Absinthe Thujone

Absinthe thujone is the chemical found in Absinthe’s essential 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 during the early 1900s in several countries around the globe and thujone is still tightly regulated today, especially in the United States (or states united).

Thujone was considered to be much like THC seen in cannabis and Absinthe has been 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 many artists 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 absinthethujone.com Verlaine. Some claim that Van Gogh’s madness was due to 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 consumed a number of other strong alcoholic beverages following the Absinthe.

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

Is Absinthe thujone Hazardous?

Today’s research suggests that it was actually the alcohol (ethanol) content of Absinthe which was dangerous as opposed to the thujone. Absinthe is two times as strong as spirits like whisky and vodka and can be 75% alcohol. Care should therefore be taken when consuming Absinthe. Thujone is simply obtained in minute quantities and should therefore cause no major unwanted effects or even health conditions. The EU stipulates that alcohol based drinks with an ABV {alcohol by volume) level over 25% may only have a maximum of 10mg/kg of thujone, beverages classed as “bitters” may contain as much as 35mg/kg, it is not entirely clear which class Absinthe matches but most brands of Absinthe have much less than 35mg with many being below 10mg/kg. In the US it is simply legal to get or sell Absinthes with trace amounts of thujone.

High doses of thujone can be harmful causing convulsions but you would need to drink a lot of Absinthe to take that quantity of thujone and it will be impossible to drink that amount, you’d be comatose from alcohol until then!

Absinthe Compounds

It is said 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 veronica to make his famous Pernod Absinthe. The primary oil from all of these herbs accounts for La Louche, the clouding which happens when water is put into Absinthe. These kinds of herbs particularly the aniseed and anise lead to the distinctive aniseed or licorice flavor of Absinthe and wormwood is liable for the particular bitter flavor. Absinthe is usually employed as bitters in cocktails.

There are numerous brands of Absinthe or Absinthe substitutes which were developed in the bar and therefore contain no Absinthe thujone or perhaps wormwood, but some would say that Absinthe isn’t Absinthe without Absinthe thujone and the bitter flavor of wormwood. If you want real Absinthe try to find brands containing wormwood or Absinthe thujone.