Human Growth Hormone (HGH) while one of the more interesting as well as highly sought after hormones in the world of performance enhancing drugs (PEDs) it is further one of the more conflicting in-terms of legality. A very powerful protein based peptide hormone, HGH is naturally produced by the human body and of incredible anabolic properties providing many necessary functions essential to overall health. While people have supplemented with HGH for decades a safe and effective synthetic derivative was not made available until the mid-1980s and did not become highly available until the 1990s. Naturally produced Growth Hormone is produced in and by the pituitary gland and prior to the mid-1980s the only way one could supplement with extra HGH was through obtaining it through the pituitary of a cadaver. As you may have guessed this proved to be very dangerous as the practice was very unsanitary but with a synthetic form now being available individuals could now obtain safe HGH in-which to supplement with.
In many circles Human Growth Hormone is viewed as the fountain of youth hormone and for good reason, it appears to largely reduce the signs of aging but by-in-large those in the PED community are by far its most prominent users, especially among bodybuilders and athletes of any competitive nature. Through the use of HGH, especially when combined with anabolic androgenic steroids the individual can build a much better physique than without; however, as its demand is understandably high so is the amount of counterfeit product on the market.
So what about legality, this is often the biggest most concerning question and as alluded to it is not cut and dry as is the case with anabolic androgenic steroids. Human Growth Hormone is a prescription based drug, however, it is not a drug found on the federal controlled substance list (21 USC 812(c)). Initially when the list was comprised Congress strongly considered adding HGH to the list but chose not to do so on a basis that is a little if anything perplexing. Make no mistake, you cannot walk into your local RX and purchase HGH on a whim, as although its not controlled per say it still remains controlled in essence; well explain. In 1988 the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act was passed (21 USC 333(e), this legislation actively criminalized the distribution of anabolic steroids; however, it did not criminalize their use. After the 1988 law was passed it further gained strength in 1990 with the passage of the original Steroid Control Act with HGH being excluded from the legislation. Nevertheless, as the 1988 law did include Human Growth Hormone with the passage of the 1990 act it would remain there; unscheduled but illegal to distribute or possess with the intent to distribute without a viable medical purpose. Failure to abide by this law can result in up to 5 years of prison time for a first time offender and by as much as 10 years for minors (under 18).
It is important to note, 21 USC 333 only covers federal law, individual state laws must be considered as they can vary in severity quite dramatically. For example, in states such as Idaho, Oregon, Rhode Island, and West Virginia HGH is a scheduled drug under state law. Interestingly the state of Colorado has also placed HGH in the schedule III category with the inclusion of anabolic steroids, however, in typical yet confusing fashion in the state of Colorado use is merely a misdemeanor with possession being a felony; no that doesnt make any sense but is exactly how the law reads. These are some prime examples but there can be quite strong variations within each individual state; in states such as Maine and Massachusetts all prescription drugs of any nature are scheduled to one degree or another.
While Human Growth Hormone laws can be very confusing when we look at the state by state differences the bottom line is fairly simple; you need a prescription to supplement with HGH legally, plain and simple and unlicensed distribution is illegal on all counts. While failure to abide by these laws will greatly change based on the state in-which they are violated any violation will be met with stiff consequences.