Is there any way to change the status of an order from Processing to Pending in the admin? I know how to do this in the database, but can it be done in the admin and if so what it the process? Are there any drawbacks to doing this?

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Once an order is in processing status there's no way from the backend to get it back to pending.

As you said your only option is via the database directly or using a custom module.

On top of that you can change the default status for each payment method in the Configuration.

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