Can CBD Be the Cure To Fight Antibiotic Superbugs?

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There are a lot of problems we should be paying attention to right now, whether it be global warming, the effects of plastic on the environment or the presidential situation, but today’s focus is antibiotic resistance.

Declared a “global health crisis” by the World Health Organization in 2o15, the issue has only grown more dire over the years. Antibiotic resistant-bacteria has recently been found lurking in hospital corners, a place that already houses plenty of sicknesses.

So what if we told you that an Australian chemist has presented research suggesting that cannabidiol, or CBD, can fight and ultimately kill these resistant bacteria?

At the 2019 meeting of the American Society of Microbiology, Mark Blaskovich Ph.D. presented evidence for the previously unknown, bacteria-killing abilities of CBD. If you’re not familiar with the term, CBD is a naturally-occurring, non-psychoactive compound in marijuana. This means that one cannot feel “stoned” from CBD itself.

CBD has already been proven to extremely safe and effective for seizures, so this newfound ability isn’t entirely unprecedented but it has opened a lot of doors in the world of medicine. When tested against globally recognized “superbugs,” the researchers found that the bacteria were either incapable or slow in developing a resistance to CBD. The implications of these results need to be researched further.

When asked if he encourages the use of CBD in place of regular antibiotics, given the results of this study, Blaskovich told Newsweek, “”Don’t! Most of what we have shown has been done in test tubes—it needs a lot more work to show it would be useful to treat infections in humans. It would be very dangerous to try to treat a serious infection with cannabidiol instead of one of the tried and tested antibiotics.”

When tested on mice to gauge its efficacy, CBD was able to treat skin infections. Although this is promising news for skin conditions such as acne, CBD still has a way to go when it comes to treating systemic infections such as pneumonia that would require either oral or intravenous treatment.

Another limitation is CBD’s inability to fight Gram-negative bacteria, which are particularly difficult to fight with regular antibiotics given how resistant the outer membrane is to most drugs. Even so, it is able to fight Gram-positive bacteria and its full impact on human diseases has yet to be discovered. The future is looking healthy.

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