It’s been touted as a natural treatment for depression, anxiety, migraines, and even conditions like epilepsy. But new research shows that CBD could do even more as a potential new class of antibiotic.
Breakthrough research suggests CBD (cannabidiol, which is derived from the cannabis plant) could be used to treat antibiotic-resistant infections like meningitis, legionnaires disease, even gonorrhoea, the second-most common sexually transmitted infection in Australia.
According to the University of Queensland, synthetic CBD showed it could kill the bacteria responsible for infections that have a history of being difficult to treat with current antibiotics on the market.
This major breakthrough, in partnership with Botanix Pharmaceuticals, could mean the first new class of antibiotics for resistant bacteria in 60 years, although there is still a lot of research still to be done before these treatments could hit pharmacies.
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“This is particularly exciting because there have been no new molecular classes of antibiotics for Gram-negative infections discovered and approved since the 1960s, and we can now consider designing new analogs of CBD within improved properties,” UQ associate professor Mark Blaskovich said.
“This is the first time CBD has been shown to kill some types of Gram-negative bacteria… These bacteria have an extra outer membrane, an additional line of defence that makes it harder for antibiotics to penetrate.”
Researchers are not exactly sure how, but they believe CBD manages to penetrate the bacteria’s cells, killing its outer membrane.
Superbugs pose a very dangerous threat to human existence, as our overuse of antibiotics has led to some germs’ evolution to being resistant to the drugs that should destroy them.
Every year, they infect approximately two million people around the world. But rest assured, most people are unlikely to encounter a superbug during everyday life.
Rather, most people who contract an antibiotic-resistant infection have myriad medical problems, have needed lots of antibiotics in the past, and eventually catch a superbug while in hospital.
Cannabis products have, until recently, been categorised as an illicit substance by the Australian government, but as regulations begin to dissolve the potential for this ingredient is getting larger by the day.