Unless you’ve recently awoken from a twenty-year slumber, you’re probably pretty aware of all the awesome powers of the cannabis plant. It can serve as a powerful antidote, a painkiller, a means to curb an addiction, and the plant itself can be used to create hemp. But did you know it can also help facilitate the harrowing process of killing lobsters before they’re served up for dinner? Well, most of us didn’t—that is, until one restaurant decided to find a humane approach to ending the creature’s lives.
Lobsters Baked on Weed Smoke: A Humane Effort
Charlotte Gill, the owner of Charlotte’s Legendary Lobster Pound in Southwest Harbor, Maine, grew tired of the painstaking process of executing a living, breathing creature.
Finally, after having enough, Gill began testing methods that could lessen the trauma on her lobsters—which eventually led to her harnessing the pain altering effects of cannabis.
According to a report from a local publication, The Mount Desert Islander, Gill used a lobster, affectionately named Roscoe, to test the merits of her hypothesis. According to Gill, she had nothing to lose in her experiment.
Why not at least attempt to make things easier for her prey?
“The animal is already going to be killed,” she said. “It is far more humane to make it a kinder passage.”
For the experiment, Roscoe was placed in a small box with a few inches of water at the bottom. Gill then blew marijuana smoke into the box from the bottom, in order to sedate the lobster.
After blowing smoke, Gill removed the bands around Roscoe’s claws and returned him to the lobster cage. She kept the bands off for three weeks.
Amazingly, Roscoe didn’t attack any of the lobsters in the tank. According to Gill, he became much calmer, which had a residual effect on the rest of the lobsters in the tanks—they too, became tamer.
As a thank you for the experiment, Gill released Roscoe back into the ocean. Her gratitude certainly outweighed the cost of the lobster itself.
The Experiment Proved Its Merits
Before the experiment, Gill, a known animal-lover amongst the community, was faced with the double-edged sword of running a lucrative, family-owned business, while having to effectively end the lives of so many living creatures. However, after seeing what the cannabis did to Roscoe, it made her life a little easier.
“I feel bad that when lobsters come here there is no exit strategy,” Gill told the local news site. “It’s a unique place and you get to do such unique things but at the expense of this little creature. I’ve really been trying to figure out how to make it better.”
One popular question Gill receives is, unsurprisingly: “can you get high from eating the lobster?” That, however, is physically impossible, and the restaurant owner assures that no residual THC remains in the lobster upon steaming. She even steams them at a higher heat, just to make sure the impossible doesn’t become, well, possible.
“For this new process though, in order to alleviate any and all concern about residual effect, as we will be dealing with the chemical compound THC, we will use a different method,” Gill said to the Islander. “THC breaks down completely by 392 degrees, therefore we will use both steam as well as a heat process that will expose the meat to 420 degrees extended temperature, in order to ensure there is no possibility of carryover effect.”
Despite the endeavor, it’s still mostly the same process for Gill—she still typically steams most of her lobsters alive. However, she keeps a separate station, where customers can choose to have their lobsters sedated by marijuana smoke before eating. But Gill hopes by next year that all of her lobsters will go through the sedative process before being served.
In addition to the humanity of the whole process, Gill also believes sedating her lobsters brings about a stark difference in overall flavor. However, that appears to a reflection of her own spiritual nature.
“The difference it makes within the meat itself is unbelievable,” she said. “Everything you put into your body is energy.”