General Question

Aster's avatar

Can you buy nitrous oxide on the street?

Asked by Aster (20002points) January 26th, 2012
15 responses
“Great Question” (2points)

A famous actress has been hospitalized for nitrous oxide. Surely she didn’t go to a dentist’s office to use it so do you buy a canister on the street with a nose piece attached or what?

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thorninmud's avatar

It’s available in your supermarket. It’s used as an propellant in cans of Cool Whip, among other products.

LuckyGuy's avatar

It is also available for racing car engines. Here is a place that sells it – for your car, of course.

EverRose11's avatar

Sorry to say but yes my daughter calls them poppers and they are tiny canisters approx. 2 and a half inches tall,. How they do them I do not know, but i have walked into her apt and the floor was just covered with these tiny little canisters. So I know they exsist.

Aster's avatar

Thanks, @EverRose11 . Where do you buy them? From a street dealer? Seems like they’d be too large to be hauling in your pocket to sell.

EverRose11's avatar

@Aster trust me I never calmed down enough when I walked into the scene to ask just exactly where they bought these little canisters.

CWOTUS's avatar

Who would buy it “on the street” when food grade nitrous oxide is available from reputable suppliers such as Airgas? They even deliver.

EverRose11's avatar

@CWOTUS my daughter and a few of her acquaintances ! perhaps they did order from online ,but she was reluctant to tell me that, story I got was they bought them on the street.

gasman's avatar

From an informative article I found online (a site called JustSayN2O) by googling “purchase nitrous oxide”:

“Nitrous is obtained in one of four ways. You can purchase it in various quantities and purities: small whippits, two inch long tapered cylinders used for dispensing whipped cream (food grade), medical-grade nitrous bulk, or auto-grade nitrous bulk. It is also possible (but REALLY DANGEROUS) to homebrew nitrous through proper chemical reactions. The first is the most common form…”

Whippets, we learn, “look identical to the canisters for CO2 powered pellet guns.”

In the 1970s, when drug paraphernalia was an out-in-the-open growth industry, there was a product called “Buzz Bomb,” a marijuana pipe with built-in nitrous oxide, that delivered a mixture of smoke and gas. (Sorry no testimonials – I only saw the ads, lol.)

There’s an urban legend about a car full of people joy-riding with an open tank of nitrous oxide—until they all asphyxiate from oxygen deficiency. The article also warns that trash bags filled with gas from tanks are dangerous, and that automotive nitrous oxide (N2O is a better oxidizer than oxygen) is often mixed with H2S—hydrogen sulfide gas (smells like rotten eggs), which is poisonous.

EverRose11's avatar

@gasman LOL Whippets that is what she called them not Poppers it has been over 12 years ago I caught her in the act…LOL and My memory is failing me ! But perhaps 12 years ago they could find a supplier on the streets of San Fran, I would not be surprised one bit.

SpatzieLover's avatar

You can readily buy this in the form of computer air duster cans at any office supply source.

gasman's avatar

@SpatzieLover : You’re talking about the “high” kids get from hypoxia when they inhale the (inert) fluorocarbon propellants to the exclusion of oxygen. Nitrous oxide, in contrast, is a general anesthetic that induces an altered state of consciousness even with plenty of oxygen.

SpatzieLover's avatar

@gasman No, it’s a good source for nitrous addicts. See here. I’ve read several articles on it after seeing a news story on a young boy that died from it.

gasman's avatar

@SpatzieLover Your earlier link speaks of “cans of compressed air,” sold practically everywhere. I haven’t seen the canister-type duster pictured in your 2nd link, which is basically just a nozzle & valve for cylinders of compressed air – I think you still have to obtain N2O separately.

JaneraSolomon's avatar

While you COULD buy them on the street from that sleazy guy with the gold teeth at a greatly jacked up price, people in the know buy Nitrous from restaurant supply stores or even from

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