Half-baked: Lobsters doused with pot smoke to test pain during cooking

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This brings new meaning to putting lobsters in the “pot.”

US researchers redefined “lobster pot” after testing whether dosing the crustaceans with marijuana smoke could ease their pain as they’re being cooked.

To test whether “exposing lobster to cannabis smoke” reduced their trauma, the scientists placed several store-bought Maine lobsters in a sealed box filled with tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) — the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana — for 30 to 60 minutes at a time. The weed vapor was delivered in 10-second spurts every five minutes.

They found that the critters’ movements noticeably slowed down, while samples taken later from their gills, claws, heart, brain and liver revealed that the lobsters did indeed absorb the THC.

After removing and rinsing the lobsters, the scientists lowered them into the 118.4-degree water to see how they reacted.

But the blazed crustaceans still didn’t take too kindly to being cooked, as they still “made distinct motor responses” upon contact with the boiling water, per the study.

“Tail immersion resulted in a clear response of legs and claws and/or a strong flick of the tail,” wrote the scientists, adding that the latter is the “escape response of lobsters (and crayfish) and confirms the noxiousness of the stimulus.”

The researchers’ conclusion: Dousing lobsters with pot smoke doesn’t dull their pain.

Their experiment was reportedly inspired by Charlotte Gill, a licensed marijuana caregiver and owner of Charlotte’s Legendary Lobster Pound in Southwest Harbor, Maine, who advocated reducing the crustacean’s stress by placing lobsters in a box pumped with pot smoke before they were submerged in boiling water. The humane restaurateur based her questionable painkilling methods on studies claiming that the arthropods possess cannabinoid receptors that can make them feel the effects of Mary Jane, the Bangor Daily News reported.

“Anything that we put to death, it should be done in the least traumatic way,” said Gill, adding that hotboxing lobsters even makes their meat tastier, as they were calmer before cooking.

The researchers’ experiment essentially disproved the half-baked theory floated by Gill, who was once so confident in her anesthesia technique that she even lambasted People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) detractors for not using marijuana when they allegedly euthanized animals.

Responding to the animal advocate’s criticism over her lobster-killing business, the feisty foodie had written, “In my opinion, as one of the largest organized euthanizers of animals on the planet. Perhaps you should consider taking a page from our book and incorporating cannabis into YOUR practices as well? It’s far more ethical…”

Perhaps scientists can next test whether baking the lobsters improves the flavor of the meat.

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