have similar soothing and relaxing properties on the body (similar to that prompted by CB1 activation), without the potential psychoactive side effects.*

While beta-caryophyllene is primarily known for its presence in the essential oils extracted from Black Pepper, Clove, Melissa, and Rosemary, the best source is actually the lesser-known oil Copaiba. GC-MS assessments have shown that many sources of Copaiba essential oil are composed of more than 50% beta-caryophyllene, and not surprisingly, the properties of this oil extracted from the oleoresin of Copaifera species trees is becoming a popular topic of research. There have been over 70 peer-reviewed studies published in scientific journals in the last few years evaluating the benefits of Copaiba, several of which focus on its CB2-binding properties and the associated health benefits.


Using various usage models, beta-caryophyllene-rich Copaiba essential oil, through its activation of CB2 receptors, has the ability to positively influence our health in ways we are just beginning to understand.


doTERRA Science blog articles are based on a variety of scientific sources. Many of the referenced studies are preliminary and further research is needed to gain greater understanding of the findings. Some articles offer multiple views on general health topics and are not the official position of doTERRA. Consult your healthcare provider before making changes to diet or exercise.

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent disease.

So... are you excited to use Copaiba Essential Oil? Let me know! I can't wait to hear your thoughts on this amazing essential oil, and how you plan to use it!