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    Basic Info on Comonly Used Solvents

    By: Whitey and Skyfire

    benzyl alcohol (BA):
    A fairly potent solvent, whose main function for our purposes is keeping a solution bacteriostatic. It's presence as low as 0.9% is enough to prevent practically all microbial growth in solution.
    benzyl alcohol (BA):
    is often the primary solvent and sometime the only solvent in a given formula. Its primary function is as a sterilizing agent. However, due to its solvency power it is often used to keep hormones in solution with oil or other vehicles. It is also one of the thinnest (that is best for viscosity reduction) The major drawback to this solvent is that it tends to make for painful injections if the concentration goes above 10%. (This is true for any low molecular weight alcohol). Less than this tends to be painless for most people.
    Technical info: CAS # 100-51-6, Density is 1.05, Molecular weight is 108.14, Boiling point is 401f, Water solubility is 4.29g in 100ml.

    Benzyl Benzoate (BB):
    A co-solvent that serves several functions: helps dissolve the hormone, helps keep it in solution in depot (injection site), and thins the gear so it is easy to draw and inject.
    Benzyl Benzoate (BB):
    is the next common solvent on the list. It is not nearly as strong and much heavier than the benzyl alcohol so benzyl benzoate is used primarily for its latent affects in the depot. Namely it helps keep the hormone in solution at the injection site after the more water-soluble benzyl alcohol has leached from the depot. benzyl benzoate is constructed of two benzene rings bridged by a carbonyl group, this making the solvent extremely hydrophobic. It is also painless at low levels and nearly painless at 15-20% for most people.
    Technical info: CAS# 120-51-4, density is 1.11, Molecular Weight is 212.25 Boiling point is 614f, Water solubility is less then 1g in 100ml.

    Ethyl Oleate (EO):
    A relatively new solvent in the realm of bodybuilding, EO is Oleic Acid with an ethyl ester. EO is an excellent solvent for lipophilic compounds in injectable preparations. Its oxidative stability helps extend the shelf life of compounds, and its low viscosity provides for easy injections.

    Propylene glycol is made ether from glycerol reacted with NaOH or from propylene reacted with chlorine and s carbonate. Hence itís not very toxic. This shit is used for everything. It is one of the lightest polyhydric alcohols. Fairly polar solvent than can dissolve most any powder. Used as a co solvent for just about anything. Drawbacks include discomfort injecting at high levels and poor viscosity for the MW. Not the most compatible with oil.
    Technical info: CAS# 57-55-6, Miscible in water. Specific Gravity:1.0361 boiling point 370f Molecular Weight is 76.1

    Polyethylene glycol (PEG) is a polymer made for ethylene oxide. It comes in almost any MW, from 200 to 60,000. 400 to 12,000 are the most common with 400 the most common for liquids and 2,500 for solid. (Anything over 800 to 1,000 is a solid at room temp.) It is nontoxic at any reasonable level. It is nonpolar while having lots of hydroxyl functionality. This makes it great for getting things to stay soluble in oil. Used a lot for compatibility reasons. Can also be used as a painless vehicle, instead of oil. Drawbacks include high viscosity and thermoplastic tendencies becoming more pronounced at the higher MWs. Also has mechanical properties (surface tension) that cause it to separate from oil. This may become less pronounced at the higher MWs but I have not had a chance to test this at this time.
    Technical info: CAS# 25322-68-3, Miscible in water at the lower MWs slowly decreasing as the MW goes up. Density: range: 1.1 to 1.2 (increases as molecular weight increases) Melting Point: Melting point increases as molecular weight increases: PEG 400 = 4-8C (39-46F) PEG 600 = 20-25C (68-77F) PEG1500 = 44-48C (111-118F)

    Glycerol is glycerin and via versa. The first is a lab term and the second an industrial term. It is the binding component of fat, which is fat is one molecule of glycerol and 3 fatty acid chains. It is not a great solvent for the home brewer for a couple of reason. First and foremost do not inject glycerol undiluted. It is a strong dehydrogenating agent and can cause ruptures in cells. (OUCH) Oral it can even be taken as a diuretic. The second is that it is a very viscous solvent. Itís hard to thin. Can be used as a vehicle instead of oil.
    Technical info: CAS# 56-81-5, Specific Gravity is 1.26, boiling point is 554f, Miscible in water, and has a Molecular Weight of 92.1

    What causes pain?

    Short answer:
    A complex interaction between the hormone/ester, the concentration of hormone in solution, and the solvents and ratios of solvents used.

    BA, itself:
    High enough levels of BA are sufficient to cause pain, per se. What level depends on the individual. 5% - perhaps, but perhaps not; 10% - most likely. I have heard some say that BA does not cause pain at all. I cannot agree. While I haven't yet injected straight BA just to gauge the pain, I did inject straight BA with IGF-1 LR3 back in the day, albeit in very small quantities. Just a few ius had a very decent bite to it. If you don't believe me, grab a syringe, pull a little BA, and go to town. The soreness can be impressive with even just a tiny amount of BA injected.

    Hormone Concentration & Crashing in Depot:
    There is another problem with BA, though - it is very water soluble. So much so, that once gear is injected, the BA will flee the solution and dissolve into aqueous fluids inside the body. What result? Depends. Let's assume for whatever reason, BA was your only solvent. What happens, most likely, is some of the hormone crashes in the depot, crystallizing in your muscle, causing irritation and near-crippling pain. The severity will depend on the hormone/ester and concentration (which affects the total amount of hormone crashed.) This is where BB, and other, newer solvents such as EO come in. These solvents are better at holding the hormone in solution in depot, thereby preventing a crash.

    You can see why a high BA % would correlate with a crash in depot: if BA is being utilized as a solvent, rather than just a bacteriostatic agent, there's a chance there's not enough other solvents to hold all of the hormone once injected and the BA has leeched out. But it may not have been the BA that caused the pain at all, you see?? It was the hormone crashing, and the cause of that was a poor recipe.

    Here's a guideline that I don't know 100% to be true, but in my experience, it has been. BA pain (caused by irritation from BA itself) may have a somewhat quicker onset, and fade more quickly than hormone pain. If you inject straight BA, you'll feel it immediately, it will do some tissue damage, and it will be out of the system relatively quickly. In an oil solution, it will not take effect as quickly, as it's still in the oil. As it leeches out, it does some tissue damage and causes some pain. On the other hand, I've never known hormone/ester pain to onset within 24 hours, and often it lingers for 48-72 hours as the crystals continue to irritate muscle fibers as they are slowly broken down. The distinction is a fuzzy line though, and probably will not give a conclusive answer in most cases as to the cause of injection pain.

    Bottom line:
    I think we tend to blame painful gear on BA too often. I personally do think that 10% BA is definitely high enough to cause a good amount of pain on it's own, though some have sworn it's painless. Others maintain that 4-5% BA will cause injection pain on its own. Just remember how many factors are at play here, and that will help you understand why there are so many conflicting opinions and theories on injection pain and ideal solvent ratios for different compounds and concentrations. I think it would be a mistake to try to finger just one of them as the culprit.

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