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June 30, 2017 4 min read

How often is it that you hear someone talking about therapeutic grade, clinical grade, or food grade essential oils? If you have ever gone to an essential oil class hosted by a friend, family member, or friend of a friend you probably have heard these terms.

I hear them All. THE. TIME. Seriously.

If you know me, you know I have nothing but love for other essential oil company owners. Truly. My goal is to help educate others while sharing every kindness I can with them. So before you read on, please let that sink in.

Help educate.

Share kindness.

Unless you are being outright nasty or hurt my kids or family, I have a lot of love for you…. Ask my husband who is an OU fan ( I am an OSU -Ok State fan All the way!).

With that being said, what I am about to share is only written to help educate you and others like you.

What do you HAVE to know about purity?

Sample test in vial for Gas chromatography (GC), is a common type of chromatography used in analytical chemistry

When essential oils are obtained using any method of extraction from a trustworthy distiller, they are pure. The variances from batch to batch when obtained from a trustworthy distiller is going to be entirely dependent on the weather.

Guys, no one on this planet can control the weather. If they could, they would have already sold it to the highest bidder to create weapons of mass destruction…. Ok perhaps not, but seriously the weather can NOT be controlled by anyone.

From too much rain to not enough, or too many not so sunny days, the weather is something growers/distillers deal with every year. Because no one can control weather conditions, there will always be variances from batch to batch or season to season.

The variances a distiller might see are going to be related to how much essential oil is yielded upon completion of distillation, differences in chemistry if they routinely have it analyzed by an independent lab, differences in aroma, and sometimes even the coloring. 

None of these variances have ANYTHING to do with purity. No really. Nothing. They may lend themselves to not having an essential oil that is not consistent with the previous growing season or even a lower yield, but the variances in weather do not affect purity.

The trick in knowing if your essential oil is pure, is if you have had it analyzed by a third party lab with qualified essential oil chemists. This is part of the reason why I test every essential oil before releasing it to my clients as well as offer them freely before making a purchase….but I digress.

What organizations decide different levels or grades of essential oils?

Every company has to follow strict FDA guidelines when promoting their products whether they are cosmetic, drugs, or even food. No other organization exists that offers any other insight about essential oils except the International Standards Organization (ISO) and all they do is share standard margins for what the chemistry of each essential oil should fall within. 

Here is something else to consider. Because we have set standards of chemistry for each essential oil, it becomes highly improbable that ANY organization would be able to create a grading system regarding purity. Especially when we consider the variances in each essential oil's chemistry from season to season.

Why? Because pure is pure and if it isn’t pure…well it just isn’t pure. That is it. Only a GC-MS or GC-FID analysis completed by a qualified essential oil chemist will be able to help you determine purity. Not a blot test, not a color test, or any other crazy DIY test.

The real truth…

Grades of Essential Oils

Time for a truth bomb ya’ll. I really need to open your mind for a moment and really understand that I am coming from a place of love, truth, and honesty before you read another word. Are you ready?

There is no such thing as clinical grade, CPTG (certified pure therapeutic grade), food grade, or anything else you may have heard. Pure essential oils are absolutely therapeutic. End of story. The therapeutic benefit they offer will vary on occasion due to the variance within each essential oil's chemistry but that will not make them any less pure.

The real truth is that these are all marketing terms coined by the companies that they are associated with. These terms are perpetuated to help make their essential oils and products stand out above other companies that are similar to theirs. These marketing terms are there to lead consumers to believe that there are different levels of purity. These terms are spoken by representatives of those companies to instill trust from you. These terms are held in high regard by those who are just learning about essential oils because they help them sell to you – their most valuable commodity.

I am sorry if you disagree with me on this, truly I am. I am NOT trying to get you to change who you buy your essential oils from guys. That is NOT what this article is about. If you are happy with the products the companies that use these terms use, keep using them. This article is about sharing the real truth about what purity really is when it comes to essential oils and helping you understand that these terms are just not real.

This is the truth guys. Honestly. I founded this company on the simple fact that kindness, truth and honesty are what we need more of right now. If you have read the “I won’t sell you essential oils” blog, you know I do not make up or use fancy marketing terms. I keep it simple, real, and share only the facts with you.

So keep using your essential oils from them or not. But please, just stop spreading information about essential oils that has no real bearing on purity. Or don't and you can tell others about Unicorn Grade essential oils!