For lovers of lobster, there is no need to describe the allure of freshly boiled lobster. More than what mere words can describe, lobsters have a distinct appeal which makes them go to great lengths to get a taste. Cannabis has been infused in many dishes, foods, and drinks to give rise to a number of options of edibles but lobsters, unfortunately, do not fit into that category. It will then be surprising to many why we are talking about lobsters and THC in the same sentence. Read on as we take a closer look at what role THC can play in getting the boiled beasts ready for consumption.
The traditional model of preparing lobsters is to boil them alive in the pot. While his is very effective and gives the desired result, the obvious excruciating feeling the lobsters have to deal with doesn’t make for a pretty sight. It is true that the lobsters are going to die eventually but not everyone is up for the idea of putting the creatures through a grievous amount of pain. This is why many have sought a more humane way for the lobsters to die while still cooking through the traditional model. This brought us to the inclusion of THC and how cannabis might be the elusive answer being sought after by many.
The role of THC in calming lobsters
THC is a major cannabinoid in the cannabis plant that gives rise to the euphoric feeling experienced by cannabis users. Along with the characteristic high, it also gives rise to other mental effects thanks to its entourage effects with other cannabinoids embedded in the matrix of the cannabis plant. Other cannabinoids include CBD, CBG, and CBC, and examples of the effects they cause include sedation, relaxation alongside other medicinal effects.
This obvious characteristic of THC in causing relaxation and euphoria prompted a chef in Maine to use cannabis on lobsters prior to getting them in the cooking pot. The purpose of this is to get the lobsters high to an extent that they struggle less when tossed into the cooking pot. Although, it is very natural to expect that the lobsters will react naturally at the sight of imminent death. Nonetheless, the chance of using cannabis to reduce how much they are bound to struggle is a chance that cannot be passed upon without taking a closer look.
The proponent of this unique idea is Charlotte Gill who doubles as the owner of Charlotte’s Legendary Lobster Pound in Main and a licensed medical marijuana caregiver. It is easy to see that the uniqueness of her roles in both organizations would have been the major factor that helped her arrive at this unique approach. In her own words, while addressing the Mount Desert Islander, Charlotte explained that it was not pleasing to witness lobsters being killed without an exit strategy. With her knowledge as a medical marijuana caregiver and a proper understanding of the role of cannabis in mediating pain and euphoria, she got a lobster stoned before boiling him.
Using her account, the lobster seemed chilled even after he was placed in the boiling water. There was no evidence of him snapping his claws which is a normal reaction that is expected when lobsters are placed in boiling water. After that very day, Gill’s restaurant started using a hotboxing tank to sedate lobsters by using a pump that introduces water and pop smoke. The first question will probably be to know whether the THC in the lobsters gets to the final consumer. Well, the temperature at which THC breaks down completely and loses its psychoactive effects is 392 degrees. The boiling process used on lobsters involves heat and steam which rises to 420 degrees which means that there is no possibility of the marijuana getting to the diner.
Does science validate this effect of THC on lobster?
It is natural that though the evidence and account of Charlotte Gill sound logical we still want to be sure what actual science has to say about it. A group of researchers at the University of California in San Diego put this theory test and they arrived at a very interesting conclusion. Live crustaceans were exposed to vaporized THC during the test for a period of one hour. After this, different samples from tissues of the lobster including its gills, heart, and brain were assessed. The result showed that THC was indeed absorbed into the bodies of the lobster and prompted changes in behavior.
This study is very important because it has been predominantly established over time and in other studies that cannabis has no effect on animals including cats and fishes. Therefore, evidence that THC was absorbed into the bodies of the lobsters and that vaping might have made them calmer creates a new gap that can be researched.
This knowledge is particularly important in countries like Switzerland where there is a ban on boiling lobsters alive. Common ways used by Swiss chefs is to sedate the lobsters by electrocution or stabbing them in the eyes which is in no way different from boiling them alive. It is, therefore, worth exploring more options that open the lobster to less pain and suffering moments before it causes our tastebuds joy.
It is very hard to say specifically what happens to the lobster after it is stoned and heading into the cooking pot. It is true that it might be stoned and much less keen to react to natural stimuli but does that mean that doesn’t necessarily mean it doesn’t feel pain. The search for more humane ways to prepare lobsters might have to continue or more studies are done into the possible role of THC. One thing is for sure Charlotte and her restaurant are set to continue this process and with Maine being a legal market for the sale of recreational weed, we can be sure that more restaurants will follow the trend soon.
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