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CBD as an Antibiotic: What Researchers Found in Ohio

With the constantly changing laws and regulations throughout the United States, more and more organizations are able to research the medicinal qualities the cannabis sativa (marijuana) plant has to offer. The federal classification of marijuana as a Schedule 1 substance inhibits how in-depth researchers are allowed to get, but more and more people are turning to marijuana for symptom relief for different medical ailments. Cannabidiol (CBD), a cannabinoid present in the cannabis sativa plant, is already being used to treat anxiety, epilepsy, insomnia, and pain, but with more and more findings it is showing to help more than just that.


Researching CBD as an Antibiotic

Marijuana has long been known to contain cannabinoids that have antibacterial traits, and pretty soon it might be used as an antibiotic for some. In 1976, a study was published that explored the antibiotic effects of cannabinoids such as CBD and THC had on bacteria; however, since then not much has been investigated.

In more recent years, more research into the cannabis sativa plant has been conducted. According to research that was presented at the American Society for Microbiology’s 2019 annual meeting in San Francisco, cannabidiol (CBD) holds potential for use as an antibacterial treatment one day. [1] 

The researchers at the University of Queensland’s Institute for Molecular Bioscience’s Centre for Superbug Solutions are finding that CBD has a “similar potency to established antibiotics such as vancomycin and daptomycin and did not lose effectiveness after extended treatment.” 

Antibiotic resistance is a growing concern in healthcare, one that the World Health Organization called a “global health crisis” as far back as 2015. [2] 

“The rise of antibiotic resistance is a global health crisis, and governments now recognize it as one of the greatest challenges for public health today,” says Dr. Margaret Chan, the Director-General of WHO, “Antibiotic resistance is compromising our ability to treat infectious diseases and undermining many advances in medicine.” [3]


What They Found

Their findings are showing that cannabidiol was effective at killing a wide range of Gram-positive bacteria, including bacteria that have become resistant to other antibiotics available. CBD was selective for Gram-positive, but not Gram-negative, meaning it is not shown effective for that type of bacteria; however, Gram-negative bacteria, such as E.Coli, Salmonella, and Chlamydia, are difficult to treat with traditional forms of antibiotics already. 

The in vivo (animal-based) studies have shown that CBD works as a topical treatment against different bacteria. This included the very serious infections Staphylococcus aureus (including MRSA, VISA and VRSA) and Streptococcus pneumonia, as well as strains that had become resistant to other antibiotic drugs. One of the research chemists, Mark Blaskovich, and his team only have to complete one more round of trials before moving forward to test on animals and then eventually humans.

What’s important to note, is the bacteria did not become resistant to CBD after being exposed to it for twenty days. Under extended exposure to conditions that lead to resistance of other antibiotics like vancomycin, CBD did not lose effectiveness. While it is a little early to conclude, this shows promise that CBD can potentially help aid the global fight against drug-resistant “superbugs.”

The other interesting thing about treating infections with cannabidiol is that it has known anti-inflammatory properties. This could help treat the inflammation that comes along with different infections while killing the bacteria at the same time. This has the potential to aid and even speed up the recovery time from certain infections. 


In Conclusion

At this point, it might be easier to make a list of conditions and symptoms people haven’t found relief from using medical marijuana. It seems as if there are new findings published weekly on how this plant is helping people in ways we never imagined. For some conditions, such as anxiety and seizure disorder, CBD and other cannabinoids are a safe and effective treatment. With that being said, these results are from a very preliminary trial and it is not advised to self-treat your infections with CBD at this time. 

While it is not advised to turn to medical marijuana as the sole treatment for bacterial infections just yet, it can help with a vast array of medical conditions such as anxiety, gastrointestinal issues, seizure disorder, multiple sclerosis, and chronic pain. DocMJ has a staff of highly trained Medical Marijuana Physicians to help those who are suffering get the relief they deserve. If you or a loved one are looking to turn to medical marijuana for symptom relief, take our pre-qualifying survey or book a risk-free in-person evaluation at one of our locations across the state of Florida. 

[1] https://eventpilotadmin.com/web/page.php?page=Session&project=ASM19&id=P15010

[2] https://www.inverse.com/article/8223-world-health-organization-warns-of-global-antibiotic-resistance


[4] https://www.inverse.com/article/8223-world-health-organization-warns-of-global-antibiotic-resistance