Re: thujone (psychedelic?)
- Hi Marcia,
I shall apologise in advance for the length of this response..
I am no scientist, as I said previously, but I think you'll find that the levels of Thujone found in genuine Absinthe are actually negligible. There are also reports which state that Thujone's purported psychedelic properties are in question at this time.
As often happens, the people who want to sell or use absinthe make much of its effects (on the positive/innebriating side), while the groups who desire to defame and punish those who consume it try to throw it in a negative light. (Medical marijuana and the war on drugs is only one more manifestation of this partiality.)
Take also the example of the separation between the classes in Europe a century ago. One may easily have pointed at a destitute person living on the streets who was drinking absinthe and made a case that it was the drink that made him/her so - and opponents of absinthe did do just that.
The closest likelihood of a negative effect from drinking absinthe (apart from the customary alcoholic effects), however, would have been the use of substitute and inferior ingredients to lower the cost of production. Heavy metals and poisonous compounds would have certainly been included in this list. Creating the characteristic green tint would have been only one opportunity for compromising the quality.
The poor and needy would have been the main consumers of less-than-genuine absinthe.
Equally as many middle to upper class - "stable" - individuals were partaking on a daily basis and there was little association made between their use of absinthe and their ill health, if any. Pernod Fils had been one of France's leading absinthe manufacturers for a long time (since 1805, I believe) when they were banned from its production - most bans took place by 1915.
It is now fairly common knowledge that political and economical pressure was the origin of Absinthe's bad reputation.
"Very little of the Thujone present in wormwood actually makes it into a properly distilled absinthe." -Wikipedia (among others)
The long and the short of this argument is that Thujone, while potentially dangerous in highly concentrated doses (what isn't?), poses little or no threat as a component in absinthe. In fact, the host of ingredients in absinthe would likely make it hard to isolate any one factor, and the argument exists that it was a combination of herbs which brought on the "secondary" innebriation.
Multiple studies exist on this subject, and I welcome your discourse if you find information which contradicts me.
Thanks for your patience,
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