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Drugs: Laughing Gas (Nitrous Oxide)

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Nitrous oxide (affectionately, “laughing gas”) is a dissociative hallucinogenic drug used as an analgesic  in dentistry and surgery. Recreational users of this colorless gas are looking for its euphoric “trip”. Regardless of the purpose, users typically burst into giggling fits.

nitrous oxide with musk turnup


Nitrous oxide comes from heating ammonium nitrate, a white crystalline solid used in fertilizers, explosives and instant cold packs. Gently heating solid-form ammonium nitrate to 170° – 240° Celsius will yield nitrous oxide and water vapor.

Nitrous oxide was first used as an anesthetic medical drug in December, 1844. That year, dentist Horace Wells treated around fifteen patients in Hartford, Connecticut. The Boston medical society that reviewed his tests doubted the safety of his procedures, so medical nitrous oxide use didn’t catch on right then.

In 1863, Gardner Quincy Colton, Wells’s assistant in the 1844 procedures, improved his predecessor’s procedures. Colton adapted nitrous oxide administration to his newly opened “Colton Dental Association” practices in New Haven, Connecticut and New York City, successfully administering nitrous oxide to upwards of 25,000 patients.

In 1876, Thomas Clover’s “gas-ether inhaler” became the precursor to the modern-day anesthetic machines, creating what we know today as “laughing gas”, the gaseous form of N2O.

Outside the hospitals and dentists’ offices, the British upper class had long since held “laughing gas parties” around 1799. Subsequently, U.S. medical students, doctors and dentists have continued to “experiment” with the gas, given their legal access and possession of necessary equipment.

At the federal level, the Food and Drug Administration regulates the use of laughing gas under Food, Drug and Cosmetics Act. The Act makes it illegal to sell or distribute nitrous oxide for recreational use. However, it remains legal under federal law to possess the drug. Don’t take this as a guarantee that the DEA won’t coming knocking, though!

At the state level, many states go beyond federal law by further regulating possession. For example, if authorities in California can prove that you intend to distribute your stash of nitrous oxide for recreational use, you get a misdemeanor.


How to Administer:

First, be a doctor or dentist. Or have an unscrupulous friend willing to risk his or her medical license for your high. Second, obtain access to a nitrous oxide gas cylinder. Finally, breath in.

Nitrous Musk Turn Up

Minutes after administration, the patient or user experiences euphoria from the release ofdopamine in his or her brain. Also, dissociation from the surroundings occurs, because nitrous oxide blocks transmission of brain signals informing of immediate stimuli. Other effects include pain relief and lowered anxiety.

The laughing gas trip sets in within mere minutes. However, the effects may wear off as soon as they started, often within five minutes.

Negative effects include dizziness during or after use. Also, the patient may experience visual and auditory distortions or hallucinations.

Joker turnup

Recreational users typically experience decreased mental capacities, dexterity, and sight and hearing.

So, if you notice foul play at your dentist’s office, don’t walk. Run.

In the long term, abusers report numbness, dependency, vitamin B12 deficiency, and reproductive complications. Further research is needed to substantiate neurotoxic effects of laughing gas in humans brains. However, rodents subjected to constant and prolonged exposure suffer from fatalOlney’s lesions in their brain cortexes, stemming from newly-formed holes within brain neurons.

So, if you’ve ever gotten slightly turnt from this dissociative hallucinogenic, you know how much fun it can be. Just remember, that requires a “trip” to the dentist’s office or your nearby hospital. Worth it?


DISCLAIMER: Turn Up does not condone the illegal consumption of drugs, including nitrous oxide. Improper use can lead to severe legal consequences, including a permanent criminal record and trouble securing employment or obtaining acceptances to graduate programs. The safest way to avoid such complications is to abstain from nitrous oxide or to use the drug only under a healthcare professional’s guidance. None of the aforementioned is to be construed as medical or legal advice from Turn Up.



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Hel Ya

Helen Yang ("Hel Ya", Writer) synthesizes Turn Up's creative energies into online form. She has partied in cities outside of New York from L.A. to Shanghai. Hel Ya currently resides in Queens, NY.

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