Ever since Alexander Fleming discovered the first antibiotic, penicillin, in 1928, it has become a staple drug in the fight against bacterial infections for years. However, that may soon change. According to researchers at the University of Queensland in Australia, the CBD compound found in hemp has a good chance of effectively fighting the most resistant strains of bacteria to antibiotics.
As the World Health Organization alerts, antibiotic resistance is becoming a growing threat to public health. Bacteria and fungi are constantly evolving to defend themselves against antibiotics by modifying the structure of their cell walls. The problem is also exacerbated by the overuse of antibiotics to treat bacterial infections, which only accelerates the development of resistant strains. Therefore, looking for alternative solutions has become almost a necessity. CBD is among those compounds that can change a lot in this regard because of its well-known properties. Hemp-based oils are helpful in treating cancer or depression, among other things.
CBD as a breakthrough in treating infections
Dr. Mark Blaskovich, lead author of the study, concluded that CBD (cannabidiol) has been shown to be effective against Gram-positive bacteria such as Staphylococcus aureus (commonly found in skin infections) and Streptococcus pneumoniae (which causes bacterial pneumonia), which remain resistant to many traditional antibiotics.
Cannabidiol isn’t just about its antibacterial properties – according to research, the risk of it causing resistance is low. What’s more, CBD prevents MRSA biofilms, which are difficult to treat and result from the bacteria secreting proteins. These are dangerous in that they can contribute to the long-term persistence of inflammation and hard-to-heal wounds.
Meanwhile, studies conducted show that the bacteria tested did not become resistant to CBD even after a 20-day exposure period. What does this mean in practice? More difficult, compared to antibiotics, produced by bacteria resistance to cannabidiol, and this is almost a turning point in the fight against antibiotic resistance.
The promising cannabidiol
While the University of Queensland’s research in Australia remains groundbreaking in many ways, it has so far failed to reach firm conclusions about cannabidiol’s mechanism of action. It is believed that CBD owes its effectiveness to the way it interferes with the biofilm of bacterial cells. In contrast, other studies conducted on mice have yielded positive results, but also the likelihood that the natural ingredient in hemp did not remove the infection, but only reduced the number of bacterial cells.
As a result, Dr. Mark Blaskovich’s team declares further tests on cannabidiol. The studies so far have been conducted in vitro, i.e. outside the human body, and synthetic CBD has been used for this purpose. Therefore, there is a risk that the results of later clinical trials may yield some discrepancies. This does not change the fact that scientists still see great potential in cannabidiol as a future antibiotic.
Cannabidiol – the antibiotic of tomorrow?
CBD is considered a safe compound for the body, which does not show harmful effects even when used in high doses. Australian scientists want to continue testing cannabidiol in hopes of determining its mechanism of action and the strains of bacteria it can counteract.
While it is still too early to abandon penicillin in favor of CBD, it is certain that this natural ingredient in hemp has become a milestone in the search for a remedy for infections and resistant bacteria and fungi. Already, CBD oil is proving effective in relieving pain or neurological conditions, and soon this use may expand to include properties close to antibiotics.
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