Cannabis found to combat resistant bacteria

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Researchers show that CBD can fight bacteria, even as it mutates

When antibiotics were discovered, they gave doctors a tool to fight fatal bacterial infections from taking millions of lives around the world. However, there are many factors that can influence the way an antibiotic works in the human body and, if not managed carefully, bacteria can find new ways to survive and push back the effect of the antibiotics. When this happens, super resistant bacteria turn into dangerous infections that are taking many more lives, and so far, medicine hasn’t been successful in finding one effective treatment. Cannabis has been gaining attention due to its recently-discovered ability to fight bacterial infections, which might be that boost that traditional antibiotics need to eliminate resistant bacteria.

Based on a study published by the University of Southern Denmark, cannabidiol (CBD) was proven to be effective for this purpose. According to Janne Kudsk Klitgaard, the main investigator and author of the study, when combining CBD with antibiotics, this increases its effect considerably, meaning that, even for some infections, lesser antibiotics were needed. Specifically, in this study, bacitracin was tested against Staphylococcus aureus bacteria – a common source of infection withing hospital environments – along with a dose of CBD. CBD impacted directly the bacteria’s capacity of divide normally, a certain expression of key genes was lowered – the ones to promote cell division and autolysis. And finally, it also turned the bacterial membrane unstable and weak.

Many experts agree on the main culprit causing antibiotic resistance, the overuse of antibiotics. This also includes not finishing the recommended treatments, which can debilitate bacteria. However, if the full treatment is not completed, they can become resistant. CBD can somehow bring relief to certain infections that will need less amount of antibiotics and eventually decrease the development of resistant bacteria.