Absinthe is a strong-herbal liqueur distilled with wormwood and anise. It typically contains other aromatic herbs like star anise, anise seed, fennel, licorice, hyssop, veronica, lemon balm, angelica root, dittany, coriander, juniper, and nutmeg.
Absinthe is distilled with various herbs including Artemisis Absinthium, also known as wormwood. Wormwood was celebrated by ancient Greeks as a medicinal and is said to bring about a meditative, dreamlike, and hallucinatory state. Though wormwood was the key target of absinthe prohibitionsists, many dismiss wormwood¹s alleged hallucinatory qualities.
Absinthe's major constituent is a terpene derived from the essential oil "absinthol", known as thujone (alpha-thujone CAS 546-80-5 and beta-thujone CAS 471-15-8). Thujone is also present in oils extracted from other plants including sage (Artemisia filifolia), yarrow (Achillea millefolium), white cedar (Thuja occidentalis), and tansy (Tanacetum vulgare). It seems to be responsible for the major toxicity associated with absinthe drinking. thujone has a molecular structure similar to that of another terpenoid essential oil, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the active principal of marijuana. Its functional side groups, which resemble those of THC, are postulated to act at the same specific receptor sites in the central nervous system as those occupied by THC during cannabis use. Both THC and thujone also undergo oxidative metabolism in the liver, resulting in similar -looking active metabolites.