GHB — gamma-hydroxybutyrate

GHB, or gamma-hydroxybutyrate is a naturally occurring metabolite and precursor to GABA (gammaaminobutyrate). GHB was a widely available over-the-counter supplement until it was banned by the FDA in 1990. The substance has many beneficial effects, but it is typically used by bodybuilders and athletes because it can significantly raise growth hormone levels. Unfortunately, the increase in GH levels is also accompanied by an increase in levels of prolactin. The increase in prolactin counteracts many of the positive effects of an elevated GH level. This probably explains why many athletes experience very little as far as muscle growth with the use of GHB. Several athletes using GHB report an increase in lean body mass and strength. Many users don't experience any muscle or strength increase, but do feel GHB help to accelerate fat loss.

Brand name GHB

Besides the increase in growth hormone, there are many other positive effects of GHB that may prove beneficial to athletes. First, GHB is an excellent sleeping aid. A small dosage will induce a state of relaxation, euphoria, and drowsiness. An even higher dosage will intensify the effect and help the user fall asleep quickly. GHB aids in REM and slow-wave sleep, and unlike other popular sleep aids, GHB will not interrupt any stages of the natural sleep pattern. This is crucial in achieving a complete session of sleep necessary for recuperation and muscle recovery. One problem with GHB-induced sleep is that some people tend to wake up 3-4 hours later when the GHB has worn off. This effect is probably due to the fact that GHB will temporarily inhibit the release of dopamine in the brain, and at the same time increase dopamine storage. When the GHB wears off, there will be a sudden increase in dopamine release and this is what may cause some people to wake up in the middle of the night. This is more likely to happen when a high dosage of GHB is used. Therefore, the dosage of GHB used to induce sleep should be lowered. Another way to combat this effect is simply by taking a second dosage upon wakening to allow for another 3-4 hours of sleep. It is interesting to note that this increase in dopamine release is also the reason why so many people report feelings of improved well-being and alertness the next day after a night of GHB-induced sleep.

GHB induces a state of euphoria, relaxation, and sensuality along with a lowering of anxiety and inhibition. It also exhibits prosexual effects by improving tactility (sense of touch), enhancing erectile capacity in men, and increasing the intensity of orgasm. For these reasons, GHB has become a very popular recreational drug. It has become even more popular among athletes because unlike other recreational drugs, GHB will not hinder athletic performance. GHB is used by many athletes as a substitute for alcohol because it does not cause a hangover the following day. GHB is also very effective in treating the withdrawal symptoms of alcoholism.

Now that GHB has been banned by the FDA, an athlete only has a few options if he want to obtain GHB. First, he can buy it on the black market. This has several disadvantages. To begin with, much of the stuff on the black market is made by underground chemists using cheap materials that may contain harmful impurities. Also, it is difficult to determine the concentration since most GHB sold on the black market is dissolved in water. The concentration will often vary and this will make it hard to accurately determine a dosage. A second option would be to mail order the GHB from a foreign pharmacy. This is risky because US Customs may seize the order. There may also be legal consequences to buying GHB. GHB is a controlled substance and many states are trying to make it a scheduled drug. Some states are even trying to make it a schedule I drug. The last option left to the athlete is to make the GHB himself. The manufacture of GHB is illegal in the United States, but many people choose to do it anyway. There are several different approaches for synthesizing GHB available over the internet. Some are good and some are bad. The syntheses of GHB is certainly not difficult, but it is definitely not as easy as mixing some NaOH with gamma butyrolactone in a pot and allowing it to cook in the oven for a couple of hours. The type of procedure will produce some GHB, but the yield will be very poor. Chances are there will also be a lot of unreacted chemicals. Also, depending on the pH, it could be dangerous to ingest. Many of the GHB procedures with good yields may be difficult to perform for the average person that has very little knowledge of chemistry.

