Neuronal signaling and Copaiba

Article at a glance

Using advanced proteomic technology, doTERRA scientists, along with other research partners, are exploring the influence of doTERRA Copaiba-essential oil for signaling pathways related to the nervous system. While more research is needed, the early results have been encouraging as they shed more light on the uses and impact of this essential oil.

Proteomics and doTERRA

Proteomics is the future of essential oil research. Using modern proteomic techniques, researchers are able to discover how compounds cause changes in the proteins they interact with. This allows us to better understand how essential oils function. Together with its research partners, doTERRA leads the charge in mapping essential oil activity at the biochemical level by starting with everyone's favorite endocannabinoid system activator: Copaiba-essential oil.


Proteomics is a form of in vitro research. In vitro methods are often used in scientific research because they are simple and convenient, involve fewer ethical concerns, and allow for more detailed analyzes to be performed than on an entire organism. One of the most common cell lines (a series of cells developed from a single cell with an identical genetic makeup) used in in vitro research is SH-SY5Y. This cell line is especially beneficial for experimental neurological research.

The study

In a recently published proteomic study, doTERRA scientists and research partners assessed the biological activity of the essential oil of Copaiba evaluated for signaling pathways in a SH-SY5Y cell line. In this study, they used nanofluidic protein post-translational modification (PTM) profiling technologies. The same research team had previously used PTM profiling technologies to assess the purity of essential oils and related isolates.

The results

The study provided robust evidence that the essential oil of Copaiba positively affects several pathways in the cells of the central nervous system. The positive regulation was especially robust in the pI3k/Akt/mTOR, MAPK and JAK/STAT pathways, which influence the metabolism, proliferation and immunity of nervous system cells. Also the effects of Copaiba neuronal signaling pathway activity was mediated by the cannabinoid receptor 2 (CB2), providing further validation for the belief that Copaiba is a potent activator of the endocannabinoid system and may have a spectrum of benefits yet to be discovered. In addition, the researchers saw the greatest effects on signaling pathways within 30 minutes of exposure to Copaiba . This is important pharmacokinetic information that can be used to develop future guidelines for use. While these findings are encouraging, they are experimental and more research will be needed to validate them.

The future

While these surface data may not mean much to the everyday essential oil user, they are part of the foundation that will shape the future of oil research and help us develop new and more effective use models for these gifts of the Earth. . This research team has several other proteomic studies in the works that will expand our understanding of the pharmacodynamics of Copaiba and other essential oils will expand.


doTERRA Science blog articles are based on various scientific sources. Many of the studies referenced are preliminary studies, experimental studies, and further research is needed to better understand the findings. Essential oils may have drug interactions, patient contraindications, or side effects that cannot be evaluated using experimental research results alone. If you are interested in using essential oils for any health problem, please consult your healthcare provider first.