Why does it feel like time slows down when you’re smoking cannabis?

Which part of the brain is that? Also doesn’t it also slow the part of the brain that affects memory, or is that the same part of the brain that perceives time?

This isn’t fully understood yet. All I could tell you is the vagueness that is understood so far; which is that these processes occur in the frontal cortex, basal ganglia, parietal cortex, cerebellum, and hippocampus. Memory is most associated with the hippocampus.

Err, do you mean ‘my’ experience of time, or people in general? Also, don’t the majority of people who use marijuana report difficulty perceiving how much time has passed? I understand that time obviously doesn’t literally slow down, but it just feels like it.

I mean that any particular persons experience and recognition of time is a purely subjective phenomena. This is where the conversation starts to steer more into academic philosophy, rather than academic science. It’s somewhat akin to what’s called the “hard problem of consciousness”, which is different from the “easy problem of consciousness”. The easy problem (or problems) are the mechanical questions of the brain. What happens physiologically when certain thoughts or emotions occur, how the neurons are organized, etc. etc.

But those “easy” questions don’t have anything to say about the “hard” problem, which is why those mechanical processes are accompanied by the phenomena of experience. Why it is that these processes are recognized to be happening, and why that recognition takes the form of consciousness.

The perception of time is a portion of this mystery of coalescence of consciousness. You mention “I understand that time obviously doesn’t literally slow down, but it just feels like it.” - but there’s the rub. When you’re sober, and you experience time going at a “normal speed”, even that only “just feels like it”. Time isn’t moving at the speed you perceive it to be moving in. Time isn’t really moving at a speed at all. That statement isn’t coherent. Time only seems to have a speed when measured by a clock, which is of course entirely arbitrary & artificial. A clock only measures perception of time, it doesn’t measure time itself. There’s no reason we didn’t evolve to perceive time soberly the way we perceive time while high on weed, except for that for whatever reason it was more beneficial to our species survival to perceive it as we currently do. It’s entirely possible, and even likely, that some sea creature somewhere (or whatever) may absolutely perceive time more like how a human experiences it while high on marijuana.

/r/NoStupidQuestions Thread Parent