Nitrous oxide

Pharmacology

N₂0 is an inorganic molecule that works on the brain as a biological regulator. It has analgesic effects similar to opioids in nature, as well as anaesthetic actions. Some argue it has anxiolytic effects similar to benzodiazepines and act on the GABAA receptor. However, there is very little evidence base for this in humans. At high concentrations, N₂0 can displace oxygen, which can result in asphyxiation to the subject.

 

The debate around whether nitrous oxide is psychoactive or not is ongoing and has intensified since the Psychoative Substances Act 2016 came into force.