What's the Big Deal About Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade Essential Oils?

Can't I just buy essential oils where they're the cheapest?  Aren't all lavender essential oils created equal?  But, it *says it's 100% Therapeutic Grade!! Why are doTerra Essential Oils different?

I hear these very reasonable questions all the time!  But, no. Essential oils are not all created equal! Let me explain.

An extreme (but real) example is this.  You walk into a “dollar” store and lo and behold, there sits a bottle of “100% Therapeutic Grade” Lavender on the shelf for $3.00!  Seems like a great deal, right? Not when you consider this. 

Look at the label which says, “not for internal use.”  Heck, most of them even say, “not for topical use!” 


If Lavender is the “swiss army knife” of essential oils then why are these manufacturers so cautious, issuing warning labels on their products?  Is there something in there that's harmful?

Take a look at this chart that shows the types of Essential Oils that are common in the industry.

1) The first is “Synthetic”; which is used in the Perfume and Industrial industry. These oils are made up of synthetic compounds or are chemically engineered. This makes up the biggest part of the Essential Oils sold today.  This is the stuff that makes me wheeze and cough.

2) The second is “Food Grade”; these oils are used in the food industry. For an Essential Oil to be used in the food industry it only has to pass as “Generally Recognized as Safe”, commonly known as the GRAS Standard. This is what's in your toothpaste and Lemonheads;)  Still not real pure....”generally” is the key word here.

3) The third is Therapeutic Grade Essential Oils. These can be purchased in grocery stores, body and bath stores, health stores, even “dollar” stores! For many years, this has been the highest standard of oils in the market.  Unfortunately, unscrupulous manufacturers have found a way to alter up to 92% of a “100%” Therapeutic Grade essential oil and still stay legal within labeling laws.  Amazing!

A. Therapeutic Grade Essential Oils go through a testing process called Gas Chromatography (GC). Most reputable companies in the Essential Oil industry conduct this test. This test checks and ensures that the oil contains the correct constituents; however, it does not determine if the oil contains any impurities, pesticides or other chemicals. It just says that those constituents are there.  Nothing about the quality of them, however.

B. Beyond the GC testing, which is common to essential oils and easily manipulated, is a second test, the Mass Spectrometry (MS) test. MS checks that all the constituents in the oil are in the correct range. It also checks for pesticides, herbicides, foreign chemicals, weeds or any other impurities that may be present in the oil. Very few Essential Oil companies regularly submit to this testing. Some companies test using MS once, then never again.  Some test annually or on another loose schedule.

4) The fourth grade is Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade (CPTG). The tiny orange sliver on the graph above represents the Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade™ essential oils. This is the highest standard of Essential Oils in the market today.
All Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade™ Essential Oils are third-party tested.  The company has no influence over the results of the tests. CPTG Essential Oils are guaranteed to be 100% pure, beyond organic and free of synthetic compounds or contaminates.

When using essential oils for more than a “potpourri in a bottle” effect,  you *need  an essential oil that is a pure, potent, and safe, natural pharmaceutical!

THIS is why we only use doTerra CPTG essential oils. Every liter of doTerra Essential Oils is submitted to both GC and MS testing. If it doesn't pass, it doesn't go into the little brown bottle!

Beyond the very important *purity issue, is the issue of potency. MS testing is very accurate in this assessment.  DoTerra, however, takes it even further. 

Did you know that if a plant is grown in a region outside of where it indigenously grows the best, it will be inferior for the purpose of extracting essential oils and the benefits will be lessened?  DoTerra goes the extra mile and answers these important questions too!  Questions such as....

1. Where and how was that plant grown?
2. What were the soil conditions?
3. What were the water conditions during the growing season?
4. Were there any insecticides, pesticides, or herbicides used?
5. Is it truly organic?
6. When and how was the material harvested?
7. Was it the right season?
8. The correct maturity of the plant?
9. The optimum time of day?
10. What about the processing?
11. Were proper cleaning and preparation made with the equipment?
12. Were the correct parts of the plant used in the distillation process?
13. Were temperatures maintained at proper levels?
14. Were the clean and viable containers used during the process and for gathering?
15. What about packaging and distribution?
16. Was there any cutting (adding other similar and hard-to-detect less expensive oils) done to lower the cost of the oil?

SAFE enough for infants and for your insides!
DoTERRA Essential Oils are SAFE enough for infants and for your insides!

1. 100% Natural -- no fillers, no weeds, no pesticides, nothing synthetic.
2. No addictions!  No side effects!
3. Only CPTG (Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade) oils can be taken internally.

These and other questions are very important to each of as we use essential oils and their derivative products. It would be impossible for any one of us to answer all these questions on our own.

Fortunately, the company we have chosen to source all of our essential oils from is making it their business to answer these questions. They use the most modern Gas Chromatography and Mass Spectroscopy testing through a third party to assure us that testing standards will meet or exceed ISO and AFNOR standards.

As a pledge of this quality they label these products with their trade marked seal of Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade™.  Many also have nutritional labels as well!  Can't find THAT in a health food store!

Safety and purity are why my family, clients and I *only use doTerra CPTG Essential Oils and equally as important...why they work!


Would *love to hear about your experiences with essential oils.

Talk to you soon, Lisa


Thanks a lot for this contribution! It's been very useful for me. Everything is very open and represents very clear explanation of issues.  Really blogging is spreading its wings quickly. Your write up is a good example of it. Your website is very useful. Thanks for sharing.

Mitti Attar

Really very nice contribution..I was also looking for such nice content since a long time and at last I found it here. Keep it up.

I've been using these essential oils for a few months now and they've really made a difference in my day to day life.