Cedar Oil Extraction Sparks Debate Amongst Environmentally-Minded Groups

Uncategorized By May 03, 2023

The rise in demand for cedar oil due to its natural and sustainable characteristics has sparked controversy over the two extraction methods – steam and solvent. The latter method uses volatile organic compounds (VOC) such as hexane to strip the oil from the cedar quickly, prompting concerns over contributing to air pollution and harming nearby humans, wildlife and the environment. However, proponents of solvent extraction insist it is a more efficient and sustainable method when conducted responsibly and using eco-friendly solvents. Choosing cedar oil from companies which employ such sustainable and responsible practices is recommended.

Cedar Oil Extraction Sparks Debate Amongst Environmentally-Minded Groups

Cedar oil, derived from the wood and needles of the cedar tree, has been used for hundreds of years for its various benefits such as its insect repellent properties, as well as for its calming and grounding effects on the mind and body.

With the rise of natural and sustainable living, the demand for cedar oil has increased. However, the way in which the oil is extracted has sparked debate amongst environmentally-minded groups.

The Controversy

Cedar oil can be extracted through two methods: steam distillation and solvent extraction. Steam distillation involves exposing the wood and needles to steam, then collecting the essential oil that is released. Solvent extraction, on the other hand, involves using chemicals such as hexane to strip the cedar of its oil.

The controversy lies in the fact that solvent extraction has the potential to harm the environment and living organisms. Hexane, a commonly used solvent, is a volatile organic compound (VOC) that can contribute to air pollution and potentially harm human health.

Furthermore, some argue that the use of solvents in the extraction process contributes to deforestation as it encourages the felling of cedar trees. The trees are then left vulnerable to logging, which can result in soil erosion and the loss of habitat for various species.

The Other Side

However, supporters of solvent extraction argue that it is a more efficient and cost-effective method of extracting cedar oil. They also point out that when done correctly and responsibly, solvent extraction can still be a sustainable practice that can benefit both the environment and the local community.

For example, some companies that use solvent extraction have implemented sustainable forestry practices, such as reforestation and tree planting initiatives, to ensure that the cedar forests are not depleted. Others have also made efforts to reduce their footprint by using eco-friendly solvents, like limonene.

The Solution

To address these concerns, it is important for consumers to do their research and choose products from companies that use sustainable and responsible practices in their cedar oil extraction methods.

To support the sustainability of cedar forests, it is important for companies to prioritize reforestation efforts, and to ensure that the wood they are sourcing is from legal and ethical sources.

Moreover, environmentally-minded groups can advocate for the use of eco-friendly solvents in the extraction process, such as those derived from citrus peel or other natural, biodegradable sources.


Q: Is cedar oil safe for human use?

A: Cedar oil is generally safe for human use when properly diluted. However, it is important to consult with a healthcare professional and to follow proper dosages.

Q: Is cedar oil harmful to pets or wildlife?

A: Cedar oil can be toxic to some pets and wildlife, such as cats and fish. It is important to use caution and follow proper dosage guidelines when using cedar products around animals.

Q: Where can I find cedar oil that has been sourced sustainably?

A: Look for companies that prioritize sustainable forestry practices and have certifications from organizations such as the Forest Stewardship Council. Additionally, some companies offer transparency and traceability in their supply chain, which can help ensure that their cedar oil is sourced sustainably.