Citation: Skandre. "Not Worth It To Me: An Experience with Wormwood (dried herb) & Alcohol (exp18800)". Erowid.org. Jun 3, 2003. erowid.org/exp/18800
After reading so much information about the liquer known as 'Absinthe', I became very curious about its main herbal constituent, wormwood. I ordered a large 1/2 lb. bag of dried wormwood foliage and a one ounce bottle of wormwood extract from an online vendor. Here are some of my experiences with the substance.
First, I tried smoking the dried foliage (roughly 1/3 gram). I did this alone on a quiet evening. There were no other drugs or alcohol consumed for my first experiment, and I was in a tranquil state of mind. I dimmed down the lights and relaxed, and then packed a bowl of the wormwood into a small ceramic pipe. I drew in a small hit. The first thing I noticed was the taste...very much like dried hay, but not terribly harsh on the lungs. After finishing the bowl, I just sat back and relaxed for a bit, hoping to feel some effects. There was a slight calming of my mood, but that was about all I noticed. I must say that I was somewhat disappointed with my first experiment.
The second experiment was similar to the first. It was just a few nights later with a similar mind set. The difference is that I smoked much more of the substance, this time in cigarette form. It was probably at least a gram of material. Once again, I felt very little effect from smoking the wormwood. I even consumed a couple of beers afterward to see if this would enhance the effects, but there was no noticable difference. I concluded that smoking wormwood was really not worth the effort, since the taste is not particularly pleasant and the effects almost too mild to notice.
The third experiment again involved the dried wormwood foliage. This time, I decided to try the herb in a tea form. I had read that this was a popular way to consume wormwood. I again chose a quiet evening alone to brew my tea. Since my smoking efforts had been so disappointing, I figured that a much larger amount of herb was needed to achieve any psychoactive effects. I placed roughly 15 grams of wormwood into a perculator, and brewed the tea for about 10 minutes. After the tea had cooled, I poured some into a mug and tasted it...HORRIBLE!!! I found it to be extremely bitter and unpleasant to drink. Even with this setback, I managed to eventually consume the entire batch of tea (it took about 45 minutes). Unfortunately, my perseverence did not pay off...I still found the effects to be negatable.
By this time, I had become frustrated with the wormwood foliage and shelved it for a while. Even though it seemed to have a mild calming effect, it hardly seemed worth the effort of smoking the herb or drinking it in a tea. I still had the bottle of extract, but was not certain how to make use of it. The final experiment happened a couple of months later, when a friend was visiting from out of town. My friend is a heavy drinker, and has a particular fondness of vodka. While we were reading about Absinthe online, an idea came to mind...why not pour the wormwood extract into a glass of vodka?
We realized that this was not the same as 'Absinthe', that is why I have submitted this report to the wormwood vault. We were hoping that we could at least get a 'sense' of what the real Absinthe would be like. Late in the evening, we each poured ourselves a stiff Vox on the rocks (we only drink high quality vodka). We then put about 3 dropperfuls of wormwood extract into each drink, turning the vodka dark green. I had predicted that the flavor would be awful, but was surprised that it was not as bad as the tea I had brewed previously. This is not to say that it tasted good...we had regrets about using such expensive vodka for this experiment.
It was after a couple of these 'cocktails' that I began to get quite buzzed. I believe it was mainly from the alcohol, but I did notice a slight difference...it seemed as though I was more stimulated than usual. I was a little more talkative and jovial than I usually get when drinking. After a third 'wormwood cocktail', I started to get a bit tipsy. I felt a warmth in my body that is not typical of three drinks. I cannot say that there was anything 'psychedelic' about this state, but it was not a normal drunkeness.
All this time, I kept asking my friend is he had any effects. He did not seem to be getting the effects as profoundly as I was, though he was enjoying himself. We ended up using the enitire bottle of extract. The next morning, I awoke with the worst hangover that I can remember having in many years. I was dehydrated, and my head felt as though it was clamped in a vice. It seemed a bit odd, since I normally do not get hangovers when I drink. It took me the entire day to recover.
Here is my conclusion based on my experiences with wormwood: It is simply not worth it to me. I have tried about every method of consumption possible, and have found the results not worth the efforts. I am glad that I experimented with this herb, however, and would love to try real Absinthe some day.
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