Absinthe Facts

Recent, very well-documented science has shown that absinthe's bad reputation was undeserved, and the real cause for concern was actually an epidemic of alcohol abuse, paired with inferior and faux absinthes created with toxic colorings.

Propaganda in the 1800s by the temperance movement and the political influence of the powerful wine industry created a collection of myths that persist to this day. Upon demonstration that authentic absinthe  meets the current US standards, the TTB has allowed absinthe to be produced and imported into the USA and to be labeled as such.

Q: Is MARTEAU really absinthe?

A: Yes. MARTEAU absinthe is made strictly according to the same historical formulas and processes as the best 19th-century absinthes, with lots of anise, fennel, and real Artemisia absinthium—Grand Wormwood—in amounts similar to those of days past.

Q: Isn't absinthe a poisonous drug?

A: No. This is a myth exploited by modern marketers of inferior products in hopes of capitalizing on absinthe's misunderstood past. As with any alcoholic beverage, it should be enjoyed responsibly and in moderation.

Q: But absinthe is said to have a different "effect", what's that all about?

A: The famous and much-exaggerated absinthe "effect" is a completely modern idea born in the 1970s, and has been confused with reports of the terrible dementia suffered by chronic absinthe abusers of the 19th century. This confusion has been worsened by misinformation willfully spread by unscrupulous marketers. There are no first-hand accounts of any sort of drug-like effect associated with absinthe in the 19th century, despite modern repetition of this falsehood.

Q: Is thujone the active ingredient in absinthe?

A: No. The active ingredient in absinthe is alcohol. Recent studies have demonstrated by GC/MS analysis that previous untested conjectures as to the levels in pre-ban absinthe were wildly inaccurate, and that properly made pre-ban era absinthe had negligible levels of thujone, just as properly made absinthes do today. The reason for this is that thujone does not easily distill and all but trace amounts remain behind.

Inferior absinthes didn't contain high levels of thujone either, but some did contain copper sulfate and antimony chloride, two very poisonous chemicals with no recreational potential.

Q: Is thujone a hallucinogen? An aphrodisiac? Similar to THC?

A: No, no and no. Thujone is toxic in high concentrations, hundreds of times more than has ever been found in any absinthe, but it's not a drug or an aphrodisiac. There was conjecture in the 1970s that thujone may interact with the same receptors in the brain as THC, but this was quickly shown not to be the case, over 30 years ago. Thujone is an advertising gimmick used by marketers of faux and inferior absinthe.

Q: Why is absinthe now legally available in the United States?

A: Absinthe has been legal in the USA for many decades, it's just that no one knew about it, either in the public or within government agencies.

Contrary to much marketing and erroneous media reporting, this is due to a change in internal policy by the Tobacco and Alcohol Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB), and NOT the result of a lifted ban or changed law. No laws have been changed; NO BAN HAS BEEN LIFTED.


For more detailed information about absinthe, go to The Wormwood Society.