Will I feel the same "effects? from the Absinthe I purchase in the US as the imported Absinthe?
A very complicated question indeed.
Currently, there are 24 absinthe brands approved as legal in the US with several more brands of absinthe being reviewed for approval. To receive approval for sale in the US, the absinthe must be tested by the TTB (Alcohol & Tobacco Tax & Trade Bureau) and found to be "thujone free" pursuant to the FDA's (Food and Drug Administration) regulation 21 CFR 172.510. This regulation defines thujone free as containing less than 10 parts per million of thujone.
With that being said, now comes the question "Does thujone cause the psychotropic effect associated with absinthe?" This question has been argued considerably since the ban of absinthe over 100 years ago. Having a background in chemistry, bio-chemistry and pharmacology, I was able to thoroughly research the subject. It is proven that thujone acts on a receptor in the brain that causes alertness, lucidity and clarity. I have tried many imported and most of the legal, US absinthes and some have the "absinthe effect" and some do not. The fact that some absinthe does produce an effect and some don't point to the conclusion that there is something in absinthe that causes an effect other than and different from the alcohol. The fact remains that besides wormwood, there are other herbs in absinthe that are associated with a CNS (central nervous system) or psychotropic effect. It is possible that in differing concentrations and/or ratios the psychotropic substances in absinthe will effect the brain in various ways. It also must be considered that just like any other drug, different people would be more or less susceptible to these effects according to their physiological make-up.
So, after this, the conclusions we can make are:
1.) There is something in absinthe that causes a stimulating effect on the brain.
2.) Legal Absinthe sold in the US may or may not have an absinthe effect depending on its chemical make-up and each individual users physiology.
Does this mean you should avoid the US legal absinthes if you are looking for an "absinthe effect? Certainly not. If you can find a legal absinthe at your local liquor store that tastes good and has what you are looking for, why not save the $50 shipping fee you would pay importing a bottle. Conversely, if after trying all the available legal absinthes you are not satisfied, try an import.
3.) An absinthe that has an absinthe effect on one person may not have the same effect on another (legal absinthe or not).
It is possible that you and a friend may drink the same absinthe and disagree on the level of effect experienced. This is due to the variations in your physiology. People metabolize different substances at different rates and people also respond differently to identical levels of a substance present in their system. An example would be how some people take Sudafed and get sleepy while others are stimulated by the decongestant.
Partial List Of Absinthe Legal In USA:
Artemisia-Bugnon Distillery "La Clandestine" Absinthe Superieure
Devoille "La Charlotte" Absinthe Superieure
Duplais Swiss Absinthe Verte
Emile Pernot "Vieux Pontarlier"
Absinthe Francais Superieure
Kubler 53 Swiss Absinthe Superieure
La Fee Absinthe Parisienne
Leopold Bros. Absinthe Verte
Lucid Absinthe Superieure
Mansinthe Extrait d'Absinthe Suisse
Marteau Absinthe de la Belle Epoque
Obsello Absinthe Verte
Pernod aux Plantes d'Absinthe Superieure
St. George Absinthe Verte
La Muse Verte Absinthe Traditionnelle
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