Absinthe discussion boards and forums are full of threads of people asking if Absinthe makes you hallucinate or trip and how many shots to hallucinate Absinthe. Kids at college who are away from home are desperate to try this liquor that makes you hallucinate just like smoking pot. Unfortunately, those people are going to be disappointed. Absinthe does not make you a hallucinate. It is a mythical, mysterious drink but the drink of the Green Fairy will not enable you to see any fairies but it will get you intoxicated easily.
It was thought in the late 19th century and early 20th century that thujone, the chemical in wormwood, was similar to THC in the drug cannabis. The medical profession claimed that Absinthe contained massive amounts of thujone and that thujone was psychoactive and caused psychedelic effects including hallucinations, convulsions, delirium and insanity. It was claimed that Absinthe caused Van Gogh to cut off his ear and drove him to suicide, that it was causing addiction and alcoholism in France and that it was even responsible for murder. What’s the truth?
We now know that Absinthe is not hallucinogenic at all. Thujone can act on the GABA receptors in the brain and cause convulsions and spasms when it is ingested in large amounts but Absinthe only contains very small amounts of thujone after the distillation process. As Ted Breaux, Absinthe distiller and tester of vintage Absinthe, said to Rita Cosby in an interview in 2006:-
“I would have to consume about three liters of Absinthe at the European limit to have any clinically discernible effects from thujone, and I’d be long dead from the alcohol by that point.”
Van Gogh had been suffering from mental illness from childhood and he mixed his Absinthe with turpentine – not a great combination!
How Many Shots to Hallucinate Absinthe?
A shot means different amounts in different countries. A US shot is 1.5 fluid ounces or 45ml, a UK shot is 25ml, in Australia it is 30ml and in Germany and Finland a shot is 20ml. So,let’s see how many US shots of Absinthe we would need to consume to drink 3 liters, like Breaux says.
US shot = 45ml so 1000ml divided by 45ml = 22.22 so 22 shots! There’s no way that we could consume that much Absinthe and still be standing or even still be alive.
What you have to remember is the alcohol content of Absinthe. Let’s look at the alcohol content of some drinks and compare them to Absinthe:-
Absinthe can be up to 75% alcohol by volume (150 proof).
Beer tends to be 4 or 5% alcohol by volume (8-10 proof).
Table Wine 9-12% alcohol by volume (18-24 proof).
Whisky – Johnnie Walker Black Label Scotch 40% alcohol by volume (80 proof).
Now, the alcohol-information.com website has worked out that if you have one shot of 190 proof Everclear is equivalent to drinking 2.85 bottles of beer and about 3 brandies. With this information we can establish that one shot of Absinthe is equivalent to 2.25 bottles of beer. So, the 22 shots Absinthe is equivalent to 49.5 bottles of beer!
Absinthe is a great drink, a wonderful anise flavored liquor but it will not make you hallucinate, however much you drink. Surely it is best to drink it in moderation and not put yourself at risk of alcohol poisoning. College kids think it’s funny and crazy to experiment with liquor and pot as part of their social life but Absinthe is way stronger than other liquors and care needs to be taken with it. It can get you intoxicated very quickly.
Always buy quality Absinthe from reputable distilleries. Do not try making your own thujone loaded Absinthe at home. If you really want to make your very own Absinthe then use quality essences such as those from AbsintheKit.com that have been made through proper distillation and that have the thujone level measured.
How many shots to hallucinate Absinthe? Over 22 shots so please don’t try it. Instead, enjoy Absinthe as the lovely drink it is.