How much thujon

Sepulchritude Forum: The Absinthe Forum Thru December 2001: How much thujon
By Don_Walsh on Friday, August 03, 2001 - 01:38 am: Edit

I think thujone is the vermifuge component. Which is also why it is employed (as chief component of cedarwood oil) in cedar chests, for summer storage of winter clothes -- to keep insects, particularly moth and their larvae, away.

Mostly what I object to about the focus on alleged psychoactive aspects is that, if these are present at all, they are very subtle, while the attention they are given seems to imply that they are acute. And yes Artemis is quite correct, the jury is still out on whether thujone is involved at all -- although the well accepted GABA-tweak hypothesis would imply that it is. NO cannabinoid like activity and that's for sure. And the massive amount of alcohol also present has to be regarded as a serious, perhaps predominant factor. Furthermore, what about anethole, and the host of other compounds found in the collective herbal oils, other than thujone? It is silly to assume that these play NO role.

By Artemis on Thursday, August 02, 2001 - 08:58 pm: Edit

In his defense, I think Ordinaire was merely using a little sarcasm to argue that wormwood lends a psychoactive component to absinthe. I don't think anybody here seriously disputes that, it's just that some dispute that thujone has much, if anything, to do with it.

Whether wormwood was originally chosen for scent and flavor, or psychoactive effect, or therapeutic effect, or all these, who can say?

"the smell is absolutely intoxicating. It's musky, somehow light and joyous and extremely earthy at the same time. It smells like sex."

Very good. That's exactly how I've described the nuance of real absinthe. What a revelation it was to smell that for the first time when uncorking a bottle! So different from the anise-heavy scent of the pretenders. I hadn't realized to what extent it was present in the blossoming plants, but I've never been around that many in profusion, either.

"Am I correct, though, that it's actually the bitter, nasty elements that act as a vermifuge?"

I would think so, and those elements are purposely excluded from absinthe.

"This would seem to indicate that absinthe is really not all that effective in fighting parasites (except the ones in the water mixed with it, which are killed by the alcohol)."

I suspect that's the case.

By Perruche_Verte on Thursday, August 02, 2001 - 06:58 pm: Edit

"They also believe, I guess, that distillers of yore chose wormwood for its...delicious taste!"

I find it odd that an absinthe distiller of some skill (as I'm told Dr. Ordinaire is) would write something like this.

Isn't it true that wormwood *is* delicious -- or rather, some of the components of wormwood are delicious? Some of the others, including the ones you taste most immediately if you nibble on a wormwood leaf, are bitter and hazardous to your health. But hey, that's life.

The bike trail I take to work every day runs by enormous patches of wormwood. The plants are in full bloom now, and the smell is absolutely intoxicating. It's musky, somehow light and joyous and extremely earthy at the same time. It smells like sex. I could go on along those lines, but you'd think I was Marc posting under an alias.

I don't really know much about alchemy and early medicine, so please excuse any foolishness in these remarks, but: we know that the medicinal use of wormwood goes way, way back. People have known for a while that there is a "spirit" in the plant that is extremely beneficial and useful.

As I understand it, alchemy is all about the relationship between spirit and matter, and distillation is a process of extracting (or freeing) the spirit of something from the matter that contains it. So it was only a matter of time before someone tried to free that intoxicating scent from the bitter plant in which it's contained, and we all enjoy the results.

Am I correct, though, that it's actually the bitter, nasty elements that act as a vermifuge? This would seem to indicate that absinthe is really not all that effective in fighting parasites (except the ones in the water mixed with it, which are killed by the alcohol).

By Heiko on Tuesday, July 31, 2001 - 12:34 am: Edit

As I suspect from the profile name, Shizo is from Germany, so I try it in German:

Eine Flasche Deva Abenta kostet in Berlin ca. 60-70 DM, in Spanien ca. 20-25 DM.
Bestellt man bei Spiritscorner, kostet die Flasche Deva inklusive Versand zw. 35 und 45 DM (je nachdem, wie viele Flaschen man bestellt).
Von mir aus fahr nach Spanien und kauf den Absenta dort - vielleicht kennst du ja ne Methode um für 5,90 DM nach Spanien und zurück zu kommen, wer weiss...
Wenn du unbedingt in der Tschechei irgend so ne komische Brühe kaufen willst - selber schuld...

