Is CBD an antibiotic? A new preliminary study says yes, which would have huge implications across the world.
CBD (cannabidiol) a non-psychoactive chemical compound found in cannabis is being investigated for a number of medical conditions including, anxiety, pain and inflammation with limited side effects. While the research is still emerging on CBD’s ability to kill a wide range of bacteria including staph and strep, work led by Dr Mark Blaskovich at The University of Queensland’s Institute for Molecular Bioscience’s Centre for Superbug Solutions found that CBD was successful in killing a wide range of Gram-positive bacteria.
“Given cannabidiol’s documented anti-inflammatory effects, existing safety profile in humans, it is a promising new potential antibiotic worth further investigation,” said Dr. Blaskovich. “The combination of inherent antimicrobial activity and the potential to reduce damage caused by the inflammatory response to infections is particularly attractive.”
Can CBD Be the Answer for Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria?
Most remarkably, the CBD retained its activity against certain strains of bacteria that typically become resistant to other traditional antibiotics. According to the CDC, more than 2 million people in the US get an antibiotic-resistant infection each year, and at least 23,000 of them die as a result. In fact, the bacteria studied were not able to form resistance to the CBD at all.
Blaskovich says that they’re not entirely sure exactly how the CBD is effective against bacteria, and states that it may be a “completely new mechanism of action”. More research on CBD for antibiotic resistant infections needs to be done, but this research is definitely groundbreaking, and provides much hope for the future of infectious medicine.
The project was co-funded by Botanix and Innovation Connections, an Australian government grant scheme to commercialize new products, processes and services. The paper was presented on June 23, 2019 at the Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco during the annual conference of the American Society for Microbiology.