Time’s slipping away right now. You’re reading some junk internet article instead of what you should be doing – working your job or trying to find a better job or spending time with your GF/BF or improving your credit score. And since you’re reading a junk internet article on Dabs Magazine of all places, chances are you’re stoned right now.

That means if your BF/GF or boss or parent were to see you right now, there’s a good chance they’d think something like, “So-and-so is wasting their time getting high and reading some bullshit article about dabbing and space-time.” And they might have a point. But you got to counter that point by saying, “Listen, Mom/Dad/GF/BF/Priest/Boss/Fuckbuddy, I ain’t wasting time because time doesn’t even really exist. Didn’t you ever see The Matrix? Time’s like the matrix in The Matrix. Everybody thinks they see one thing (life moving in one chronological direction) but actually if you pull that butt plug out of your brain, you’ll see that there ain’t no time, it’s just the way we’ve been trained to see the world.”

See, what your acting manager/sensei/mistress/arch-enemy/parole officer doesn’t understand about you is that you’re dabbed the fuck out and that frees you just a little from the bonds of time. It’s a scientific fact (or theory, really, but a common sense one) that you perceive time differently from normal when stoned. And it’s a scientific theory (a pretty widely-held one) that time doesn’t really work the normal way we think it does when we’re sober.

So, what can being dabbed out tell you about the way time really works (or doesn’t work if it isn’t real)? What a coincidence that you asked. That’s exactly what we came here to write an article about.

How THC “slows” time

Here’s an excerpt from the paper “The effect of cannabis on perception of time: a critical review” (Z. Atakan, et. Al):

“Advances made by timing researchers provide valuable information on the neural substrates of interval timing, which indicate the involvement of certain brain areas and networks, most of which have not only been implicated in conditions such as schizophrenia, but are also abundant with cannabinoid receptors.”

In other words, they’re saying that your brain’s cannabinoid receptors (which react with THC, thank god) have something to do with the parts of your brain that perceive and measure subjective time. Conventional wisdom says that getting stoned messes with your time perception, but there isn’t much scientific research on the subject.

We found an internet thread started by someone with the same interests as us called “exactly describing the effects of cannabis on time perception.” One user wrote:

“Obviously, cannabis distorts the user’s sense of time, but how exactly does cannabis change it? To me, it seems like thoughts progress at the same rate but more thoughts happen within a given unit of time. Rereading that sentence sober, it seems like a paradox. Those that have never tried cannabis cannot really understand what it means…”

Other users on the thread agreed. Not exactly hard science, but we have to say there sounds like there’s something to it. You do think more sometimes on weed. And time does slow sometimes on weed.

It’s like how slow motion in a film camera works. Usually 24 frames of film run through a camera per second. If you feed in more than 24, say 48 or 72 or a million (like some new-fangled video cameras do), then play it back at 24 or 30 frames per second, time slooooooooowwwwsssss ddddddoooooooowwwwwwn.

Similarly, if we’re used to say three thoughts per second and we’re sober. Than we get sativa dab-zapped and our brain fires on nitro, maybe we have more like six thoughts per second. But since we’re used to having three thoughts per second, that six-thought-second will actually seem like two seconds.

The same principle might account for the belief of some psychologists that that time moves quicker the older you are, because as you age you your brain has fewer and fewer excitatory neurotransmitters. Maybe you actually think fewer thoughts as you go on life. And that speeds up time. Just like having fewer thoughts when you’re sober might speed up time relative to when you got that shatter brain.

All mysteries of universe revealed right here, right now

All this isn’t to say that you perceive time more accurately after a few dabs. It tells us that time is subjective. If we can slow down time while stoned, that means that we’re not “slowing down” time at all. It means that time does not pass at a fixed rate.

Maybe it’s not that marijuana gives you a more accurate perception of time, but that it proves to us that there is no accurate perception of time. If there is no accurate perception of time, then there is no way to know for sure what it is or how it works. There is no way to know for sure that it’s real at all.

It could be that time’s just a fact of being in the matrix. No real way to get around it. But maybe when we take that real fat dab for a moment the brain plug comes loose and we can glance around the real world for a moment. Maybe we don’t really see anything that great. Maybe it’s just a couple rows of naked people sitting in goo pods. But at least it’s not that rainy green and yellow Matrix City.


Image via Tobacco Revolution

Parker Winship