Are SARMs Legal? Everything You Need To Know…

are sarms legal

There have been thousands of people who have testified to hours and hours spent in the gym.

They say they even followed the diet, but never got to see the results they dreamed of.

Lots of people have bought protein shakes to boost their protein intake; they have added in the BCAAs and creatine.

But still, they recall just continuing to hit a plateau.

Is that you?

And then someone told you to try SARMs, or you heard about SARMs and wondered whether you should give it a shot. 

One thing you probably did hear about SARMs is that they are excellent for bodybuilding purposes; to build muscle; to give you a good-looking body – and in a short amount of time.

So we are going to fill you in about SARMs because people are desperate to get hold of it.

But then in the other breath, SARMs are illegal in many countries [1].

Yet people are still getting hold of them…

Are SARMs Legal In Your Country: Updated For 2023

So what are SARMs? 

SARMs stand for Selective Androgen Receptor Modulators. They haven’t been on the market for very long – they are relatively a new drug.

What they do is attach to the male hormone receptors or androgens [2].  

SARMs help to build bone and muscle.

They combat the wastage of muscle that is caused by osteoporosis, disease, and age.

Many supplement brands have started selling these to athletes because they work so well to improve strength.

And although they have been likened to steroids, they are not the same – they have fewer side effects than steroids do.

SARMs are anabolic agents meant to enhance performance.

But they are prohibited by the World Anti-Doping Agency [3].

Where do SARMs come from and why were they created? 

A guy; well, a scientist created SARMs.

In fact, it is said that they were created by accident back in the early 1990s.

The scientist who created them was Professor James T Dalton. He identified Andarine which is a SARM.

He was actually busy researching prostate cancer treatments. Then many years later, he went on to create another SARM called Ostarine.

The research on cancer studies came to an end. But SARMs were sought after, and the black market arose for SARMs because of their effects.

People wanted to get hold of them.

Professor Dalton, in his research on Ostarine, found out that it was able to reduce fat and increase lean muscle.

Elderly male patients suddenly found they could climb stairs much more easily – All this without the use of anabolic steroids.

So why are SARMs Dietary Supplements Banned?

As we know, SARMs help to stimulate the growth of muscle. The same effects have been seen in SARMs as those seen by using traditional steroids.

But SARMs didn’t show the same side effects that anabolic steroids did such as prostate health problems experienced from their use. 

SARMs have been banned.

This is because, from human clinical trials, it was discovered that there were potential adverse effects on liver function [4] when people took SARMs.

SARMs are generally safe, but… 

The thing is, SARMs are not approved by the FDA [5]. Not for human consumption anyway.

There will have to be more research done on SARMs before the FDA will approve them for human consumption. 

And Selective Androgen Receptor Modulators Are Not Legal

In the USA, you can buy SARMs – they are legal to buy.

But wait – there is a caveat, and that is that they are legal for research purposes to experiment with, but not as nutritional supplements.

Anabolic steroids are illegal to possess but buying SARMs is not a drug offense.

So could my doctor give me a prescription for SARMs? 

Your doctor could prescribe SARMs if they are used for research or clinical trials for people who have breast or prostate cancer, or Alzheimer’s.

But he is not going to write you out a prescription for SARMs.

It gets a bit tricky here 

This is because there are companies that offer SARMs as food supplements. And the FDA doesn’t approve it like this at all.

The FDA has never actually conducted a formal outlook of SARMS. SARMs are not approved because of all the reported negative side effects they yield.

So really, in effect, any company that offers you SARMs as a dietary supplement is actually selling you an illegal product.

Companies that sell you SARMs under the banner of them being fit for human consumption as if they are food supplements can certainly get their products seized.

All this can lead to further legal action. 

It is said that SARMs work in the body in a way similar to that of steroids 

So we are basically back to our first paragraph – that now you know that SARMs are illegal for human consumption.

