We have known for years that cannabinoids can help with a multitude of different medical conditions. Solid research has led to the approval of cannabidiol (CBD) for the treatment of seizures and spasticity in multiple sclerosis. But did you know that CBD may also act as an antibiotic?
The world is facing a health care crisis as the latest generation. Therefore, World Health Organization has stated that antibiotic resistance is one of the greatest threats to global health, food security, and development.
Global antibiotic crisis looms
A growing list of conditions, such as pneumonia and tuberculosis, are already becoming difficult to treat because of this resistance. Medical researchers are actively seeking alternative solutions, such as CBD.
A recent study, conducted by the Center for Superbug Solutions at the University of Queensland, found that CBD has powerful 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 range of CBD-based products to treat serious skin disorders. Specifically, Botanix produces CBD-based 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 at the University of Queensland have tested CBD against a range of bacteria both in vitro (in a test tube) and in vivo (using live subjects; in this case, mice with thigh infections).
As a matter of fact, pathogenic bacteria come in 2 types: Gram-positive and Gram-negative. The difference between the 2 is the structure of their cell walls. So, these structural differences mean that some antibiotics only work against one or the other type of bacteria, usually not both.
In the tests, CBD was effective against gram-positive but not gram-negative bacteria. Australian scientists found that CBD worked as well as prescription antibiotics such as vancomycin and daptomycin. The cannabinoid even sent out antibiotic-resistant bacteria, such as MRSA. Researchers believe that CBD may be less likely to cause resistance than pharmaceutical antibiotics.
Also, the researchers suggest that CBD may be particularly useful for specific conditions because of a combination of antibiotics and anti-inflammatory effects. They believe that this unique combination may reduce tissue damage from infections caused by inflammation.
When can I start using CBD as an antibiotic?
However at this point, we do not recommend discarding your antibiotic prescription and replacing it with CBD. The results of the study are statistically weak. They have not yet seen a peer review. These steps are important because preliminary laboratory tests do not necessarily translate into clinical results in humans.
However, the CBD has already been approved to treat other conditions and has an excellent safety record. Which really means that it may be easier to move to human clinical trials.
One of the dangers of antibiotic resistance is indeed that pharmaceutical companies are sometimes reluctant to invest in new antibiotics. The process of identifying a new compound, determining its efficacy and conducting the required studies is long and costly. Overall, it can take more than a decade to approve a new drug. However, reusing existing approved drugs can be faster and less costly.
what the future holds for CBD as an antibiotic ?
Cannabis enthusiasts may ask themselves: why do we need pharmaceutical companies? Also if people been treating 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 more true for doctors who are used to working with rigorously tested drugs with specific prescribing guidelines. Therefore , the promise of CBD as an antibiotic means that researchers and pharmaceutical companies will be eager to continue this research in Queensland.