The ephedrine alkaloid found in the ephedra sinica plant has been used in herbal remedies for thousands of years without controversy. It is only recently that companies began manufacturing diet pills with excessively high dosages of ephedra mixed with other stimulative herbs. The result was several reports of negative side effects and the eventual FDA ban on ephedra in the USA. But Ephedrine on its own has been recognized as safe to use in smaller dosages. That is why Ephedrine HCL remains legal in the USA and specifically in the state of Virginia. Ephedrine will give you the same weight loss results that you can get from ephedra but without as much risk of side effects.
The Virginia state code allows you to buy up to 3.6 g. of ephedrine per day which is identical to US federal law. There is no state monthly maximum purchase limit, but Congress has instituted a federal limit of 9 g. every 30 days. You will also be asked to show a government approved form of photo ID and to provide your signature for an electronic sales log maintained for a minimum of two years. This log is used to enforce the purchase limit and to track people who try to buy too much at one time.
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Most of the remaining regulations set out by Virginia state law have to do with policies that must be followed by ephedrine sellers. Retailers have to keep their ephedrine behind the counter or in display cases that are locked. They also have to train employees on special procedures to follow when dispensing ephedrine pills. As you can imagine, this can be somewhat expensive for smaller retailers and many pharmacies or health stores choose not to carry legal ephedrine HCL for this reason. Virginia also creates an exemption for products that the US Attorney General has declared to be safe from illicit use – typically consisting of liquid ephedrine medications or ephedrine that has been combined with the ingredient guaifenesin. But you should not use ephedrine in combination with gauifenesin if you are trying to lose weight.
Virginia is actually known for having some fairly obscure legislation on ephedrine HCL and pseudoephedrine. For example, if you are a minor who is purchasing ephedrine at the same time as caffeine you will need a prescription from your doctor. But if you are a minor who is buying pure ephedrine in a single-ingredient formulation or in a non EC Stack supplement then you do not need a prescription. There is also a prohibition on the possession of ephedrine and pseudoephedrine at the same time with intent to use as precursor chemicals. That means you could be under additional scrutiny if you were to buy Bronkaid and Sudafed together at the pharmacy.
Due to the FDA partial ban on ephedra products, you might not be able to find your desired brand of ephedrine at your local pharmacy. For instance, suppliers are not allowed to produce pure ephedrine pills in the USA due to concerns that they will be used to manufacture illegal drugs. However, combining ephedrine with other medical compounds may result in lower effectiveness as well as the potential for greater side effects. That is why most bodybuilders and athletes choose to order pure ephedrine HCL online from Canada where its sale is not restricted. It is actually legal to import these products into the USA for household use and have them shipped to you in Virginia.
- Haller CA, Jacob P 3rd, Benowitz NL. Enhanced stimulant and metabolic effects of combined ephedrine and caffeine. Clin Pharmacol Ther. (2004)
- Effects of a weight-loss aid in healthy overweight adults: double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial