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 partially responsible for Absinthe being banned in early 1900s in many countries across the world and thujone is still tightly regulated these days, specifically in the United States (or states united).

Thujone was thought to be similar to THC seen in cannabis and Absinthe had been speculated to be psychoactive and have psychedelic outcomes causing hallucinations and insanity. Absinthe was popular with the Bohemian set in Montmartre inside Paris and lots of artists and also 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 www.absinthethujone.com and Verlaine. Some say 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 consumed many other strong alcoholic drinks after the Absinthe.

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

Is Absinthe thujone Harmful?

Today’s studies suggest that it was really the alcohol (ethanol) content of Absinthe which 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 whenever taking in Absinthe. Thujone is simply present in minute quantities and should therefore trigger no major negative effects or health conditions. The EU stipulates that alcoholic beverages with an ABV {alcohol by volume) level above 25% may only contain a maximum of 10mg/kg of thujone, beverages classed as “bitters” may contain as much as 35mg/kg, it is not totally clear which class Absinthe fits into but most brands of Absinthe have much under 35mg with many being under 10mg/kg. In the US it is simply legal to buy or sell Absinthes with trace amounts of thujone.

High doses of thujone may be harmful causing convulsions but you would need to drink a large amount of Absinthe to use 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 stated 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 as well as veronica to produce his famous Pernod Absinthe. The fundamental oil from all of these herbs is responsible for La Louche, the clouding which happens when water is combined with Absinthe. These kinds of herbs particularly the aniseed and anise have the effect of the distinctive aniseed or licorice style of Absinthe and wormwood is responsible for the bitter flavor. Absinthe is sometimes used as bitters in cocktails.

There are many brands of Absinthe or Absinthe replacements which were developed throughout the prohibit and therefore contain no Absinthe thujone or wormwood, but many would say that Absinthe isn’t Absinthe without Absinthe thujone and the bitter style of wormwood. If you would like real Absinthe try to find brands that contains wormwood or Absinthe thujone.