As a layman I am frequently asked: "How does laughing gas work?"
It is simple really. You decant the cylinder into a balloon then inhale the contents of said balloon while all your mates look on laughing like drains. The resultant feeling of being the centre of attention is said to be euphoric. The euphoria is, however, short lived, soon being replaced by a sense of utter stupidity.
Recreational use of the gas is not a recent phenomenon. It was discovered in 1772 by British scientist Joseph Priestley and
within 30 years the chemist Humphry Davy was using it recreationally.
began inviting his friends round to inhale the gas from oiled silk bags
and in doing so started a craze. "The nitrous oxyd [sic], or laughing
gas was inhaled by a gentleman who after laughing sprung up in the air
to the astonishing height of six feet from the ground," wrote a
correspondent in the Times in 1819, describing a popular stage show.