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Apr 24, 2001
GHB/1,4-B/GBL (updated July 2006)

July 2006 update – Small updates to satiate the PMs I get from time to time. Mostly edited the wording, and added a little disclaimer on GHB:GBL equivalence ratios.

With the ever-increasing use, abuse and publicity of these drugs, I decided it was time to polish up the old FAQ that I wrote over a year ago. I’ve taken into account suggestions made by other Bluelighters, added a section on GBL and considering the increasing number of overdoses, I’ve expanded that section accordingly.

It’s a fairly substantial read (approx 5000 words) so I’ve split it up into 4 sections;
1 deals with gamma-hydroxybutyrate (GHB its self).
2 deals with 1,4-butanediol (1,4-B).
3 deals with gamma-Butyrlactone (GBL).
4 is just general questions.

In sections 1, 2 & 3 I’ve tried to address dosages, potential for & issues surrounding addiction, differences between the 3 drugs, overdoses & what to do when one occurs, dangerous combinations and toxicity. In section 4, there are answers to questions on slang, legality, date rape and of course harm reduction

Corrections are welcomed, please PM me.

1. GHB

1.1 What are the effects?
GHB produces, on a sliding scale, the following; an overall mood lift, relaxation, increased sociability, euphoria, dissolution of anxieties and inhibitions, a “truth-serum” effect, motor skill impairment, an increase in sexual function & desire, possible dizziness and/or nausea. The effects begin within 10 – 30 minutes of ingestion and last 1 to 4 hours, incurring few to none of the unpleasant physical side effects associated with similar highs such as alcohol.

GHB is an aphrodisiac in low doses. Its pro-sexual effects go beyond common knowledge, but can be expressed under four headings: loss of inhibition, heightening of the sense of touch (tactility), enhancement of male erectile capacity and increased intensity of orgasm. Note that this is dose dependent - a standard recreational dose is generally too much, having a reverse effect on sexual function… Making orgasms more difficult to achieve and diminishing male erectile capacity.

1.2 How much do I take?
Here are some common dosage measurements for GHB, taken from Erowid.

Light --> 0.5 - 1.5 g
Common --> 1 - 2.5 g
Strong --> 2 - 3.5 g
Can induce heavy sleep --> 3 - 5 g
Overdose --> 5 - 10 g
Poisoning (Risk of Death)--> 10+ g

The above figures are grams of pure GHB powder. After examining several sources and having a few thrown at me, I have deduced that the safest way to approach the situation is to act on the assumption that it is possible to dissolve 1 gram of GHB powder into less than 1ml of water. That means that you could potentially overdose on as little as 5ml of liquid GHB - and that's even for a large, tolerant person. People have pointed out to me that this is not likely. I make no secret of that – but it is possible. Err on the side of caution.

If you’ve a source of pure powdered GHB… Good for you. For the masses of people who are supplied with liquid, the question on your mind right now is something along the lines of “So how do I know how much GHB is in the liquid I’ve got?” And the answer is… Unless you dissolved the powder yourself, you don’t. You may trust your dealer enough to believe him/her on the subject… Which means you’re trusting someone who cares for nothing but your wallet with your life.

A slightly different approach would be to ask the dealer if they’ve had any themselves, and how much of the particular dilute that they sold you they took… But once again, do you trust your dealer? If you’re bent on taking the GHB regardless of the concentration, here’s a little method which although time consuming, may save you a hospital visit. Start with a single dose of only 1 or 2mls. It might sound like pittance, but remember that it's possible for this tiny amount of liquid to contain more than a standard dose. If your original dose did not have the desired effects, wait an hour or two (more than one at least) and see what happens. If necessary, re-dose (no more than 1ml higher than your previous dose) until the desired effects are reached.

Some individuals are naturally tolerant to GHB, while others are naturally sensitive to it. Some make assumptions based on body weight (heavier = more tolerant), but it’s impossible to determine how tolerant you are without trying it, and downright unwise to act on an assumption (i.e. body weight). So, even if you know the purity of your gear, if it’s your first time, start off with a small dose regardless of your assumptions or suspicions as to your tolerance. You can always re-dose if you haven’t achieved the effects you want to but you can’t un-dose once you’re comatose. Keep in mind also that having food in your stomach may reduce the effect GHB has on you. It’d be a silly mistake to eat a large meal, ingest 5ml and have it do nothing… Then decide you need 10ml, swallow that on an empty stomach and overdose.

