The use of essential oils for therapeutic purposes is on the rise. People love diffusing them, using them to clean, in skincare, and even ingesting them in order to relish in the benefits. People add drops to their water or under their tongue and claim they lift the mood or relieve a migraine. 

In turn, it has become commonplace for CBD companies to include essential oils in their products. It is done to promote the company’s use of “natural” flavoring, in an attempt to appeal to the health-conscious crowd CBD lures in. A lot of companies even market essential oils as a “boost” to the benefits that CBD provides.

Essential oils without additives are natural but, are they safe to use in ingestible CBD products? How is shelf life affected by their tendency to oxidize over time? The answer is that it depends on the method in which they are used. 

Topical use, or applying diluted, correctly dosed essential oils to the skin is generally viewed as safe. Many CBD products sold for topical use also contain essential oils. Products like these can be used safely if they are used correctly in the product’s formula. 

Lavender is commonly used in diffusion with the intent of promoting relaxation and relieving stress. Lemon and orange have also been praised as a way to boost and uplift the mood. Keep in mind that while diffusing correctly is generally safe, there is some caution needing to be exercised around young children and pets when diffusing essential oils. 

What about ingesting essential oils? Is that safe? As we said above, many CBD companies include essential oils in their products, including edible ones like oils and tinctures. 

Lady wearing lab coat and gloves mixing essential oils

Photo by Bee Naturalles on Unsplash

According to Health Information for Western Australians, the ingestion of essential oils is “not safe to consume and can cause significant poisoning even if small amounts are ingested.” 

Many network marketers or essential oil brands refute that essential oil ingestion is unsafe by claiming their oil is the “purest” on the market and therefore safe to ingest. They’ll also use terms like “certified therapeutic grade”, which by the way, isn’t a real thing. The term is actually trademarked by the company who uses it on their packaging. That’s why CBD companies have picked up on using them in their products.

Additionally, it isn’t a matter of the oil being impure or not, or “certified” or not, that prevents safe ingestion, but rather that essential oils are incredibly concentrated plant matter. All essential oils (the good brands at least) are only comprised of plant material. There are no additional ingredients. 

According to EcoWatch, “in order to produce a single pound of essential oil, enormous quantities of plants are required: 10,000 pounds of rose petals, 250 pounds of lavender, 6,000 pounds of melissa plant, 1,500 lemons and so forth.” One drop of essential is equivalent to consuming multiple pounds worth of said plant. 

Referring back to the article on Health Information for Western Australians, “Children are particularly susceptible [to poisoning from ingestion]. As little as 2mL (less than half a teaspoon) of eucalyptus oil can cause significant poisoning in an infant. Symptoms of toxicity include drowsiness, slow/shallow breathing, coma (after large ingestion), seizures, persistent cough, gagging/choking, shortness of breath, wheezing, nausea, vomiting or diarrhea, skin irritation (skin exposure), eye redness, irritation or pain (eye exposures).” This is also the reason why caution needs to be exercised when diffusing, as the body still uses the oils internally and too much can begin to cause issues.

A simple Google search of “essential oils in CBD” will pull up dozens of articles teaching people how to ingest oils alongside CBD to naturally heighten their experience, as well as CBD companies who use the oils in their products regardless if it’s safe or not. 

CBD and essential oils in front of hemp leaves

Photo by Kimzy Nanney on Unsplash

E5 Chem does not use any essential oils in our products. We are aware of the damage that the ingestion of essential oils can do. E5 Chem, dedicated to medically and scientifically compliant and efficacious products, is the premier CBD partner of Bell Flavors & Fragrances, which allows us to to give provide our clients with proprietary flavors and fragrances, without compromising your customer’s health, your brand’s reputation, or your regulatory compliance. Bell’s flavors and fragrances meet all pharmaceutical and food-grade regulatory compliance both here in the US as well as in the EU. 

The use of essential oils in CBD products designed for ingestion is yet another reason why the regulation of both the CBD and the essential oil market is crucial to public health.