It is a commonly used as a solvent, for cleaning, glue removal and it is also a recreational substance. While GBL by itself would have no effect, our bodies convert it into GHB, which has an intoxicating effect. It is a very dangerous substance that reacts differently in every person. It is strictly regulated and monitored by the American Chemistry Council.
In industry, since it has significant solvency properties it is used in the electronics industry, for cleaning circuit boards. Also used for stripping paint, in the pharmaceutical industry in the production of pharmaceuticals. It is used in the production of herbicides and as a part of the manufacture of pyrrolidones.