Lobsters Get High Because of the Endocannabinoid System
Other animals also have receptors for marijuana.
There is apparently a seafood restaurant in Maine that has decided it is more humane to get its lobsters stoned on marijuana before serving them for dinner.
Charlotte Gill, the owner of Charlotte’s Legendary Lobster Pound told the Portland Press Herald that she was searching for a more compassionate method for snuffing out her culinary crustaceans when she conjured up the idea of getting the lobsters stoned prior to the boil.
Not knowing whether this concept would work or not, Gill, a medical marijuana patient, says she employed a lobster named Roscoe to lead the experiment. She stuffed him inside a box, piped in plumes of cannabis smoke and then put him back in the tank for observation. It was then that she noticed, according to various reports, that Roscoe the lobster was less aggressive than his sober clawed counterparts.
While this story seems to have prompted a lot of questions, like “just how high was Charlotte when she came up with the concept of sedating lobsters with marijuana?” nobody seems to be asking whether it is actually possible for these sea creatures to fall under the spell marijuana’s intoxicating compound THC. Scientists have said for years that it is impossible to determine whether lobsters truly have the ability to feel pain. They just do not have a solid enough understanding of this species’ nervous system to make that determination.
So, it sounded a little suspicious, at first, that some lucky lobsters in Maine were getting wrecked from weed. But come to find out that marijuana has the ability to tame even the most savage beast. Because, like humans, almost every animal, regardless of whether it dwells on land or sea, is equipped with an endocannabinoid system. Interestingly enough, studies have shown that the most primitive animal (sea squirt) to possess an endocannabinoid system came from the water around 600 million years ago.
There are a lot of confusing, scientific reports out there that attempt to explain the endocannabinoid system and how it works. Up until just a few decades ago, researchers didn’t even know it existed. But we now understand that the body is equipped with a network of messengers and receptors that is constantly working to make us happy and healthy. Or at least it tries.
In fact, the body produces natural cannabinoids, similar to those found in marijuana, that have more control over our mood and bodily functions than they are often given credit for.
In animals, the endocannabinoid system works the same way, balancing out various aspects from mood, appetite, sleep, pleasure, right down to immune response. It can also, for instance, help facilitate the stoned effects of marijuana for a presumably frightened lobster about to be dipped in a large pot of boiling water. This means it could be reasonable to suggest that getting lobsters high might help to calm them down before they become somebody’s meal.
But does marijuana actually make the initial shock of the boil less painful, if they can, in fact, feel pain?
The answer is: no one really knows. Some humans claim that marijuana helps to ease pain, while others do not. As far as we can tell, none of those touting the pain relieving properties of the cannabis plant have ever been submerged in a pot of boiling water. And the lobsters that have endured this experience, well, let’s just say they are no longer around to engage in an open dialogue regarding this matter — even if they could.
Animal rights advocacy group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) say “it is highly unlikely that getting a lobster high would make a lick of difference when it comes to the full-blown agony of being boiled or steamed alive.” The group went on to add that the only tried and true method for preventing these sea beasts from suffering is to not eat them.
Let’s just agree that, while the idea of getting lobsters stoned in an attempt to keep them from feeling anxiety and pain is a little bit of a stretch, it is no more ridiculous a concept than people passing up lobster on the menu because science claims they may feel more than a slight discomfort in water over 140 degrees.
On the flipside, getting high does seem to make lobster more enjoyable. And Gill says stoned lobsters just taste better.
“The difference it makes within the meat itself is unbelievable,” she told the Mount Desert Islander. “Everything you put into your body is energy.”
TELL US, did you that know animals can also get high?