1.3 Is it addictive?
GHB can be psychologically and physically addictive. With a disproportionate ratio of good effects:bad effects, many set about frequent use of GHB. Nasty problems can be encountered when one withdraws from regular GHB use;

• psychosis and severe agitation
• tachycardia (rapid heart rate)
• delirium
• audio & visual hallucinations
• insomnia
• paranoia

Addictive capacity and just what constitutes “frequent use” will vary from person to person. The study done on GHB withdrawal indicates that frighteningly frequent and excessive dosing of GHB is required to develop physical dependency leading to the symptoms listed above. To provide an example, one subject took 1-2 grams every 1-2 hours for 6 months. It’d be difficult to afford such an addiction, but be aware that it is possible, and the withdrawal period can be traumatising.

1.4 How bad is it for me?
GHB is intimately involved in the normal functioning of the human brain, with the highest amounts of it found in the hypothalamus and basal ganglia. Without GHB, our central nervous system would not function properly. Because it’s no stranger to our insides, we’re well equipped to deal with it. GHB is quickly and efficiently metabolised into carbon dioxide and water, leaving absolutely no residue of toxic metabolites. For this reason, responsible recreational use of GHB is widely considered to be safe.

Keep in mind that if you’re abusing GHB, it’s a different story all together, and you can forget this low-threshold safety blanket.

1.5 Anything it shouldn’t be mixed with?

• alcohol
• any other drug classed as a depressant
• driving (it’s the same as alcohol in that respect)
• epilepsy

Second only to mistaken purity, mixing GHB with alcohol is the primary cause of overdoses. Basically GHB and alcohol potentiate (increase) the effects of one another. Taking them together causes central nervous system slow down, and makes your breathing shallower. Your dose of GHB will hit you harder than normal, possibly putting you to into an unrousable sleep, and your alcohol will also hit you harder. The combination of the two could quite possibly lead to unconsciousness and vomiting. Worse case scenario, you inhale the vomit and suffocate, unable to wake up or cough to remove the vomit from your throat.

You simply can't foresee the degree to which each drug will increase the effects of the other… Meaning it’s like playing Russian roulette without even knowing what the odds are. Everyone is different and someone else taking GHB with a few alcoholic beverages may respond differently to the combination to the way you will. It is generally accepted that using alcohol with GHB is a display of outright stupidity.

Stimulants (namely amphetamines) appear to increase your tolerance to GHB. If you combine GHB & stimulants, then later use the same amount of GHB without the stimulants, you’ll achieve more potent effects with a lower dose, and, the overdose threshold will be lowered… Be wary.

1.6 What are the signs of an overdose? What do I do if someone is overdosing?
The golden rule of overdose and could-be overdose situations: don’t ever say “he/she hasn’t had enough to be overdosing” – depending on the body weight and tolerance of the individual (which you more than likely have no idea of), as little as two grams can push someone over the edge. The line between a high dose and an overdose is very fine and so variable it’s hard to say just where it is. The following are signs that someone is near overdosing, overdosing, or near dead;

• mild to extreme nausea and vomiting
• vertigo
• complete loss of coordination
• speech slurred, sometimes beyond audibility
• unconsciousness (unrousable unconsciousness referred to as a “GHB coma”)
• no response to any stimuli, including things which are usually painful
• convulsions and/or twitching
• irregular breathing (often soft and shallow)

GHB and overdose are two words that are (sadly) seen together all too often. Uninformed users often mix GHB with alcohol or take liquid without knowing or testing the potency. If they’ve taken liquid without knowing the potency and are showing any signs of an overdose what so ever, call an ambulance immediately – there’s no knowing just how much they’ve taken, thus no knowing where the effects will end. The vomiting and unconsciousness might be 1/10th of the GHB in their system taking effect for all you know.

