Study Finds Cannabidiol’s Potential As An Antibiotic


CBD has been shown by several studies to be of help in the treatment of certain conditions. FDA also approved a drug based on it for the treatment of epilepsy. However, the Food and Drug Administration hasn’t yet legalized the use of cannabis.

Previously, the component of cannabis which is non-psychoactive has been noted to be of use in the treatment of arthritis, dementia, etc. It can also help relieve anxiety and sleep troubles. CBD basically interacts with the endocannabinoid system of the body to improve cognition.

Now Australian scientists have found that cannabidiol may have potential to work as an antibiotic. Keeping in view how many bacteria have become antibiotic resistant, which means that they are able to resist the effects of drugs that have been made to kill them, treatment of infections has become challenging.

This new research has found that CBD can kill bacteria strains – it was successful at killing all strains in a lab test. It was also able to kill some highly resistant strains which were able to defend against other drugs. What’s more, in a period of 20 days, bacteria didn’t learn to resist cannabidiol. In this time bacteria become resistant to several other drugs.

For the purpose of testing, gram-positive bacteria such as, staphylococcus aureus, streptococcus pneumoniae, and E. faecalis were used. The cannabinoid was used in a preliminary study of mice as well and it was able to treat their skin infection.

Lead author of the study, Mark Blaskovich told Newsweek that they still don’t understand how CBD works against bacteria which have shown resistance to other antibiotics. The underlying mechanisms behind this property of CBD have not been found.

It has only been found that the substance’s topical application works. He said, “To be really useful, it would be good if we could show that it treated systemic infections e.g. pneumonia, or complicated tissue infections, where you have to give it orally or by intravenous dosing. A very preliminary study didn’t show that it works in these more difficult models.”

Blaskovich also emphasized how there could be other such compounds that could’ve an antibiotic nature but haven’t been properly studied yet. The findings of this research work were presented at American Society for Microbiology, ASM Microbe 2019. The annual conference was held in San Francisco.

The study is yet to be published in a peer-reviewed paper. However, this doesn’t mean that cannabis should be used as a home remedy against infections. A lot more research needs to be conducted to confirm this side of cannabis, to see whether it can treat infections in humans. So far whatever research has been conducted in this area has been done so in test tubes.

Previously, the antibiotic behavior of cannabis has not been noticed and this finding that it can help with the treatment of antibiotic resistant infections is significant. This study, however, is only in its early stages and has tested cannabidiol use against gram-positive bacteria only.


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