Chemical Compounds

Chemical compounds are substances that form when two or more elements are joined together. Most of the atoms that form living organisms and the Earth's crust are in compound form. Check out these great articles on chemical compounds.


At the same time scientists discovered that nitrous oxide could numb agonizing pain, they also found it could make you really lightheaded and silly. Yes, huffing parties started in the 1700s.

If you've ever had a half-frozen beer explode on you, you know that yes, alcohol freezes -- but not all in the same way. We'll let you in on the secrets to frozen alcoholic delights.

Juice and soda mix well with alcohol, but a few things don't mix so well. Some may just produce embarrassing moments. Others could cost you your life.

Imagine taking a substance that turns your skin green and scaly, then rots your flesh. It's not sci-fi. It's the reality of injecting krokodil, also known as the "flesh-eating zombie drug."

For a time, this designer drug was legal and available. And then ERs across the U.S. recorded 23,000 visits associated with bath salts in 2011, and the U.S. banned them and other synthetic drugs in 2012. What's the scoop on this relative newcomer?

Lance Armstrong, Jose Canseco, Mark McGwire: The list of superstar athletes accused of -- or admitting to -- taking performance-enhancing drugs is almost as impressive as the number of sports that they compete in. And we're not just talking about steroids anymore.

Compounding pharmacies don't usually get a lot of media coverage for good news. It's the mistakes that tend to make the evening news. It turns out that U.S. regulatory practices for compounding pharmacies tend to follow much the same pattern.

If a drugstore is the equivalent of a 7-Eleven where you can pick up ready-made apple pie pockets, then a compounding pharmacy is your corner bakery where an individual tart is made just for you. But are these specialized pharmacies safe?

First there was Volvo. Then came IKEA. Well get ready for the next major Swedish export: snus, a smokeless tobacco product, similar to dip or chew.

We once emptied the scent pods of male musk deer into a bottle of fragrance and doused it on, feeling like a million bucks. How has perfume changed since then?

Mushrooms -- they're not just a pizza topping. This psychotropic fungus has guided many an adventurer on a trip. How do shrooms make their magic?

As far as stimulating the human central nervous system, meth can hold its shaky, toothless head high. What about this drug makes its sleepless, twitchy, paranoid users so insatiable?

Can you pass the acid test? That electric Kool-Aid changed the fabric of 1960's American counterculture. So what's it's like to trip on LSD?

Imagine spending your days racked with pain or losing pound upon pound because nausea leaves you unable to eat. Now imagine that someone offers you a wonder drug to cure all your ills. The problem? It's illegal.

Most of us have heard the talk about oysters and chocolate, and maybe you've read an article about the stimulating effects of ginseng. But garlic, licorice and cucumber? Learn about the history of aphrodisiacs and whether they've been proven to be effective.

Crack cocaine, like many other illegal drugs, leads to addiction, death, increased crime rates and imprisonment. But crack is also in a class of its own: This drug targets the inner city almost exclusively and carries with it addiction rates unmatched by most other drugs of its kind.

Viagra is one of the best-known drugs of all time. Nearly every adult in America has heard of the drug and can tell you what it does. Find out how this high-profile medication works its magic.

Marijuana isn't just a recreational drug for hippies and philosophy majors -- its psychoactive history ranges from Egyptian mummies to modern U.S. politics. What's the big deal about this leafy, green plant?

Smoking or chewing tobacco makes many people feel good, even mildly euphoric. It's the nicotine that produces the buzz. Find out how nicotine affects the human body and what makes it so addictive.

If water is made up of hydrogen and oxygen, why can't we breathe underwater? It has to do with how molecules combine and how the human lung functions.

I recently used chlorine bleach to clean the siding on my house, and I was amazed at how well it worked! What is bleach? How does it remove stains? Is the chlorine in bleach the same as the chlorine in drinking water or in swimming pools? Is chlorine safe to use?

I have heard that carbon monoxide is extremely poisonous. Can you explain why?

What is dioxin? There's a lot of discussion going on in my town about dioxin and its dangers.

If the idea of being completely knocked out by a cocktail of drugs while doctors operate on you freaks you out, you're not the only one. But that's not what anesthesia is all about it -- and it might scare you less if you understand how it works.

About 90 percent of Americans consume some form of caffeine every day: It's our most popular drug by far. What's so special about this stimulant?