Still, even if lobsters do feel pain, cannabis might not help. There is little doubt that under the correct circumstances and the correct species, cannabis can provide pain relief, says Dawn Boothe, a professor of pharmacology at the Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine. But this is a far cry from assuming lobsters exposed to marijuana will be relieved of pain, or will even get high.
Boothe points to two problems. First, we don’t know if lobsters have the receptors that are necessary to interact with THC, the active ingredient in cannabis, and prevent pain. “Some invertebrates have cannabinoid receptors; some do not,” she wrote in an email to The Verge. “And it is not necessarily cannabinoid receptors that are responsible for pain. Other pain receptors are involved and again, it is not clear if lobsters have these receptors.”
Second, this particular restaurateur — Charlotte Gill of Charlotte’s Legendary Lobster Pound — probably isn’t going about things in the right way.