The last war on superbugs is on and cannabis could be a solid weapon
Bacteria, which have developed resistance to commonly used antibiotics, pose a threat to modern medicine in its fight against infections. A new study shows that cannabidiol (CBD) can potentially be used as a new type of antibiotic the bacteria are not immune to.
Fight bacteria : Researchers are getting closer to another medical use of cannabidiol (CBD), the popular cannabis compound that doesn't get high.
At the annual meeting of the American Society for Microbiology on Sunday, Mark Blaskovich, senior research chemist at the University of Queensland, presented his conclusions that the CBD is " remarkably effective To kill a range of bacteria, including several antibiotic resistant strains: which means we may have a new weapon in the war against superbugs.
Antibiotic CBD : As part of his study, funded in part by Botanix Pharmaceuticals, a drug discovery company, Blaskovich found that a synthetic form of CBD was able to kill several types of Gram-positive bacteria in the lab, including those which can lead to MRSA and pneumonia. It has also been effective in treating skin infection in mice.
However, CBD has not been effective against Gram-negative bacteria, which are generally more resistant to antibiotics.
Temperate expectations : Blaskovich's study may have shown promising results so far but it is still in its early stages, his work has not yet been peer-reviewed or published in a scientific journal and even he doesn't know exactly what causes CBD to kill bacteria.
"More work is needed to demonstrate that CBD would be useful in treating infections in humans," he told Live Science. “It would be very dangerous to try to treat a serious infection with cannabidiol instead of an approved antibiotic. "
The authors now plan to conduct animal studies to understand the types of infections CBD might treat, as well as how CBD might kill bacteria, Blaskovich said. In addition, Botanix plans to conduct a clinical trial in people to determine if CBD can effectively eliminate la bacterium Staphylococcus aureus on the skin before surgeries, to prevent post-surgical infections.
This study is not the first to examine whether cannabis is as effective as antibiotics for treating infections. In 2008, Pubmed published a study review which already revealed preliminary results similar to those of the present study.
CBD successfully kills the bacteria responsible for gonorrhea and meningitis
Research establishes antibiotic potential for the cannabis molecule. The main non-psychoactive component of cannabis has been shown to kill for the first time not only Gram-negative bacteria but also the bacteria responsible for gonorrhea, meningitis and legionellosis, which could lead to the first new class of antibiotics for resistant bacteria in 60 years.
Associate Professor Mark Blaskovich of the UQ Institute for Molecular Biosciences said that CBD - the main non-psychoactive component in cannabis - can penetrate and kill a wide range of bacteria, including Neisseria gonorrhoeae, which causes gonorrhea.
CBD kills certain types of gram negative bacteria
“This is the first time that CBD has been shown to kill certain types of Gram-negative bacteria. These bacteria have an extra outer membrane, an extra line of defense that makes it harder for antibiotics to penetrate, ”said Dr Blaskovich.
In Australia, gonorrhea is the second most common sexually transmitted infection and there is no longer a single reliable antibiotic to treat it because the bacteria are particularly good at developing resistance.
The study also showed that CBD was widely effective against a much larger number of Gram-positive bacteria than previously known, including antibiotic-resistant pathogens such as MRSA (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus ) or "Staphylococcus aureus".
Dr Blaskovich has declared that cannabidiol was particularly good at breaking down biofilms - the viscous buildup of bacteria, such as dental plaque on the surface of teeth - that help bacteria like MRSA survive antibiotic treatments.
Dr. Blaskovich's team at the Center for Superbug Solutions mimicked a two-week treatment in patients in lab models to see how quickly bacteria mutated in an attempt to thwart the deadly power of CBD.
"Cannabidiol showed a low tendency to induce resistance in bacteria, even when we accelerated potential development by increasing the levels of the antibiotic during 'treatment'."
“We believe cannabidiol kills bacteria by bursting their outer cell membranes, but we don't know exactly how it does this yet, and we need to do more research.
The research team also found that the chemical analogues - created by slightly altering the molecular structure of CBD - were also active against bacteria.
"This is particularly exciting because there have been no new molecular classes of antibiotics for Gram negative infections discovered and approved since the 1960s, and we can now consider designing new analogs of CBD with properties. improved.
Vince Ippolito, president and executive chairman of Botanix, said research shows vast potential for the development of effective treatments to tackle the growing global threat of antibiotic resistance.
"Kudos to Dr Blaskovich and his team for producing this important body of research - the published data clearly establishes the potential of synthetic cannabinoids as antimicrobials," said Dr Ippolito.
“Our company is now poised to commercialize viable antimicrobial therapies that we hope will reach more patients in the near future. This is a major breakthrough that the world needs now.
Dr Blaskovich said the collaboration with Botanix accelerated research, with Botanix contributing formulation expertise that led to the discovery that the way cannabidiol is administered makes a huge difference in its effectiveness in killing bacteria.
The collaboration has enabled Botanix to advance a topical formulation of CBD in clinical trials for the decolonization of MRSA before surgery.
“These Phase 2a clinical results are expected early this year and we hope this will pave the way for treatments for gonorrhea, meningitis and legionella.
“Now that we have established that cannabidiol is effective against these Gram-negative bacteria, we are examining its mode of action, improving its activity and finding other similar molecules to pave the way for a new class of antibiotics. "