The History of Whip-Its: From Medicine to Recreational Use

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Whip-Its, also known as whippets or nangs, are small canisters of nitrous oxide used for both medical and recreational purposes. These canisters have a fascinating history that dates back to the 1700s.

Whip-Its were initially used for medical purposes, particularly as an anesthetic. The use of nitrous oxide in medicine began in the late 1700s when English chemist and inventor, Joseph Priestley, discovered the gas. In 1799, an English surgeon named Humphry Davy began using nitrous oxide as an anesthetic during dental surgery. By the 1800s, nitrous oxide had become a popular anesthetic for surgery and dental procedures.

As the use of nitrous oxide in medicine increased, it also began to be used for recreational purposes. By the early 1900s, nitrous oxide had become a popular recreational drug in the United States, particularly among the wealthy. Nitrous oxide was often sold in balloons and in small canisters, which could be inhaled to produce a brief, euphoric high.

In the 1950s and 1960s, nitrous oxide began to be used in the food industry as a whipped cream propellant. This is where the term “whip-its” originated. The use of nitrous oxide as a whipped cream propellant continued to grow in popularity, and the small canisters became widely available in grocery stores and kitchen supply shops.

However, with the growing availability of whip-its, recreational use of nitrous oxide also increased. By the 1980s and 1990s, whip-its had become a popular recreational drug among young people. The canisters were often emptied into balloons, which were then inhaled to produce a brief high.

While the use of whip-its as a recreational drug continues to this day, it is important to understand the potential risks and dangers associated with their use. Nitrous oxide can be dangerous if not used properly, and repeated or excessive use can lead to serious health problems such as nerve damage and vitamin B12 deficiency.

In conclusion, the history of whip-its is a fascinating one that spans several centuries. What began as a medical anesthetic has evolved into a recreational drug that continues to be popular today. However, it is important to use whip-its responsibly and to be aware of the potential dangers associated with their use.

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