By Heiko on Tuesday, July 31, 2001 - 12:21 am: Edit

"I dont want to order Absinth.
I will buy it directly in Spain, Czech or whereelse you can buy good Absinth"

That means you're going to travel anywhere in the world just to get some absinthe. Let me tell you this doesn't make it cheaper ;-)

You can buy Czech Absinthe in Czechoslovakia, Spanish Absinthe in Spain - guess what I would do?

Have you ever looked at Spiritscorner's website? It is a liquor store IN SPAIN, a litre of most of the Spanish brands costs between 12 and 15 Euro - that is DEFINITELY BELOW 20 USD per litre.

Go find a store that is cheaper than that - good luck, hehehe...

By Lordhobgoblin on Monday, July 30, 2001 - 11:42 pm: Edit

Shizow,

I'm just one of their satisfied customers. If you think Spirit's Corner is expensive then I only presume you haven't visited their site (quite a bit less than $30 per bottle if you live in Europe, we have the advantages of lower postage cost from Spain than our friends in the USA do).

Hobgoblin

By Zack on Monday, July 30, 2001 - 12:39 pm: Edit

"I just wanted to say, that i dont want to read some advices where i can order (expensives) Absinthes on the net."

Shitz, if you think $30 is expensive, then you are chasing the wrong spirit...you will probably never drink anything that resembles real absinthe.

By Shizow on Monday, July 30, 2001 - 12:25 pm: Edit

Lordhobgobblin: are you working for spirit's corner as a promoter??

I just wanted to say, that i dont want to read some advices where i can order (expensives) Absinthes on the net.

By Lordhobgoblin on Monday, July 30, 2001 - 12:08 pm: Edit

Shizow,

You prefer to collect in person from anywhere in the world than use mail order! You must have loads of money!

If you're ever feeling a bit jet-lagged from all your globe trotting then just mail me your airline tickets and I'll pick up your absinthe for you and deliver it to you free of charge.

Hobgoblin

By Shizow on Monday, July 30, 2001 - 11:56 am: Edit

I dont want to order Absinth.
I will buy it directly in Spain, Czech or whereelse you can buy good Absinth

By Wolfgang on Monday, July 30, 2001 - 10:04 am: Edit

Ha yes, Serpis...I keep forgetting that one... There`s a bottle in the back of my cabinet and sometimes I swear She`s looking at me with her bloody eyes, wispering ''one day you will have nothing else to drink and you will beg me to drive you mad''.

;-)

By Lordhobgoblin on Saturday, July 28, 2001 - 11:54 pm: Edit

Shizow,

If you're ordering from Spirit's Corner I suggest you also try a bottle of Serpis.

By Lordhobgoblin on Saturday, July 28, 2001 - 11:53 pm: Edit

I agree Wolf. Secondary effects, resulting in a very slightly 'spaced-out' feeling can definitely be felt from certain, although not all, of the absinthes I have tasted. They're not the same as alcohol effects and whether they come from thujone or something else doesn't matter. But the effects are there with certain brands and not others.

Hobgoblin

By Wolfgang on Saturday, July 28, 2001 - 08:10 pm: Edit

I don't care where this special "spaced out" effect come from. All I know is I don't feal it with pastis. Is it a placebo effect created in my mind by the legend surronding absinthe ? Maybe.

Whatever, to answer your question Shizow, just surf to spirit corner and order Deva 50, Segarra and N.S. 70. Order 2 or 5 bottles to minimize shipping and have fun.

By Head_Prosthesis on Saturday, July 28, 2001 - 12:34 pm: Edit

You da' man,Ted!

By Verawench on Saturday, July 28, 2001 - 12:33 pm: Edit

The idea being to minimize the placebo effect.

By Verawench on Saturday, July 28, 2001 - 12:32 pm: Edit

Tsk tsk at Ted :)

Seriously, since chemistry can't seem to give us clear answers, perhaps the best way to determine these elusive secondary effects is via human trials? A double blind study using pastis and absinthe, with the test subjects being ignorant of absinthe and its reputation? I'm no scientist, but it's a thought.

By Tabreaux on Saturday, July 28, 2001 - 10:55 am: Edit

It seems as though the only way around the law is the Absente route. The law says that it can't contain A. absinthium as an ingredient, and it can't be called or described as "absinthe" (hence Absente's name and contents).

