ghbGamma-Butyrolactone, popularly known as GBL, is a chemical used in the creation of many products including some medicines. Unfortunately, the chemical has qualities which tempt people to ingest it despite serious safety risks. It is illicitly used for athletic enhancement, increased libido, and as a recreational drug. It is also the primary ingredient in a popular recreational drug known as Gamma Hydroxybutyrate, GHB, or Liquid Ecstasy.

Since it’s principle ingredient is found in everyday products, there are various recipes floating around for homemade GHB. Since these “chefs” can’t go out and purchase pure, pharmaceutical-grade GBL, they are instead using these everyday products to extract the GBL they contain. Since these products are not created for human consumption, and the added ingredients or contaminants in them may create unexpected and adverse side effects, this is not an invitation or encouragement for people to attempt to make their own batch of GHB. It’s a more cautionary advisory to know that homemade GHB can be dangerous or hazardous to you. GHB which began as an over-the-counter Human Growth Hormone and sleep aid has evolved to its present-day use as a Club or party drug has an interesting history.

Products Containing GBL Sometimes Extracted For GHB.

GBL is illegal in certain countries including the United States. You can’t go out and directly purchase GBL at a convenience store. Whereas purchasing GBL is illegal, GBL is a common chemical component of many common products, some of which you might have in your home. These include:

  • Acetone-free nail polish remover
  • Herbicides
  • Pesticides
  • Vitamin B1
  • Industrial-strength solvent, thinner, and curing agents
  • High-grade grease extraction agents
  • Gamma-Butyrolactone Pro Cleaner concentrate (Wheel cleaner)
  • Hair, Skin, and Nail Vitamins
  • Cleaning concentrations

GBL is a highly dangerous chemical and irresponsible use of it can create risky or even deadly consequences if directly ingested. However, it’s use in certain commercial products is allowed. For this reason, people simply get their GBL ingredient indirectly from these products when they decide to make homemade GHB. It’s important to know that the products which contain GBL also contain other ingredients. The reaction these other additives may have won’t be known until the finished product is actually consumed. Since determining the actual concentration of GBL in a product is impossible to do, it is risky when trying to determine whether the finished concoction will contain a safe or toxic amount.

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Making Your Own GHB Might Not Be the Best Idea.

Although making GHB is a relatively simple process, there are some good reasons why it’s not a good idea to do so.

  1. There can be a huge difference between the consistency and potency of two batches. Purity, potency, and concentration can vary making it harder to determine GBL levels thus increasing the possibility of overdose.
  2. Unless it is created under strict FDA guidelines for a physician’s use, it’s an illegal substance.  You could draw some serious charges if you are caught manufacturing or dispensing GHB yourself,
  3. GHB is a toxic substance and homemade GHB is wildly varying in potency making it hard to self-dose.
  4. You can’t be sure of the effect of your homemade GHB until you actually consume it.
  5. The compound you’ve created likely has some contaminants which were in the products you are using. You are not using ingredients that are contaminant-free or made for human ingestion. Whereas a Reagent test will let you know there is a compound present in an ingredient, it won’t tell you how pure it is or what the concentration levels are.
  6. Too much GHB can be lethal. You never know when you’ve tipped that scale and it’s an irreparable mistake if someone’s health or life fall victim.

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What You Should Know: The Dangers of GHB.

GHB was originally sold over-the-counter as a sleep-aid, human growth hormone, and for other purposes. However, negative side effects started piling up. After several people were poisoned after consuming the substance, the FDA banned over the counter sales. People started abusing the drug as a recreational or party drug. It became notorious for being a “date rape” drug due to its tasteless, colorless quality and its ability to render users unconscious. By the 2000s, it was considered a controlled substance. Some side effects of this drug give cause for concern:

  • It’s highly addictive
  • It can cause severe nausea and vomiting
  • It can cause seizures
  • It can inhibit or cause trouble breathing
  • It can cause death

It’s important to remember, GHB was initially intended as a sleep aid and it produces its euphoric high before causing the user to crash or fall asleep. For this reason, users will attempt to extend the euphoria and delay the crash by staggering smaller doses. Since this is such a potent drug, measuring just the right dosage is difficult and overdosing is a real danger. People ingesting high doses of GHB can have a host of nasty side effects.