If someone is overdosing, what you should do is get him or her medical attention immediately. It’s best to call an ambulance. Driving them to hospital yourself is sometimes a possibility… But, you need a third person present to take care of the victim in the back while you drive (i.e. make sure they don’t choke on their own vomit, make sure airways are unrestricted) and you should most definitely not drive if you’re drugs, or too panicked to concentrate.

A lot of people don’t want to call ambulances because they’re scared of;

A. getting busted by the police for drug related activities.
B. parents/friends finding out what they’re up to.

Regarding point A, please don’t let this selfish fear jeopardise someone’s life. When someone is overdosing, every moment counts and getting busted is both completely avoidable, and unlikely. It is unlikely that the police will turn up, unless there is a perceived danger to the ambulance personnel to be attending the emergency. Doctors and paramedics seldom care how you got hurt past diagnosing the problem, as their first priority is to make sure you’re in a stable condition. There is also the doctor/patient confidentiality agreement, meaning they must keep what you tell them quiet. This is the case in Australia (it might not be elsewhere, so find out). If this isn’t convincing enough for you and you’re still worried that you’ll get busted, your other option is to flush your gear. If you’re not going to call an ambulance till you’re 100% certain that there is no chance you’ll get busted, flushing is your only option. If you’re not prepared to flush your gear… Some friend you are.

Regarding point B… Would you rather your parents/friends found out you use drugs after your friend nearly died from an overdose, or after he actually did?

I hope this makes you ponder what you’d do if such a situation arose, and highlights the need for medical attention in an overdose situation.

1.7 How does it work? What is it doing to me?
GHB effects the chemical storehouse in your brain, and various other things throughout the body.

It activates a metabolic procedure known as the “pentose pathway” which plays an important role in the distribution of protein within the body. It also reduces the rate at which the body breaks down its own proteins. These properties, along with GHBs effect on growth hormones, justify its common use as an aid to muscle-building and fat loss. Large doses of GHB bring about a small increase in blood sugar levels, and a significant decrease in cholesterol. Blood pressure may rise or fall slightly, or remain stable, but moderate bradycardia (slowing of the heart) is consistent across all doses, along with a slight drop in body temperature. GHB also stimulates the release of acetylcholine in the brain. Acetylcholine is a neurotransmitter found at the ends of nerve fibers in the nervous system that is responsible for transmission of nerve impulses throughout the body. GHB also stimulates pituitary growth hormone release.

Now we come to the brain… Many believe that GHB affects the CNS by temporarily inhibiting the release of dopamine, and causing a surge in its release when it wears off. This is not the case. Arguably, the neurotransmitters that GHB interacts with to affect your CNS are GABAb and GHB. By effecting the GHB receptor it would in turn be effecting dopamine release, however this is a debatable and most likely negligible part of GHBs effects. There is more evidence suggesting that GABAb is the neurotransmitter at work.

Read this article if you want to know more about how GHB effects the brain – Erowid GHB Vaults : Pharmacology : The Neuropharmacology of GHB, by Bill Connelly (June 2003).

1.8 For those who are interested, a brief history of GHB…
GHB was first synthesised in 1960 by Dr. H. Laborit, a French researcher interested in exploring the effects of GABA in the brain. GABA (or gamma-amino butyric acid) is a neurotransmitter that is important to hypothalamic functioning (regulation of body temperature, certain metabolic processes, and other autonomic activities). Because little or no GABA crosses the blood-brain barrier, Laborit synthesised GHB. In simple terms, this process substitutes a hydroxy group for an amino group. The difference allows GHB to cross the blood brain barrier where some of it is metabolised into GABA. As it turned out, Laborit found that GHB exhibited a range of effects beyond those expected from GABA. During the 1980s, GHB was widely available over the counter in health-food stores and was purchased mainly by body-builders. Recreational use increased and beginning in 1990 with the United States it gradually came to be illegal, or at least controlled across a majority of countries around the world. GHB has been used as many different things, including:

• treatment for insomnia, narcolepsy and other forms of sleep deprivation (with mixed results)
• withdrawal treatment for alcohol and opiates
• an anesthetic
• a bodybuilding supplement (while it increases release of growth hormones, no study has ever proven any gain in muscle/weight associated with GHB use)
• an aid for women giving birth (it increases the strength of contractions, decreases pain, and increases dilation of the cervix)
• a sexual aid

