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It's all over the news. A restaurateur from Maine wants to smoke lobsters with cannabis before boiling them to make their death more humane.

The cynic in me says that she's smoking them for flavor and she's benefiting from some free publicity and from customers hoping to get an extra kick from the dish.

Is there any scientific evidence that marijuana has any effect on lobsters? After all, smoke works with bees, but it's probably not pleasurable. and cannabis has specific receptors in the human brain that may be missing in the lobster brain.

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    Smoking works with bees, as noted in the link, because it masks pheromone release from angry bees which would otherwise enrage the other bees. Lobsters might not present the same threat nor the same reaction. – fred_dot_u Sep 23 '18 at 11:03
  • "The cynic in me says that she's smoking them for flavor and she's benefiting from some free publicity and from customers hoping to get an extra kick from the dish." - The cynic in me says she wants a built-in excuse for working in a Cheech and Chong-scale cloud of marijuana smoke. That cynic also is guessing she'd "administer" it by inhaling it then exhaling it onto the lobsters.. "uhhhhh....... it's for the lobsters, dude....." – PoloHoleSet Sep 25 '18 at 17:20
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Is there any scientific evidence that marijuana has any effect on lobsters?

Yes.

According to Changes in neurotransmitter release at a neuromuscular junction of the lobster caused by cannabinoids Neuropharmacology Volume 27, July 1988, pages 737-742:

Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol and 11-hydroxy-THC, in relatively small concentrations, increased the amplitude of the excitatory junctional potential and the mean quantum content of a muscle fiber, whereas larger concentrations produced depression.

The later study Cannabinoid receptors in invertebrates J. Evol. Biol. 19 (2006) 366–373 says, in reference to the 1988 study:

In vitro assays offer more precise levels of evidence, such as the Level-II study of THC’s effects at the neuromuscular junction of the lobster Homarus americanus (Turkanis & Karler, 1988). This study provided indirect proof of cannabinoid receptors, because THC could have affected the neuromuscular junction via other lobster protein targets or via membrane disrupting effects.

...

THC suppressed neuromuscular junction activity in the lobster H. americanus (Level-II evidence, Turkanis & Karler, 1988). This positive study was supported by our tritiated ligand binding study with the rock lobster J. edwardi.

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    Was the drug in these studies administered in a comparable way to the way to the method in question (putting the lobster in a pot with some water and pumping in marijuana smoke)? – Laurel Sep 24 '18 at 1:10
  • @Laurel no, pure Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol and 11-hydroxy-THC were dispersed in artificial sea water using non-ionic surfactant, and the tests were on the tissue of freshly dissected lobsters, not on living whole lobsters. – DavePhD Sep 27 '18 at 7:23

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