Researchers from the University of Southern Denmark have found that cannabidiol (CBD) combined with antibiotics has a more powerful effect in treating certain infections than antibiotics alone.
For the study, the researchers analyzed how different compounds work against various bacteria, including Staphylococcus aureus, a gram-positive bacteria known to cause serious infections like pneumonia and bacteremia (bloodstream infection). They also investigated treatment for gram-negative bacteria.
In particular, they analyzed different cell cultures with the bacteria alongside CBD, antibiotic bacitracin (BAC), CBD and BAC, ethyl alcohol, or nothing at all. Each cell culture was subjected to the dugs for two and a half hours.
In the end, the researchers found that CBD was able to increase the effects of BAC against S. aureus and other gram-positive bacteria. The combination, however, was not effective against gram-negative bacteria.
As for how the combination works, the researchers noted that cell cultures treated with it underwent alterations in the morphology of their cells when compared to other treatments. Changes included a lack of cell separation during cell division, as well as downregulation of cell division gene, ezrA.
The findings are promising, especially given the global threat of antibiotic resistance for treating multiple diseases and infections.
"When we combined CBD and antibiotics, we saw a more powerful effect than when treating with antibiotics alone. So, in order to kill a certain number of bacteria, we needed less antibiotics." state the researchers.
Before the combo may be prescribed instead of antibiotics alone, however, more research is needed to understand how CBD and BAC work in both animals and humans, and whether they have the same effects.
These results are not the only findings to show the potential of cannabis products in treating bacterial infections. Research from earlier this year, for example, has shown that another cannabinoid, known as 'cannabigerol' (CBG), can effectively neutralize Staphylococcus aureus- both in Petri dishes and in mice.