Newbies Research Guide reference

Description: GHB (Gamma-hydroxybutyrate) is both a metabolite and precursor of the inhibitory neurotransmitter GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid, or gamma-aminobutyrate), another nutrient to which it bears a close structural relationship. GHB, however, does not act directly on GABA receptor sites. It is has come to be used in Europe as a general anesthetic, a treatment for insomnia and narcolepsy (a daytime sleeping disorder), an aid to childbirth (increasing strength of contractions, decreasing pain, and increasing dilation of the cervix), a treatment for alcoholism and alcohol withdrawal syndrome, and for many other uses.

During the 1980s, GHB was widely available over-the-counter in health-food stores, purchased largely by body-builders for its ability to stimulate growth hormone release which aids in fat reduction and muscle building. In the last few years it has been gaining popularity as a “recreational” drug offering a pleasant, alcohol-like, hangover-free “high” with potent prosexual effects.

For the thirty years prior to 1990, the scientific papers on GHB were unanimous in reporting numerous beneficial physiological effects and the absence of long- term negative effects. There are no documented reports of long-term [detrimental] effects. Nor is there any evidence for physiologic addiction.” GHB is not approved in the US and was been banned from over-the-counter sale by the FDA as of November 8th, 1990. GHB has not yet been “scheduled” as a “con- trolled substance” by the DEA, and therefore simple possession is not illegal. GHB continues to be sold to legitimate laboratories and scientists for research pur- poses, but selling it specifically for human consumption, especially while making claims about its health benefits, is a violation of current FDA regulations and policy.

Most users find that GHB induces a pleasant state of relaxation and tranquility. Frequent effects are placidity, sensuality, mild euphoria, and a tendency to verbalize. Anxieties and inhibitions tend to dissolve into a feeling of emotional warmth, wellbeing, and pleasant drowsiness. One of the best things about GHB is the fact that you won’t suffer any “hang-over” effects that you typically would if you had consumed an abundance of alcohol the night before.

GHB has no toxic effects on the liver, kidney or other organs. Reports that doses as high as twenty to thirty grams per twenty-four hour period have been used for several days without negative consequences. The main side effects that are most commonly experienced are drowsiness, dizziness, nausea, and sometimes vomiting. More unusual and extreme reactions have included diarrhea, lack of bladder control, temporary amnesia, and sleep-walking. Whatever side effects may be noted, they are often much more severe when GHB is combined with other central nervous system depressants such as alcohol or other downers.

GHB is a very interesting compound and has several effects that would be desireable for bodybuilders and athletes in general.

The following is a list of the desired effects:

1) Increasing natural growth hormone secretion-experts observed increases in plasma GH over a period of 90 minutes after GHB took effect. These plasma GH levels reached a peak of nearly 40 ng/ml. This lead researchers to conclude that GHB supplementation stimulates the secretion of GH by the pituitary gland in human subjects. It may cause a release of GH by modifying the amount of serotonin available to the nerve terminals. One Japanese study reported nine-fold and sixteen-fold increases in growth hormone 30 and 60 minutes respectively after intravenous administration of 2.5 grams of GHB in six healthy men between the ages of twenty-five and forty. GH levels were still seven-fold higher at 120 minutes. At the same time GH is being released, prolactin levels also rise. Serum prolactin levels increase in a similar time-dependent manner as GH, peaking at five-fold above baseline at 60 minutes. This effect, unlike the release of GH, is entirely consistent with GHB’s inhibition of dopamine. Other compounds which lessen dopamine activity in the brain (such as the neuroleptic Thorazine) have been shown to result in prolactin release. Although prolactin tends to counteract many of the beneficial effects of GH, the sixteen-fold increases in GH probably overwhelm the five-fold increases in prolactin.

2) Contributing to anabolism and lypolysis-GHB activates a metabolic process known as the “pentose pathway” which plays an important role in the synthesis of protein within the body. It also causes a “protein sparing” effect which reduces the rate at which the body breaks down its own proteins. These properties, along with GHB’s effect on growth hormone, underlie its common use as an aid to muscle-building and fat loss.

