Marijuana and The Slowdown of Time Perception

Reggae Singer Peter Tosh with Robbie Shakespeare on the Bush Doctor tour, 1978

“Oh! Do not attack me with your watch. A watch is always too fast or too slow. I cannot be dictated to by a watch.”

            Jane Austen, Mansfield Park, English novelist (1775 – 1817)

 

Charles Baudelaire, Hurled Away by a Stream of Ideas

The phenomenon of a slowed down perception of time during a high is one of the most well known effects of marijuana – infamous to some, highly valued by others. Of course, those “distortions of time perception” can be seen solely as a risk for users – and it is certainly true that those perceptual distortions during a high can become dangerous, for example, while driving a car. On the other hand, many users appreciate this change of perception in safe situations as one of the most valuable experiences during a marijuana high. We have detailed reports about the slowdown of time already coming from members of the “Club des Hashischins” (“Club of the Hasheesh Eaters). The members of this cannabis club ingested large doses of hash marmalade, so it comes as no surprise that many of them became familiar with this phenomenon that shows especially under stronger doses. Charles Baudelaire, one the founding members of the club, wrote:

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Marijuana, Pattern Recognition, and What it Means to be ‘High’

houses

“To understand is to perceive patterns.”

Isaiah Berlin, philosopher, 1909-1997

“As long as habit and routine dictate the pattern of living, new dimensions of the soul will not emerge.”

Henry van Dyke, short story writer and essayist, 1852-1933

 

The Importance of Pattern Recognition

When we talk about patterns or pattern recognition, we tend to think of simple visual patterns like a striped blanket. But our pattern recognition abilities are way more sophisticated than just recognizing basic designs like that. We can visually recognize and distinguish types of trees, cars, or the different painting styles of particular artists. And we perceive not only visual patterns in our environment, but also hear patterns in sounds or music; we perceive the tactile pattern of a wooden surface, the gustatory pattern of the taste of a mango and we can intellectually “recognize” patterns such as the pattern of a certain defensive tactic used by an opponent in a chess game.

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