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Articles bias[edit]

I am concerned by the implications of this page. There is a great deal of literature from France in the 1990's describing the effects of Absinthe but this article simply tries to pawn them off as imagination. I hope that someone will address this article's bias. The lack of science on such an obscure drug should not outweigh decades of writings on the experiences of users. 02:40, 28 January 2007 (UTC) Napa, CA

What literature would that be? What if the literature is inaccurate as many previous writings have been shown to be? What experience by what 'users'? -- Ari 02:49, 28 January 2007 (UTC)

Very biased page and same with absinthe page where this guy Ari is operating as link spammer Toga2 09:32, 16 November 2007 (UTC)

Can you explain this bias and provide evidence it is biased? -- Ari 15:58, 16 November 2007 (UTC)

There is a recent scientific study published in Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry (April 2008) regarding the chemical composition of vintage preban absinthe and thujone levels. The analysis conclusively shows thujone concentrations have been grossly over-estimated in the past. Nephrite (talk) 05:33, 19 April 2008 (UTC)

A good example is the writing of Oscar Wilde where after a long night of Absinthe drinking he saw the waiter water the floor and flowers grew up out of the tile. The next day he realized he had been watching the Waiter mop the floor and put the chairs on the table. There are decades of stories like this from more than 50 public figures. I personally have experienced these effects from Absinthe. Perhaps it is the combination of herbs or a different compound that is responsible but to say that there are no effects stronger than Tequila is absurd. Perhaps we should just create an article reference all of the stories from the literature. I could add about a dozen in an hour or so worths of documenting and I am not a big absinthe fan. I am sure others would have no problems coming up with more. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Colinsk (talkcontribs) 22:11, 13 November 2008 (UTC)

What are these stories? The Oscar wilde example is a great example of how absinthe's "effects" have grown over the years. The tale was never actually said by Wilde himself but occurs in a 1949 book. You can read more here, Every effects story I've read so far seems to be misinterpreted over the years to create the "effect." Not to mention as pointed out an effect means little about thujone. -- Ari (talk) 03:31, 14 November 2008 (UTC)

Even if thujone is pyschoactive, its pretty much conclusive from the sources on the page theres not enough in absinthe to affect the CNS. Maybe the essential oil at high concentrations does something maybe not, but the thujone in absinthe does nothing theres such a small amount, homoeopathy is not science. Discordance (talk) 14:42, 9 January 2013 (UTC)

Hi Discordance, toxic CNS effects are likely different from the psychedelic effect on the brain, and the two should not be conflated. In Dettling's study, study participants were given 0.28 mg/kg and 0.028 mg/kg, with the former showing attention effects, and the latter showing no effect. So for a 70 kg human, that would be 20mg, or 1/5th of a bottle of the 100 mg thujone that's available. Also, since only two levels were tested, thujone might actually be active in humans at doses 2-4 mg, requiring only a shot of pre-ban average 25 mg/L absinthe. It certainly appears plausible that the amount of thujone in absinthe could affect human brains. I've restored the "may or may not" portion of the article. Pro crast in a tor (talk) 05:02, 10 January 2013 (UTC)

Hi Pro Crast, the logical issues with your commentary (and the passage in question as-is) are as follows:

  • The Dettling and Grass study confirms no observable effect for a 70kg human at the 2mg dosage.
  • The Dettling and Grass study specifies the effects for the same subject at the highest (20mg for 70kg) dosage as being detectable only via performance tests in a clinical setting, and does not imply the subjects themselves were aware of any differences, which doesn't make a good case for 'reported psychedelic effects'.
  • Nowhere in the literature is thujone linked with any 'psychedelic effects' in human test subjects.
  • The Lachenmeier, Maister, et al., study on two dozen vintage absinthe samples reveal the mean concentration of thujone to be around 22mg/L, and the greatest statistical outlier at 48mg/L. By Dettling and Grass' observations, even the outlier would require a subject to consume over 400ml (10+ shots) of the 68% ABV spirit to obtain performance effects observable in a clinical setting, but alas, the effects of the alcohol would be so profound at that point that it is highly doubtful the subject would be coherent enough to participate in testing.

These observations considered, the opening paragraph is potentially misleading on two counts, those being (1) that thujone is responsible for psychedelic effects, and (2) that enough thujone exists in traditional absinthe to be of concern. Neither notion is based upon any sound science.Vapeur (talk) 14:50, 10 January 2013 (UTC)

"abnormally" or "erroneously" ???[edit]

The article includes this passage":

"GC-MS testing is important in this capacity, because gas chromatography alone may record an abnormally high reading of thujone because of other chemicals present.[8] Through these tests it has become evident absinthe contains very little thujone."