2. 1,4-B

2.1 What is 1,4-B?
1,4-Butanediol is closely related (chemically) to GHB. It has become a popular substitute for GHB for a few reasons – GHB is becoming more and more difficult to obtain due to legalities (depending on your location), and 1,4-B is converted to GHB by the human body, so it’s as good as substitutes get. It makes it’s way though the digestive system and is absorbed into the blood stream untouched. From there it circulates until making contact with the liver, which uses an enzyme called dehydrogenase (the same one used to break down alcohol) to convert the 1,4-B into a substance called aldehyde gamma-hydroxybutyraldehyde, which is released back into the blood stream. When the aldehyde gamma-hydroxybutyraldehyde comes back around to the liver, an enzyme called aldehyde dehydrogenase oxidizes it, creating GHB, which is then released into the bloodstream to do its work.

2.2 How do I tell the difference between 1,4-B and GHB?
Unless you know what you’ve got from the start, there is no fail safe way to determine what the blue liquid sitting in front of you is… Some people have asked me about what can be tested with the difference in freezing points, here’s the best explanation I can offer…

The freezing point of 1,4-B is 20 degrees celsius. That means at 20 degrees celsius, pure 1,4-B will turn to a solid oily mass. The freezing point of GHB is –20 degrees Celsius. That means even in the fridge, or at –10 degrees, pure GHB will remain a liquid. Thus if you’ve been sold something as “pure GHB” but you doubt your dealer, you can put it in the fridge and see what happens. If the liquid freezes it’s 1,4-B, if it stays in liquid form, it’s GHB.

There is a flaw in this system, in that these freezing points apply only to pure materials. If you add water to 1,4-B it’s going to lower the freezing point of the mixture. 500mls of water + 500mls of 1,4-B = 10 degrees celsius freezing point. If you add water to GHB it’s going to raise the freezing point. 500mls of water + 500mls of GHB = -10 degrees celsius freezing point. There are going to be an awful lot of possible freezing points because there are going to be an awful lot of different dilute ratios. I don’t in any way endorse the use of this method to determine what you’ve got, but it’s in here because it does exist, and people do ask questions about it.

1,4-B tastes extremely bad – it has been described as “like drinking liquid plastic”, “distinctly chemical” and “acrid”. GHB tastes more like seawater or licorice. The tastes are easy to distinguish; however unless you’ve tried them all, you’ll never know which is which.

2.3 How much do I take?
Unlike GHB, 1,4-B only exists in liquid form. If it is pure, 1ml is equivalent to 1 gram of GHB. So, if you want a 4g dose, take 4mls. You get the point. But what if your 1,4-B is diluted? Here is the table of doses where the 1,4-B is mixed in at a ratio of 1:4;

• 1ml = 0.25g
• 2ml = 0.5g
• 3ml = 0.75g
• 4ml = 1g
• 5ml = 1.25g
• 6ml = 1.5g
• 7ml = 1.75g
• 8ml = 2g
• 9ml = 2.25g
• 10ml = 2.5g
• 11ml = 2.75g
• 12ml = 3g
• 13ml = 3.25g
• 14ml = 3.5g
• 15ml = 3.75g
• 16ml = 4g
• 17ml = 4.25g
• 18ml = 4.5g
• 19ml = 4.75g
• 20ml = 5g
• 21ml = 5.25g
• 22ml = 5.5g
• 23ml = 5.75g
• 24ml = 6g
• 25ml = 6.25g

And at a 1:8 mixture ratio…

• 1ml = 0.125g
• 2ml = 0.25g
• 3ml = 0.375g
• 4ml = 0.5g
• 5ml = 0.625g
• 6ml = 0.75g
• 7ml = 0.875g
• 8ml = 1g
• 9ml = 1.125g
• 10ml = 1.25g
• 11ml = 1.375g
• 12ml = 1.5g
• 13ml = 1.625g
• 14ml = 1.75g
• 15ml = 1.875g
• 16ml = 2g
• 17ml = 2.125g
• 18ml = 2.25g
• 19ml = 2.375g
• 20ml = 2.5g
• 21ml = 2.625g
• 22ml = 2.75g
• 23ml = 2.875g
• 24ml = 3g
• 25ml = 3.125g

If you want to work out the charts for other dilute ratios, go for it. As you can see it’s not particularly hard. The problem is finding out what ratio your 1,4-B is mixed at. 1:4 and 1:8 are both fairly standard ratios, that’s why I’ve included them. This is exactly the same problem as finding out the amount of powder dissolved into water to make up the GHB liquid you’ve bought. Do you trust your dealer to tell you the true ratio? Do you think he/she even knows?

