Nangs are increasing in popularity in Australia as a recreational drug. Also known as whippets, laughing gas, N²0, or bulbs, it is nitrous oxide contained within a small metal canister.
These canisters are used by dentists and other medical professionals as a dissociative anaesthetic to sedate patients, or by bakers to whip cream.
Nitrous oxide is a colourless, slightly sweet tasting gas that when inhaled, can create feelings of depersonalisation, derealisation, dizziness, euphoria, uncontrollable laughter and giddiness, and sound distortion. This high lasts only a short time, around one minute, but users can do nothing much but feel super ~floaty~.
How is it used?
The gas is commonly discharged into a balloon and then inhaled. It can also be discharged directly into the mouth, but as the gas is very cold (-40c) it can cause frostbite to the nose, throat and lungs.
What’s going on in your brain?
Nitrous oxide has been found to be axiolytic (relieves anxiety), analgesic (kills pain) and has euphoric effects.
Each effect works in the brain slightly differently, but it’s used recreationally for the euphoric effects (ya don’t say).
N²0 stimulates the mesolimbic reward pathway, which is the one most associated with addiction. It induces dopamine release and antagonises NMDA receptors – the same way ketamine and phencyclidine (PCP) do.
Essentially, its a short, sharp burst of dopamine running up and down the part of your brain in charge of pleasure, reward-related motor function learning and the feeling of being rewarded.
Sounds great, but what’s the catch?
The most dangerous thing about inhaling nitrous oxide is that you’re not inhaling oxygen.
Short term, it can make you feel weak and tired, or make you faint. If you do it a lot, the long-term effects can include memory loss, hearing a ringing or buzzing noise, numbness in your hands and feet, a weakened immune system, serious vitamin-B deficiency depression, psychological dependence, and psychosis.
Nitrous oxide is legal to buy in Australia, and is sold in speciality stores and some convenience stores.
Nangs- Tame Impala https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EQbf9oyyGjc
Photo credit: http://blairemagazine.com/blog/chats-with-some-nang-fiends