Because they are available for human research, people are trying to get hold of them this way. It’s because they do work, there is no doubt about that.

Check out these before and after pics and see what you think. SARMs help to add muscle where the tried and tested traditional, much slower methods, have failed.

Often the production of SARMs today goes unregulated.

But people, when they see a product that works, they are inclined to say that it’s their personal choice whether they will consume them or not.

What are the side effects of taking SARMs?

As we said above, SARMs are often used and sold by the dietary supplement industry. SARMs companies like to brand them as nutritional supplements.

FDA has issued warnings to these companies because they say they use of SARMs can cause liver toxicity and cardio-metabolic disorders as well.

This can lead to heart attacks and strokes. Those who use SARMs should let their doctor know that they take SARMs.

This is so that if they do suffer from any adverse reactions linked to SARMs, their doctor knows.

What About The Legality Of SARMs In Sports?

SARMs contain performance-enhancing agents. It’s no wonder it’s banned in sports because they can enhance athletic performance that is not natural.

It’s because they offer an outrageous advantage over competitors in the form of muscle growth, physical strength, and body endurance.

SARMs are therefore banned in every sport in the world.

USADA (United States Anti-Doping Agency) says SARMs are prohibited as does WADA [6].

But still, you do get bodybuilders who take SARMS because it doesn’t take too long before it clears out of the system.

Athletes who use SARMs are cleared in a drug test, with their chances of getting caught being lessened.

But don’t you go and take chances – there have been MMA fighters, Crossfit athletes, and cyclists who have been banned from the sports after SARMs appeared in their blood [7].

What About In The USA? 

The USA is the biggest marketer of SARMs and steroids. Heaps of SARM companies are based in the USA.

It makes it quite easy to buy them without too many problems. But apparently, all SARMs will be totally banned in the future due to insufficient evidence about them.

There was a bill passed back in 2019 called the SARMs Control Act of 2019.

This bill gave the right to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to regulate and monitor SARMS in the same way as they do prohibited steroids.

It will qualify the DEA to ban SARMs companies who don’t have the permission to sell SARMs or who do sell them with counterfeit compounds and ingredients.

What happened in the Olympics with SARMs?

Every year, WADA, or the World Anti-Doping Association fights the use of drugs in Olympic sports.

In fact, WADA was founded by the International Olympic Committee in 1999.

They put out a list of all the banned stuff. You can imagine – you will find steroids there, growth hormones, stimulants, diuretics, and more.

Everyone Knows About Anabolic Steroids But the Olympics Regulate SARMs

Everyone knows anabolic steroids help to build muscle.

But now, this lesser-known class of drugs called SARMs came to the fore in the Olympics – this fascinating chemical called SARM.

They act similarly to anabolic steroids, but not quite so. And they certainly don’t look like steroids.

Anabolic steroids help the weight lifting guys and other sportspeople who require a lot of strength.

Steroids have been commonly used in the Olympics and WADA has kept an eye out for this.

What Effects Might SARMs Have On Lean Muscle Mass?

Even though SARMs don’t look like steroids, and even though using them is illegal, they have undergone quite a bit of pharmaceutical research. 

They were researched in order to treat medical conditions like muscle wasting in the elderly, male sexual dysfunction, and more.

After research, it was discovered that they worked.

However, insufficient research has not allowed them to be called food supplements, and that makes them illegal for human consumption.

Of course, you will get companies and people who will jump onto the bandwagon when they see a good thing and start selling the stuff online.

It won’t be for health reasons either, but to make loads of bucks.

They will sell SARMs as “dietary supplements” for anybody who wants to use them for creating a lean, muscled physique.

People continue to use these drugs anyhow 

Even though SARMs are not approved, they are loved by sportspeople and muscle builders.

And where do they get their stuff? – Mostly online. SARMs like Ligandrol, Testolone, and Ostarine can all be purchased online.

A lot of athletes have been caught out using SARMs and banned. Check out Wikipedia – there’s a list of banned athletes caught out using Ligandrol, a very popular SARM.