If you’ve got a source of pure 1,4-B, good for you. For everyone else, you’ve got to trust your dealer on the mixing ratio, or find out how much you need to take some other way. The only other way is, as I mentioned earlier, to start with a single dose of only 1 or 2mls, wait a couple of hours (more than one at least) and see what happens. If necessary, increase the dose gradually (i.e. a few ml at a time) until the desired effects are reached. After the first dose, you will know how much of that particular batch of 1,4-B you should take as a single dose. Remember – a new batch means a new dose test. Do not assume that because you needed 15mls for a good dose on the last batch that the new batch will be the same, even if it is from the same dealer.

2.4 Does it feel the same as GHB?
While 1,4-B is converted into GHB, the effects are not identical. An experienced user (known as a G-whore ) could probably tell the difference between the two even if given no indication as to which measuring cup contained which chemical. Due to the gradual nature of the conversion (it is far from instantaneous) the effects of 1,4-B often last longer than those of GHB – by the time the first of the converted GHB hits, the last of it could still be in the aldehyde gamma-hydroxybutyraldehyde stage, awaiting oxidization. Also as a consequence of the conversion, 1,4-B more frequently causes physical upset such as nausea and vomiting – unlike GHB, 1,4-B is a foreign chemical to the human body with far more potential for toxicity and adverse reaction. For this reason it also causes frequent urination in most users (similar to alcohol). Most users report that GHB simply feels “cleaner” and 1,4-B does not produce as much relaxation.

The difference in effects appears to be highly subjective, so it’s hard to say much more than that without starting arguments. A suggested reason for the difference varying so greatly from people to people is different body types, diets, fitness levels, health, etc contributing to more/less efficient conversion of 1,4-B to GHB.

2.5 How bad is it for me?
There has been considerable debate over the toxicity of 1,4-B. The most convincing argument runs along the lines of its chemical similarity to an antifreeze agent used in radiator fluid, called propylene glycol. This suggests some serious issues with 1,4-B, however studies on its effects on the human body indicate it is not a danger, unless abused. 1,4-B damages your liver and kidneys much in the same way as alcohol does, however there is a much steeper bell curve (the damage will begin with less abuse, and get out of hand easier). Don’t abuse it, and you shouldn’t encounter any side effects.

2.6 Anything it doesn’t mix with?
See 1.5. (What GHB doesn’t mix with).

2.7 What are the signs of an overdose? What do I do if someone is overdosing?
See 1.6. Keep in mind that users experience physical upset using 1,4-B at lower doses than they do with GHB. This means vomiting, nausea, etc are more common, and consequently false alarms go off more often. Use your judgment and try not to over react, but do not ever dismiss someone being in danger just because they’ve had 1,4-B instead of GHB.

2.8 Is it addictive?
1,4-B can be addictive, but because it is a foreign chemical in your body requiring a lot of work from the liver to metabolise, it causes physical upset (vomiting, nausea, frequent urination) at a much lower dose range than GHB. None the less, it’s still possible to get addicted to it and it is still very possible to suffer a nasty withdrawal (see 1.3).

3. GBL

This subject has certainly got mouths moving. GBL and GHB are not “the same” when someone is abusing. This is due to the metabolic conversion GBL must undergo to become GHB. This conversion takes a toll on your body, which it can easily recover from in the short term. However, forcing your body to carry out this conversion too frequently can lead to problems.

3.1 What is GBL?
GBL is a chemical and metabolic precursor to GHB. That means a chemist can make GHB from it, and so can your body. It’s used industrially as a solvent, eg for paint thinners. It’s popular as a drug for similar reasons to 1,4-B – your body converts it to GHB and due to it’s wide range of industry uses, is often easier to obtain.

