Absinthe Thujone

Absinthe thujone is the chemical found in Absinthe’s vital ingredient, the plant called Common Wormwood, or Artemisia Absinthium to give it its botanical name. The chemical thujone was to some extent accountable for Absinthe being banned in early 1900s in lots of countries around the world and thujone is still tightly regulated nowadays, particularly in the United States (or states united).

Thujone was regarded as just like THC seen in cannabis and Absinthe was speculated to be psychoactive and have psychedelic effects causing hallucinations and insanity. Absinthe had been popular with the Bohemian set in Montmartre in Paris and several artists and also writers claimed that Absinthe, the Green Fairy, gave them inspiration and their genius. Famous Absinthe drinkers consist of Oscar Wilde, Ernest Hemingway, Van Gogh, Gauguin, Degas, Baudelaire and absinthethujone Verlaine. Some say that Van Gogh’s madness was brought on by Absinthe and that he cut off his ear under its influence. Absinthe was even blamed for a man murdering his family, even though he had eaten a number of other strong alcoholic drinks following the Absinthe.

Prohibition campaigners utilised news of the murder to campaign for the banning of Absinthe and blamed France’s growing problems of alcohol addiction on the emerald liquor.

Is Absinthe thujone Hazardous?

Today’s research suggests that it was really the alcohol (ethanol) content of Absinthe that was dangerous rather than the thujone. Absinthe is twice as strong as spirits like whisky and vodka and can be 75% alcohol. Care should therefore be taken any time consuming Absinthe. Thujone is simply contained in minute quantities and must therefore trigger no major negative effects or perhaps health issues. The EU states that alcoholic beverages with an ABV {alcohol by volume) level over 25% may only contain a maximum of 10mg/kg of thujone, beverages classed as “bitters” can easily contain as much as 35mg/kg, it is not entirely clear which class Absinthe suits but most brands of Absinthe have much under 35mg with many being below 10mg/kg. In the US it is just legal to buy or sell Absinthes with trace amounts of thujone.

High doses of thujone can be harmful causing convulsions but you would need to drink a large amount of Absinthe to use that amount of thujone plus it will be impossible to drink that amount, you’d be comatose from alcohol before then!

Absinthe Substances

It is said that Henri-Louis Pernod, who owned the initial Absinthe distillery, utilized the herbs wormwood, aniseed, fennel, lemon balm, hyssop, angelica root, dittany, star anise, nutmeg, juniper and also veronica to create his famous Pernod Absinthe. The fundamental oil from these herbs is in charge of La Louche, the clouding which comes about when water is combined with Absinthe. These herbs particularly the aniseed and anise have the effect of the distinctive aniseed or licorice style of Absinthe and wormwood is liable for the actual bitter flavor. Absinthe is usually employed as bitters in cocktails.

There are many brands of Absinthe or Absinthe substitutes which were developed during the ban and so contain no Absinthe thujone or perhaps wormwood, but a majority of people would say that Absinthe is not Absinthe without Absinthe thujone and the bitter style of wormwood. If you want real Absinthe search for brands made up of wormwood or Absinthe thujone.