CBD, or cannabidiol, just might be the answer physicians have been long been looking for as a means of squashing superbugs.
Superbugs are bacteria that have grown resistant to traditional antibiotics, oftentimes leaving healthcare professionals scrambling to treat infections. There is a reason for warning labels and oft-repeated instructions from pharmacists to finish the entire course of antibiotics. Overuse and misuse have resulted in infections that simply do not respond to traditional treatments.
Superbugs are now a global issue recognized by the World Health Organization, with half a million individuals affected in 2016. Needless to say, new treatment options are required to address these bugs on an international scale. That is where CBD may come in.
A recent study has found that CBD was effective against bacteria, even in cases where the bacteria had become resistant to antibiotics. In addition, CBD was able to treat biofilms, a form of bacterial growth common in drug-resistant infections.
The study showed that CBD not only treated the bacteria infections, but also contributed the reduced inflammation allowing for faster healing.
“New research has found that Cannnabidiol is active against Gram-positive bacteria, including those responsible for many serious infections (such as Staphyloccocus aureus and Streptococcus pneumoniae), with potency similar to that of established antibiotics, such as vancomycin or daptomycin,” the study notes.
“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,” says Mark Blaskovich, lead researcher for The University of Queensland’s Institute for Molecular Bioscience’s Centre for Superbug Solutions. “The combination of inherent antimicrobial activity and potential to reduce damage caused by the inflammatory response to infections is particularly attractive,” Blaskovich continues.
The findings were shared at American Society for Microbiology, ASM Microbe 2019 in San Francisco, but have not yet been peer-reviewed.
While the results are promising, Blaskovich told Newsweek that there is still much work to be done, with phase 1 and 2 of the trials still in progress. “This is still early-stage research in the lab–we don’t want people self-medicating with CBD oil for infections. See a doctor and take antibiotics!” Blaskovich advised.