As far as placebo-effect, when I bartended in college, I once had the honor of serving two incredibly talkative female patrons who 'camped' at my bar for the entire evening and had no fear of drinking. They both drank strawberry daquiris. From the get-go, I made one's drink almost virgin. The other's drinks I laced with 151 rum and Jagermeister all evening. Needless to say, they both acted equally intoxicated. The only differentiation was that the one who *was* intoxicated eventually passed out. This was a long time ago, so please refrain from commenting on my ethics with regard this invaluable experiment....they have improved greatly since then.

So, needless to say, the placebo effect is alive and well in just about anything purported to deliver something unusual. The accounts in Erowid speak for themselves.

By Dr_Ordinaire on Saturday, July 28, 2001 - 10:38 am: Edit

I see your point, Ted, and thanks Head for reminding us of the placebo effect.

I read once about a study in which two groups of students had to spend the night studying. One group was given several cups of very strong coffee that, unbeknownst to them, was decaf. The other was given herbal tea, but loaded with caffeine. You probably guess the result: most of the group that drank the coffee stayed awake, while those who drank the tea got sleepy.

Yes, I'm sure that some people would experience "secondary effects" drinking an absinthe where ALL the essential oils had been removed!

As an aside, wouldn't be interesting, if it were possible, to make some de-thujonized absinthe? I wonder what the government would do about it. Since it has no thujone, it would be legal. But, would they get the distiller for "false advertising"?

They'll find a way...

By Tabreaux on Saturday, July 28, 2001 - 10:11 am: Edit

The Czechs prey on the ignorance and wishful thinking of the consumer to capture the sale, followed by the placebo effect to create a repeat buyer.

But then again, the Czechs don't know any more about absinthe than do their customers.

By Head_Prosthesis on Saturday, July 28, 2001 - 10:02 am: Edit

Which is what the Czcehs are relying heavily on.

By Head_Prosthesis on Saturday, July 28, 2001 - 10:00 am: Edit

You haven't mentioned the placebo-effect...

By Head_Prosthesis on Saturday, July 28, 2001 - 09:59 am: Edit

I'll take mine leaded, Cowboy.

By Tabreaux on Saturday, July 28, 2001 - 09:51 am: Edit

"Enough to get me rollin' out onto the warehouse floor with at least one eye open."

Well, that's just it. Everyone can subjectively tell the difference between coffee and caffeine-free coffee.

By Head_Prosthesis on Saturday, July 28, 2001 - 09:28 am: Edit

"how much caffeine must be present to consider coffee as not caffeine free?"

Enough to get me rollin' out onto the warehouse floor with at least one eye open.

By Tabreaux on Saturday, July 28, 2001 - 09:17 am: Edit

> Neither of us has presented scientific proof of our positions, and probably they cannot be proven scientifically, dealing with something as elusive as "secondary effects".

Your point is taken, and we have to ask ourselves the question that if 'secondary effects' are so elusive, and even when a single suspected agent is isolated and delivered in *exponential* concentration along with the appropriate carrier the 'secondary effects' remain elusive, then can we honestly claim that said agent is a hallucinogen and is responsible for 'secondary effects'? If so, the answer would appear to be reduced to academic minutia. Furthermore, has anyone here witnessed unmistakable drug-like hallucinations that are claimed to accompany the consumption of absinthe? No. It would then seem conflicting on our part to offer such an assumption, especially in light of the fact that those who have preceded us whom have suggested this as a possibility either had no access to the isolated compound, had no access to the genuine carrier in question (absinthe), and/or had no interest in conducting a proper study. Now, this isn't taking into account anything that can be derived from modern reference materials.

As you can see, the above statement is relatively free of opinion. My opinion results from the simple logic therein, not vice versa.


> Now, if we could take the thujone off wormwood leaves, would the liqueur made with them still be absinthe?

Is coca tea still coca without the cocaine? Is decaffeinated coffee still coffee? Everyone knows that both beforementioned compounds are plainly, unquestionably pharmacologically active in their respective beverages. The analogy is not so good because we cannot seem to plainly, unquestionably enhance nor negate secondary effects by adding or removing thujone.

Even so, the answer to your question is not so easy, simply because to answer this, one must first decide how much absinthium must be employed to consider an otherwise genuine product as "absinthe". For example, how much caffeine must be present to consider coffee as not caffeine free? Only with that answered can the question be satisfied.

As far as my personal opinion however, the answer is roughly yes.

