Cannabidiol could be used as an antibiotic against bacteria that cause serious infections

While there is limited data to suggest Cannabidiol can kill bacteria, the drug has not been thoroughly investigated.

Cannabidiol, the main non-psychoactive chemical compound extracted from cannabis and hemp plant, is found to be active against Gram-positive bacteria including those cause serious infections, with a potency similar to established antibiotics, finds a recent study.

Cannabidiol could be used as an antibiotic against bacteria that cause serious infections

Representational Image of marijuana.

According to the research presented at the 'ASM Microbe 2019' Cannabidiol has been approved by The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of a form of epilepsy, and is being investigated for a number of other medical conditions, including, anxiety, pain, and inflammation. While there is limited data to suggest Cannabidiol can kill bacteria, the drug has not been thoroughly investigated for its potential as an antibiotic.

Work led by Dr Mark Blaskovich at The University of Queensland's Institute for Molecular Bioscience's Centre found that Cannabidiol was remarkably effective at killing a wide range of Gram-positive bacteria, including bacteria that have become resistant to other antibiotics, and did not lose effectiveness after extended treatment.

"Given cannabidiol's documented anti-inflammatory effects, existing safety data in humans, and potential for varied delivery routes, it is a promising new antibiotic worth further investigation. The combination of inherent antimicrobial activity and potential to reduce damage caused by the inflammatory response to infections is particularly attractive," said Dr. Blaskovich.

Importantly, the drug retained its activity against bacteria that have become highly resistant to other common antibiotics. Under extended exposure conditions that lead to resistance against vancomycin or daptomycin, Cannabidiol did not lose effectiveness. Cannabidiol was also effective at disrupting biofilms, a physical form of bacteria growth that leads to difficult-to-treat infections.

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