JUL 25, 2019 08:20 AM PDT

Cannabis Leaves Possess Antibacterial Effects Against MRSA

WRITTEN BY: C Reardon

A team of researchers from Saaii College of Medical Science and Technology and the University of Gour Banga in India used ethanol-based tinctures containing crushed leaves of Cannabis sativa, an evergreen coniferous tree called Thuja orientalis, and common guava (Psidium guajava), to assess the anti-MRSA antimicrobial properties of these plant leaves. According to the study published in the Journal of Integrative Medicine, researchers found that the cannabis leaves have an antibacterial effect against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). 

Photo Source: Pixabay.com

MRSA is a type of staph bacteria that can cause life-threatening infections in the body. MRSA is often challenging to treat because it has become resistant to antibiotics like methicillin, penicillin, and oxacillin, which are usually used to treat staph infections. MRSA infections can be passed on from one individual to another through direct contact with an abrasion or cut, and usually lives in hospitals or other types of health care centers. These healthcare-associated MRSA (HA-MRSA) infections are often associated with invasive procedures.

Photo Source: Healthline.com

Because strains of the MRSA bacterium are resistant to antibiotic treatment, MRSA can be associated with infections like septic shock and severe pneumonia.

Researchers used vitro procedures to test the antimicrobial activities of the leaves. They also used biochemical assays and high-performance thin-layer chromatography (HPTLC) when examining the presence of bioactive molecules in each of the leaf extracts.

The study reported that each of the individual extracts on its own inhibited MRSA growth, but that the effects were more profound when cannabis and Thuja orientalis were used in combination, concluding that, "Ethanolic extract of C. sativa alone and in combination with T. orientalis provided two potential therapeutic agents for use against MRSA infections."

Previous studies have found that the cannabis plant has antibacterial and antifungal properties capable of slowing, or even stopping, the spread of MRSA under controlled conditions.

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