By Dr_Ordinaire on Saturday, July 28, 2001 - 08:43 am: Edit

Stop using a bidet, you decadent European!

By Head_Prosthesis on Saturday, July 28, 2001 - 08:38 am: Edit

Dr. O'! Don!!! I think I've got DHMO in mah' booty!!! Akk! Whut em I goon ta dew!!!

By Dr_Ordinaire on Saturday, July 28, 2001 - 08:33 am: Edit

Ted, my friend, we're going in circles here. Neither of us has presented scientific proof of our positions, and probably they cannot be proven scientifically, dealing with something as elusive as "secondary effects".

Let me present a different perspective. We can take the caffeine off coffee beans. We can take the cocaine off coca leaves (and leave the aromatics, like Coca Cola does.)

Now, if we could take the thujone off wormwood leaves, would the liqueur made with them still be absinthe?

By Tabreaux on Saturday, July 28, 2001 - 08:26 am: Edit

"Thujone, when combined with all the other compounds and the alcohol in absinthe, becomes the main psychoactive component."


It was taken with absinthe.

By Dr_Ordinaire on Saturday, July 28, 2001 - 08:24 am: Edit

Back to the important stuff.

I want to be optimistic about DHMO, but with some Spanish brands boasting ON THEIR VERY LABELS of a DHMO level of up to 450,000 mg/Kg, a crackdown is inevitable.

Now, I believe (and Don will correct me if I'm wrong) that the DHMO could be reduced to an innocuous level of just 40/50,000 mg/Kg.

Let's hope the government takes this route instead of outright prohibition.

By Dr_Ordinaire on Saturday, July 28, 2001 - 07:56 am: Edit

Taking 150 mg of thujone by itself has as much to do with drinking absinthe as eating barley has to do with drinking beer.

Why don't we use a different example: take 50mg of DMT orally. Nothing happens. Take 500 mg. Still nothing.

But take the original 50 mg and also take 100 mg of harmaline, or other MAOI. You'll fly for 6 hours. (Jonathan Ott, "Pharmacotheon".)

Either by itself is inactive, together they're rocket fuel.

Thujone, when combined with all the other compounds and the alcohol in absinthe, becomes the main psychoactive component.

Well, besides the dihydrogen monoxide.

By Tabreaux on Saturday, July 28, 2001 - 07:33 am: Edit

"Some other people here believe that 100 mg/Kg, 10 mg/Kg or, for that matter, 0 mg/Kg, it makes no difference since thujone is not psychoactive."

And curiously enough, those 'some other people' tend to be those who have far better than a layman's understanding of chemistry and pharmacology. As a side note, I know of an instance where several volunteers have taken 150mg of thujone orally (acutely) in a research setting. They are still waiting for the effects. It's been almost a year now. Of course, this isn't anything someone cannot derive on their own. The key to accepting the truth is dependent upon knowing enough about chemistry to understand the subject matter.


"They also believe, I guess, that distillers of yore chose wormwood for its...delicious taste!"

No, it's just that some people have trouble comprehending what others say.

Absinthe was invented to be a palatable digestive, which is why the inventor deliberately employed medicinal and culinary herbs. The use of distillation rendered certain unpalatable medicinal herbs palatable, which was innovative at the time. The result was a *unique-tasting*, refreshing, 'healthy' drink. Upon tasting the originals, one has no trouble in understanding this. Nevertheless, pastis is still immensely popular in the same regions where absinthe was popular. Why? Because it gives hallucinations? No, because people like the refreshing flavor. There is no mystery, and never has been.

By Don_Walsh on Friday, July 27, 2001 - 11:32 pm: Edit

And FDA is now moving with all deliberate speed to ban the hazardous substance dihydrogen monoxide (DHMO), while DEA reported only last week to Congress that DHMO abuse is rising alarmingly, especially among the young. A group in Arizona proposed medicinal use of DHMO be sanctioned, as it is allegedly of therapeutic value in cases of acuse dehydration. Critics however state categorically that DHMO is implicated in juvenile as well as adult urinary incontinence. And the scientific community has appealed for more federal funding to support research. Meanwhile there were persistant rumours that fish as well as certain mammals perform sex acts while immersed in DHMO, but most observers find these fish stories hard to swallow.

