whippet top

Whipped cream is a light and airy addition to ice cream sundaes, hot chocolate, fruit, and a variety of other desserts, but those fancy whipped cream canisters hold more than just a delicious topping. Some people will use these devices to get high, and the result may be some unforeseen dangers.

What Are Whippets?

Whippets, also sometimes spelled whippits or even whip-its, are slang terms referring to the use of nitrous oxide chargers to get high. Nitrous oxide or laughing gas is a colorless gas at room temperature that is often used in medical settings like the dentist’s office to sedate people or relieve pain.

Besides its medical use, this gas can also be distributed into pressurized steel cylinders and used in whipped cream canisters or cold brew systems to provide a light and airy effect. Most commonly whippet drug abuse involves inhaling the gas from the nitrous oxide cartridges in whipped cream canisters. Although the whippet high can be euphoric, if not monitored, the nitrous oxide side effects can be dangerous and even fatal. Those who are abusing whippets should get substance abuse treatment immediately to avoid more harm.

Whippet Drug Effects & Dangers

Recreational use of laughing gas is no laughing matter. Breathing in the nitrous oxide from whipped cream chargers is a type of inhalant abuse also sometimes referred to as huffing. While inhaling from a whipped cream dispenser may not seem all that alarming, there are actually several dangers of whippets.

Whippets drug effects can include:

  • Euphoria
  • Lightheadedness
  • Vitamin B12 deficiency
  • Delusions and hallucinations
  • Damage to peripheral nerves
  • Muscle weakness
  • Spinal cord disease
  • Paralysis especially in the legs
  • Brain damage
  • Asphyxia1,2,3

When inhaled, the nitrous oxide effects are often immediate and enjoyable. When consumed in excess or with long-term abuse of whippet canisters, the laughing gas side effects become more severe. Muscle weakness may get worse over time, and frequent users may start to experience noticeable nerve damage.2

Because their brains are still developing, younger users may be especially susceptible to the side effects of whippets. Frequent abuse could hinder the brain’s development and lead to lasting impairment.

Although health problems can arise with repeated use, whippets are dangerous for first-time users as well. Nitrous oxide toxicity may lead to asphyxia as the brain and body become deprived of oxygen. The result can be serious health problems such as organ failure, brain damage, and even death.3,4

Although the effects of whippets are so concerning, many people are not aware of these dangers. If you are using whippets or believe your child might be, it is important to get help now. Continued abuse could lead to serious damage or even be fatal in some cases. At Vertava Health Ohio, our residential rehab assists people in quitting their substance abuse and moving forward. Reach out to us today to get started.