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Research says, CBD could help fight antibiotic resistant infections


Cannabidiol or CBD, the non-psychoactive chemical compound found in hemp plants is being widely used to treat severe ailments and common mental health problems including stress, anxiety, sleep disorders, insomnia and even Alzheimer’s. After the U.S. federal law legalized hemp derived CBD, many research and study have been conducted in the CBD space revealing about how it could affect the health of a consumer in long term and what benefit or side effects it could possibly have.

A new research suggests that cannabidiol could also help fight drug resistant superbugs. CBD was tested against different forms of bacteria including a particular bacteria that have become resistant to other antibiotics, and researchers found that the CBD compound was remarkably potent and effective at killing a wide range of bacteria.

The research used a synthetically produced form of cannabinoid in test tubes. It was found that CBD was active against strains of staphylococcus, which causes staph infections, and streptococcus bacteria, which is responsible for strep throat.

Despite of the fact that CBD has been recently legalized and is a naturally derived compound without any alterations, researchers noted that CBD used in the study had a similar potency to reliable and well-established antibiotics like vancomycin and daptomycin. They also noted that CBD did not lose its effectiveness after extended use and gave optimal results for a longer period of time.

In addition to this, CBD was also found to be active against biofilm, a physical form of bacteria growth which prohibits the antibiotics to penetrate into the body and function properly. The findings were presented by Dr.MarkBlaskovich, a senior researcher for the Centre for Superbug Solutions at the University of Queensland in Australia, during the annual meeting of the American Society for Microbiology in San Francisco.

The research is yet to be published in a peer reviewed journal and should be viewed as preliminary. According to the World Health Organization, the high levels of antibiotic resistance have been found worldwide and this research could pave ways for a new, potent and effective medical treatment which lies within the legal laws of countries (except for some).

The organization further says that there has been a growth in the number of infections including pneumonia, tuberculosis, gonorrhoea and salmonellosisthat are being spread more often with high difficulty of treatment as the antibiotics used to treat them have become less effective.

CBD was also found to be selective for the type of bacteria it actively interacted with. According to WebMD, Blaskovich found it to be effective only against gram-positive bacteria but not gram-negative bacteria. Now, gram-positive bacteria can cause severe infections and pneumonia, while gram-negative bacteria include salmonella and E.coli.

The research was done in collaboration and co-founded by Botanix Pharmaceuticals, a drug discovery company investigating topical uses of synthetic cannabidiol to treat a range of skin conditions. Blaskovich said that cannabinoid has been an effective compound in treating diseases with anti-inflammatory effects. Documented safety data in humans and potential for varied delivery routes give a promising future for new antibiotics worth future investigation. CBD could replace a wide variety of antibiotics at the market shelves, making it the one-stop solution for a bunch of various diseases.

According to Blaskovich, it is not advisable for people to try to self-treat infections with CBD at this time. The research is yet to be continued in further steps and there is a lot of work required in the CBD space to ensure it treats infections in humans efficiently without producing any significant side effects. It would be extremely dangerous and risky to switch regular antibiotics with cannabinoid solely on the basis of this research.

So far, the United States Food and Drug Administration has only approved a particular CBD based drug which is used for treating seizures associated with two rare and severe forms of epilepsy. The agency held a public meeting on May 31 to decide the regulatory framework of CBD infused products, however, there hasn’t been any major update till now on the conclusion of the meeting. Many stakeholders, consumers, business leaders, law officials were seen participating in the meeting to voice their opinions about CBD and its effects.

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While CBD is a non-psychoactive compound with no mind-altering state effects, it can produce a sense of calming and relaxing sensation. People have claimed to experience benefits after using CBD including relief for joint pains, acute aches, anxiety and depression and many others. One of the largest grocery chains even announced that it would begin selling topical CBD products in stores across the country.

Ivan writes about Cannabis at The Cannabis Radar. He has a degree in Nutrition Sciences from University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Centre. He likes to spend his spare time reading to his daughter or spending time with his wife.

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