Research chemicals are psychoactive substances which can be derived from the research and experimentation of existing psychoactive substances. Scientists conduct research and experiments on existing pharmaceuticals in order to better understand the structure, activity, general behavior, interactions, and side effects of those drugs. Developing new drugs in labs can enhance knowledge of existing medicines and lead to improved health care in the future. In other words, this kind of research can be used to develop “designer drugs” by modifying existing drugs.
One characteristic of a research chemical is that it is for laboratory research use only; a research chemical is not intended for human or veterinary use. This distinction is required on the labels of research chemicals, and is what exempts them from regulation under parts 100-740 in Title 21 of the Code of Federal Regulations (21CFR)
Despite permitting synthetic research chemicals to be sold as any other consumer product, the government consistently fails to provide meaningful information about them and instead emulates the tabloids by adopting a policy of covert quasi‐criminalisation through non‐approval. This raises questions not simply about government competence, but also the suitability of the 1971 Misuse of Drugs Act, and indeed the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs, 40 years on. It is preferable that “Generation Meph” have access to some form of evidence‐based information about what they consume rather than to none.
These Designer drugs often have similar effects to the original research drug, but have a chemical structure that differs from the original one. Designer drugs might gain popularity despite the fact that they are not technically the original drug and as such are not illegal in some jurisdictions.
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