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-- By Rawdon in Cambridge on Mon, 23 Sep 2013 at 12:44.
Thujone is a naturally occuring element, some say gift, from nature. When the wormwood plant is cultivated and handled correctly it will deliver this natural buzz due to the effect of thujone acting against the effects of a high quality alcohol. This is quite unique and has been celebrated by artist and poets for many generations. This natural effect is not achieved by tampering with the end product and replacing it with artificial colours and fancy sounding brand names. How the wormwood is cultivated (at what height on a mountain etc) harvested (which parts of the plant are used) and dried (natural sunlight or synthetic) will all have an effect on the thujone yield. It is perfectly possible to arrange these factors and deliver absinthe that is low thujone, it is more difficult the other way around!
As for "seeing stuff", that's a more difficult question to answer, because everyone's experience is different. What I can say is that thujone is stimulative! It works on both mental and physical levels, affecting your perception of reality, your senses and physical sensations.
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About the effects of absinthe
When it comes to the effects of drinking absinthe, people's opinions -- and experiences -- vary wildly. Some go as far as to claim the drink is psychoactive, while others say there is no "secondary" (that is, other than alcohol-induced) effect at all.
As early as 1993, Matthew Baggott posted his Absinthe FAQ in the Usenet newsgroup "alt.drugs" (there wasn't much of the web as we know it back then). As you will suspect from the newsgroup's name, the issue of absinthe's "psychoactive qualities" was one of the interests of the document.
Some people take it further still. We definitely do not recommend any experiments with Paxil and absinthe (nor, for that matter, mixing any medicine with alcohol). Anyway, it's quite clear which way the wind blows here, since Jasmine Sailing's bizarre piece more or less concludes absinthe is a narcotic. Is it really? Yup, it does read like the girl was out of her mind when she wrote the page -- and no, we don't think the Fairy was to blame!
A far more sober look at the effects of the Green Fairy can be found in "The Return of the Green Faerie", an article written by Frank Kelly Rich of the Modern Drunkard magazine (no pun intended). Recommended reading.
What is absinthe?
What is the history of absinthe?
What is wormwood?
How about thujone?
What are the effects of absinthe?
How do I drink absinthe?
What is "La Louche" ritual?
What is an absinthe fountain?
The freedom-loving Green Fairy...
Goddess of rebel poets & artists
in France and beyond