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 partly responsible for Absinthe being banned in early 1900s in lots of 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 much like THC found in cannabis and Absinthe was speculated to be psychoactive and have psychedelic outcomes causing hallucinations and insanity. Absinthe was popular with the Bohemian set in Montmartre in Paris and several artists and also writers claimed that Absinthe, the Green absinthethujone Fairy, gave them inspiration and their genius. Famous Absinthe drinkers consist of Oscar Wilde, Ernest Hemingway, Van Gogh, Gauguin, Degas, Baudelaire and Verlaine. Some state 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 many other strong alcoholic drinks following 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 Dangerous?

Today's studies suggest that it was really the alcohol (ethanol) content of Absinthe that 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 any time ingesting Absinthe. Thujone is only contained in minute quantities and must therefore cause no major unwanted effects or health problems. The EU states that alcoholic beverages with an ABV {alcohol by volume) level above 25% may only consist of 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 suits but most brands of Absinthe have much under 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 hazardous causing convulsions but you would have to drink a large amount of Absinthe to consume that volume of thujone plus it will be impossible to drink that amount, you would be comatose from alcohol before then!

Absinthe Ingredients

It is stated 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 essential oil from all of these herbs accounts for La Louche, the clouding which comes about when water is combined with Absinthe. These types of herbs specially the aniseed and anise are responsible for the distinctive aniseed or licorice taste of Absinthe and wormwood is liable for the particular bitter flavor. Absinthe is oftentimes used as bitters in cocktails.

There are numerous brands of Absinthe or Absinthe replacements which were developed throughout the ban and so contain no Absinthe thujone or even wormwood, but a majority of people would say that Absinthe just isn't Absinthe without Absinthe thujone and the bitter flavor of wormwood. If you'd like real Absinthe try to find brands made up of wormwood or Absinthe thujone.