Remember Joakim Noah?

In the middle of his 4-year contract, he was caught using Ligandrol. He got a 20-game suspension.

Are SARMs actually Better Than Steroids? 

SARMs are better than steroids – for a few reasons.

The most important reason would be that SARMS have the least side effects as compared to steroids.

They activate the androgen receptors in specific tissues. Steroids raise the total testosterone levels.

So using SARMs over steroids reduces the possibility of problems in the long term.

Anabolic steroids activate the body’s androgen receptors and stimulate muscle growth – right across the body.

They are illegal because they can cause very serious side effects like –

  • Liver toxicity
  • Heart disease
  • Mood disorders such as aggressive behavior
  • Suicidal tendencies
  • Acne
  • Shrinkage of testicles and erectile dysfunction
  • A deepened voice and for women increased masculinization

Bodybuilders Use SARMs To Build Muscles

Bodybuilders enjoy the ease of using SARMs compared to using anabolic steroids.

Bodybuilders know they count on SARMs for bulking and cutting, maintenance, and development of muscles.

But they also realize that you have to use the right selective androgen receptor modulator to achieve your purposes.

It is advised that because SARMs can affect the body’s natural testosterone production, it’s best to take SARMs for short periods. 8-12 weeks is suggested.

Then you take a break for about 4 to 12 weeks. The secret is not to allow your body to get used to taking SARMs.

The Ingredients In SARMs Make It Risky For Human Consumption

SARMs and similar anabolic-like substances, which include metabolic modulators [8], are not approved drugs.

But still, these potentially dangerous ingredients are available online. They are available as ingredients in dietary supplement products and also chemical substances that are available for “research only.”

There are a few websites that market these unapproved products under the banner of “research use”.

But they are really targeting bodybuilders and other sports and fitness people who they know are searching for SARMs for their performance-enhancing effects.  

The FDA says, “Body-building products that contain selective androgen receptor modulators, or SARMs, have not been approved by the FDA and are associated with serious safety concerns, including the potential to increase the risk of heart attack or stroke and life-threatening reactions like liver damage.”  

SARMs and metabolic modulators, we know, are synthetic drugs. They are not legal for use in any food supplements.

And they are certainly prohibited from being used in sports. Look at this list of SARMs here [9] as well as other similar unapproved drugs and names associated with them – they will help you to recognize unapproved drugs.

You will also see a list that follows, showing available products that are labeled as dietary supplements.

They are marketed in a way that suggests they are dietary supplements and legal. And yet they contain unapproved drugs in them.

Products that are marketed for legitimate research use aren’t shown on this list.

That means you have to be extremely careful how you take SARMs

If you take SARMs in high doses, there are some nasty side effects that you could very possibly experience:

Firstly, selective androgen receptor modulators will suppress your natural testosterone production:

That is unavoidable. In one study, participants were given Ostarine for 86 days in doses of 3 mg every day.

Also, 23% experienced their testosterone dropping and 43% experienced a drop in total testosterone levels. Another study from Boston University was done on another SARM, Ligandrol.

Participants saw a 55% fall in total testosterone levels on their 76 participants over a period of 3 weeks at 1 mg a day.

Once they had stopped, it took 5 weeks for their natural testosterone production to return to normal.

Secondly, hair loss can be experienced.

Thirdly, acne can be experienced.

Fourthly, there was a risk of cancer. There have been several studies about Cardarine. Participants were given 10 mg a day. But the administration of Cardarine had to be canceled because cancerous growths appeared in the intestines of mice that were given Cardarine.

SARMs Do Have Properties Similar to Anabolic Agents

There is just less androgenic action. That means they have the advantage of tissue selectivity, androgen-receptor specificity, and some benefits over some of the steroid-related side effects.

The better qualities of SARMs make them a preferred choice by athletes.

