I would like to take this opportunity to introduce this subject as well as debunk some of the myths and rumors that surround this complex liquor. I have searched through the forums here and the same false information that I find everywhere on the internet still persist. This is the place where the truth shall blossom like the fragile flowers on a gray green stem.
Lucid (the legal absinthe) contains Thujone, it is impossible to seperate it from Artemesia Absinthium. It does however, not cross over through the distillation process to any great extent. Where Lucid is concerned, the inventor asserts he has reverse engineered actual 19th century Absinthes found at estate sales and from other collectors, in this process he has found that the actual thujone content of these traditional absinthes just happens to fall under the legal requirements of the US (along with a successful argument in semantics with the FDA) and he has created Lucid, jumped through all the correct hoops, and here it is.
The problem we are facing today with all the other producers of the appertif is that the true formulaes were lost and those that produced it in the internm, what with the law screaming about thujone, assumed that there must be high concentrations in the original formulaes, which we now know is untrue.
Alcohol is a GABA agonist. It stimulates the production of this neurotransmitter which causes drowsiness and sleep.
Thujone is a GABA antagonist. It prohibits alcohol from performing that part of it's function.
Absinthe is therefore a type of 'speedball', it's chemical constituents at once promote the production of GABA and opens its receptors, while also closing those receptors off. This explains the 'lucid' effect that absinthe has, as oppossed to just normal drunkenness, which is associated with drowsiness.
Another definition would be that the inhibitory effect of the antagonist thujone allows the consumer of absinthe to reach a stage of drunkenness that one would not be able to experience; the key word here is experience, not achieve; if one were consuming normal alcohol.
This is the muse revealed. All the thujone allows is for the door opened in the psyche by alcohol to remain open longer, allowing the consumer to experience the effects of the alcohol as he would normally not be able to. This is also where Absinthe's sentience stems from. The word alcohol comes from the Arabic al-gwul, which means ghoul. The green fairy of wormwood mearly holds the door open for one to peer through upon the face of this familiar devil, alcohol. It brings to mind the old phrase "if you stare into the abyss long enough, the abyss begins to stare back."
My above passage is further proved by this quote from the National Academy of the Sciences posted in full on this site by Hiram.
“...[the] thujone content of old absinthe would give a detectable to major inhibitory effect beyond that of the ethanol content.”
Wormwood is traditionally an insecticide and used to treat intestinal worms. The herb itself has been safely used for centuries for this specific treatment. I have grown wormwood and have a lb. sitting in my cupboard. I drink it straight as a tisane with no toxic effects. Thujone itself will contribute to renal failure if taken in large doses. One should never consume the essential oil of wormwood for any purpose.
Lucid and those that follow like Marteau Verte Classique are to be, in my opinion, perfectly legitimate classic absinthes that contain thujone. When you drink it, you will be producing the effect in your brain that I described above.
Any thoughts or comments would be appreciated.