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Will THC Calm a Lobster Before Hitting the Pot?

A vaping lobster is (probably) a happy lobster.

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Delicious, delicious lobster. Summer wouldn’t be summer without a few rolls, clam bakes, and boiled beasts on the beachside table. Unfortunately, for many, even a vat of melted butter can’t take away the sting of eating lobster because they see it as inhumane. 

So does a live crustacean feel pain when it hits that pot of boiling water? One way to find out: Get it high.

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The lobster and its pot

In 2018, Charlotte Gill, owner of Charlotte’s Legendary Lobster Pot in Maine, made waves for using pot smoke to sedate the lobsters her customers were about to eat. There was no scientific evidence that it did or didn’t work — until now.

A team of researchers at the University of California - San Diego put the theory to test. They purchased live crustaceans from the grocery store, and then exposed them to vaporized THC for one hour. Taking samples of the lobsters’ tissues, including the heart, brain, and gills, they found that THC was absorbed into the bodies, and that the lobsters did indeed exhibit changed behaviors. 

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Results: Inconclusive...but still delicious

The final results were mixed, however. Vaping may have made the lobsters calmer, but even a stoned lobster will shirk away from a hot cauldron of death. Whether they feel pain is still a mystery.

Cannabis does have an effect on animals, from our beloved pet pooches and cats to fish. But it doesn’t mean we should let them get high on THC. 

If you think eating boiled lobster is inhumane, perhaps a toke or two will calm your nerves before digging in. And now that Maine is a legal recreational marijuana state, the expectation that diners will get high before eating their lobster is pretty much a given this summer and beyond.