Absinthe thujone is the chemical present in Absinthe’s vital ingredient, the plant identified as Common Wormwood, or Artemisia Absinthium to give it its botanical name https://absinthekit.com. The chemical thujone was partly responsible for Absinthe being banned in the early 1900s in many countries across the globe and thujone is still tightly regulated today, especially in the United States (or states united).
Thujone was regarded as just like THC seen in cannabis and Absinthe was purported to be psychoactive and have psychedelic effects producing hallucinations and insanity. Absinthe was well-liked by the Bohemian set in Montmartre in Paris and several artists and writers believed that Absinthe, the Green Fairy, gave them inspiration as well as their genius. Renowned Absinthe drinkers include 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 control. Absinthe was even held accountable for a man murdering his family, despite the fact that he had taken a great many other strong alcoholic drinks right after the Absinthe.
Prohibition campaigners used news of the murder to campaign for the banning of Absinthe and charged France’s growing problems of alcoholism on the emerald liquor.
Is Absinthe Thujone Harmful?
Today’s research suggests that it was in fact 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 when consuming Absinthe. Thujone is only found in minute quantities and should therefore cause no major side effects or health conditions. The EU stipulates that alcohol based drinks with an ABV (alcohol by volume) level over 25% may possibly have a maximum of 10mg/kg of thujone, beverages classed as “bitters” can contain approximately 35mg/kg, it’s not totally clear which class Absinthe matches but most brands of Absinthe have much less than 35mg with a lot of being under 10mg/kg. In the US it is just legal to purchase or sell Absinthes with trace amounts of thujone.
High doses of thujone could be dangerous triggering convulsions nevertheless you will have to drink a substantial amount of Absinthe to consume that volume of thujone and it might be impossible to drink that amount, you would be comatosed from alcohol before then!
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 and veronica to make his famous Pernod Absinthe. The essential oil from all of these herbs is responsible for La Louche, the clouding which occurs when water is added to Absinthe. These herbs especially the aniseed and anise are accountable for the distinctive aniseed or licorice taste of Absinthe and wormwood is liable for the bitter flavor. Absinthe is sometimes used as bitters in cocktails.
There are many brands of Absinthe or Absinthe substitutes that have been developed in the ban and thus contain no Absinthe thujone or wormwood, however, many would say that Absinthe isn’t Absinthe without Absinthe thujone and the bitter taste of wormwood. If you wish real Absinthe search for brands containing wormwood or Absinthe thujone.