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As more and more people experience the benefits of CBD, there is growing curiosity around its use in additional medicinal forms. Recently, as an antibiotic.
Results from a study earlier this year found CBD to be “remarkably effective” at killing bacteria. Conducted in Australia by a team of scientists at the University of Queensland in collaboration with Botanix Pharmaceuticals, a company that aims to find new treatments for skin conditions, tested the effectiveness of a new CBD-based therapy, BTX1801, in fighting superbugs. It found CBD to be an active agent against Gram-positive bacteria—including those responsible for causing serious staph infections and strep throat—and was as effective as the commonly prescribed antibiotics vancomycin and daptomycin, as analyzed in test tubes.
A marked difference—or benefit, rather—of the CBD therapy compared to the standard antibiotics was that the CBD retained its effectiveness in killing bacteria that have grown resistant to vancomycin and daptomycin after prolonged exposure to the drugs. So, as the medical field faces increasing numbers of antibiotic-resistant bacteria and resulting difficulties treating bacterial infections, the findings from this study yield great promise.
The head of the study, Dr. Mark Blaskovich, explained that more research certainly needs to be done to show conclusive proof that CBD could treat infections in humans. However, Blaskovich said, “Given cannabidiol’s documented anti-inflammatory effects, existing safety data in humans, and potential for varied delivery routes,” combined with its intrinsic antimicrobial properties, “it is a promising new antibiotic worth further investigation.”
The University of Queensland study results were presented at the annual meeting of the American Society for Microbiology in June of this year, but just a few days prior, results from another study funded by Botanix had been released that also indicated signs of inherent antimicrobial activities of the CBD-based therapy BTX1803. That study primarily looked at CBD’s effect on patients with psoriasis and found “significant anti-inflammatory and immune-modulating activity” for those with the disease, along with consistent anti-inflammatory effects for those with acne and eczema.
Neither study answered the question of exactly how CBD killed bacteria, but they noted that it seemed to nullify the biofilms that the bacteria used to protect against antibiotics. The BTX1803 study also found that bacterial activity on two major protein enzyme pathways in patients with psoriasis was significantly reduced.
As with all studies regarding CBD and its potential medical uses, the results are still early and few. But the research, even in its beginning stages, is encouraging and continues to show the myriad ways CBD can provide relief for a variety of conditions and do so naturally.