Traditional Growth Hormone and the Rise of GH Peptides – Part 2


by Mike Arnold

As we delve more into the application side of things here in Part #2, let us begin right where we left off with a description and review of the various GHRP’s. As mentioned in the previous article, GHRPs form the foundation of any successful GH peptide program. They are the workhorses—the prime movers in our march toward supraphysiological GH levels. When the most potent of these are combined with a short-acting GHRH (e.g., ModGRF1-29), the resultant spike in GH is both instantaneous and massive.

However, not all GHRPs are created equal. They differ widely in their ability to affect GH release, appetite, prolactin, cortisol, and even sleep patterns. Some result in rapid desensitization, while others seem to be immune to this effect. Optimal dosing range, total ceiling dose, and ideal injection frequency also vary.

In terms of achieving peak GH levels, Hexarelin is the most potent of the bunch. When paired with the GHRH known as ModGRF1-29, a synergistic effect takes place, further amplifying the resultant GH spike. In order to appreciate Hex’s true potency let’s compare it against a less powerful, although still quite strong GH peptide combination in the form of GHRP-2 & ModGRF1-29. In Part #1 of this article we looked at a graph comparing the GH elevating properties of this combo to that of 7.5 IU of exo GH. Surprisingly, the peak GH level achieved with the peptides was roughly 2X higher than the reading obtained with the exo GH; similar to what would have been witnessed with a 15 IU inject.

When Hexarelin is substituted for GHRP-2 at optimal dosages, the results are even more stunning, with peak GH levels rivaling a 20IU injection of exo GH and in some cases surpassing it. In order of potency, Hexarelin is trailed by GHRP-2, GHRP-6, and finally Ipamorelin, but even though Hex is the most potent in its class, don’t be fooled into thinking that it is the only GHRP worth using. The unique characteristics associated with each of the GHRP’s, their different pharmacodynamic profiles, and diversity in user goals all play a role in constructing the ideal GH peptide program.

If the primary goal is maximizing GH release, including this powerful peptide in your program makes sense, but what is the best way to go about it? The following facts will help point you in the right direction:

The synergistic effect noted with Hexarelin and ModGRF1-29 is lost after repeated administration, resulting in a reduced GH response after just a single injection.
Hexarelin interferes with slow wave sleep; the stage of sleep responsible for cerebral restoration and physical recovery

Hexarelin results in desensitization with twice daily dosing. In one particular study, GH output decreased by roughly 35% after just a single week of treatment and a full 50% decrease was apparent at week 16. 4 weeks post-treatment, sensitivity was fully restored.

Hexarelin results in an increase in prolactin and cortisol when used at doses of 100 mcg/kg and above.

When Hexarelin is dosed at .25 mcg/kg and .50 mcg/kg, the prolactin & cortisol increasing effect is abolished.

When ModGRF1-29, at a dose of 100 mcg, is combined with lower-dose Hexarelin (.25 mcg/kg and .50 mcg/kg), GH levels were increased beyond those achieved with Hexarelin alone at both 100 mcg/kg and 200 mcg/kg, demonstrating an extreme synergistic effect and an ability to increase GH to near maximal levels without an accompanying increase in prolactin or cortisol.
Hexarelin has no affect on appetite.

Hexarelin and GHRP-2 increase prolactin & cortisol similarly.

Taking into consideration the above factors, we can draw some definite conclusions. For one, Hexarelin is probably not best used right before bed. The degree to which Hexarelin negatively impacts slow wave sleep is not fully understood, but even if the negative effects only extend to a single sleep cycle, we are still better off using another GHRP at this time.

Another factor that will dramatically affect how we how we implement Hex into our program is the loss of synergism that occurs between Hex and ModGRF1-29 after repeated administration, as well as the desensitization experienced with extended use. According to clinical research, when Hex is administered just 2X daily, GH output is diminished by 35% after just one week of use. Although this is significant, the good news is that despite this reduction, GH output remains relatively high and stable for the following 4 weeks.

In my opinion, the best way to deal with these flaws is to alternate Hexarelin with a GHRP that lacks this desensitizing effect. For example, by continuing to administer Hex twice daily, but only 3-4 days per week (with GHRP-2 taking up the slack on the other days), one is able to avoid the rapid desensitization that occurs with daily use, while still taking advantage of Hex’s superior GH releasing benefits.

When it comes to the loss of synergism between Hex and ModGRF1-29, a simple fix may not be so easy to find due to a lack of information on the subject. At this juncture, no research has been conducted with the purpose of examining the relationship between dosing intervals and maintaining synergy. The study responsible for demonstrating the loss of synergy with repeated administration limited dosing intervals to a maximum of 120 minutes—hardly sensible. Assuming this research was aimed at increasing our knowledge of potential human application and with the typical person’s waking day lasting about 16 hours, it would have made much more sense to expand the dosing intervals to at least 12 hours.

Unfortunately, the best we can do is speculate when attempting to determine which dosing intervals are required for maintaining synergy, while using anecdotal evidence as a guide. Based on user bloodwork, synergy remains unaffected when using Hex once daily on a 3-4X weekly dosing schedule. However, with such a short half-life, dosing Hex only 3-4X weekly is far from optimal. The good news is that even if synergy is lost, the Hex & ModGRF1-29 combo still provides greater GH elevating effects than the 2nd most potent GH releasing combo; GHRP-2 & modGRF1-29. Therefore, a loss of synergism, although undesirable, really isn’t the main issue—desensitization is. Regardless, it is still wise to try and maximize this synergistic effect.