3.2 How do I tell the difference between GBL & GHB/1,4-B?
Unless you know from the start, it’s hard to ever be sure which you have. GBL exists in liquid form only, and like 1,4-B tastes distinctly chemical. You may be able to taste the difference between GHB and GBL, but I am told that it is nearly impossible to tell the difference between 1,4-B and GBL by taste.

GBL doesn’t freeze until it’s at –44 degrees celsius (if it’s pure). But, mix it with water and you get a freezing point closer to 0. Putting what you’ve got in the fridge may help you distinguish whether it’s 1,4-B or GBL (it’ll freeze if its 1,4-B, it wont if it’s GBL), but the less pure the chemicals the less reliable this test will be. Due to GHB & GBL freezing at –20 and –44 respectively, it’s too unreliable to test using any kind of temperature based examination, especially when you consider the problems that dilution causes for such tests.

3.3 How much do I take?
GBL exists only as a liquid. 1ml of pure GBL is equivalent to 1.6 grams of GHB… Depending on whom you ask. I’ve had a lot of figures thrown at me over the years, all of them in this vicinity. I prefer to err on the side of caution and go with the higher figure. If you have adequate reason to believe 1ml is equivalent to 1.5 grams of GHB, work it out that way. I’ve drawn up dilute charts for the most common mixture ratios – 1:4;

• 1ml = 0.4g
• 2ml = 0.8g
• 3ml = 1.2g
• 4ml = 1.6g
• 5ml = 2.0g
• 6ml = 2.4g
• 7ml = 2.8g
• 8ml = 3.2g
• 9ml = 3.6g
• 10ml = 4.0g
• 11ml = 4.4g
• 12ml = 4.8g
• 13ml = 5.2g
• 14ml = 5.6g
• 15ml = 6.0g
• 16ml = 6.4g
• 17ml = 6.8g
• 18ml = 7.2g
• 19ml = 7.6g
• 20ml = 8.0g
• 21ml = 8.4g
• 22ml = 8.8g
• 23ml = 9.2g
• 24ml = 9.6g
• 25ml = 10.0g

And 1:8…

• 1ml = 0.2g
• 2ml = 0.4g
• 3ml = 0.6g
• 4ml = 0.8g
• 5ml = 1.0g
• 6ml = 1.2g
• 7ml = 1.4g
• 8ml = 1.6g
• 9ml = 1.8g
• 10ml = 2.0g
• 11ml = 2.2g
• 12ml = 2.4g
• 13ml = 2.6g
• 14ml = 2.8g
• 15ml = 3.0g
• 16ml = 3.2g
• 17ml = 3.4g
• 18ml = 3.6g
• 19ml = 3.8g
• 20ml = 4.0g
• 21ml = 4.2g
• 22ml = 4.4g
• 23ml = 4.6g
• 24ml = 4.8g
• 25ml = 5.0g

As with 1,4-B the largest problem you’ll encounter is determining what ratio your GBL has been mixed at. It might not be a nice number like 1:4 or 1:8. Your dealer might not even know. You’ll have to trust him, or use the gradual dosing method (detailed under 1.2 & 2.3) to work out a safe dose. You’ll also notice that GBL is more potent than 1,4-B and GHB… So the same mixture ratio between two chemicals does not mean that the same dose will produce the same effects.

3.4 How bad is it for me?
When pure, GBL will irritate your mucous membranes, your kidneys and your skin if it comes in contact with it… Thus it is best to dilute it. At the time of writing I can find no evidence to indicate that recreational use of GBL is harmful, however abuse is a different story (see 3.7).

3.5 Anything it doesn’t mix with?
See 1.5 (What GHB doesn’t mix with).

3.6 What are the signs of an overdose? What do I do if someone is overdosing?
See 1.6. As with 1,4-B, GBL is a foreign chemical and users are likely to experience physical upset (vomiting, nausea, dizziness, etc) at a lower dose. Consequently false alarms are more likely. Use your judgement – don’t over react, but don’t dismiss the possibility that someone is in danger just because they’ve had GBL, not GHB.

