Gamma-hydroxybutyrate (GHB) is a depressant. It acts on the central nervous system, numbing the brain and slowing the body. GBL (gamma-butyrolactone) is another substance illicitly presented as GHB. Its effects are similar to GHB, but it is more toxic.

What it is calledAppearance  Characteristics 
  • Blue nitro
  • Easy lay
  • Everclear
  • Firewater
  • G
  • Gamma G
  • Georgia homeboy
  • G.H. revitalizer
  • Gib
  • Goops
  • Great hormones at bedtime
  • Grievous bodily harm
  • G-riffick
  • Growth hormone booster
  • Invigorate
  • Liquid ecstasy
  • Liquid E
  • Liquid X
  • Longevity
  • Poor man’s heroin
  • Scoop
  • Soap
  • Somatomax
  • Water
  • Wolfies
  • Zonked
  • Powder
  • Pills
  • Colourless and odourless liquid

GHB sometimes has a slightly salty and soapy taste, but this disappears when it is mixed with an alcoholic beverage, making it very difficult to detect.

Effects of GHB 

Using GHB may cause:

  • Reduced inhibitions
  • Calm and relaxed feeling
  • Physical and psychological comfort
  • Relaxed muscles
  • Euphoria
  • Unusual tranquillity
  • Slow movements
  • Pasty mouth
  • Drowsiness
  • Nonchalance
  • Disorientation (distorted sense of space and time)
  • Confusion

The effects of GHB vary depending on the amount consumed, the individual characteristics and the context in which it was consumed. See the Law of effect for more information.

Risks associated with GHB and possible consequences

Using GHB may cause:

  • Tiredness
  • Dizziness
  • Impaired vision
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Hostility
  • Altered attention, mood, memory and judgment
  • Depression
  • Addiction, which means that larger quantities of the drug must be used in order to feel the effects

If too large a quantity of GHB is used, it also causes:

  • Deep sleep
  • Memory loss
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Coordination problems
  • Excitement
  • Delirium
  • Stupor (a mix of fear and disbelief)
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Death 


Using GHB can lead to physical dependency, which is a physiological need created by the body’s addiction to the effects of the drug. If you try to go without it, you may experience varying degrees of physical reaction, such as:

  • Anxiety, panic, irritability
  • Depression
  • Insomnia
  • Fever, nausea, vomiting
  • Perceptual disorders
  • Shaking
  • Seizures (stiff body with jerky and involuntary muscle spasms)

To learn more, read the Addiction section of Problems Associated with Alcohol Consumption and Drug Use.

Consequences associated with safety and law

Possession of drugs such as GHB is illegal. Simply possessing a small quantity can lead to fines and a criminal record. These consequences also apply to people younger than 18. To learn more, consult the Éducaloi website This hyperlink will open in a new window..

GHB can hinder or prevent a person from defending himself or herself, or reacting to an assault. For further information, see the Information Guide for Sexual Assault Victims and the Éducaloi website This hyperlink will open in a new window..

Help and resources

Last update: June 15, 2023


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