Intelligence sources of known reliability have told interagency task forces that drug barons worldwide are stockpiling a particularly seductive and habit forming form of DHMO known in the street vernacular of the trace as 'ICE'. ICE houses are expected to pop up soon in America's inner cities, especially in the Southwest and South and during summertime. Sometimes ground to a fine powder and alluringly flavored with sweet syrups to entice the young, ICE is believed by many experts to be the poly-abuse wave of the future.

But civil libertarians dismiss these as scare tactics. "They're all wet," said a spokesperson for the National Association for Reform of Water Laws.

By Dr_Ordinaire on Friday, July 27, 2001 - 07:21 pm: Edit

A little known fact is that in every liter of absinthe we can find about 300,000 mg/Kg of dihydrogen monoxide.

This substance has been proven to cause drownings, mold outbreaks, rusting, shipwrecks, flooding and many other deleterious effects.

Could it be that thujone was given a bad rap?

Will we ever know the truth?

By Heiko on Friday, July 27, 2001 - 07:02 pm: Edit

Hmm, that woodchuck thing comes pretty close, I think :-)

'thujon is the psychoactiv substanc in absinth'

make it:

'Thujon ist die psychoaktive Substanz in Absinth'

and you've got it in German (note: the "-e" at the end of 'psychoaktiv' is only a suffix that denotes Adj.1stP.Sg.Nom./Acc.)
Whow, I'm glad I never had to learn German. I never really learned French because of those changing suffixes (and I love English because it doesn't have most of them)!

By Head_Prosthesis on Friday, July 27, 2001 - 06:24 pm: Edit

"Vapo" is the psychoactive component in Vicks Vapo-Rub. It's been known to cause watering of the ocu-hole, loosening of breast phlegm and rest-like sleep.

By Cheri on Friday, July 27, 2001 - 05:58 pm: Edit

And by the way, I thought thujone was the psychoactive ingredient in Vicks Vapo-Rub!!! What's this absinthe rumor....

By Cheri on Friday, July 27, 2001 - 05:51 pm: Edit

Yeah! What they said!

By Don_Walsh on Friday, July 27, 2001 - 05:49 pm: Edit

Alcohol is the psychoactive component in absinthe. There are usually 680,000 to 720,000 mg/Kg of it in absinthe of classical strength, and alcohol has been known to cause delerium, hallucinations, coma, and death

By Head_Prosthesis on Friday, July 27, 2001 - 05:43 pm: Edit

I don't know... I need the daily recommended amount of vowels.

By Dr_Ordinaire on Friday, July 27, 2001 - 05:40 pm: Edit

Jst wt ntl Hd hrs f ths nw thng!

By Dr_Ordinaire on Friday, July 27, 2001 - 05:36 pm: Edit

Jst wt ntl Hd hrs f ths nw thng!

By Verawench on Friday, July 27, 2001 - 05:24 pm: Edit

Here's a thought: if we all start communicating like this there'll be no more worries about D'Authorities.

Ordnr I tnk y mght hv ht on smthng hr

By Dr_Ordinaire on Friday, July 27, 2001 - 05:18 pm: Edit

f y thnk ths s jkng mttr, Vr, yr wrng! Thjn s f prmnt mprtnc n ths Frm...

By Verawench on Friday, July 27, 2001 - 04:51 pm: Edit

thujon is the psychoactiv substanc in absinth

By Head_Prosthesis on Friday, July 27, 2001 - 04:18 pm: Edit

mmmm Woodchuck Cider. Now there's a psychotropic substance. Woodchuck and Chili Cheese Fritos.

By Artemis on Friday, July 27, 2001 - 03:32 pm: Edit

How much wood would a woodchuck chuck,
If a woodchuck
Could chuck
wood?

By Dr_Ordinaire on Friday, July 27, 2001 - 03:26 pm: Edit

It depends who you ask, Shizow.

Some people here believe that the level of traditional Pernod, i.e. 60 to 90 mg/Kg should be enough.

Some other people here believe that 100 mg/Kg, 10 mg/Kg or, for that matter, 0 mg/Kg, it makes no difference since thujone is not psychoactive. They also believe, I guess, that distillers of yore chose wormwood for its...delicious taste!

Take your pick.

By Verawench on Friday, July 27, 2001 - 02:47 pm: Edit

they keep chopping off the e's....

By Shizow on Friday, July 27, 2001 - 02:31 pm: Edit

How much mg/kg thujone is necessary to feel the real Absinth effects?

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