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 responsible for Absinthe being banned during the early 1900s in lots of countries across the world and thujone is still tightly regulated today, particularly in the United States (or states united).

Thujone was considered to be similar to THC seen in cannabis and Absinthe has been alleged to be psychoactive and have psychedelic results causing hallucinations and insanity. Absinthe had been popular with the Bohemian set in Montmartre inside Paris and lots of 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 absinthethujone and 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 ingested many other strong alcoholic drinks right 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 Hazardous?

Today’s research suggests that it was actually the alcohol (ethanol) content of Absinthe which was dangerous instead of the thujone. Absinthe is doubly strong as spirits like whisky and vodka and can be 75% alcohol. Care should therefore be taken whenever consuming Absinthe. Thujone is only contained in minute quantities and should therefore result in no major negative effects or health issues. The EU stipulates that alcohol based drinks with an ABV {alcohol by volume) level more than 25% may only consist of a maximum of 10mg/kg of thujone, beverages classed as “bitters” can contain up to 35mg/kg, it is not entirely clear which class Absinthe suits but most brands of Absinthe have much lower than 35mg with many being beneath 10mg/kg. In the US it is only legal to purchase 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 quantity of thujone and it would be impossible to drink that amount, you would be comatose from alcohol before then!

Absinthe Ingredients

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 also veronica to produce his famous Pernod Absinthe. The fundamental oil from all of these herbs is responsible for La Louche, the clouding which occurs when water is combined with Absinthe. These kinds of herbs specially the aniseed and anise have the effect of the distinctive aniseed or licorice taste of Absinthe and wormwood is responsible for the particular bitter flavor. Absinthe is sometimes employed as bitters in cocktails.

There are lots of brands of Absinthe or Absinthe replacements which were developed throughout the bar and so contain no Absinthe thujone or even wormwood, but many would say that Absinthe is not Absinthe without Absinthe thujone and the bitter taste of wormwood. If you want real Absinthe search for brands that contains wormwood or Absinthe thujone.