Is "abnormally" what is meant, or is it rather "erroneously" ? I suspect it is the latter. This seemingly careless wording radically changes the meaning of this crucial passage.Daqu 02:18, 13 November 2007 (UTC)

While it could be abnormal, it is most certainly erroneous (the word that should be used) good catch. -- Ari 03:06, 13 November 2007 (UTC)

Recent Erowid add[edit]

I wouldn't consider a trip report a valid report, nor does it specifically isolate thujone. -- Ari (talk) 06:52, 5 December 2007 (UTC)

Well no, one trip report from erowid is hardly conclusive. But there are 54 trip reports on the erowid site concerning the smoking of wormwood or wormwood extract, almost all of which report some kind of effects. And while thujone is not isolated, it is the main component of an alcoholic extract of wormwood and the only one which is known to produce pharmacological effects on the brain. Besides the journal article cited where they administered pure thujone to people obviously produced some kind of effects so its clear that thujone is psychoactive in some way, although certainly not hallucinogenic. Meodipt (talk) 06:58, 5 December 2007 (UTC)

This isn't the wormwood page. Without controls they remain interesting but anecdotal reports, wormwood extract is sometimes combined with other substances in those reports as well. "The only one known to produce pharmacological effects" because many of the other compounds have never been tested. Sure it does cause effects, I just wouldn't accept erowid trip reports as evidence of said effects. -- Ari (talk) 07:05, 5 December 2007 (UTC)

Point taken. I have added a reference from a scientific journal where they describe the use of the essentail oil from a different thujone-containing plant in herbal medicine, including CNS side effects such as anxiety, sleeplessness and headache. This essential oil contains thujone as the major component and only active ingredient, and the CNS side effects confirm that thujone has some kind of CNS effects (probably from GABA antagonist effects if it causes anxiety and sleeplessness) Meodipt (talk) 07:09, 5 December 2007 (UTC)

I like that add, thujone rarely gets any interest or study outside wormwood it seems. -- Ari (talk) 07:21, 5 December 2007 (UTC)


One isomer is depicted but not labeled.

Pgpotvin (talk) 23:48, 8 December 2007 (UTC)

I looked into this, but could not find many good references. I searched IUCr journals and SciFinder for crystal structures but didn't find any.
The one place I did find a referenced structure was the CRC Handbook, which gives the structure as Alpha-thujone-CRC-88-2D-skeletal.png
Here are the structures as drawn by NEUROtiker - unfortunately, no references are given:
skeletal formula
Ben (talk) 22:51, 9 January 2009 (UTC)
Wrong pictures. See (talk) 10:03, 23 March 2010 (UTC)

I hope you got them right! I added them to article. (Using gallery below.) No sense (IMHO) putting only two structures in when all four fit as well and better explicate what you're trying to say. (talk) 21:47, 31 January 2012 (UTC)


Li'l help? Thu-ho-ne? Thuge-own? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:43, 13 March 2008 (UTC)

Thoo-jone where the J is soft. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:55, 13 November 2008 (UTC)

Weird Regulations[edit]

I find it odd that the European Union's maximum allowed levels of thujone are so low. Assuming that the mean lethal dose/body weight in humans is the same as that in mice, you would need to drink 85% of your own body weight in "bitters" or eat 120% of your body weight in "food prepared with sage" in order to get to the 0% fatality level that was confirmed in the study.

That would mean if you weigh 75 kg, and you ate 90 kg of sage-containing foods, you'd still be at the 0% fatality level (and so would not die) even if the food contained the maximum levels the EU will allow. You'd probably die of stomach rupture long before you even come close to dying of thujone.

Weird. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:51, 23 December 2008 (UTC)

Probably someone in European union made tests and ate 90kg of food containing that amount of thujone while weighting 75kg and died... that is why it must be so low... —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:12, 29 March 2009 (UTC)

Not just α- and β-thujone[edit]

As seen in the following gallery, there are more isomers than just α- and β-thujone:

This fact is currently not represented in the article. --Leyo 18:17, 2 December 2010 (UTC)


Since toxicity was/is an issue, there should be at least a reference if not a brief mention of the metabolic degradation pathway(s) as well as half-life. LD100 at 60 ppm (mice) and standard is 35 ppm ?!? Whats going on here? (talk) 21:54, 31 January 2012 (UTC)

LD100 is not 60 ppm but 60 mg per kg (of body weight), and EU-maximum is 35 mg per kg (of spirits). In order to consume 60 mg/kg of thujone (means 3600 mg if you weigh 60 kg), you have to drink 102 litres of a hard liqueur containing 35 mg/kg thujone. In one sitting:) – Phoney (talk) 19:43, 1 February 2012 (UTC)

+-alpha and (-)-B have been found in the essential oil of Sage.[edit]

Research from 2016 published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry proves that the two other isomers of thujone are present in the essential oil of Sage. These previously unreported enantiomers have not been found in any of the other common thujone containing essential oils to date.


Thank you for your consideration of this addition. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2601:6C0:8100:AEF0:3D8F:FD36:4EA6:97A7 (talk) 00:09, 8 May 2017 (UTC)

  1. ^ Williams, J. D.; Yazarians, J. A.; Almeyda, C. C.; Anderson, K. A.; Boyce, G. R. “Detection of the Previously Unobserved Stereoisomers of Thujone in the Essential Oil and Consumable Products of Sage” J. Agric. Food Chem., 2016, 64, 4319-4326.