In this article, we’ll find out exactly what nitrogen oxide (N2O) a.k.a laughing gas is and how you can use it responsibly and safely.
In addition to its popular uses in race cars and whipped cream chargers, laughing gas is also a popular reactional substance. This is so probably because the gas is cheap, legal, and instills a burst of euphoria.
How do you go about using N2O recreationally? That’s a question that has been puzzling many individuals who are new to this gas.
Read on to get simple yet very reliable instructions on how to use cream chargers with ballons.
What is N2O (Laughing Gas)?
Nitrous oxide (N2O) is formulated by a manufacturing process where one oxygen atom is joined to two nitrogen atoms in a chemical process to create the nitrous oxide molecule, which we usually refer to as a laughing gas.
It is a colorless, non-flammable gas with an almost metallic, slightly sweet taste that is normally stored in a pressurized liquid state in a nitrous bottle. The pressurized liquid returns to a gaseous state when released.
What are Nangs?
Those in the food industry know them as cream chargers, but recreationally they are popularly referred to as nangs. This is a slang name for the capsule-sized metal cylinders that contain pressurized N2O inside. They’re also called NOS, whippets, whip-its, or nossies. The cylinders contain roughly 8 grams of N2O.
Are Nangs Illegal?
Generally, nangs or whippets are not illegal.
The fact that they’re food-grade makes it tricky for the authority to police the use of laughing gas recreationally.
In the US, selling or possessing laughing gas for legitimate business reasons or use is not illegal. But using or selling N2O to get high is considered illegal in the State of California. The laws, however, are not as strict as the ones regulating marijuana, heroin, or cocaine. Anyone caught with laughing gas with the intent of inhaling it may get up to six months in county jail.
It is considered a misdemeanor to be deliberately high in N2O unless it was prescribed for dental, surgical, or medical care by a licensed physician like a dentist. Giving or selling laughing gas to people who are less than 18 years is unlawful unless it is by a licensed physician or in whipped cream.
The gas used to be popular at parties and raves and the police didn’t arrest the users most of the time. But, recently, state and federal authorities have started to crack down on the illicit use of laughing gas.
In certain regions in the US, the sale of nangs is restricted to adults and there’s also a limit to the number of cylinders a consumer is able to buy in one transaction. But this is the farthest the regulation goes.
How Does it Feel Like When Inhaling Laughing Gas?
How to do nitrous oxide safely. Source: YouTuber Trip Tips
When you inhale it, usually from a balloon, you will be slowly raising its concentration in your body. Laughing gas reduces the stimulation of your brain.
You slowly become dazed and numb, become lightheaded and feel like you’ve gone into a no-zone. All your senses are stimulated but it all feels very laidback. Everything gets amplified, such as music. When you lean forward, you’ll start to laugh and start feeling weird. Guess what, the world doesn’t feel real anymore. The high is short-lived (a few minutes) and then fades away.
Beware of the Health Risks
High you will get when you use laughing gas but beware of the health risks. Although, it’s rated as a low-risk substance that is less harmful than others.
The problem with N2O is that you need to inhale quite a bit before you sense an effect. You need to inhale a lot of it to affect your brain. In one night, you may have to put two cartridges in one balloon and you may use like ten to fifteen balloons (approximately 30 canisters). That endless use of N2O can be very dangerous, especially in combination with substances like alcohol.
Here are the most common health risks you should be concerned about:
Fall Unconscious or Puke
Falling unconscious is one of the biggest dangers of using N2O in excess. You can collapse and break a limb or hit your head. It is extremely dangerous to inhale N2O directly from the nang.
It is even worse when you do it in an enclosed area. If you take an excess of laughing gas in a closed space you will be running the risk of suffocating and falling unconscious from the lack of oxygen.
Run Low on Oxygen
N2O is not oxygen and you need oxygen to stay alive. Your lips turning blue is a bad sign. But you may probably not die from small amounts. The same cannot be said if you pump yourself full of nitrous oxide in areas that are deprived of air.
Combining N2O with Other Drugs
It usually doesn’t end well when you combine nitrous oxide with other drugs like alcohol. When you consume alcohol your body will react less to a lack of oxygen. But when you use nitrous oxide and alcohol, that elevates the risk of hypoxia, which may lead to brain damage or other damages.
