There is certainly much controversy in regards to the quantity of a psychoactive chemical thujone in Absinthe and so many individuals would like to know how to measure thujone levels in Absinthe they may have made from home. It is actually impossible to do this at home if you do not have the correct equipment and know what you’re doing. Thujone levels could be measured by solid phase extraction and gas chromatography.
What is Thujone?
For people who don’t know, thujone is a chemical substance located in the herb common wormwood (Artemisia Absinthium) and in the past was believed to be psychoactive like THC within the drug cannabis. In large doses it had been believed to have psychedelic effects, to cause convulsions, insanity, brain damage, and finally death. The alleged effects of thujone along with the undeniable fact that Absinthe was an intoxicant, being such a strong liquor, were enough for the prohibition movements in France, the United States and other countries to influence governments to ban Absinthe.
Recently, studies have shown that thujone will have to be consumed in big amounts to cause any harmful side effects, so Absinthe with 10mg of thujone per liter or less was legalized in the European Union absinthe-sale. Lots of people in the USA were disappointed that legalization didn’t happen all at once in the United States. The United States required that alcohol-based drinks needs to be “thujone free”.
Lux and Fire Erowid contacted both the FDA and the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) to find clarification on the laws around the Green Fairy and thujone. The FDA used a rather outdated indicator test to evaluate for the existence of thujone, not appropriate analytical chemistry. The TTB reported that wormwood products should be thujone free which meant a lot less than the limit of detection – 10 ppm (parts per million).
Ted Breaux, an Absinthe distiller, analyzed his collectibles, antique vintage bottles of Absinthe, for thujone levels through the use of gas chromatography and was surprised at their low thujone levels. It was always thought that vintage pre ban Absinthe contained 260-350mg of thujone per liter, Breaux discovered that the very best reading from the vintage bottles was 6mg per liter – an incredibly small amount. He also tested the Absinthes of his Jade collection where he’d put a “full measure” of wormwood, and found that after distillation these also contained only really small levels of thujone.
Absinthe and the United States 2007
Breaux and also the company Veridian developed an Absinthe called “Lucid” and had the ability to prove to the FDA and TTB that it contained fewer than 10 ppm of thujone. Lucid started sale in the US in 2007 and was soon followed by a number of other brands of Absinthe. Americans is now able to experience the taste of Absinthe at home and in bars over the US.
Does Absinthe Have Any Effects?
The thujone content in Absinthe is certainly not sufficient to result in hallucinations, but Absinthe is definitely a strong alcoholic liquor, as much as 75% abv. It’s not supposed to be taken straight or on the rocks. The correct way to provide Absinthe is to pour a shot inside an Absinthe glass and dilute with iced water poured over a cube of sugar.
It is easy to get drunk fairly quickly when drinking Absinthe because of its strength, nevertheless the drunkenness associated with Absinthe drinking is very different from getting drunk on beer, wine or cider. Some of the herbs in Absinthe acts as a sedative plus some being a stimulant so you experience a “clear headed” or “lucid” drunkenness – a bizarre experience!
Absinthe Products and Thujone Quantities
It is not essential to know how to measure thujone levels in Absinthe if you use kits containing quality essences, like those from AbsintheKit.com, where thujone levels within the essences are already measured for you. These essences are easy to use. They are really already distilled, you just need to mix with Everclear or vodka to produce your very own real wormwood Absinthe.