CBD might be the Antibiotic of the Future
Despite all the medical developments and new life-saving technology out there, we are still not immune to suffering from diseases like cancer or seemingly harmless bacteria.
However, cannabis shows promise in treating a multitude of diseases and even saving lives.
One particularly interesting recent discovery from scientists is that cannabis might one day become the main ingredient in antibacterial drugs. This is especially important because of the rising occurrence of antimicrobial resistance, which is where bacteria and other types of potentially harmful bugs can actually outsmart the very pharmaceutical medications that were designed to treat them. This makes finding treatment nearly impossible.
But Australian scientists found that cannabidiol (CBD) was effective in killing all strains of bacteria during a laboratory experiment – including highly drug-resistant bacteria. For the study they tested Gram-positive: staphylococcus aureus bacteria, which is responsible for causing MRSA as well as streptococcus pneumoniae, both of which can be seriously life-threatening for people who already have a compromised immune system.
It’s also a known fact in the scientific community that many strains of bacteria become resistant to medications after a 20-day exposure. However, the bacteria still didn’t become immune to CBD.
“We still don’t know how it works, and it may have a unique mechanism of action given it works against bacteria that have become resistant to other antibiotics, but we still don’t know how,” research lead Mark Blaskovich disclosed to Newsweek. “So far, we have only shown it works topically, on the skin surface. 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,” added Blaskovich, who is also a senior research chemist at the Centre for Superbug Solutions.
“The most challenging part of the study was getting the correct permits to handle cannabidiol in our laboratories, as the Queensland government regulates who can use/handle it – even though the material we are using is completely synthetic, it falls into this grey area under the definitions of cannabinoids,” explains Blaskovich.
The most significant takeaway from the study was that it proved how CBD can be just as effective in treating drug-resistant bacteria as common pharmaceutical antibiotics, such as daptomycin or vancomycin.
The Issue With Common Antibiotics Today
Antibiotics are usually the first course of treatment for a myriad of bacterial infections; these medications have been programmed to do just one thing: kill bacteria.
However, dependency or abuse of antibiotics can lead to side effects but the most worrisome of this is that it results in antibiotic-resistant bacterial. Over time, as more people consume antibiotics in an effort to get better from certain bacterial conditions, microbes evolve and one day antibiotics will no longer be enough to kill them.
In fact, the Centers for Disease Control has even said that “one of the world’s most pressing public health problems” is antibiotic resistant bacteria.
Aside from that, abusing antibiotics can also kill the good bacteria in the body, which we need to stay healthy. Other side effects include allergic reactions, stomach upset, diarrhea, vaginal discharge, and white patches on the tongue.
Use Cannabis Instead
Cannabis is obviously much safer because it presents no side effects, and now there is an increasing body of evidence that it can be used to treat antibacterial infections. Simon Gibbons, from the University of London’s School of Pharmacy explains that CBD can be used to address bacterial infections even if it’s hemp-derived. “What this means is, we could use fiber hemp plants that have no use as recreational drugs to cheaply and easily produce potent antibiotics,” he said.
For adults who are willing to use the other famous cannabinoid in cannabis, tetrahydrocannabinol, which gets you high – there’s good news in this department too. A 2012 research study revealed that full-extract cannabis was beneficial in the treatment of Pseudomonias aeruginosa and E.coli, bacteria strains that cause both respiratory and skin conditions. The full-extract was also shown to be effective in treating a pathogen known as Bacillus subtilis, which causes food poisoning.