However, these persons are believing the propaganda through the late 19th century and early twentieth century and in addition 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". On this book Lanier talks about Absinthe being similar to opium and cocaine in its effects and therefore it caused a rapid loss in both mental and physical faculties. Could there be any truth in this?
Absinthe was well-known in a time recognized by some as "The Great Binge", a period when heroin and cocaine were used in children's medicines plus in beverages. The medical profession realized that these chemical compounds weren't as safe as they thought plus they thought the same about Absinthe. They reported that thujone, a chemical located in the wormwood in the drink Absinthe, was psychoactive and could trigger psychedelic effects exactly like THC in cannabis. They alleged that Absinthe wasn't merely a drink that intoxicated people, it was also a damaging drug that gave you hallucinations and could drive you insane. Doctors even came up with a name for prolonged Absinthe drinking - "Absinthism", that they said brought on:-
- Brain damage
Really, "Absinthism" was just alcoholism, it had been nothing special.
Lots of people blame Absinthe for Van Gogh cutting off his very own ear as well as for his later suicide. But, could we blame a drink for Van Gogh's madness as he had suffered from mental illness and depression since he was a child so when we take into account that he mixed Absinthe with turpentine? I don't think so. Absinthe can not be blamed for the so-called "Absinthe Murder" either. A Swiss man killed his pregnant wife and children after consuming two glasses of Absinthe BUT he'd also consumed five liters of wine, six glasses of cognac and lots of other alcohol based drinks!
What is the Absinthe High Like?
The Absinthe "high" merely doesn't exist. We now know for sure from tests, that Absinthe isn't an hallucinogen. Even pre ban Absinthe only contained really small amounts of thujone, nowhere near enough to cause any effect by any means. Yes, you will get drunk quickly drinking Absinthe, after all it is typically about 70% alcohol by volume (140 proof) which is stronger than other spirits such as vodka but you won't trip or get high.
Absinthe is called the Green Fairy but it is not going to cause you to see any fairies!. It does provide you with a different kind of drunkenness though. The combination of the high alcohol content, which acts as a sedative, and the herbs, that are stimulants, can provide you with a very strange "clear headed" or "lucid" drunkenness - an alcohol high. Perhaps this is what artists and writers were talking about if they described Absinthe as their muse, saying that it gave them inspiration and also their genius.
Make sure when you buy your first Absinthe that you get a quality Absinthe or that you create your own from a kit coming from a trustworthy company. A few company's herbal steeping kits claim to make an Absinthe containing large levels of thujone, much larger than vintage Absinthe. Understanding What is the Absinthe High Like?