CBD beats resistant strains of gram-positive bacteria

By Sophie Bullimore | Published: 11-Jul-2019

The potential antibiotic is also effective at disrupting biofilms

CBD has turned up another unexpected health benefit. Preliminary research has shown that the substance is active against gram-positive bacteria. Most interestingly, however, is that the substance avoids a major issue with antibiotics, with bacteria not building up resistance after extended exposure.

The gram-positive bacteria include those responsible for numerous serious infections, such as Staphyloccocus aureus and Streptococcus pneumoniae.

Not only does the substance not lose effectiveness, but it is also effective at disrupting biofilms, another major issue in the healthcare and pharmaceutical industries.

These findings have come out of research led by Dr Mark Blaskovich at The University of Queensland's Institute for Molecular Bioscience's Centre for Superbug Solutions, in collaboration with Botanix Pharmaceuticals.

Potency on par with that of established antibiotics with the ability to kill resistant strains

CBD is already indicated as a treatment for many ailments: epilepsy, anxiety, pain and inflammation. Research is ongoing in all of these areas, but antibiotic properties is one that has for the most part been ignored. However, with potency on par with that of established antibiotics, with the ability to kill resistant strains, this is definitely an area that requires greater investigation.

Blaskovich said: "Given cannabidiol's documented anti-inflammatory effects, existing safety data in humans, and potential for varied delivery routes, it is a promising new antibiotic worth further investigation. The combination of inherent antimicrobial activity and potential to reduce damage caused by the inflammatory response to infections is particularly attractive."

These findings were presented at ASM Microbe, the annual meeting of the American Society for Microbiology.

The project was co-funded by Botanix and Innovation Connections, an Australian government grant scheme to commercialise new products, processes and services.

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