June 24, 2019 – Cannabidiol, or CBD, which has already been investigated and used for anxiety, insomnia, epilepsy and pain, may be the next superbugfighter for resistant infections, a new study suggests.
The researchers tested CBD against a variety of bacteria, "including bacteria that have become resistant to the most common antibiotics," said Mark Blaskovich, a doctor, senior researcher at the Center for Superbug Solutions at the Institute of Molecular Biosciences at the University of Queensland in Australia.
The development is important, since antibiotic resistance reaches dangerously high levels, according to the World Health Organization.
What Research Shows
CBD is a non-psychoactive compound taken from cannabis and hemp does not produce the high that regular marijuana does. So far, the FDA has only approved CBD for the treatment of rare and severe forms of seizures, although it is promoted for many other health benefits.  Blaskovich presented the research Sunday at the American Society for Microbiology Annual Meeting. The research includes work in test tubes and animal models. Research presented at meetings should be seen as preliminary until it is published in a peer-reviewed medical journal.
"The first thing we looked at is the CBD's ability to kill bacteria," he says. "In any case, CBD had a very similar potency to regular antibiotics."
The researchers tested CBD against certain strains of staphylococci which cause skin infections and streptococci, which cause strep throat.
They compared how effective CBD was compared to common antibiotics such as vancomycin and daptomycin. "We looked at how fast the CBD killed the bacteria. It's pretty fast, within three hours, which is pretty good. Vancomycin (Vancocin) kills over 6 to 8 hours."
CBD also disturbed the biofilm, the layer of & # 39; & # 39; goop & # 39; & # 39; around bacteria that make it more difficult for the antibiotic to penetrate and kill.
Finally, the lab studies showed that "CBD is much less likely to give resistance than the existing antibiotics," Blaskovich says.  CBD is selective for the type of bacteria, he says.
He found it effective against gram-positive bacteria but not gram-negative. Gram-positive bacteria cause severe skin infections and pneumonia, among other conditions. Gram-negative bacteria include salmonella (found in undercooked foods) and E. coli ( cause urinary tract infections, diarrhea and other diseases), among other bacteria.
Another study also presented At the meeting, the researchers tested the current CBD to treat a ski n infection in mice. It reduces the number of bacteria after 48 hours, says Blaskovich, although it did not clear the infection. This research is ongoing.
How It Can Work, Basics
Scientists can't say exactly how CBD can turn out to be a superinfection fighter. "We thought it could work by damaging the outer membrane of the bacteria, to make it delicious," Blaskovich says. "It doesn't seem to do that. It can be a whole new mechanism of action."
He says the research results are promising but in the early stages. He also warns people that it is far too early to treat infections with CBD.
The study was funded by Botanix Pharmaceuticals Ltd., which examines the use of CBD for skin conditions and the Australian government. Blaskovich is a consultant for Botanix.
Brandon Novy, a microbiology researcher at Reed College in Portland, OR, calls the study results "very promising" "because the results show that the bacteria could not form resistance to CBD, and because the bacteria could not form a biofilm.
] Both results are important. "The biofilm is an important part of the whole infection process," he says. "It helps the bacteria to attach [to whatever surface or host] and survive."
At the same meeting, Novy presented a preliminary study and found that CBD also sees promising to fight some Gram-negative infections.
"It is an important study that deserves to be followed up," said Amesh Adalja, MD, an infectious disease physician and senior researcher at Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security.
He was not involved in the new study. But he assures that it is important to keep everything in context. I think it is good that people look at the use of CBD for infectious uses in a systematic way. "
But the work so far is only in test tubes and animals. Many questions remain as to look at whether it is toxic, doses and the best way to deliver CBD," says Adalja. He also delivers self-treatment with CBD for infections.  Sources
Amesh Adalja, MD, Contagious Specialist and Senior Researcher, Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security
American Society of Microbiology Community Meeting, June 23, 2019, San Francisco.
Mark Blaskovich, Doctor, Senior Researcher, Center for Superbug Solutions, Institute for Molecular Bioscience, University of Queensland, Australia.
Brandon Novy, Microbiology Researcher, Reed College, Portland, OR.
World Health Organization: "Antibiotic Resistance", February 5, 2018.
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