- 1. Promising new research shows that CBD can kill gram-positive bacteria, even those that have developed resistance.
Promising new research shows that CBD can kill gram-positive bacteria, even those that have developed resistance.
We've known for years that cannabinoids can help with a myriad of different medical conditions. Strong research has led to the approval of cannabidiol (CBD) for the treatment of epileptic seizures and spasticity in multiple sclerosis. But did you know that CBD can also act as a antibiotic?
The global antibiotic crisis looms
The world is facing a healthcare crisis while last generation. The World Health Organization said that antibiotic resistance is one of the greatest threats to global health, food security and development.
A growing list of conditions, such as pneumonia and tuberculosis, is already becoming difficult to treat due to this resistance. Medical researchers are actively looking for alternative solutions, such as CBD.
A recent study, conducted by the Center for Superbug Solutions at the University of Queensland, found that CBD has potent antibacterial activity. Researchers approved it as a "promising new antibiotic".
The research in Queensland was sponsored by Botanix Pharmaceuticals, a Perth-based pharmaceutical company that is developing a line of CBD products to treat severe skin disorders. Specifically, Botanix produces CBD medicines to treat skin conditions that involve inflammation and / or infection. These include: atopic dermatitis, acne and psoriasis.
CBD effectively kills Gram positive bacteria
Scientists from the University of Queensland have tested CBD against a range of bacteria at once vitro (in a test tube) and in vivo (using live subjects; in this case, mice with a thigh infection.)
Basically, pathogenic bacteria come in two types: Gram positive and Gram negative. The difference between the two comes down to the structure of their cell walls. These structural differences mean that some antibiotics will only work against one or the other type of bacteria, usually not both.
In tests, CBD was effective against gram-positive bacteria but not gram-negative. Australian scientists found that CBD worked just as well as prescription antibiotics, such as vancomycin and daptomycin. The cannabinoid even sent bacteria resistant to antibiotics, such as MRSA. Researchers believe that CBD may be less likely to cause resistance than pharmaceutical antibiotics.
Additionally, the researchers suggest that CBD may prove particularly useful for specific conditions due to a combination of antibiotic and anti-inflammatory effects. They believe that this unique combination of can reduce tissue damage from infections caused by inflammation.
When can I start using CBD as an antibiotic?
At this point, we don't recommend throwing away your prescription for antibiotics and replacing it with CBD. The results of the study are statistically low. They have yet to see a peer review. These steps are important because preliminary laboratory tests do not necessarily translate into clinical results in humans.
However, CBD has already been approved to treat other conditions and has an excellent safety record. This means that it might be easier to move on to human clinical trials.
One of the dangers of antibiotic resistance is that drug companies are sometimes reluctant to invest in new antibiotics. The process of identifying a new compound, determining its efficacy and performing the required studies is long and expensive . Overall, approval of a new drug can take over a decade. However, re-using existing approved drugs can be faster and cheaper.
What the future holds for CBD as an antibiotic
Cannabis enthusiasts may ask: why do we need pharmaceutical companies? Have people been dealing with their own problems with cannabis for years?
A standardized and approved product is much more attractive to patients and parents because it eliminates dosage confusion. This is even truer for physicians accustomed to working with rigorously tested drugs with specific prescribing guidelines. The promise of CBD as an antibiotic means researchers and drug companies will be eager to continue this research in Queensland.