The absinth effects are due to the thujone in the formulation. While naturally occurring in many plants and flowers, thujone is magically released by wormwood, which is one of the herbs in the traditional absinth recipe.
A-thujone has a structure very similar to THC (tetrahyrdacannaboid), thus explaining the euphoric effects.
It has been proposed that these two substances work similarly upon the brain.
However, recent research has shown that thujone also blocks GABA-A receptors in the brain and inhibits them from firing. Once these receptors are blocked, the brain is free to fire at will unregulated.
This is the very reason why absinthe drinkers report feeling clear headed even after drinking numerous glasses of the green concoction.
With the high alcohol content of absinthe, they should be in a stupor.
Is Absinthe legal ?
That depends on which country you live in. In the EU, recent court challenges have allowed absinthe back into the bars across the continent. In Canada, the Czech Republic and Spain, absinthe was never made illegal. In the US, it is legal to own or purchase absinthe but illegal to sell or distill it.