JAN 22, 2020 7:39 AM PST

Antibiotic Properties Found in Cannabis Compound

WRITTEN BY: Annie Lennon

The World Health Organization has identified antibiotic resistance when bacteria no longer respond to antibiotics as one of the biggest threats to global health, food security, and development that we face today. To tackle this issue, researchers have identified a compound found in cannabis that may be able to wipe out drug-resistant bacteria. 

Although the antibacterial properties of cannabinoids have been known for some time, until now, scientists were unsure of how they could be used to fight antibiotic resistance. To this end, a group of researchers from McMaster University in Ontario, Canada, screened five cannabis compounds known to have antibiotic properties. 

In particular, they found that cannabigerol (CBG) was adept at neutralizing methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), one of the most common hospital superbugs. Although often only responsible for mild infections, as it is largely resistant to antibiotics, it has also been known to lead to some lethal conditions. 

When studied under lab conditions, the researchers observed how CBG, a non-psychoactive substance, was able to kill common MRSA microbes and “persister” cells that are otherwise resistant to antibiotics and often lead to repeat infections. More than this, the compound was also observed to be capable of removing “biofilms” (usually very difficult to get rid of) that form on the skin and medical implants. 

After seeing its efficacy in a petri dish, the researchers decided to see how it would function in animal models. They, therefore, used the compound to treat infections in mice. In doing so, they found that CBG was able to cure mice of MRSA infections as effectively as antibiotic vancomycin, otherwise considered a last resort treatment for MRSA infections. 

Although promising results, the researchers warn that these are “early days” and the compound needs to undergo many more tests, as well as human trials, before it may be considered a potential treatment option for antibiotic-resistant bacteria. In particular, Eric Brown, who led the study, said, “There is much work to do to explore the potential of the cannabinoids as antibiotics from the safety standpoint.”

 

Sources: World Health Organization, The Guardian and Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory 

 

About the Author
  • Annie Lennon is a writer whose work also appears in Medical News Today, Psych Central, Psychology Today, and other outlets. When she's not writing, she is COO of Xeurix, an HR startup that assesses jobfit from gamified workplace simulations.
You May Also Like
JUN 24, 2021
Cannabis Sciences
Cannabis Use in Young Adults May Be Linked to Suicidal Thoughts
JUN 24, 2021
Cannabis Use in Young Adults May Be Linked to Suicidal Thoughts
Researchers at the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) have found that cannabis use among young adults may be linked ...
JUL 18, 2021
Cannabis Sciences
Genetic Analysis Reveals Cannabis First Grown in China
JUL 18, 2021
Genetic Analysis Reveals Cannabis First Grown in China
Genetic analysis of over 100 cannabis Sativa genomes has revealed that the plants’ wild ancestors likely came from ...
AUG 18, 2021
Cannabis Sciences
Cancer Patients Use Less Cannabis than General Public
AUG 18, 2021
Cancer Patients Use Less Cannabis than General Public
Despite increasing legalization for recreational cannabis across the US, cancer patients have largely abstained from usi ...
SEP 01, 2021
Health & Medicine
Does Regular Cannabis Affect Brain Function? Sometimes in a Good Way
SEP 01, 2021
Does Regular Cannabis Affect Brain Function? Sometimes in a Good Way
With cannabis now legal in many parts of the world, an increasing number of people now count as regular users of the dru ...
SEP 23, 2021
Cannabis Sciences
Inflammatory Bowel Disease and Cannabis- A Quality of Life Question
SEP 23, 2021
Inflammatory Bowel Disease and Cannabis- A Quality of Life Question
Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) is a term used to describe chronic inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract. In gener ...
SEP 30, 2021
Cannabis Sciences
Concerning New Evidence Regarding Cannabis Use During Pregnancy
SEP 30, 2021
Concerning New Evidence Regarding Cannabis Use During Pregnancy
According to data from a National Vital Statistics Report published in March 2021, the percentage of infants born with a ...
Loading Comments...