G is a central nervous system depressant, but in small doses it also acts as a stimulant. Its effects are similar to alcohol, or anxiety and sleep medication, causing relaxation and drowsiness.

It comes as a transparent, slightly salty, odourless liquid and more rarely as a white powder sometimes enclosed in capsules. It may be ingested, often mixed with juice, due to its bad taste and the fact that it is caustic when not dissolved, taken rectally or, less often, injected.

Its effects start 10 to 30 minutes after it has been taken and last about 4 hours, depending on the weight of the recipient and the levels of tolerance. G is rather rapidly metabolised, so it can only be detected in the blood for 8 hours after use and for 12 hours in the urine.

GHB and GBL have similar effects, but they are not the same. GHB is the substance that is produced in the body when GBL is taken. GHB is sold in capsules or powder, while GBL is usually liquid, and its potency may vary greatly. GBL has a stronger effect than GHB, but it lasts for a shorter time.

Street names of GBL/GHB include G, Gina, Geebs, Liquid Ecstasy, Liquid X, Liquid G, Goop, Georgia Home Boy, Easy Lay, Soap.


Moderate doses confer:

  • euphoria
  • sociability
  • sexual arousal
  • relaxation
  • drowsiness
  • lack of inhibition

It is also popular with some GBMSM for its relaxation effects that make receptive sex (bottoming) easier and more pleasurable.

Overdose may cause:

  • dizziness, nausea
  • tremors
  • confusion, irritation, agitation
  • loss of coordination
  • hallucinations
  • memory lapses
  • seizures
  • coma
  • respiratory arrest and death

Sometimes, overdose may lead to a comatose state named G-hole. Symptoms of confusion, incoherent speech or involuntary muscle contractions are often precursors of the G-hole. A person in the G-hole loses consciousness and falls into a slumber that can last from minutes to hours. It may also lead to respiratory arrest or heart failure, if G has been combined with other substances.

Long term use consequences

G also causes physical dependence, in addition to the psychological one. That can occur quite quickly, even after three consecutive days of use. Withdrawal symptoms begin 2 to 3 hours after the last dose and can last up to 12 hours and include:

  • anxiety
  • tremors
  • insomnia
  • vomiting
  • high blood pressure
  • tachycardia
  • confusion
  • hallucinations

In severe conditions hyperactivity, paranoia, psychosis, seizures or even death have been reported. Signs of addiction include continuing to use the substance even when harmful side effects are evident, tolerance, and withdrawal symptoms if use is stopped. Repeated comas can cause problems in memory function and emotion regulation.

Mixing with prescribed medication and other substances

  • Mixing G with depressants, such as alcohol, ketamine, opiates, benzodiazepines, is highly dangerous and may result in respiratory arrest, overdose, G-hole and death.
  • Mixing G with stimulants is also dangerous for two reasons. Firstly, stimulants will not let the person taking them experience the drowsiness that G normally causes, so they may not realise in time how much G they have taken and suffer an overdose. Additionally, combining G with stimulants makes paranoid, hallucinatory and aggression side effects very likely.
  • Combining G with poppers or erectile dysfunction drugs may cause abrupt dysregulation of blood pressure, which can sometimes cause cardiac arrest.

Harm reduction


Combining G with other substances should be avoided, as the results could be very harmful, even fatal.

Pre-existing conditions

In case of a previous diagnosis of blood pressure problems, seizures, respiratory problems, depression or panic disorder diagnosis, it is advised that G be avoided.

Knowing who to trust and what to take

The source providing G should be trustworthy, as the composition of the substance is extremely important, especially in the case of GHB. If purchased through the dark web, there are no guarantees of the potency, so it is better to be careful and not guess at the right dose based on previous purchases. Additionally, one has to be completely sure whether they are using GHB or GBL, as GBL is significantly more powerful. An amount of GBL that is equal to a regular dose of liquid GHB may be lethal.


Continuous use for over 6 hours should be avoided, as it may lead to overdose or dependence, followed by unpleasant withdrawal symptoms.


G should be diluted in water, juice or other non-alcoholic drinks, as it is caustic and will burn the mouth, pharynx or stomach, if ingested without being dissolved. Additionally, drinking it straight from the bottle increases the risk of overdose.

Don’t rush

G use should start with smaller doses (usually 0.5 to 1.0 ml but depending on the body weight) to prevent overdose – actually, one has to wait in order to check if the dose taken was right for them, as its effects usually take at least 10 minutes to manifest. There have been cases of overdose to people thinking that the dose was too low without having waited enough.

Checking one’s own dose

Doses should be decided on and checked by the person taking them. Due to the fact that the proper dose for the desired effects varies among people based on their tolerance levels and body weight, a regular dose for one person could be too high for somebody else. It is useful to have a way to tell cups apart during a chemsex party, to make sure that each participant uses their own G. Different cup colours or name tags are useful for this purpose.


Syringes (or other lab tools that can accurately measure ml) are the best way to measure the quantity to be taken. For G, dose accuracy is very important. Even a small departure could result in severe overdose, so spoons or bottle lids are not safe measures. Slamming and booty bumping is better to be avoided due to the high possibility of bladder or vein damage and overdose.


G is safely stored in bottles not used for other liquids. Because it is transparent, it may easily be mistaken for water or other colourless beverages and a person could take too much thinking they are drinking something else before realising it has been G.

Taking enough time and keeping a record

Because G requires some time to take effect, while its effect is compounded by multiple doses, one should wait at least two hours before taking more, in order to avoid overdose. It is recommended that each G dose is smaller than the one before. Moreover, G influences memory, so one should keep track of when each dose was taken. Using a mobile phone for this record can be very useful.

Cutting down

Stopping G use abruptly in cases of dependence should be avoided as it may cause very dangerous health problems. In such cases, it is better to gradually reduce the dose one takes or seek medical help, in order to be supported with proper medication.


If someone has severe withdrawal symptoms, they should refer to a hospital emergency department.


Spiking is the phenomenon of mixing G with alcohol without the consent of the person who is going to drink it. Obviously, spiking aims at sexual assault. This may also happen by secretly mixing G with lubricant as a means to sexually assault the person with the receptive (bottom) role in sex. In order to avoid this, it is advised to have your own lubricant or use small closed packages of lubricants, especially if you are participating in a chemsex party or are about to hook up with strangers.

Regarding assault

Many cases of sexual assault on people being under the effect of G have been documented. G is safer to use in safe environments with at least one or a couple of trusted people. People having sex with partners on G are advised to get a clear consent before proceeding.


Signs of G overdose include incoherent sweating, vomiting, irregular or shallow breathing, being unable to stand, involuntary muscle contractions and G-hole. Overdose is more probable in cases where tolerance is high.

  • In cases of G-hole it must be made sure that the person in a coma is in recovery position in order to avoid respiratory blockage that can lead to respiratory arrest.
  • A person in G-hole is vulnerable to sexual assault, so it is important to keep an eye on them.
  • It is important to ask for medical help by calling an ambulance, if one is not sure about a partner that has fallen into a coma. Sometimes, other substances (e.g. stimulants) are used to wake up a person in G-hole, but this can be quite dangerous. It is preferable to place the unconscious person in recovery position, not leave them alone and to be honest to the medical staff regarding the substance that caused the coma. In most countries medical staff only has to call the police in cases of violence or death, so it is not likely for somebody to face persecution if they have called the ambulance in a G emergency.