Chemical Composition:

GBL (Gamma Butyrolactone) and 1,4 BD (1,4-Butanediol) are commonly used in the production of industrial chemical, such as cleaners, adhesives, and paint thinner.

GBL is also used in the manufacture of GHB. A 55-gallon drum of GBL will produce 987.8 pounds of sodium GHB, which is equivalent to 98,780 dosage units of GHB.

Some abusers will consume small quantities of GBL and 1,4-BD straight, because once in the body the chemicals are converted into GHB. Straight consummation often produces a severe physical reaction.


GBL and 1,4-BD produce a sedative-like condition similar to the effects of GHB. They come in pill and liquid form. When dissolved in water GBL and 1,4-BD are odorless, and they metabolize quickly in the body making it difficult to know when a victim has been drugged.

Methods of Use: GBL and 1,4-BD were marketed as health and dietary supplements to enhance bodybuilding and as a treatment for insomnia or depression, but in 2000, the Federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a warning against the supplements because of their toxic effects.

Risks: GBL and 1,4-BD are predatory drugs similar to GHB. They can cause respiratory distress, seizures, coma and death.


“Ecstasy and Predatory Drugs”
U.S. Department of Justice
Drug Enforcement Administration
Washington, D.C.

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