TIL Nitrious Oxide also known as laughing gas or nitrous is a common recreational drug that most users are unaware of its neurotoxicity. Beginning in 1799 in British upper class circles they had laughing gas parties. Cannister littering is also a byproduct of its recreation and a common complaint.

Read more: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nitrous_oxide#Recreational_use

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  1. Neurotoxicity occurs when the exposure to natural or manmade toxic substances (neurotoxicants) alters the normal activity of the nervous system. This can eventually disrupt or even kill neurons, key cells that transmit and process signals in the brain and other parts of the nervous system.

  2. The research into neurotoxicity, and this is the most important factor, had rats living for periods of 1-16 hours in an atmosphere of pure Nitrous Oxide. Only rats exposed to 8hrs or more suffered permanent brain damage. This is the equivalent of huffing N2O for most of a day while not succumbing to it’s anaesthetic effects. Rats exposed for less than 3hrs suffered minor neurotoxicity that was reversed a few hours later.

    Basically if you’re inhaling it occasionally at weekends then you should be fine, if you’re living in a haze of it daily then you have more to worry about as eating and drinking will be practically impossible, if you do manage to do that though you may have some brain damage.


    So treat it like alcohol, 20 units a day is really bad for you, 20 a week is likely to cause some problems and isn’t recommended, 20 about once a month is fine.

    the short term problem is a lack of oxygen, medical N2O (aka Entonox) is 50% N2O and 50% oxygen, the catering stuff is pure N2O so you aren’t getting any oxygen if you’re inhaling it from a catering canister however the same applies to inhaling helium.

  3. Done a lot of whippits in my time… that being said, I’m happily married and own a house and play in two bands and have a career as an archaeologist. Hopefully it doesn’t bite me in the ass later but I had a great time and it didn’t ruin my life haha. Just sayin’.

  4. Dissociatives are not great for the brain. Some are worse than others. I think there are research dissociatives that just straight up grow brain lesions in rats and shit.

  5. Whippets! Used to work night shift in a 24 hour supermarket – people would come in in the middle of the night and knock out the whole whipped cream section. In fact, there was a rumor there’s some employees were doing it in the dairy cooler, but I actually don’t remember much about those days.

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