Absinthe thujone

Absinthe thujone is the chemical found in Absinthe’s important ingredient, the plant called Common Wormwood, or Artemisia Absinthium to give it its organic name. The chemical thujone was partly accountable for Absinthe being banned in early 1900s in several countries around the world and thujone is still tightly regulated these days, specifically in the United States (or states united).

Thujone was thought to be much like THC seen in cannabis and Absinthe had been purported to be psychoactive and have psychedelic effects causing hallucinations and insanity. Absinthe had been popular with the Bohemian set in Montmartre within Paris and lots of artists absinthe legal and writers claimed that Absinthe, the Green Fairy, gave them inspiration and their genius. Famous Absinthe drinkers include Oscar Wilde, Ernest Hemingway, Van Gogh, Gauguin, Degas, Baudelaire and Verlaine. Some state 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, despite the fact that he had consumed a great many other strong alcoholic beverages after the Absinthe.

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

Is Absinthe thujone Dangerous?

Today’s studies suggest that it was really the alcohol (ethanol) content of Absinthe which was dangerous rather than the thujone. Absinthe is two times as strong as spirits like whisky and vodka and can be 75% alcohol. Care should therefore be taken whenever ingesting Absinthe. Thujone is just present in minute quantities and must therefore cause no major side effects or even health issues. The EU stipulates that alcoholic beverages with an ABV {alcohol by volume) level above 25% may only have a maximum of 10mg/kg of thujone, beverages classed as “bitters” can easily contain around 35mg/kg, it is not entirely clear which class Absinthe matches but most brands of Absinthe have much less than 35mg with many being beneath 10mg/kg. In the US it is simply legal to get or sell Absinthes with trace amounts of thujone.

High doses of thujone could be harmful causing convulsions but you would have to drink a lot of Absinthe to consume that quantity of thujone plus it would be impossible to drink that amount, you would be comatose from alcohol until then!

Absinthe Components

It is known that Henri-Louis Pernod, who owned the very first Absinthe distillery, employed 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 primary oil from these herbs is responsible for La Louche, the clouding which happens when water is combined with Absinthe. These types of herbs specially the aniseed and anise lead to the distinctive aniseed or licorice style of Absinthe and wormwood is liable for the bitter flavor. Absinthe is oftentimes used as bitters in cocktails.

There are lots of brands of Absinthe or Absinthe substitutes which were developed during the prohibit and therefore contain no Absinthe thujone or perhaps wormwood, but many would say that Absinthe just isn’t Absinthe without Absinthe thujone and the bitter flavor of wormwood. If you’d like real Absinthe search for brands that contains wormwood or Absinthe thujone.