Nitrous oxide


Popular names Laughing gas, ‘hippy crack’ (in certain media)
What is it?

Nitrous oxide (or nitrogen oxide), N₂0, is a colourless and almost odourless gas that is used as an anaesthetic in dentistry, and recreationally for the stimulation and light-headedness it produces.

Sought after effects
  • Relaxation
  • Mild euphoria (often giggling)
  • Head rush/light headedness
Undesired effects
  • Headaches/nausea
  • Mood swings
  • Excessive use can cause breathing difficulties and heart problems
What does it look like?

The gas itself can’t be seen, but it is often found in small, pressurised canisters used in catering (whipped cream, etc.)

How is it taken?

Most often a balloon is inflated using a canister and held closed, then the user will take a breath or gulp from it; one balloon may be passed around a group until it is empty.