The active agent is dinitrogen monoxide (N2O). Laughing gas is available as a gas in capsules (capsules for cream dispensers) or gas bottles of various sizes. This gas is colourless and odourless and tastes slightly sweet. It is usually inhaled from balloons.

There are two forms of laughing gas: the medical form (used as an anaesthetic and subject to pharmaceuticals law) and the technical form (used for tuning engines, less pure than the medical variety) which may contain methyl nitrate, a gas that blocks the red blood corpuscles and leads to oxygen deficiency.

Laughing gas is completely eliminated from the body about an hour after it has been taken.
Laughing gas is also known as nitrous oxide.


The drug takes effect after 5 to 10 seconds, and the effect lasts between 30 seconds and 4 minutes, depending on the duration of inhalation. After 10 - 15 minutes, any sign of a high has disappeared.

There is a wide variety of effects: tingling all over, feeling of warmth, feeling of happiness, voice becomes deeper, suppressed sensitivity to pain, diminished sense of time. Possible too are visual hallucinations (with the eyes open, vision as if through a veil, or tunnel vision; with the eyes closed the user may see changing shapes and colours), and also acoustic hallucinations (noises are muffled and perceived to be quieter). All recollection of the experience very quickly fades.

Short-term side effects

There is a risk of error in mixing oxygen and laughing gas. If the proportion of laughing gas in the respiratory air is more than 90%, there is a threat of acute loss of consciousness, and brain and organ damage due to oxygen deficiency. Feelings of dizziness, exhaustion, numbness in arms and legs, headaches and possible twitching of the limbs are possible.

In the event of insufficient oxygen in the blood and the respiratory air, there is a risk of asphyxiation.

Long-term side effects

When laughing gas is used regularly in moderate to high doses, the nerves may be damaged in a number of ways as laughing gas impairs the effectiveness of B12 (the vitamin that protects the nerves) - this may lead to motor disorders, manifested in tingling and possible subsequent numbness in the limbs.

If oxygen deficiency occurs too frequently, brain cells may be irreversibly damaged. This may have an affect on attentiveness.

Interaction with other drugs

When laughing gas and alcohol are taken together, there is an increased likelihood of nausea and vomiting.

Using laughing gas with poppers is also not advisable as this may adversely affect the oxygen supply to the brain.

Safer use

People with disorders of the respiratory passages such as asthma should not use laughing gas. The same applies to pregnant women, to people with otitis (inflammation of the middle ear), fractured ribs or who have suffered decompression sickness in the past - no laughing gas!

N2O should never be directly inhaled from the capsule or gas bottle - always transfer it first to a balloon or a condom.

NB: Always breathe fresh air in between. Put down the balloon several times and don't inhale too much at once.

If possible, use the N2O in a sitting or lying position as you may experience problems of balance - danger of a fall!

Do not put plastic bags over your head - danger of suffocation!

Always ensure that another person is close at hand.

Always ensure that you have a good source of vitamin B12 (protects the nerves) - e.g. cornflakes, multivitamin juices.

Driving is dangerous under the influence of laughing gas!

This information is not intended to promote drug use. Laughing gas is not controlled under the BtMG (Dangerous Drugs Act). Possessing, buying and dealing in laughing gas are not punishable by law. This does not mean that this substance is safe or that it can be used without risk!



Diese Informationen sind keine Anleitung oder Motivierung zum Drogenkonsum! Lachgas, das zu technischen Zwecken verwendet wird, ist legal, d.h. Besitz, Erwerb und die Weitergabe sind nicht strafbar. Medizinisches Lachgas unterliegt dem Arzneimittelgesetz (AMG). Wird medizinisches Lachgas zu Rauschzwecken (z. B. in gefüllten Luftballons) verkauft, so kann dies als unerlaubtes Inverkehrbringen eines Arzneimittels geahndet und strafrechtlich verfolgt werden. Auch wenn Lachgas relativ frei erhältlich ist, bedeutet das nicht, dass diese Substanz gesundheitlich unbedenklich ist und risikofrei konsumiert werden kann! Dieser Text wurde nach bestem Wissen und Gewissen verfasst. Dennoch können Irrtümer nicht ausgeschlossen werden. Die Drug Scouts übernehmen keine Haftung für Schäden, die durch irgendeine Art der Nutzung der Informationen dieses Textes entstehen.