  • Dizziness and tremors
  • Loss of coordination
  • Confusion and memory lapses
  • Blackouts and hallucinations
  • Seizures
  • Coma
  • Respiratory arrest
  • Death

Taken along with alcohol, this drug has the potential of rendering the user unconscious. Using alcohol with the drug increases the already high probability of overdose.

Reasons Why GHB is so Dangerous.

  1. The drug is colorless and tasteless and it is easy to consume without someone even knowing they’ve ingested it. Thus, it’s reputation as a ‘Date Rape’drug.
  2. Detoxing can be difficult because users frequently lose consciousness when taking the drug.
  3. Users suffer from Anxiety and Panic Attacks during detox that is severe enough to require tranquilizers to calm them.
  4. Many users, suffering from the drug’s known memory lapses, refuse to believe they even have an addiction problem.
  5. This drug has a low “safe range” and even smaller doses may cause toxic issues.
  6. Since the drug increases Dopamine and Serotonin levels causing the euphoric high, when the user stops taking the drug, the withdrawal is harsh causing mood swings that can result in depression and hopelessness.
  7. GHB was once believed to be a Growth Hormone and it affects the Hypothalamus. Since this part of the boy controls body temperature, use of the drug can cause the user to experience feelings of being too hot.
  8. The drug affects the memory and people are not able to remember what happened while they were under the influence of the drug.
  9. The overdose rate of this drug is staggering when compared to other recreational drugs.
  10. Since it’s often difficult to tell when someone has actually overdosed or are just sleeping off the drug. In situations like this, crucial time may be lost getting medical attention for the victim.

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The Metamorphosis: GBL to GHB

making ghbThis is one of the more popular recipes for GHB making its way around the Internet.



Note: Have some pH papers on hand for testing later in the process.

120 ml of Gamma-Butyrolactone of GBL.  This chemical is used in the production of many commonly used household products including pesticides, vitamins, and paint-stripping solvent.

63 grams of Sodium Hydroxide (lye)

Place these two ingredients in a saucepan.  The pan must be either Pyrex or stainless-steel. Never use aluminum cookware.

Slowly add one-half cup of warm, distilled water to the mixture. Cover the saucepan, but not tightly. Preferably the pot will have a glass lid which allows you to observe the process.

Allow the mixture to react.  Lumps will form and you’ll need to smooth them out by mixing.  Mix the ingredients thoroughly with the distilled water until there is a uniform, regular consistency.

At this point, a chemical process will begin.  Let it react.  Once the chemical process has completed, it’s now time to measure its pH level.  This concoction needs to be alkaline. If it’s not alkaline, you can add a bit more Sodium Hydroxide to the mixture. Once it turns alkaline, you can start to heat it.  Cook it slowly and use care not to overheat the mixture.  Continue to simmer slowly, adding water as needed (slowly).  The cooking process will take about an hour.  Don’t be tempted to throw away that white substance that accumulates on the side of the pot.  That’s GHB.

After an hour, remove the pot from the heat.  When the substance cools, it’s time to add a little vinegar to the mix.  About 50 ml should be enough.  Test your pH again.  At this point, it should be neutral. If the pH-level is higher than 7.5, add about 50 ml of vinegar to neutralize it.

Activate or heat up some charcoal and add about a quarter of a cup of it along with your mixture to the bottle. Next, fill the bottle up with distilled water.  Shake to keep it from settling to the bottom.

If you see the above products in someone’s kitchen, including pH test papers, there’s a chance there is a homemade operation being run.  There could be another reason why this individual has all these ingredients.  If in doubt, ask.  It’s important to note, while it is easy to make, homemade GHB, it is an inexact science that can be dangerous which can easily lead to the lose of life.

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