Discarded nitrous oxide

Inhale Nitrous oxide

(1)
Alice,

I am wondering about the direct effects nitrous oxide has on the brain, and if it is a fallacy that it kills brain cells.

Sincerely,
Hippi crack

(2)
Dear Alice,

What are the health dangers of inhaling nitrous oxide? I have heard people say that it "kills brain cells, " but no one seems to know how, to what extent, and what the resulting effects are. Since nitrous oxide is commonly administered as anesthesia, is there a safe way to consume it for recreational use? If the user controls her oxygen intake, do the harmful effects (if any) still occur?

Signed,
Balloon-head

Dear Hippi crack and Balloon-head,

Nitrous oxide has been around for about 150 years and has a long medical history as a mild anesthetic. More popularly known as "laughing gas, " or "whippets" (when the gas is inhaled from a whipped cream dispenser), nitrous oxide is a colorless, sweet-smelling gas that causes giddiness, a dreamy or floating sensation, and a pain-free state. It's used most often for minor oral surgery and dental work, although it has become a popular recreational drug, especially among teens. While a substance with “laughing” in its name might not seem serious, nitrous oxide can pose serious risks to your brain and body when it’s used outside of a medical setting.

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