Absinthe Effect: Does it cause hallucinations?

What are the Absinthe Effects? Many rumors exist and it is hard to tell what is reality and truth and what is myth about the Absinthe effects. Is it a hallucinogenic drug, does it make you insane? These are common questions. To put it in a nutshell: Absinthe is not a hallucinogenic drug! You will not see pink elephants. Though, you should drink it responsibly, as it has a very high percentage of alcohol. But read on, to learn more about the effects of the drink.

Strong Absinthes

What is the story behind the Absinthe effects? 

Absinthe EffectsLet us start with a little historical fact, which is responsible for the drug like image Absinthe has. On August 28th, 1905 a French vineyard worker called Jean Lanfray commited a crime that should change the world. It is a true story about an exaggerated effect of Absinthe. Mr. Lanfray worked in the little village of Commugny in Switzerland. On that particular day he woke up at 4.30 in the morning, as usual. He started into the day with his usual eye opener: One glass of Absinthe, to which he added the traditional way three parts cold water (In Switzerland Absinthe is still drank without an Absinthe Spoon, they only add cold water, no sugar). At that time noone could know, that before the day would have finished Jean Lanfray would have commited a series of horrible murders! And, ultimately, he would be responsible for the fall down of a $100.000.000 Absinthe industry. This guy was a tough, strong worker. He weighed about 180 punds. He was nearly six feet tall and was in good health. Lanfray was a Frenchman by birth. He had served in the French army. There he had learned two things. How to kill a man, and how to drink Absinthe. The day he returned from work, he was drunk as hell. Absinthe was only the eye opener, during the day he consumed further alcoholic spirits like cognac and wine.

On August 28, the 31 year old Lanfray got dressed and was looking for his shoes. He lived together with his wife and two children. During the past years the couple had been constantly quarreling - about money, men and Jean's drinking habits. The day before the murder Lanfray wanted to have his shoes waxed by his wife. He yelled: "Don't forget to wax my boots. And make it good, you hear". This little order should start the murder. As his shoes weren't waxed the next day Lanfray put out his gun and shot his wife and his two children. Afterwards he tried to kill himself, but had no success. Lanfray went on trial on February 23, 1906. The defense maintained that he had been in a state of Absinthe induced delirium when he killed and therefore he was not mentally responsible for the murders. He was sentenced to life imprisonment. This is a very hard and sad story, but actually the press and lobbyist used this accident to blame Absinthe for all the crime and poverty in the world. With succcess. Absinthe got prohibited in France in the year 1914 and in Switzerland in 1910.

Needless to say that Mr. Lanfray was an alcoholic. His alcohol consumption caused the murders, not the Green Fairy.

Absinthe Effects and Prohibition

Mr. Lanfray drank wine, coffee with cognac and much more alcohol during his day. Absinthe was just one drink he drank. His alcoholism was the case for the murder, not Absinthe! But Absinthe was blamed, as during the time of the 19th / 20th century, alcohol was generally considered as a threat for society (it was as well time of the Prohibition in the USA). And Absinthe was perfect as a scapegoat, it was a high proof liquor and competition-wise a threat for the established French wine industry. They didn't want to have a second national drink in France or Switzerland and therefore actively worked against the reputation of Absinthe. By 1914 and with the help of posters like the one below they had reached their goal in France. Absinthe production and consumption got illegal.

Absinthe Prohibition

Absinthe Alcohol: Legalization

For a long time the myth remained that drinking a glass of Absinthe is bad for your health. It was said, that Absinthe drives you mad, like it supposedly did with Mr. Lanfray. There was even an illness attached to it, "Absinthism". Of course, drinking high proof alcohol can not be considered as healthy, but, and this is important, Absinthe is not poisonous and will not make you insane or cut off your ear. You can drink it responsibly like any other high-proof alcohol. This is not our opinion, it is the opinion of scientists and food regulators worldwide. That's why Absinthe got re-legalized in the European Union in 1998, the USA followed in 2008. But still the myth remains that real Absinthe of the 19th century was stronger, meaning that it contained more thujone, the toxic ingredient of the wormwood plant. This is nonsense, vintage Absinthe was analysed and guess what, it did not have more thujone than the legal level of todays Absinthes (35mg thujone in a litre of Absinthe are legal in the EU, read more about Absinthe & Thujone at our info site).

To put it in a nutshell, Absinthe is legal once again, and the Absinthe you can buy is as original as the one that was sold in the 19th century. If you drink some glasses of Absinthe the "effect" is caused by the high percentage of alcohol. But Absinthe has more to offer than thujone or a high alcoholic percentage. Absinthe is a spirit of history and drinking it with the right accessories is culture. If you want to buy original Absinthe, just visit our online store. We ship worldwide. If you are from the USA, you can find more information about ordering Absinthe online at our info site: Absinthe USA.