After evaluating user bloodwork and the behavior of other GHRP’s, it is my opinion that 2X/daily injections administered at least 8-12 hours apart, 3-4 days per week, is reasonable for avoiding desensitization and maintaining peptide synergy. In terms of dosage, 200 mcg/kg is considered a maximum dose and will yield the largest increases in circulating GH when combined with ModGRF1-29. Lower doses, such as .25 mcg/kg and .50 mcg/kg, will still elevate GH levels substantially–beyond what is achieved with a typical GHRP-2 & mod combo, while eliminating the potential for prolactin or cortisol elevation. It is worth noting that the .25 mcg dose is nearly as effective as the .50 mcg dose, increasing GH levels over 90% of those achieved with the .50 mcg dose.

Moving on, let’s address Ipamorelin. Despite being a GHRP just like Hex, Ipamorelin is vastly different in how it affects the body. I will tell you right off the bat that its main downside is its potency. Being markedly weaker than its predecessor, it is not capable of matching Hex, or even GHRP-2, in terms of GH release. However, it possesses a unique set of characteristics which makes its inclusion beneficial under certain circumstances. Here are a few facts on Ipamorelin:

Ipamorelin is the most selective of the GHJRP’s, having no effect on other hormones.
Ipamorelin is the weakest of the GHRP’s in terms of GH release, requiring higher dosages in order to be effective.
Ipamorelin has a long half-life compared to other GHRP’s.
Ipamorelin has no effect on the appetite.
Ipamorelin does not disturb sleep patterns.

The most noteworthy feature of Ipamorelin and the reason it has received so much fanfare is because of its selective nature. Unlike the other GHRP’s, Ipamorelin has no effect on prolactin or cortisol levels, regardless of dose. It also lacks the appetite stimulating effects present with GHRP-6 and GHRP-2, making it ideal for contest dieters or anyone else struggling to limit their food intake.

Most readers will likely be familiar with the hormones prolactin and cortisol, as they hinder the muscle growth & fat loss process. This has caused many to gravitate towards the use of Ipamorelin in a misguided attempt to avoid the negative side effects associated with these hormones. What these individuals frequently fail to realize is that when used at normal dosages, the accompanying rise in cortisol and prolactin is almost insignificant—to the point where levels often remain within the normal range. At lower dosages, this effect is avoided completely. Unless someone is suffering from prolactinemia or excess cortisol levels, this side effect usually isn’t a good enough reason to avoid the other GHRP’s.

Ipamorelin has no effect on sleep patterns, as well as a longer active life in the body compared to the other GHRP’s, making it ideal for pre-bedtime use. Most GH peptides have a short half-life, elevating GH levels for a couple hours at best. In this sense Ipamorelin differentiates itself from the rest of the pack by maintaining elevated GH levels for about twice as long. With most users opting to sleep through the night, this sustained increase in GH allows the user to continue reaping the benefits of growth hormone without needing to resort to middle of the night injections.

In my opinion, Ipamorelin isn’t quite worthy of the attention it has received. From a clinical standpoint I can understand the excitement generated by its selectivity, but when viewed from a BBr’s perspective it doesn’t quite meet expectations in terms of total GH release or IGF-1 elevation. Massive dosages can assist in overcoming its inherently weak nature, but mega-dosing isn’t very cost-effective, especially when other peptide combinations can provide superior results at a mere fraction of the cost. Still, when used at dosages of 500-1,000 mcg and combined with a GHRH, I do see a place for this drug as a pre-bedtime GH releaser. Other than that, unless you have a good reason to be worried about the potential, yet small increases in prolactin & cortisol, I would use other GHRP’s instead. Keep in mind that some will disagree with this statement, but when the primary goal is maximizing GH & IGF-1 levels, I believe my recommendation has merit.

The final two GHRP’s we will take a look at are GHRP-6 and GHRP-2; the first two GHRP’s to hit the market. These drugs are very similar, with the only two notable differences between them. GHRP-2 is a more potent GH releaser, while GHRP-6 is better at boosting the appetite. Other than appetite stimulation, I see no reason to use GHRP-6. Both drugs increase prolactin & cortisol, but like Hexarelin, the increase is small to non-existent (depending on dosage). Both drugs increase appetite and both should be administered in the same fashion and at the same dosages. Really, as far as the BB’r is concerned, there are no major differences between these drugs other than what was already mentioned. For this reason, GHRP-6 is best viewed as nothing more than a weaker version of GHRP-2 with slightly superior appetite stimulating effects.

While my description may have sounded less than favorable regarding these two peptides, GHRP-2 is actually a great drug. As the 2nd strongest GHRP, it does not cause desensitization, even when used at high dosages multiple times daily. This makes GHRP-2 the perfect substitute, allowing the user to maintain high GH levels during Hex off-time.

Typically, GHRP-2 is dosed at no less than 100 mcg, although better results will be achieved with higher dosages. When administering GHRP-2 three times daily and combined with MofGRF1-29, a dose of 100-300 mcg per injection has been proven to provide an increase in GH equivalent to 2.5–4.0 IU of GH daily, as determined by the IGF-1 levels of user bloodwork. In the medical community, IGF-1 testing is the most commonly used method of determining GH levels in the body, so the method is highly reliable.

In part #3 of this article we will compare user lab work to clinical studies, speculate on the true power of these drugs in light of the available evidence, take a closer look at the state of affairs in the GH blackmarket, and explore the advantages and disadvantages of GH peptides in comparison to exogenous GH.