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UGL Gear vs. Human Grade
I have had many folks ask me what the difference is between UGL (underground labs) gear and "human grade" gear when it comes to AAS. My best answer is - price, lab environment, and choice in handling overhead costs. Other than that, there really isn't a difference.
First, a little chemistry lesson and background on how compounds are made into end product. I won't get into how the raw compounds are made - all pharmaceutical manufacturers and companies use the same raw compounds and it doesn't matter where they come from in this day and age as we all know that the raws come from certain parts of the world because of price (i.e. China, India, etc).
Back to the chemistry lesson. Simple chemistry on making a supersaturated solution requires at least 2 basic ingredients: solute and solvent. Let's take a look at sugar crystals. Sugar is the solute and water is the solvent. If you were to heat and boil water, place into a container, add sugar and stir - stir the sugar until it is completely dissolved and keep adding more until just a few sugar grains are left behind and cannot dissolve. Heating the solution allows the solute to be dissolved in the solvent more readily. Eventually, if no more sugar grains dissolve, the solution is supersaturated and cannot hold anymore of the solute in solution. As the solution cools, the solute will fall out of solution and crystallize. Now, after several trials of different measurements in mix, one can create a solution where just enough sugar stays in solution as it cools and doesn't fall out. This is how max or optimum concentrations are figured out for solutions. This is the reason why test prop is optimally dosed at 100mg/mL, test cyp @ 250mg/mL, test enth @ 300mg/mL, so on and so forth.
What solvents are used in making hormone compounds into end product? There are quite a few solvents and cosolvents that can be used. The most common solvent is oil. Oil does a terrible job at dissolving hormones, so it is mainly used as a carrier. Cosolvents are needed to dissolve the raw hormone so that crystals aren't floating around in solution. What cosolvents are used? Benzyl alcohol is the main cosolvent and also used as a preservative. However, because benzyl alcohol is water soluble, it can make the injectable painful at certain concentrations. Another cosolvent used to help slow the crystallization process down is benzyl benzoate. Benzyl benzoate is water insoluble and oil soluble - meaning it can be dissolved into an oil solution without being leeched from depot in muscle tissue as quickly, thereby keeping the hormone from crystallizing so quickly. The right concentrations of benzyl alcohol, benzyl benzoate, and oil can make for a painfree injection of hormone. Now, remember the chemistry lesson on sugar crystals? If you oversaturate the solution, the sugar crystallizes. Same thing can happen with hormone compounds. High concentrations of compounds can be painful - either because a greater amount of benzyl alcohol is used in solution or because the hormone crystallizes in muscle tissue.
What concentrations are used to make injections? Anywhere between 1%BA/10%BB to 5%BA/20%BB - that's a broad range and every lab chooses different concentrations for various reasons. When making mass volumes of injectables, price is a huge consideration and oftentimes leads to reducing overhead costs. Benzyl Benzoate is more expensive than benzyl alcohol, this is one reason why some labs have high concentrations of BA in their solutions. The best concentration ratio that we know of is 2%BA/20%BB, as this makes for painfree injections of most compounds and even blends. Not all labs will use this ratio to make all their injectables. Ester lengths also make a difference as longer estered compounds are less likely to crystallize as quickly as short/no ester compounds. They also dissolve more readily than short estered compounds regardless of the ratio used. This is why in a cookie-cutter method of using the same ratio for all injectables regardless of ester, prop can be painful and enth should be painless.
What about sterility? Many are under the impression that the heating process of dissolving compounds into solution is what sterilizes the product. This is wrong. The heating process only accelerates the dissolving process - this is to save time. Remember, making gear is a business and time is money. The sterilization process is actually when the solution is filtered. Labs use different size millipore filters for sterilizing their gear - again, time can influence the choice in what size filters to use. Minimum requirements for oil-based injectables is 0.45um filter. For water-based injectables or inj's with cosolvents much thinner (i.e. Ethyl Oleate, Guaiacol, etc), the requirement is 0.22 and sometimes 0.20um are used. The smaller the millipore, the more sterile the solution. The smaller millipore filters (0.22 or 0.20um) can be used for oil-based injectables, but take much longer to filter - here in again, time is money. Is the filtering process reliable? Yes, as long as it's done correctly and within standards. So why do some labs have contaminated products? That depends on the lab environment and the bottling/sealing process. Compounding pharmacies and pharmaceutical manufacturers are required to meet certain lab sterility standards in order to be registered as "recognized" or "registered" pharmacies. I won't get into what these standards are, different countries have different standards, but for the most part - they are supposed to meet Class 7 sterile lab standards. Do all labs meet such standards? Probably not. Most successful labs do for the sake of protecting their customers and their reputation.
Can you judge a UGL by the soreness you experience with their injectables and assume it's bunk? Not really. Bear in mind that many pharmaceutical manufacturers who produce "human grade" gear also try to save money and reduce overhead costs. So it's not uncommon to feel soreness from "human grade" gear depending on the compound. Take for instance Tetanus shots for vaccination and progesterone shots for fertility purposes - these injections are very well known to be painful and sore. Why? Because of the BA concentration in the solution. Most "human grade" test prop inj's are made at 50mg/mL concentrations - this is to make them less painful and not have to use as much BA and to avoid having to use an BB due to costs.
This article just scratches the surface, but hopefully sheds some light as to why good UGL gear isn't any different than "human grade" gear. There will always be exceptions in argument - but that goes for both sides