Much of what researchers have learned about cannabis suggests that weed has tons of medical potential. Despite this, the DEA continues to classify cannabis as a Schedule I drug. Meanwhile, the FDA has approved numerous prescription drugs that they later pulled from the market. These were legal drugs researched less than cannabis, yet they still received FDA approval. Here’s a list of legal drugs researched less than cannabis.
Legal Drugs Researched Less Than Cannabis
Despite a few important inroads, major obstacles are steadfastly blocking advancements in cannabis research in the United States. Just this month, for example, news came out that Attorney General and zealous anti-cannabis crusader Jeff Sessions had effectively shut down the DEA’s new research program.
Furthering the problem, opponents of legalization often cite “inadequate research” as a reason for maintaining prohibition. And yet, the FDA has approved numerous prescription drugs that were later pulled. In fact, since the 1970s, the FDA has recalled 35 prescription drugs from the US market.
And unless you’re someone who used those drugs, you’re not likely to know about this. Drugs pulled from the market more or less vanish. Part of the deal means removing ads for the drugs, especially online.
So what causes the FDA to pull a prescription drug? According to the FDA, it happens “when the risks of the drug outweigh its benefits.” For example, a drug might be pulled for causing a safety issue that can’t be corrected.
But a far more common occurrence is when someone discovers that the drug can cause serious side effects,—and this is key—”that were not known at the time of approval.”
So why didn’t the FDA know about those serious side-effects before giving these drugs approval? One logical conclusion is simply that the drug wasn’t researched enough.
And keep in mind that while this has been happening, opponents of legal weed continue to say that more research is needed before we can safely begin using medical marijuana.
In reality, there have already been thousands of studies dealing with cannabis. With that said, here are ten legal drugs researched less than cannabis.
Isotretinoin, better known by its market name, Accutane, has been called the “scorched-earth acne solution.” On the market for 27 years, the drug was recalled in 2009 due to a range of gnarley side-effects.
The drug increased the risk of birth defects and miscarriages, led to inflammatory bowel disease, and caused suicidal tendencies.
By the time the drug left the market, the manufacturer had received over 7,000 lawsuits.
Darvocet is an opioid pain reliever that a company called Xanodyne marketed for an astounding 55 years.
But in 2010 the FDA banned the drug, after decades of petitioning by advocacy groups like Public Citizen. The drug is seriously toxic to the heart, and over 2,110 people have died from it.
In the middle of a lethal opioid crisis in the United States, legal drugs researched less than cannabis like dangerous opioid painkillers should never receive approval in the first place.
8. Cylert (Pemoline)
Cylert was on the market for 30 years, from 1970 to 2010, before the FDA pulled it. The drug was used to treat children with ADHD and ADD through stimulating their central nervous system.
But Cylert posed a serious threat of liver damage due to toxicity. The FDA did add a warning to Cylert packaging back in 1999 to alert doctors and parents to the potential side-effects. But it would take another decade for the drug to disappear.
Used as a treatment for hypertension, Posicor is a calcium channel blocker, which, unlike the previous three legal drugs researched less than cannabis, had a rather short run on the market.
Lasting just one year, from 1997 to 1998, Posicor was recalled for causing fatal interactions with more than 25 other drugs, including common antibiotics and antihistamines. That’s just not doing your homework.
6. Redux (Dexfenfluramine)
Redux is an appetite-suppressant drug marketed to people suffering from weight gain and obesity. Doctors often prescribe it alongside Phentermine, leading to a weight-loss cocktail nicknamed “Fen-Phen.”
The drug is another one that had a remarkably brief career as an FDA-approved medication. It was only on the market for one year.
Reports indicate the cause for the recall was that 30 percent of patients who took Redux had abnormal heartbeats. There were also dozens of rare heart valve diseases appearing in women.
Sometimes, the problem isn’t just with legal drugs researched less than cannabis. It’s also to do with drug companies that simply put out false research.
Unfortunately, burying negative research is a common technique for companies trying to make a quick buck selling dangerous drugs. Selacryn is a perfect case in point.
Prescribed for lowering blood pressure, this drug caused hepatitis, leading to 36 deaths and over 500 cases of severe liver and kidney damage. In 1984, the company that made it pled guilty to failing to file reports about negative side effects and false labeling.
Vioxx was linked to just under 28,000 heart attacks or sudden cardiac deaths between 1999 and 2004. For over 5 years, Merck marketed Vioxx as a prescription NSAID painkiller.
Olympic gold medalists Dorothy Hamill and Caitlyn Jenner appeared in major ad campaigns for the drug. Ultimately, doctors prescribed Vioxx to more than 20 million people, without enough research backing it.
Of all the legal drugs researched less than cannabis, there’s probably none more infamous than Quaalude. On the market for 23 years under half a dozen different brand names, Quaalude began its career as an ineffective treatment for malaria.
Americans took Quaalude as a muscle-relaxer, sedative, and hypnotic. Advertisements presented the drug as an effective sleep medication.
But due to the mania, seizures, vomiting, convulsions, and death it caused, this once-legal drug is now a Schedule I narcotic, along with heroin, LSD, and weed.
Doctors prescribed Permax for patients with Parkinson’s disease. On the market for 19 years before the FDA pulled its approval and banned it, Permax caused problems with blood flow in the heart.
As a result, people with Parkinson’s disease suffered from serious side-effects like shortness of breath, fatigue, and heart palpitations.
This medication brings home first place on our list of legal drugs researched less than cannabis. Lasting just five months on the market, in 1992, Omniflox promised to be a breakthrough antibiotic.
The hope was that it could treat respiratory illnesses like pneumonia and bronchitis, UTIs, and skin ailments.
What it delivered instead reads like a nightmare. Blood abnormalities, kidney failure, and allergic reactions that in some cases caused life-threatening breathing distress.
Three people died due to Omniflox in that short time-span. There’s just no way this drug had enough research behind it before receiving FDA approval.
Final Hit: Legal Drugs Researched Less Than Cannabis
Simply put, there’s a serious body of research on this stuff. One that’s significantly more extensive than the research pharmaceutical companies conduct on the drugs they sell—and that the FDA approves.