There are so many discussion threads on forums about Absinthe and how to hallucinate by drinking Absinthe. Lots of people want to know what the best Absinthe to buy for hallucinating is and what is the Absinthe high like.
Unfortunately, these people are believing the propaganda from the late 19th century and early 20th century and also books like Doris Lanier’s “Asbinthe The Cocaine of the 19th Century: A History of the Hallucinogenic Drug and its Effect on Artists and Writers in Europe and the United States”. In this book Lanier talks about Absinthe being like opium and cocaine in its effects and that it caused a rapid loss of both physical and mental faculties. Is there any truth in this?
Absinthe was popular in a time known by some as “The Great Binge”, a time when heroin and cocaine were used in children’s medicines and in beverages. The medical profession realized that these chemicals weren’t as safe as they thought and they thought the same about Absinthe. They claimed that thujone, a chemical found in the wormwood in the drink Absinthe, was psychoactive and could cause psychedelic effects just like THC in cannabis. They alleged that Absinthe wasn’t just a drink that intoxicated people, it was also a harmful drug that gave you hallucinations and could drive you insane. Doctors even came up with a name for prolonged Absinthe drinking – “Absinthism”, which they said caused:-
- Brain damge
Really, “Absinthism” was just alcoholism, it was nothing special.
Many people blame Absinthe for Van Gogh cutting off his own ear and for his later suicide. But, can we blame a drink for Van Gogh’s madness when he had suffered from mental illness and depression since he was a child and when we consider that he mixed Absinthe with turpentine? I don’t think so. Absinthe cannot be blamed for the so-called “Absinthe Murder” either. A Swiss man murdered his pregnant wife and children after consuming two glasses of Absinthe BUT he had also consumed five liters of wine, six glasses of cognac and many other alcoholic beverages!
What is the Absinthe High Like?
The Absinthe “high” just doesn’t exist. We now know definitively from tests, that Absinthe is not an hallucinogen. Even pre ban Absinthe only contained very small amounts of thujone, nowhere near enough to cause any effect whatsoever. Yes, you will get intoxicated quickly drinking Absinthe, after all it tends to be about 70% alcohol by volume (140 proof) which is stronger than other spirits like vodka but you will not trip or get high.
Absinthe is called the Green Fairy but it will not make you see any fairies!. It does give you a different kind of drunkenness though. The blend of the high alcohol content, which acts as a sedative, and the herbs, which are stimulants, can give you a very strange “clear headed” or “lucid” drunkenness – an alcohol high. Perhaps this is what artists and writers were talking about when they described Absinthe as their muse, saying that it gave them inspiration and even their genius.
Make sure when you buy your first Absinthe that you buy a quality Absinthe or that you make your own from a kit from a reputable company. Some company’s herbal steeping kits claim to make an Absinthe which contains very large amounts of thujone, much larger than vintage Absinthe. Take a look at the essences from AbsintheKit.com which are also used by the Absinthe industry.
Although the answer to the question “What is the Absinthe high like?” might disappoint some people, Absinthe is a great tasting drink which should be enjoyed.