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A key factor that distinguishes dōTERRA essential oils from other brands on the market is the extent of testing that they conduct on each batch of their oils. This testing is carried out to ensure that the essential oils are 100% pure, and free from all artificial ingredients – chemicals, pesticides, synthetics, fillers etc.

In recognition of this high quality control, dōTERRA created and trademarked the phrase “Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade” (CPTG) which they use to label and distinguish their essential oils. CPTG is a new standard for essential oil purity, and dōTERRA ensure that the standard is met through six essential tests.

The 6 Tests of dōTERRA Essential Oils

1. Gas chromatography

Measures the constituents in a particular essential oil sample by plotting the items on a graph.  When heated, the different constituents vaporize at different rates of time.  The gas chromatography measures the constituents by how long they take to vaporize and how much of each constituent is in the sample.

2. Mass spectrometry

Is used along with the gas chromatography (GC) in order to get a more accurate reading of the sample material.  After the GC is finished reading the different vapors, the compound is passed into the Mass Spectrometer (MS) where the vapors are sorted by their mass-to-charge ratio, weighed, and then the results are also charted.  In other words, the GC separates the sample into its individual constituents, and the MS identifies them and the percentage with which they make up the sample.  Secondary comparative analysis of known chemical structure allows for detailed review of the source of each compound in the sample.

3. Infrared spectroscopy (FTIR)

Identifies the chemical bond functional groups by the absorption of infrared radiation that excites vibration modes in the bond.  It identifies the chemical bonds of organic materials as well as any organic contaminates contained in the sample.

4. Heavy metal testing

Shows the amount of heavy metal content in the essential oils.  It is very important that the essential oils used to support health and wellness are obtained from plants grown in soil that are free from heavy metals and other types of toxicity so that these substances aren’t absorbed into the plant material.

5. Organoleptic testing

Is the evaluation of the essential oils by their physical and aromatic properties by appearance, colour, flavour, and odour.

6. Microbial testing

Is also the evaluation of the essential oils by their physical and aromatic properties by testing for any bacteria, yeast, mold, etc that may be present.

Who Conducts The Tests?

dōTERRA essential oils are tested through independent laboratories and experts. Unfortunately, the information as to who is involved in the testing is limited. I would personally love to know more, however the information is by in large confidential.

I am however able to confirm that Dr Robert Pappas (world-renowned expert in essential oils) is involved. He confirmed to me that he conducts all of the gas chromatography and mass spectrometry testing of the oils. What I am unable to determine is the names of the labs that carry out the other 4 tests, however, I am reliably told by Dr Pappas that the two tests he conducts are the ones that “really matters”.

Each Batch?

Yes. Every batch of dōTERRA essential oils goes through these 6 tests!

An aromatherapist nicely summed up how important this is when she said: “Separate batches of the same oil from the same source can be different depending on numerous factors: harvesting time, when distilled, distillation temperature, storage to name a few–each batch can vary in quality. Just because you get a good batch of oil from a supplier doesn’t mean that the next one will be as good.”

That’s A Lot Of Testing!

I know of no other essential oil companies that undergo this extent of testing for their essential oils. Independent laboratories testing each batch.. that’s expensive, and that’s a major reason as to why they do not. It costs dōTERRA an awful lot of money to ensure that the testing is completed, and that their oils are guaranteed to be of an exceptional standard.

Any produce that fail to reach their CPTG standard through the six tests are refused.

Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade 

I’ve mentioned the phrase a couple of times in this blog post, and I want to be very clear. CPTG is not an official standard. dōTERRA state:

“CPTG Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade® is a registered trademark of dōTERRA Holdings, LLC representing internal standards of quality assessment and material control. The CPTG testing protocols require the use of independent laboratories for CPTG standardization and quality testing. The CPTG protocol is not administered by government or industry regulatory agencies and does not imply regulatory approval of dōTERRA products.”

CPTG represents dōTERRA’s own internal standards for sourcing and testing 100% pure aromatic botanical extracts using independent testing laboratories. It should not be mistaken for being an “official” essential oil standard, as there are no quality standards for the authentication of essential oils within aromatherapy.

When you read “CPTG”, what you should think of is the high standard of purity and potency that is guaranteed through six laboratory tests. As there are no such official standards, dōTERRA has chosen to create its own internal standard and phrase that will remind users of these oils that they have been produced to an exceptional standard.

Are dōTERRA Essential Oils Organic?

Dr David Hill, dōTERRA’s Chief Medical Advisor had this to say:

“Organic by its very word infers that something must be natural; but that term has changed, developed, and morphed into other definitions. dōTERRA has not worried so much about the question “Is it Organic?” as much as we have focused on the following questions. “Are the essential oils that we produce pure? Are they 100% natural? Do they contain all of the compounds just as originally formulated within the plant that are naturally occuring without any change and without any any additional compounds being added in?” So in the true sense of the word, we could say that dōTERRA essential oils are more than organic. Essential oils as certified by dōTERRA contain the full and complete profile just as it was found in the plant. Each is tested to be free from pesticides and other harmful chemicals that people are trying to avoid when they choose organic.”

Essential Oil Potency

Equally important to testing for purity is the potency which comes from the careful sourcing of each essential oil.  dōTERRA works closely with a global network of leading essential oil chemists and growers to select botanicals of the correct species, grown in the ideal environments, and carefully harvested at the right time.  The aromatic compounds of the plants are skillfully extracted by experienced distillers and subjected to chemical analysis to ensure purity and composition.


In a previous post I discussed this issue of trust. dōTERRA has gone beyond the norm of the essential oils industry to provide an extent of testing like no other. They do this to ensure that they produce the best, purest essential oils, and they do this to ensure that they create a brand and standard that you can trust.

When you use dōTERRA essential oils, you can know that what you are placing onto your body, breathing in, and even taking internally is safe. Without official standards, it can be hard to know if other essential oil companies are producing 100% pure and quality essential oils.

With dōTERRA, you can. 100% purity guaranteed – every batch.. every time.

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