Absinthe is famous for being the green drink that sent Van Gogh insane, that made him hallucinate, cut off his ear and eventually commit suicide. It’s the drink of the Green Fairy that gives artists and writers inspiration, that makes you trip like cannabis – isn’t it? Does Absinthe really cause psychedelic effects? Now that Absinthe is legal again in many countries, people want answers to these questions and want to know how to tell real Absinthe make you hallucinate. Here is some information on Absinthe.
Absinthe is a very strong liquor which is made by distilling herbs such as wormwood, fennel and aniseed with alcohol. It was invented by the legendary Dr Pierre Ordinaire in the late 18th century as an elixir or tonic for his patients in Couvet, Switzerland. By the turn of the 19th century, Absinthe had gone from being a tonic to being an alcoholic beverage produced by Pernod Fils in their distillery in Pontarlier, France.
From its humble beginnings as a medicine, Absinthe became a highly popular alcoholic beverage during the period known as La Belle Epoque, a golden age. It soon surpassed wine and beer as the most popular alcoholic drink in France and this made wine producers, the Prohibition movement and the medical profession worry.
Absinthe became associated with the Bohemian culture of Montmartre and the Moulin Rouge with its loose morals, and also with drugs such as heroin and cocaine which were being used in children’s medicines and drinks at the time. The medical profession claimed that the chemical thujone, from wormwood, was just like THC in the drug cannabis and was psychoactive and could cause psychedelic effects. Prohibitionists claimed that Absinthe was destroying France, it was leading to addiction and alcoholism and one politician famously argued that it Absinthe was not banned then half of the population would be employed in fitting the other half of the population into strait jackets! Absinthe was banned in France in 1915.
Were these claims true?
Although artists and writers claimed that the Green Fairy was their muse and that they got their weird and wonderful ideas from hallucinations from Absinthe, we now know that Absinthe does not make you hallucinate. Who knows what else the artists and writers were taking? It is said that Van Gogh mixed his Absinthe with turpentine and we know that he had been mentally ill since childhood anyway.
Thujone is not like THC. If it is ingested in large amounts, then thujone can act on the GABA receptors in the brain, causing convulsions and spasms, but only in large amounts. Tests and studies on modern Absinthe and pre ban vintage Absinthe show that Absinthe only contains very small amounts of thujone, nowhere near enough to make you hallucinate even a little. Ted Breaux, Absinthe distiller and tester says “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.”
Absinthe has now been redeemed and we know that it is no more harmful than any other strong spirit. It will not give you hallucinations, it will not drive you to insanity but it can make you very drunk. If you think that Absinthe is twice as strong as whisky and vodka, then you can see that Absinthe will get you drunk quickly and easily, whether you use a commercial Absinthe or one you’ve made from a kit like those on sale at AbsintheKit.com.
Although Absinthe will not make you hallucinate, the drunkenness you will experience when drinking Absinthe will be unlike the drunkenness that you feel after drinking other types of alcohol in excess. It has been described as a “lucid” or “clear headed” drunkenness and it is thought that this is caused by the mysterious combination of the sedative effect of the alcohol and the herbal ingredients which are stimulants. So, no green fairies but perhaps a bit of an alcohol high and heightened senses.
So, the answer to the question “How to tell real Absinthe make you hallucinate” is that no Absinthe will make you hallucinate but it’s a wonderful drink. Drink it to enjoy it.