Study Reveals CBD Kills Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria

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Antibiotic-resistant bacteria currently pose a significant threat to healthcare systems globally. Although, a study published in  Nature Communications Biology shows that a chemical found in cannabis might provide a solution.

Cannabidiol (CBD), a non-psychoactive cannabinoid, killed various antibiotic-resistant bacteria, including bacteria that cause MRSA, gonorrhea, and meningitis.

Bacteria is put into two wide-ranging categories called gram-negative and gram-positive. Research showed that CBD successfully destroys many types of gram-positive bacteria.

However, it was assumed that CBD wouldn’t work against gram-negative types because of their more robust outer membranes, making them much harder to kill. Unfortunately, the extra protection layer leaves many antibiotics ineffective against gram-negative bacteria.

For their research, the scientists used synthetic CBD and a variety of altered CBD analogs to many pig skin samples infected with bacteria of different kinds.

The study results showed that CBD has the potential to kill a much more comprehensive range of gram-positive bacteria than they thought possible. Although it includes antibiotic-resistant bacteria strains like MRSA, it is tough to treat in humans.

This compound also killed a range of gram-negative bacteria, including Neisseria meningitides, which causes meningitis and Neisseria gonorrhoeae, which is the cause of gonorrhea.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has labelled N. gonorrhoeae as a major-priority pathogen because of its antibiotic resistance. This leads to fear of “super gonorrhea” that may be on the rise.

As CBD showed, no tendency to induce resistance is auspicious and encouraged the scientists to propose that more effective therapy for very problematic pathogens might be on the rise.

“We believe that CBD destroys bacteria by killing their outer cell membranes, we do not know exactly how it works, and we need to do more research,” said Mark Blaskovich, lead researcher at the University of Queensland.

Although topical CBD shows great promise, this chemical was ineffective when injected into mice infected with multiple antibiotic-resistant bacteria. This is because CBD binds to compounds in plasma and is mostly unavailable at the appropriate level to kill off infections.

Luckily, many CBD analogs have shown to be as potent at destroying bacteria, which leads to hope that it can be possible to make an altered version of CBD with increased systemic availability.

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Dean Mathers


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