Article by Angela Stelmakowich, Growth Op
Australian researchers report they have shown synthetic CBD can kill a range of bacteria responsible for conditions like gonorrhoea, meningitis and legionnaires disease, a find they suggest could lead to the first new class of antibiotics for resistant bacteria in six decades.
To test the antimicrobial activity of cannabidiol (CBD), the research team from the University of Queensland used lab models to mimic a two-week patient treatment and see how quickly “the bacteria mutated to try to outwit CBD’s killing power,” notes a university release.
Researchers found “for the first time that cannabidiol can selectively kill a subset of Gram-negative bacteria that includes the ‘urgent threat’ pathogen Neisseria gonorrhoeae,” the study abstract reports.
The collaboration between the university and Botanix Pharmaceuticals, which contributed formulation expertise, demonstrated that CBD can penetrate and kill a wide range of bacteria, associate professor Mark Blaskovich says in the university statement.
“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,” Blaskovich explains in the statement.
“We think that cannabidiol kills bacteria by bursting their outer cell membranes, but we don’t know yet exactly how it does that, and need to do further research,” he says, adding CBD showed a low tendency to cause resistance in bacteria.
Bacteria that may be targeted includes the type that causes gonorrhoea, likely of some interest in Australia, where there is no longer a single reliable antibiotic to treat the second most common sexually transmitted infection in the country.