They want anabolic action like steroids, but they don’t want liver damage, acne, breast tissue development, and shrinkage of testicles, for example.

Nevertheless, SARMs have been prohibited by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) since 2008.

It is assumed that they work in much the same ways as anabolic–androgenic steroids.

That makes them prohibited at all times and they have been added to the WADA Prohibited List. 

SARMs and Anti Doping Agency

Athletes who have tested positive for SARMs and SERMs have grown over the last decade even though they are included on the WADA Prohibited List.

SARMs do not have legal ingredients in them. This makes them unfit to be included in dietary supplements.

Still, they have been detected in a lot of products that are sold online or sold illegally.

They could cause a lot of significant health problems to athletes and bodybuilders.

Because SARMs are featured on the WADA Prohibited List, consuming the products even unknowingly or by accident could end up in an anti-doping rule violation.

One example goes back to 2016 when the American triathlete Lauren Barnett was suspended because Ostarine was found in her system.

She proved that the Ostarine had come from a contaminated supplement.

Thereafter, she was placed on a reduced ban only for 6 months.

She was fortunate, but similar situations have occurred with many other athletes.

And it’s not only athletes who are receiving bans for inappropriate actions.

Michael Gingras, a coach in the sport of weightlifting – got a 12-year sanction for providing athletes with doping agents. One of these was a SARM.

Are SARMs Legal?

At the moment, it is legal to sell and buy SARMs that are marketed simply as research chemicals.

This does occur a lot online.

But what is illegal is the selling of SARMs that have been packaged for human consumption and even labeled as dietary supplements.

They mostly have unapproved substances in them, in amounts that are different to what is specified on the label.

And on top of that, there is a wide-held misperception that SARMs are safe.

Early research on SARMs shows that SARMs, in large doses, can suppress the natural production of testosterone.

And worse, it is thought that they might even have psychiatric side effects too, that includes suicide.

Even though the FDA is duty-bound to take action when it is aware of misbranded dietary supplements once they reach the market, it does not have the resources to address all cases.

If they go after one of the websites or the sellers, another one soon just crops up in its place.

And the majority of people who are seeking these performance-enhancing drugs online are not even elite athletes.

They’re not actually even athletes. They are teens and young men and members of the armed forces who are looking desperately to improve their appeal.

When All Is Said And Done

Fitness, health, and beauty are top subjects of concern for people. They will spend millions to invest in these things.

They want to be attractive to the opposite sex, they want to be the best of the best in their team or the most admired; whatever; there are hundreds of reasons.

Most people’s New Year’s resolutions go around fitness and health.

Many promise to join a health club or gym.

Some are going to meet a new love for the first time.

They are determined to get a body that they feel super proud of.

SARMs have proven to hundreds of people that you can get the desired shape – sometimes much quicker than the traditional and much slower methods.

People searching online need to be aware that SARMs ingredients could be listed on supplement product labels that have different names.

The most commonly-abused SARMs that people want to get hold of are Enobosarm (S-22 or MK-2866, Ligandrol (LGD-4033), and Ostarine.

Other popular ones are Testolone (RAD140), S23, and YK11.

Remember That SARMs Are Not Approved By The FDA 

Admittedly, there are some that are undergoing clinical trials. It is hoped that some can be used instead of some of the drugs and hormones that are currently on the market.

But, until that happens, they are not readily accessible.

They can be available to people that need them for research, such as scientists who want to learn more about how they work, etc.  

SARMs for sale online have more than likely never seen the likes of a lab before!

But they are used to be included in bodybuilding, fitness-focused, and athletic products.

No ingredients might be declared on the ingredient list. They shouldn’t even be used or consumed in the first place.

Being sold on the black market means there has been no quality control on the product you are getting.

You can expect the products to be mislabeled or contaminated – you just don’t know what you are getting.

The so-called nutritional supplements that you might believe are in them have no regulations.

There are just two words to give to would-be buyers of these products – Steer Clear!