The most common injury that you may suffer after inhaling laughing gas is falling over. It could cause an immediate loss of body control. You may even fall unconscious. There have been several reported cases of people experiencing jelly legs and being unable to walk unaided. There have also been cases of subacute combined degeneration of the spinal cord after excessive use of laughing gas.
Vitamin B-12 Deficiency
Vitamin B-12 is an essential nutrient for the body because it helps repair body tissue and produce red blood cells.
Inhaling N2O can lead to a deficiency of this nutrient. This could lead to long-term issues like muscle weakness, numbness in the toes and fingers, and extreme fatigue. It’s advisable to consume B-12 supplements when doing nangs such as over-the-counter tablets.
Other Health Risks
Taking laughing gas directly from the cartridge or canister could freeze your mouth as well as your airways. This could cause serious freezing wounds on your vocal cords, lips, and mouth. Inhaling N2O when you have a cold could harm your mucous membranes, leading to ear pain and even hearing loss.
Not everyone is safe to inhale laughing gas. In some situations, pre-existing conditions may make it unsafe for you to use the gas. These include:
- People with a history of substance abuse
- Persons with a history of mental health problems
- A deficiency of B-12 vitamin
- People with a history of respiratory issues
- Pregnant women
Side Effects of Inhaling Nitrous Oxide
Apart from the aforementioned health risks, you should also be concerned about the following side effects:
Short Term Side Effects
They are not usually common but they may manifest. The most common reason you may experience short-term side effects is when you inhale too much or too quickly. The common short-term side effects of inhaling N2O may include:
- Excessive sweating
You could do your chores or even go outdoors after inhaling N2O, as long as you give yourself enough time to recover from the various short-term side effects of the gas. You can avoid stomach problems by eating a light meal. Avoid heavy meals for the next few hours after inhaling the gas.
Long Term Side Effects
There’s little evidence that strongly suggests that responsible use of laughing gas can cause severe long-term side effects.
When you inhale the gas responsibly, most of the side effects you experience should wear off quickly. But intentional misuse of N2O or extended exposure to the gas may lead to different health risks.
Follow These Tips for Additional Safety
Getting high on nitrous oxide may be a great way for you to have fun. But you need to be sensible and extremely careful.
Here are our top tips that will help you minimize health risks:
- Make sure the nangs you use contain clean, culinary-grade nitrous oxide like what cream chargers contain.
- Don’t make the mistake of inhaling directly from a canister instead use a safe method like the balloon to inhale the gas.
- Inhale the gas in small doses because overdosing could lead to some serious health risks like falling unconscious or hypoxia.
- Gulp in enough air (oxygen) before inhaling nitrous oxide to avoid depriving your body of the much-needed oxygen.
- Always sit down on something comfortable when inhaling laughing gas so that you don’t fall when the effects kick in.
- Don’t use nangs when pregnant or have any pre-existing medical conditions.
- Store your nangs in a dark, cool place to ensure the pressurized gas is safe.
- Never expose your nangs to a naked flame or extreme heat as they can and will explode because the gas is highly pressurized.
How to Use Cream Chargers with Balloons
What You Need?
Laughing Gas Cracker
Also known as a nitrous oxide dispenser, nitrous cracker, or N2O cracker, this is a device that will enable you to dispense N2O into the balloon.
A Cream Charger
This is what people who get high on N2O call nang. It is a small cylinder that is filled with highly pressurized nitrous oxide.
The method that most people use to inhale nangs is through balloons. It’s generally the safest compared to other methods.
There’re two key reasons why different people all over the world prefer NOS ballons than inhaling directly from the nangs.
Firstly, N2O is stored as a pressurized liquid in cream chargers. So, when released, it will shoot out fast and freezing. This can be catastrophic to your lungs if you directly inhale the freezing gas. That’s why you need to inflate the gas into a balloon.
Secondly, the human body doesn’t metabolize nitrous oxide. Generally, less than 0.01 percent is processed by the body every time you inhale laughing gas. This doesn’t mean that you will not be able to get high. It is just that the body doesn’t have to metabolize the gas for it to take effect. Most people would breathe the gas in and out of the balloon for a better experience.
