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 organic name. The chemical thujone was partially liable for Absinthe being banned in early 1900s in several countries across the world and thujone is still tightly regulated these days, especially in the United States (or states united).

Thujone was considered to be similar to THC found in cannabis and Absinthe was alleged to be psychoactive and have psychedelic effects causing hallucinations and insanity. Absinthe has been popular with the Bohemian set in Montmartre in Paris and several artists absinthelegal and 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 Verlaine. Some claim that Van Gogh’s madness was caused by Absinthe and that he cut off his ear under its influence. Absinthe was even blamed for a man murdering his family, despite the fact that he had eaten a number of other strong alcoholic drinks after 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 Unsafe?

Today’s research suggests that it was really the alcohol (ethanol) content of Absinthe that was dangerous as opposed to 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 ingesting Absinthe. Thujone is simply contained in minute quantities and must therefore result in no major unwanted effects or even health problems. The EU stipulates that alcohol based drinks with an ABV {alcohol by volume) level above 25% may only contain a maximum of 10mg/kg of thujone, beverages classed as “bitters” can contain around 35mg/kg, it is not entirely clear which class Absinthe matches but most brands of Absinthe have much lower than 35mg with many being under 10mg/kg. In the US it is only legal to get or sell Absinthes with trace amounts of thujone.

High doses of thujone can be hazardous causing convulsions but you would need to drink a lot of Absinthe to consume that volume of thujone and it would be impossible to drink that amount, you would be comatose from alcohol until then!

Absinthe Compounds

It is known 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 as well as veronica to produce his famous Pernod Absinthe. The primary oil from all of these herbs accounts for La Louche, the clouding which happens when water is added to Absinthe. These herbs especially the aniseed and anise have the effect of the distinctive aniseed or licorice flavor of Absinthe and wormwood is responsible for the actual bitter flavor. Absinthe is oftentimes utilized as bitters in cocktails.

There are lots of brands of Absinthe or Absinthe replacements which were developed throughout the ban and so contain no Absinthe thujone or perhaps wormwood, but some would say that Absinthe isn’t Absinthe without Absinthe thujone and the bitter style of wormwood. If you’d like real Absinthe look for brands that contains wormwood or Absinthe thujone.