Nitrous Oxide cons and pros


If you’re concerned the dangers or negative outcomes of nos inhalation, or you can’t decide whether you want to take it or not, you’ve come to the right place. I was an avid taker of the stuff for about a decade, and I’ve explored the substance inside and out and from all imaginable angles.

Nitrous Pros

•     Nos is ‘the drug drug’. The experience is fundamentally different to everything you’ve ever known. [1] It is a dissociative anesthetic, with the power to disconnect every association you have learnt, potentially giving you an entirely new perspective from which you re-interpret reality with every single trip.
•     Unlike most substances, nitrous lasts a maximum of 5 minutes (clock time, not perceived time) from the last inhalation. If you keep breathing a nitrous/oxygen mix, you can remain in nitrous land for as long as you can afford, but if you ever have a disturbing trip, you can always return to reality quickly.
•     Nitrous enhances the effects of hallucinogens and hallucinogens enhance the effects of nitrous: weed makes it about twice as good, whereas mushies and trips can increase the effects of nitrous exponentially.
•     Some people get much joy out of combining nos and sex; it is a well-renowned fetish in certain communities. You’ll have to ask them what’s so sexy about it.

Nitrous cons

•     Nos is the most temporarily addictive substance ever. When one finishes taking it and is returning to the normal world, securing more nitrous might suddenly become a top/only priority. This will wear out in a few minutes, but if you don’t recognize it and distract yourself from wanting it, can be unpleasant. When it ends, you feel like you need it to live, and the deep woe of that immediate withdrawl is excruciating

•     If you don’t appreciate the fact that it will have to end eventually, you could end up spending a lot of money that you didn’t plan on spending by getting more and more when you run out. There’s always one more box – you’ll never feel likme you’ve had enough.

•     Sometimes nos can make you nauseous, though I’ve only ever felt this when combining 8 boxes of it with a pill come-up! Wouldn’t recommend it.

•    If you use a cracker or anything but a proper machine to open the bulb, you risk freezing your mouth/throat/vocal chords from the cold of the gas expanding. Use new machines, not crackers, plus if you want to be absolutely safe from this empty the bulb into the machine, then into a balloon, and breathe from that.
•     If taken without supervision or in an inappropriate environment (see second paragraph of this for a detailed account of what an appropriate environment is, or scroll below for dot points) nos can lead you to injure yourself and others, and can even cause death[2] – though very rarely and indirectly, usually through asphyxiation.
•     Nos tampers with one’s vitamin B12 receptors, clogging them; taking supplements can only counteract this effect to a point, after which it doesn’t matter how much of the vitamin you take, your body won’t be capable of actually processing any of it. Luckily, this only happens if you indulge in  very frequent intake of large amounts (i.e. every day for weeks, over 5 boxes). You can notice any deficiency by a persistent numbing of the extremities (while NOT on nos); if this happens, cease intake, take supplements, and wait – the damage is thus reversible.
•     If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, even thinking about taking nos could be dangerous.
•     Nos isn’t the most social of drugs, usually – it’s really no party drug. Interacting with anyone not on nos should become increasingly difficult as you dissociate beyond language. If you do choose to take it with others around you’ll enjoy it more if you have headphones on, otherwise your trips will get interrupted. Taking it alone is dangerous because you’re leaving your body completely unsupervised.
•     You won’t necessarily be able to remember what happened in any kind of detail. This phases some people; I, however, see no folly in experiencing something I might not fully recall later, due to the richness of experience that I can recall from my trips. Nostalgia…

There you have it, toss it up, mull it over, do what you will with it, but if you decide to go for it or know anyone who is, ensure that you (and they) know the following.

What is absolutely Nosessary [3]

Keep Breathing Oxygen – it is a myth that you need to only breathe nitrous to trip “better”. You need oxygen to activate it in your system (and prevent brain cell death!).

✖    Don’t take it in enclosed, unventilated areas, because you could asphyxiate. This means you die due to lack of oxygen. Stay away from cars, unless they’re moving and the windows are open, and even then, stay away from them unless you’re inside one. Asphyxiation accounts for most ‘nitrous deaths’.
✖     Never use a bag to recycle your breath, never put your head into any kind of container, never climb into a garbage bag [4]. If you must reuse your breath, use a balloon, for it will fly away when you’re out of it and leave you breathing normally.
✖    Never have anything in your mouth for you will no doubt choke on it (gum etc.).
✔    Ensure that your body is in a comfortable, balanced position (I.e. SITTING, never standing, and as close to lying down as sitting can get), where you don’t have to even hold up your own head, as close to the floor as possible, leaning back[5].
✔    Baby-proof your surroundings – it sounds silly but you really could hurt yourself on something which you could usually handle well, if you try to handle ithe object in a nossed state. Avoid the hot, the cold, the pointy and the heavy altogether.
✔    Be supervised, but not too supervised; ideally, someone will be loading your nitrous for you because your motor “skills” on nos cannot be trusted to carry out a difficult procedure. Avoid fumbling around, wasting trip time and whanging your head with the machine by delegating everything you need to the loader, taking it in turns. Seeing someone else look at you will pull you out of the dissociated daze and make you self-aware, which can be fun, intense, or make you paranoid; to prevent risking the latter tell the loader, and anyone else, to stay the hell out of your field of view, or close your eyes.
✔    Use a GOOD machine, never a cracker, never an old, leaky machine. Leaky old machines can give you frostbite and freeze your lungs and throat.

My previous stance on substances was that, as long as one uses them as the icing on the cake of life, and not as the cake itself, they are acceptable, even desirable. Upon further reflection I have come to realize that this is not the case. Although my mind was very good at justifying my own behavior to myself, I see now that with all drugs I was merely self-medicating. Escaping a deeper problem, or distracting myself from it. I no longer advocate for their use.

1 – Except Ketamine. For a while, Nos was my favourite escape from reality. Now I enjoy meditation. Its cheaper and healthier for me.
2 – About 15 deaths a year (in america) are attributed to nitrous, according to
3 – Nosessary, adj – necessary with nos.
4  – Asphyxiation often occurs as a consequence of using bags to reuse breath, reaching nirvana and losing consciousness there, unable to escape the bag and maybe even unaware that one is trapped and endangered.
5 – Why? If you balance your body precariously on a chair and then your mind goes on vacation, you could find yourself coming back to doing something ridiculous like diving head-first into a filing cabinet.


5 Responses to “Nitrous Oxide cons and pros”

  1. why dont use a cracker? with a baloon okay ’cause….

    • Nah…I like to know I’m safe to be completely out of it, to jump off of the edges of normal comprehension and into oblivion freely, leaving my body behind safe. With so much gas expanding (think about it – a single bulb expands to a 1.5 litre machine) the freezing temperatures it gets to are really dangerous, especially if you’re working with your hands, a balloon, and a flimsy little contraption like that. That and sometimes I’ve put it into balloons which have exploded since I have little understanding of how much it can handle while I’m under – wasted gas.
      Besides, balloons aren’t for every nitrous time – you actually need a bit of oxygen for the nitrous to get processed in your system, and balloons can leave you heaving in and out of them, expending all of this effort and not relaxing; plus not getting the fresh air particles that will actually make the gas work.
      I know it’s more expensive, but get a machine. It’s well worth it – if you’re going to do it, you might as well make sure you’re not wasting any nor staying too conscious just to load and thus wasting more!

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