Hippy Crack: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know



English soccer player Kyle Walker is making headlines across the pond today after he was photographed inhaling what is referred to as “hippy crack.” The 23-year-old is alleged to have inhaled multiple times from a balloon while with friends on June 1, according to the Daily Mail. Walker, the PFA player of the Year, was already sitting out with an injury, missing his team’s last double-header against Brazil and the Republic of Ireland, and has acknowledged he did not understand the health risks associated with the recreational high.

With that in mind, here are five fast facts you need to know about “hippy crack.”

1. Hippy Crack Is Also Known as Nitrous Oxide



Hippy crack, laughing gas, sweet air, nitrous oxide — they’re all the same thing. Put simply, it’s an oxide of nitrogen and is shown as N2O. It’s also used for internal combustion engines, aerosol propellant, and medicine. It’s purpose in medicine is to get you high, and that’s exactly what some people use it for.

The recreational use of “hippy crack” began in 1799, where the British upper class would throw “laughing gas parties.” The man who discovered N2O had this to say about it:

“On the day when the inflammation was the most troublesome, I breathed three large doses of nitrous oxide. The pain always diminished after the first four or five inspirations; the thrilling came on as usual, and uneasiness was for a few minutes swallowed up in pleasure.”

The gas grew in popularity in the 1970s, occurring across North America, including Maryland and British Columbia, Canada, but maintains users worldwide.

2. Nitrous Oxide Is Legal

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The lax approach governments around the world have taken to the recreational use of nitrous oxide is one of the reasons the gas became the high of choice for people around the world.

In the U.S., the possession of N2O is legal under federal law and does not fall within DEA jurisdiction. Although it does fall within the realm of the FDA, which imposes a prohibition on the sale or distribution for the purpose of human consumption. Some states, like California, also have their own laws, which ban the gas’ distribution to minors.

3. Using Hippy Crack Can Cause Multiple Negative Side Effects



Aside from the obvious dizziness, vertigo, and possible auditory and physical hallucinations caused by taking nitrous oxide, there are multiple other negative side effects of inhaling. These include reproductive issues in women, neurotoxicity in the form of brain lesions, and asphyxiation. Also, according to the Daily Mail, users risks experiencing strokes, blackouts, incontinence, chronic depression and stress on the heart.

Despite these warnings, according to The Guardian, recreational use of nitrous oxide has killed 52 people since 1971.

4. N2O Is Often Sold in Balloons


One of the more popular ways to take nitrous oxide is with a balloon. Single hits of the gas are generally sold for cheap in small balloons, making it easy to transport and cheap to distribute. According to the Daily Mail, because it isn’t illegal, it is often sold in nightclubs for a couple dollars.

5. Multiple Celebrities Are Known to Use the Gas

Aise from Kyle Walker, many celebrities are known to use nitrous oxide on a fun night out with friends. Some of these include Michelle Keegan from Coronation Street, Prince Harry of the British Royal Family, Hollywood actress Demi Moore, and British singer Mutya Buena.

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