If you’ve watched an episode of HBO’s “Girls,” you might recall one from Season 2 where Hannah and Jessa join two boys for a convertible joyride through the countryside. However, things quickly go awry when the group begins taking turns inhaling gas from the end of whipped cream cans. That scene is just one of many in movies and television that have made whippets into an infamous part of popular culture in search of a giddy, fleeting high.
The gas is a fairly common party drug that can make you feel euphoric, loopy, and confused, but what are whippets? Whippet use, however, comes with risks, and most people are unable to determine the exact chemical makeup of the drug.
Nitrous oxide, also known as “whippets” or “whip-its,” is a colorless gas with a sweet aftertaste that is used in many everyday household items. Nitrous oxide can be inhaled for a warm, tingling effect that can make you feel “happy drunk.” The drug is very accessible and affordable, which contributes to its popularity. In 2020, youth were drawn to the gas more than any other age group, with 26% of eighth-graders and 40% of tenth-graders being at risk of using the drug regularly.
Simple household items like whipped cream cans and sprayable cooking oil contain the gas, which is also available in over-the-counter canisters. Nitrous oxide is even used to make nitro coffee. Depending on how much you inhale, the effects of using an inhalant can last for up to a few minutes.
Read on for our comprehensive guide to the drug if you’ve ever had questions about whippets, their legality, their dangers, or how to use them safely.
Short and Long-term Effects & Dangers
The momentary high that occurs when nitrous oxide is inhaled may not be particularly strong at first. The calming effect could result in relaxation and a floating sensation. Additional reported short-term effects of whippits are:
1 Nitrous Oxide Has Been Around for a Long Time
First among the 11 whippits facts: Dr. Horace Wells pioneered the use of nitrous oxide as a pain reliever in 1844. He administered the drug to 12-15 of his dental patients with great success. Soon after, nitrous oxide was hailed as an exciting new pain medication. Its use was broadly adopted by the Colton Dental Association clinics in 1863.
Whippits Are Addictive
We do not know exactly how nitrous oxide alters the brain’s reward system to result in addiction. However, medical research suggests that nitrous oxide’s effect on the body’s opioid system may be partly responsible for its potential for abuse and addiction. If a person is finding it difficult to stop using whippits, or is experiencing significant consequences from using them, they may have a nitrous oxide addiction. Of these 11 whippits facts, this one is especially important to share with anyone you suspect may be abusing nitrous oxide.
Can you inhale a whip cream can?
Whipping cream dispensers are one of the most common places to inhale whippits. People frequently release the gas into a balloon because it is difficult to inhale the canister’s gas without getting frostbite. Warmth from the balloon makes the gas easier to breathe.
What is it called when you inhale whipped cream?
Nitrous oxide used as a recreational inhalant is referred to in modern slang as “whippets” (also spelled “whippits” or “whip-its”) The term is derived from the whipped-cream aerosol canisters that people crack open to access the gas inside.
Does the air in whipped cream get you high?
Nitrous oxide, a gas found in whipped cream cans, pushes the whipped cream out of the can and onto your dessert. It can cause a high that lasts for 30 to 45 seconds when inhaled. Nitrous oxide is legal to own, but it is forbidden to use it to get high.