gamma-Hydroxyvaleric acid


Gamma-hydroxyvaleric acid (GHV), also referred to as 4-methyl-GHB, is a synthetic substance classified as a designer drug closely related to gamma-hydroxybutyric acid (GHB). Occasionally, it appears on the grey market as a legal substitute for GHB. However, it is characterized by lower potency and increased toxicity compared to GHB, factors that have, in practice, limited its recreational use.
Gamma-valerolactone (GVL) serves as a prodrug for GHV, functioning similarly to how gamma-butyrolactone (GBL) acts as a prodrug for GHB.

IUPAC name
CAS Number13532-37-1
PubChem CID114539
CompTox Dashboard (EPA)DTXSID60928958
ECHA InfoCard100.033.516
Chemical and physical data
Molar mass118.132 g·mol−1


  • What is Gamma-Hydroxyvaleric Acid (GHV)?
  • Gamma-hydroxyvaleric acid (GHV), also known as 4-methyl-GHB, is a synthetic substance belonging to the designer drug category. It shares a chemical relationship with gamma-hydroxybutyric acid (GHB) and is used for various purposes.
  • How is GHV different from GHB?
  • GHV is often considered a legal alternative to GHB. However, it has lower potency and higher toxicity compared to GHB. These characteristics have led to limitations in its recreational use.
  • Is GHV available on the market?
  • GHV can occasionally be found on the grey market, where it is marketed as a legal substitute for GHB. It is essential to note that its use and availability can vary by region and legal regulations.
  • What are the effects of GHV?
  • The effects of GHV can be similar to GHB, such as sedation and relaxation. However, due to its lower potency and increased toxicity, users should exercise caution when using GHV, as excessive consumption can lead to adverse effects.
  • How is GHV administered?
  • GHV is typically consumed orally, either in liquid or powder form. Users should follow safe practices and be aware of the appropriate dosage to minimize the risk of adverse reactions.
  • Is GHV safe for recreational use?
  • While GHV has been used recreationally, its lower potency and higher toxicity make it less suitable for recreational purposes than GHB. Users should be aware of the potential risks and use it responsibly.
  • What is the role of Gamma-Valerolactone (GVL) in relation to GHV?
  • Gamma-valerolactone (GVL) acts as a prodrug for GHV, similar to how gamma-butyrolactone (GBL) is a prodrug for GHB. GVL is converted into GHV in the body, which then produces the desired effects.
  • Are there legal restrictions on GHV?
  • Legal regulations regarding GHV can vary by region and country. It’s essential to be informed about local laws and regulations regarding the purchase, possession, and use of GHV.
  • What precautions should be taken when using GHV?
  • Users should be cautious when using GHV and should adhere to recommended dosage guidelines. It’s advisable to be aware of potential side effects and interact responsibly with the substance.
  • Is GHV addictive?
  • Like GHB, GHV can have addictive properties, mainly when used frequently and in high doses. Users should be cautious and seek support if they believe they may have developed a dependence on the substance.


  1. “GHB and Analogues: Fast Facts”. National Drug Intelligence Center. January 1, 2006. Archived from the original on July 5, 2023. Retrieved July 5, 2023.
  2. Carter LP; Chen W; Wu H; Mehta AK; Hernandez RJ; Ticku MK; Coop A; Koek W; France CP (April 2005). “Comparative Analysis of the Behavioral Effects of Gamma-Hydroxybutyric Acid (GHB) and Its 4-Methyl-Substituted Analog, Gamma-Hydroxyvaleric Acid (GHV)”. Drug and Alcohol Dependence. 78 (1): 91–9. doi:10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2004.10.002. PMID 15769562.
  3. Fred Smith (31 December 2004). Handbook of Forensic Drug Analysis. Academic Press. pp. 462–. ISBN 978-0-08-047289-8.
  4. Andresen-Streichert H, Jungen H, Gehl A, Müller A, Iwersen-Bergmann S (2013). “Uptake of gamma-valerolactone—Detection of Gamma-Hydroxyvaleric Acid in Human Urine Samples”. Journal of Analytical Toxicology. 37 (4): 250–4. doi:10.1093/jat/bkt013. PMID 23486087.

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