Research Shows CBD has the Potential to be a Major Antibiotic that Kills Superbugs


A lot of research has already been done for studying the benefits of CBD in curing epilepsy, pain, insomnia and anxiety. A recent study hints that CBD could be the next superbug antibiotic for resistant infections.

A test was conducted by several researchers to study the effect of CBD on different kinds of bacteria including those that have already become resistant to common antibiotics. As per the World Health Organization, this development is extremely crucial as antibiotic resistance is attaining dangerously high levels.

Research Highlights of CBD on Combating Superbugs

CBD has been approved by the FDA for treating severe and rare forms of seizure despite it being promoted for several other health benefits. This non-psychoactive compound is derived from medical cannabis.

The ability of CBD to kill bacteria was presented at the annual meeting of the American Society for Microbiology by Blaskovich. The research includes work on animal models and test tubes. He observed that CBD had the same potency as that of several antibiotics.

The researchers tested effects of CBD against some strains that result in strep throat and skin infections. The effectiveness of CBD was then compared with the common antibiotics used such as Daptomycin and Vancomycin.

It was observed that CBD quickly killed the bacteria in less than three hours which is lesser than the time taken by Vancomycin. CBD was also effective in disrupting the biofilm around the bacteria which is difficult for the antibiotics to penetrate.

Blaskovich also highlighted in his research study that CBD is selective for the type of bacteria. He found it effective against gram-positive bacteria and not gram-negative. Gram-positive bacteria results in pneumonia and serious skin infections. Gram-negative bacteria is usually found in undercooked food and result in diarrhea and urinary tract infections.

Future Scope

The researchers who have studied the effects of CBD on killing bacteria have stated that they cannot exactly pinpoint how it may prove to be a superbug antibiotic.

Blaskovich stated that, “We believe it may work by rupturing the outer membrane of the bacteria. The mechanism of action may be completely different from what we currently seem to be”.

He also started that the research results are quite promising despite being in the early stages. He has also warned people not to jump to conclusions and start self-treatments. Blaskovich serves as a consultant for Botanix Pharmaceuticals Ltd. The company is funding the project to research the uses of CBD for treating several skin conditions.

Views of Other Researchers

A microbiologist at Reed College in Portland, Brandon Novy, finds the results of the study quite promising. He said that the bacteria were not able to develop any kind of resistance to CBD as there was no formation of biofilm.

He said that biofilm was a crucial aspect of the entire process. It helps the bacteria thrive by attaching to the host or the surface.

A preliminary study was presented by Novy during the same meeting. Amesh Adalja, a senior scholar at John Hopkins Center for Health Security, stated that it is vital to follow up this study.

He stated that it is important to keep it all in context and find ways in which people could use CBD in a systematic way. He also mentioned that it is necessary to identify toxicity levels, the right dosage and the best way to deliver CBD. He also warned people against treating themselves with CBD for curing infections.

The study sounds quite promising but also requires concrete evidence and in-depth study. It is only then it could be used by individuals for treating their condition. Further research can shed more light on this aspect.


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