New research has discovered that Cannabidiol. the main non-psychoactive chemical compound found in cannabis, is active against “Gram-positive bacteria, and that it may have serious potential as a potent antibiotic. The research was recently presented at the annual meeting of the American Society for Microbiology.
The study lists infections such as as Staphyloccocus aureus and Streptococcus pneumoniae, and outlines how Cannabidiol had potency similar to that of established antibiotics such as vancomycin or daptomycin.
The lead researcher, Dr. Mar Blaskovich from the University of Queensland’s Institute for Molecular Bioscience’s Centre for Superbug Solutions stated:
“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,” said Dr. Blaskovich. “The combination of inherent antimicrobial activity and potential to reduce damage caused by the inflammatory response to infections is particularly attractive.” (source)
Furthermore, researchers found that Cannabidiol was also effective at disrupting biofilms, a physical form of bacteria growth that leads to difficult-to-treat infections.
“In terms of resistance, that’s one of the exciting things we have found — unlike other common Gram-positive antibiotics like vancomycin or daptomycin, we found cannabidiol has a very low propensity to induce resistance, which hopefully means it would be safe to use without causing resistance to rapidly appear.” (source)
It’s also important to note that it’s not the first time researchers have found a link between CBD and antibiotic properties. A study was published in 1976 exploring the antibiotic effects of CBD and THC, finding that Gram negative strains were resistant to both. But since then, studies on the topic have been few and far between. And these days, well-funded antibiotic research is on the decline.