Science supports smoking a blunt with your lobster before eating it

Left: A female lobster on a tile floor; Right: two dank nuggs of marijuana in the palm of a hand
Photo: Sean Gallup (Getty Images), Robyn Beck (Getty Images)

One thing that’s become clear over the past couple years is that our society doesn’t appreciate scientists the way it should. Why, in the past year alone, these heroes have conquered a pandemic, determined the human threshold for hot dog consumption, discovered how to grow both chicken nuggets and bacon in a lab, and may have even developed edible holograms. And now a team of scientists at the University of California San Diego has solved another one of life’s great mysteries: Can lobsters get high?

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The impetus for this groundbreaking study: a Maine restaurant that’s famous for hot boxing lobsters. Back in 2018, restaurateur Charlotte Gill of Charlotte’s Legendary Lobster Pound sent the internet into a tizzy when she told a local newspaper that she was experimenting with marijuana in hopes creating a more humane way to kill lobsters. Gill would use an air mattress pump to smoke up a sealed, lobster-filled chamber; as she explained to Modern Farmer this week, the results were undeniable.

“We looked at tail flips and we also looked at, when we cook the lobster, is there a reaction when you put it into the boiling water? And we were seeing no reaction, or very minimal reaction,” said Gill. What are exactly is a lobster’s standard reaction to being boiled alive, you ask?

“[T]hey’re shooting their claws off,” she continued. “They’re climbing over each other to try to get out of the boiling water. It was a dramatic difference.” That’s as good a reason to start hot boxing lobsters as I’ve ever heard. (Quick note: the Modern Farmer piece was written by Emily Baron Cadloff, who shared some more great lobster intel with Takeout readers back in December.)

The UCSD scientists mention Gill’s experiments in the intro of their pre-published paper on the study (which is currently awaiting peer review) and confirm that their research supports her results. After 30 minutes inside a sealed chamber gradually filled with THC vapor from an ecigarette, the lobsters showed significant behavioral changes; though they remained conscious and were active enough to turn around, change direction, and walk about 20 meters, they were mad chill while doing it. The scientists note that more research is needed, but overall, things look good for lobsters destined for your plate. If you’re squeamish about cooking lobsters at home, you might want to try sharing a blunt with them before boiling them.

Allison Robicelli is a JBFA-nominated food & humor writer, former professional chef, author of four (quite good) books, and The People's Hot Pocket Princess. Need cooking advice? Tweet me @Robicellis.

DISCUSSION

szielins
Stephan Zielinski

Huh. I was utterly dismissive of this in 2018. I’m astounded that a critter that never leaves the water under ordinary circumstances can take up significant amounts of ANYTHING from air. Yet another instance of my being completely wrong!

(From the preprint: “These studies were supported in part by USPHS grants R01 DA035281; R01 DA035482 and R44 DA041967; all animals were purchased with non-NIH funds.” Someone get to work doing a reggae version of

)