Scientists ID CBD as a “Powerful New Antibiotic”

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San Francisco, CA—New research presented at ASM Microbe, the annual meeting of the American Society for Microbiology (ASM), has revealed that cannnabidiol (CBD) is active against Gram-positive bacteria, including bacteria responsible for serious infections such as Staphyloccocus aureus and Streptococcus pneumoniae, according to a press release from ASM. The release notes that the potency of CBD is similar to that of established antibiotics such as vancomycin or daptomycin.

The research was led by experts at The University of Queensland Institute for Molecular Bioscience’s Centre for Superbug Solutions in collaboration with Botanix Pharmaceuticals Ltd., an early stage drug discovery company. The researchers investigated topical uses of synthetic cannabidiol for a range of skin conditions, and found CBD to be “remarkably effective” against a wide range of Gram-positive bacteria, including antibiotic-resistant bacteria. What’s more, according to the release, CBD remained effective even after extended treatment. The research also revealed that CBD disrupts the biofilms that lead to hard-to-treat infections.

“Given cannabidiol’s documented anti-inflammatory effects, existing safety data in humans, and potential for varied delivery routes, it is a promising new antibiotic worth further investigation,” said Dr. Mark Blaskovich, lead researcher, in the release. “The combination of inherent antimicrobial activity and potential to reduce damage caused by the inflammatory response to infections is particularly attractive.”

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