Step By Step Instruction
Step 1: Filter the N2O Cartridge
Some cream charger brands may have a dark oily substance (grease leftover). You will know a cream charger had oily residue if you see a yellow stain inside the cream whipper or on the nozzle.
This is another reason why you need to use balloons because the oily substance will be left inside the balloon and not into your lungs. There have also been reports of metallic particles being released when cream chargers are cracked. You can use a piece of fabric to filter the nangs.
Step 2: Unscrew the Cracker or Cream Charger Holder
Unscrew the cracker. Source: auaccessories.com
When using a NOS cracker, you need to unscrew it and then slide the 8-gram cylinder of the cream charger into the cracker and close the lid. The pin inside the lid of the cracker will pierce the N2O canister when tightened. Screw the lid on until it is fully closed and make sure there is no gap.
Unscrew the cream charger holder. Source: tapphong.com
When using a cream whipper, you need to unscrew the cream charger holder, insert the 8-gram canister into the holder and screw it back onto the cream whipper’s head until you hear a sound. There is a piercing pin that will break the covering foil on the mouth of the cylinder.
Step 2: Insert the Balloon into the Cracker or Cream Whipper
Insert the N2O charger into the cracker.
Carefully slide the balloon over the end of the cracker with the two holes. Gently pull the balloon to push the cracker in without causing any damage. The cracker should slide in approximately one centimeter.
Insert a cream charger cartridge.
Gently slide the balloon over the nozzle adapter. About one centimeter of the balloon should go over the nozzle adapter.
Step 3: Release the Gas Into the Balloon
Use a glove to protect your hand against freeze burn.
Fill the balloon with N2O from the cracker.
Slowly unscrew the NOS cracker until the nitrous oxide fills the ballon. Give the cracker a little notch to release any remaining N2O. You’re now ready to enjoy your balloon.
Fill the balloon with nitrous oxide.
Gently press the lever to release the nitrous oxide into the balloon. Press the trigger until all the gas is released from the cream whipper. You can use more than one cream charger. But we strongly advise you to use one cartridge at a time. The balloon is ready to be inhaled.
Step 4: Breath from the Balloon
Inhale from the balloon. Source: themix.org.uk
This is probably the most important step when learning how to use cream chargers with balloons.
Most guys out there will repeatedly breathe the N2O in and out of the balloon to maximize its effects. But here is the thing folks, breathing nitrous oxide in and out of the balloon will end up depriving you of oxygen.
As we mentioned earlier, a lack of oxygen can lead to hypoxia. Carbon dioxide buildup in your lungs is what normally triggers your reflex to breathe in oxygen. So, when inhaling N2O, you usually become oxygen-deprived without you knowing.
As much as you want to feel high, the oxygen factor should be your biggest worry. If you will be inhaling the gas in and out the ballon, then make sure you are in a well-ventilated area. Make sure you breathe in oxygen in between the N2O breaths.
Breathe in the laughing gas from the balloon, hold for a few seconds to experience the effects, blow the N2O back into the balloon, take a few breaths of oxygen (fresh air), and then repeat two to three times.
If this appears to be a challenge, then you are probably high and have had enough of laughing gas.
Caution When Using N2O Cartridges
- Don’t use cheap quality brands of N2O canisters that may contain manufacturing leftovers
- Remember to use a glove to avoid freeze burns
- If you accidentally burn yourself with the freezing, consult a physician immediately
- Don’t use a cream whipper with a leaking head gasket
- Make sure you completely empty the canister when filling the balloon
- Store unused cartridges out of reach of children to avoid accidents
- Avoid pumping more than one canister into the balloon
As you can see, it isn’t difficult to learn how to use cream chargers with balloons.
This recreational gas can make things more interesting for you. But beware of the associated health risk, short-term side effects, and long-term side effects.
The laughing gas can quickly turn into an evil gas if you don’t use it responsibly or sensibly. There have been cases of people dying or losing important functions of their bodies.
But if you choose to use N2O with balloons, then choose us because we are the leading manufacturers of whipped cream dispensers and chargers, soda siphons, and more. Learn more about us at greatwhips.com.