Essential Oils 101

Where do essential oils come from?

Many plants contain benefits that can’t be seen by the naked eye. Plants of all shapes, sizes, colors, and scents hold hidden compounds that have been known by natural healers for their healing properties. Within these plants, their roots, bark, flowers, seeds, and other areas hold compounds which are highly concentrated, extremely potent essential oils. Essential oils give a plant its aroma and may be referred to as volatile aromatic compounds; these oils also help protect plants from insects, harsh environments and can play a part in pollination.

Essential Oils

Used widely all over the world essential oils have a rich history throughout the ages, dating back to the Middle East as far back as 3000 BC. As you can see they have been around and widely used by generations of people all over the world. In the 19th century new developments in chemistry increased the sophistication and understanding of current extraction methods, propelling them to the forefront of modern natural uses and homeopathic medicine.

How are essential oils made?

The process to produce essential oils vary depending on the type of plant and the oil that is yielded. Plants go through a basic distillation process using special machinery to separate the essential oil from other plant parts. In flowering plants it is crucial they are harvested at the right time in order to preserve their volatile aromatic compounds and chemical profile. Harvesting is usually done in early morning before the buds have time to fully open, waiting even an hour can cause critical loss in the chemical contents.

Why use essential oils?

Effective and safe use is no longer limited to family traditions or cultural practices and is easily learned through the plethora of online resources now available. With todays technology, distillation processes, potency, and quality essential oils are an integral part in the health plan and everyday life of many families.

How can essential oils help your family? If you dislike the toxins found in products today… read on! Some of the areas you might find essential oils useful in replacing your current household products could be cleaning, personal care, healthy immune support, digestive aids, tension, headaches, seasonal threats, and even cooking using natural flavors. Individual experiences may vary in benefit and use, the diversity of the many oils available today even make it possible for individuals with specific health concerns to find helpful benefits.

How can my health benefit from essential oils?

We’ve all read about roots, herbs and such being used in ancient times. But where are those same benefits today? Most people have no clue which plants to look for, let alone how to prepare them for the most benefit to your health. Enter essential oils, many companies have done the back work for you in determining what those ancients were using as medicine. Some of the health issues essential oils can be used for may be to help maintain healthy digestion, good oral healthcare support, easier breathing and many skin irritations. Some oils can even help you get a good nights sleep and calm stress. Essential oils have become very popular and can be tailored to your specific needs.

Essential Oil Diffuser

The more you learn about using essential oils, the better. Many individuals find the grounding, soothing, and toning properties work wonders for them. Others find more energy and a feeling of well-being an exciting mix to their regular routines. The aroma and chemical reactions from breathing certain essential oils can help keep sinuses and air paths functioning properly. Each person has different reactions to each of these benefits, so give multiple oils a try to find the ones that work best with your system.

Where can I find more information?

The key to getting the best benefits from your choices is to find reputable companies that have done the research and have the products you need. I have done that for you. There are several great companies out there to choose from, I have chosen doTERRA. Check out the PDF below for more information and ideas on which doTERRA essential oils will benefit your needs.

CU-Boulder Finds Innovative Way to Study Cannabis

The Future of Marijuana Research

Leading the way in Cannabis Research

CU-Boulder CannaVan with prfessors Kent Hutchison and Angela Bryan
Photo Credit: Matt Nager

Kent Hutchison and Angela Bryan, professors with the University of Colorado, Boulder, stand at a “CannaVan” at the Center for Innovation and Creativity in Boulder, Colorado.

Scientists and researchers are finding ingenious ways to study medical cannabis. Over the next five years, scores of studies should begin to turn out serious and conclusive data to help guide its use and prescription.

The University of Colorado, Boulder has introduced the “CannaVan” — a mobile lab in a white cargo van. “It’s illegal for us to bring products from a dispensary into our lab. And the marijuana sanctioned for legal research by the National Institute on Drug Abuse doesn’t come in forms people actually use, like vape oils and edibles and concentrates,” explains Kent Hutchison, a professor of psychology and neuroscience at the university. “So we’re bringing the lab to the people.”

Canna Lab To-Go

Cannabis Testing

“Participants sign up for research studies and agree to use a cannabis product of the type we’re studying,” explains Angela Bryan, a professor of psychology and neuroscience. “We do not buy or see or touch the cannabis used by study subjects.”

The CU-Boulder’s CannaVan is driven to their home and participants are tested for baselines; then from the comfort of their homes the study begins with subjects using their own cannabis products. After using the products they are tested again.  Each testing sessions takes about 5 hours, plus travel time.  Testing effects for various marijuana products on pain, anxiety, sleep, health and mood.  Numerous products and intake methods are being studied.

Previous studies have found interesting results in patients, including people over the age of 60.  Some of the earlier findings include more enjoyable exercise sessions. Study participants have included pain patients, cancer patients, veterans, older adults and opiate users hoping to cut back.

“The sterotype of the stoner snacking on the sofa may not be reality.” she says.  “There’s also some evidence cannabis users weigh less than nonusers.  We want to learn more about that.”  Angela Bryan, CU-Boulder

In the past nine months since I started using cannabis more regularly, for pain, I’ve lost 40lbs.  I hadn’t realized the correlation until proofreading this article for publication. I wasn’t even trying to diet or loose weight! #thecannadiet 🙂


From start to finish, a study may take five years. “That’s how long good research takes,” Bryan says. “But as the cannabis boom grows, I feel like we’re the cart chasing the horse — and the horse is going faster and faster.”

Related Studies

Harvard University directs a program called MIND (Marijuana Investigations for Neuroscientific Discovery). Researchers, at Harvard are usin brain imaging and other memoery and thinking test to measure medical marijuana’s effects on brain function and structure.

One surprise in older adults shows somewhat sharpened mental focus after, as little as, three moths of medical marijuana use.  There was also more activation in their cingulate cortex, a brain area involved with paying attention, avoiding distractions and problem-solving.

“Science helps set government policy. In the case of cannabis, [state] policy has outpaced science. Now we’re trying to understand the good, the bad and the truth.” Staci Gruber, Harvard University

Despite legal restrictions on cannabis research at both the state and federal level, scientists are finding new innovative ways to test the effects of cannabis on metabolic and brain health.

Read More

— Read the original article at:  by Sari Harrar, AARP

— Read more about the CU-Boulder CannaVan:

Reposted from our sister blog: The Cannabis Connoisseur