3.7 Is it addictive?
GBL has shown surprising addictive potential. The same withdrawal problems noted under 1.3 apply to GBL addictions, but there are other complications. GBL abuse becomes a metabolic burden – while your body can convert it to GHB, it certainly was not built for it…

Converting GBL to GHB can require use of a hydroxide ion (OH-). Hydroxide ions are part of your pH system, where a delicate balance is required for normal functioning. Your body can manage changes in OH- levels (called buffering), but only to a certain extent. You can deplete OH- levels with GBL abuse, leading to metabolic acidosis, which can be a fatal condition. The symptoms of a mild case are a headache, fatigue and sleepiness. More sever cases get to vomiting, dehydration and appetite problems. Even though this is an unlikely outcome it can be serious so you should be aware of it.

4. General Questions

4.1 How do I minimise harm when using GHB, GBL or 1,4-B?
Users usually dehydrate quickly. Solution = drink water. You’ll find yourself urinating often on 1,4-B, so keep your fluids up when using that as well. 1,4-B isn’t nice to your liver, so some people take Milk thistle with it.

Please use food dye to colour your GHB/1,4-B/GBL blue (and don’t keep it in Gatorade/Powerade bottles…) It’s a commonly accepted precaution, and it goes a long way to prevent inadvertent consumption, and silly overdoses.

GBL and 1,4-B are solvents. They are known to melt plastics, so the stronger the gear you’ve got and the longer you store it, the more of the bottle you could well be drinking. The same properties mean that taking them regularly in undiluted form could damage the inside of your mouth. It’s best to dilute them in water and single doses in pleasant tasting mixers like orange juice.

Shake your bottle before pouring doses if it has been sitting for a while. These substances may not mix perfectly with water and may distribute unevenly in the bottle if left for a long time. It can’t do any harm.

Tell someone what you’re taking! If you’re unconscious and no one knows why, paramedics aren’t going to know what to treat you for, or with… And if it’s bad enough, they won’t be able to wake you up to ask you.

4.2 Is GHB/1,4-B/GBL illegal?
You will have to confirm for yourself depending on your area, but it is safest to assume that they are all illegal.

4.3 Aren’t these date rape drugs?
They do have the potential to be used as date rape drugs. The potential for date rape lies in the capacity of GHB/1,4-B/GBL to render someone completely unconscious and unresponsive to external stimuli. Overdoses and potentially fatal situations could occur easily when they’re used as date rape drugs because they’ll be combined with alcohol. If you’re worried, there are products such as the Drink Spike Detector available.

4.4 What are the slang terms for GHB/1,4-B/GBL?
Remember that the exact definitions of slang terms blur over time, so they’re an unreliable indication of what you’re being sold.

• G
• One-four
• Liquid ecstasy/liquid e
• GBH (“grievous bodily harm”, coined by the media)
• Gammah-oh
• Blue nitro
• Fantasy
• Fanta
• Blue verve

4.5 What is Na-GHB? K-GHB? GHB-OH?
This is getting into technicalities… Na-GHB is simply GBL that has been reacted with sodium hydroxide to form GHB (remember GBL is a chemical precursor to GHB). It has a “salty” taste and is the most common form. K-GHB is GBL that has been reacted with potassium hydroxide to make GHB, and is said to have a “licorice” taste. Both are referred to as “GHB”, and the difference between the two for the end user is negligible. GHB-OH is 1,4-B.


This is not a scientific paper; it is an end users guide. Please only message me with corrections to errors. I understand that those with a scientific background may want to see a more comprehensive treatment of the details, but I feel that this guide is complicated enough. Go to the advanced drug discussion forum if you want to talk pharmacology or organic chemistry. Lastly, the disclaimer – I’ve done everything I can to make sure the info here is accurate, but all responsibility for problems you have using GHB falls on you. Using drugs is dangerous, and having read this doesn’t mean you’re safe in any way shape or form. Only your actions in light of all the information you can gather can make you safer.

Thanks to the following Bluelighters their contributions to this FAQ; Pleonastic, BigTrancer, phase_dancer, Cowboy Mac, Maxi, Mr. Horse, surrealthoughts, mona, HappyCamper, ChEmIcaL_NiGhT, onetwothreefour & blue kitten.

Main sources & further reading;

Relevant bluelight threads;

That’s all folks. Be safe :)
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