3) Inducing and improving sleep quality-The most remarkable facet of GHB-induced sleep is its physiological resemblance to normal sleep. For instance, GHB sleep is characterized by increased levels of carbon dioxide in the arteries, as in normal sleep. During normal and GHB sleep, the CNS continues to be respon- sive to “noxious stimuli” (pain and other irritations), a factor which sets limits on GHB’s uses in anesthesia. GHB facilitates both REM (rapid eye movement) sleep, and “slow-wave” (non-REM) sleep, the stage of sleep featuring increased release of growth hormone. And unlike the unconsciousness induced by other anesthetics, that triggered by GHB does not feature a systemic decrease in oxygen consumption. GHB temporarily inhibits the release of dopamine in the brain. This may cause increased dopamine storage, and later increased dopamine release when the GHB influence wears off. This effect could account for the middle- of-the-night wakings common with use of higher GHB doses, and the general feelings of increased well-being, alertness and arousal the next day.

4) Helping to reduce body cortisol levels-this would make this drug or supplement or whatever classification you want to call it anti-catabolic.

5) Improving Sex-scientists have identified four main prosexual properties of GHB:

1) Loss of sexual inhibition-markedly among most women,

2) heightening of the sense of touch (tactility),

3) enhancement of male erectile capacity,

4) increased intensity of orgasm.

Women often report that GHB makes their orgasms longer and more intense, as well as more difficult or time-consuming to achieve, especially at higher doses. As with its other effects, GHB’s impact on female orgasm seems highly sensitive to small adjustments in dosage.

Obtaining the Reagents: NaOH, denatured ethanol and methanol are very easy to find. Just look up chemical products in the yellow pages. Those chemicals are so common that you won’t be asked what you are going to do with it. Gamma-butyrolactone is difficult to find. It is typically used as a solvent for plastic polymers, as an acrylic paint remover, and as a light weight lubricant. It would be good to remember this since they might ask you what you are needing the chemical for. Several companies sell it on the net - make a search using Dejanews. Other companies sell complete kits for preparing GHB. The kits that are available tend to be more expensive than just buying the raw chemicals outright. If you are buying the chemicals from the yellowpages, it would be smart to purchase the sodium hydroxide and the gamma-butyrolactone from different sources to avoid any raised eye-brows as well.


Effective Dose: The effects of GHB can generally be felt within five to twenty minutes after ingestion. They usually last no more than one and a half to three hours, although they can be indefinitely prolonged through repeated dosing. The effects of GHB are very dose-dependent. Small increases in the amount ingest- ed lead to significant intensification of the effect. Higher levels feature greater giddiness, silliness, and interference with mobility and verbal coherence, and maybe even dizziness. Even higher doses usually induce sleep.

Determining the ideal dose is probably the trickiest aspect of working with GHB. The amount required for a given level of effect will vary from person to per- son, and the dose-response curve is fairly steep. Overestimating the dose can have consequences ranging in seriousness from ruining your plans for the evening to waking up in the emergency ward as a result of panic on the part of concerned-but-uninformed friends or relatives.

Once you have found the levels that give you the effects you desire, they will remain consistent. Tolerance to GHB does not develop. However, recent (not cur- rent) alcohol consumption may decrease the effect of a given dose of GHB.

Most people find that a dose in the range of 0.75-1.5 grams is suitable for prosexual purposes, and that a quantity in the range of 2.5 grams is sufficient to force sleep.

Some people think that GHB might lower potassium levels and should therefore be taken with potassium supplementation. Some research papers have identified such an effect, others have not. If you want to play it safe, take a potassium supplement equal to 10% of the GHB dose.

Street Price: This stuff sells on the street for between $2 - 3 per gram. I would be wary though since you cannot tell how watered down the product is since it is clear and you don’t know what kind of impurities are present when buying this stuff on the street.

References

Anabolic Steroid Guide
Newbies Research Guide

Back to Steroid profiles

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