How Long Does GHB Stay In Your System, Anyway?

Chemically speaking GHB (gamma-hydroxybutyrate) is a pretty simple compound. It’s got a carboxylic acid functional group on one end an alcohol moiety on the other, separated by some methylene groups (the carbon backbone).

It also has some unusual properties, as far as drugs go. It has a receptor named after it, the GHB receptor. (Guess which ligand binds to the GHB receptor, hermione granger?)

It’s used to treat treat narcolepsy (why would narcoleptics need a sleep aid? – Cataplexy, that’s why). It enhances slow wave sleep (SWS) and promotes human growth hormone (HGH) release at night, which is beneficial for many organ systems. It’s also probably neurotoxic, depending on dose and a smorgasbord of other factors.

How Long Does GHB Stay In Your System?

GHB has a short half-life and is therefore said to have a “rapid pharmacokinetic profile.” The half-life of GHB clocks in at a whopping 27 minutes. GHB is like the premature ejaculator of CNS depressants; it’s over just when you were getting into it.

The half-life of a drug refers to the amount of time it takes for a drugs concentration in plasma to be reduced by 50%. Given GHB’s 27 minute half life, we obtain the following:

Time After Dosimg (minutes)Percent GHB remaining
27 min50%
54 min25%
81 min12.5%
108 min6.25%

So how long does GHB stay in your system? It’s cleared pretty quickly, and less 5% of the original amount will remain after 2 hours. Hence, GHB is cleared pretty quickly.

GHB is not tested for in standard or even extended drug tests. However, it is possible to specifically test for GHB in urine.  The detection period in urine is 12-24 hours.

GHB Pharmacokinetics

In case the above discussion about how long GHB stays in your system didn’t bore you enough, here’s GHB’s actual pharmacokinetic profile.

how long does GHB stay in your system - pharmacokinetics how long does GHB stay in your system - pharmacokinetics-2

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