By LeeWEpstein

March 25, 2020


Could the CBD be useful in the fight against resistant strains of bacteria? Results from the University of Queensland in Australia suggest that it may. But before looking at the study in-depth, it is useful to understand the changing relationship between bacteria and antibiotics.

Since the revolutionary discovery of penicillin by Alexander Fleming in 1928, antibiotics have been an essential tool in the fight against bacteria and infections. And while we still use the same proven methods today, bacteria have evolved. When exposed to antibiotics, some bacteria, fungi, and parasites can adapt and negate the effectiveness of the drug by developing resistance.

It is worth noting that antimicrobial resistance was likely to occur anyway because the genetic code of bacteria changes over time. However, it is believed that the overuse of antibiotics is an important factor that accelerates the development of resistant strains.

According to the World Health Organization
, antimicrobial resistance “is a growing threat to global public health that requires action across all sectors of government and society.

This has led researchers to think outside the box in trying to identify compounds that could be useful in the fight against harmful bacteria. One such compound is cannabidiol (CBD), a cannabinoid found in Cannabis sativa.

Could CBD turn into an antibiotic?

While it is easy to hail this work as a significant breakthrough in the antibacterial capabilities of CBD, it is too early to abandon penicillin at this time.

Although it is thought that the effectiveness of CBD may come from the way it attacks the biofilm surrounding bacterial cells, the authors are still unsure of the mechanism of action of CBD. They were also quick to point out the shortcomings of the study. Dr. Blaskovich pointed out that because the results are in the early stages, it is far too early for individuals to start treating their CBD infections themselves.

The study was also conducted in vitro (outside the human body), and there is a risk that the results of the clinical trials will not be the same. Several compounds showed antibacterial efficacy in Petri dishes but then failed at this crucial stage. It should also be mentioned that both studies were conducted in collaboration with Botanix Pharmaceuticals Ltd, a pharmaceutical company specializing in CBD-based topical products.

Nevertheless, this research could be an important step forward for CBD and the fight against antimicrobial resistance. CBD continues to have a good safety profile and is not considered toxic, even in large quantities. Fortunately, Dr. Blaskovich and his team intend to continue their research by testing CBD in infected animal models. The hope is that they can identify which strains of bacteria might reduce, which ones it might kill completely, and the exact mechanism of action.

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