Can CBD Be Used as an Antibiotic?
CBD has been making quite a splash internationally this June. Earlier this month, South Africa legalized CBD for one year. As a result, South Africans got one of the world’s first commercially available CBD pizzas. Now, a team of Australian scientists has discovered a way to use CBD as an antibiotic. It’s a possible breakthrough that could have a huge impact on the healthcare industry.
CBD as an Antibiotic
The Australian team tested the viability of CBD as an antibiotic against three types of bacteria. They included gram-positive staphylococcus aureus, streptococcus pneumonia, and E. faecalis. The bacteria cause the diseases MRSA, pneumonia, and UTI’s among other diseases. An antibiotic is any substance that can be used to kill bacteria.
MRSA spreads primarily through hospitals, but also via schools and work, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). It’s an extreme skin infection that can rapidly spread through the body and trigger other diseases, like pneumonia and sepsis. MRSA is very resistant to most kinds of antibiotics. In addition, it can be fatal if left untreated. Therefore, it’s a public health risk that researchers have spent a lot of time looking into.
The researchers found that bacteria treated with CBD did not survive. In addition, bacteria treated with CBD did not show any signs of developing resistance to CBD over the course of 20 days. This last part is really significant. It shows that some antibiotic-resistant bacteria may not develop resistance to CBD. As a result, CBD may be used to treat these bacteria indefinitely.
Researchers said that while the study was significant, it only showed that CBD was effective as a topical disinfectant. As a result, CBD may prove helpful in treatment of skin diseases and preventing infections after surgery. However, it may not be possible to use CBD to treat other types of infections, like those in the blood.
Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria and CBD
This discovery may be especially important because antibiotic-resistant bacteria is rapidly becoming an issue to global health. An increasing number of diseases, like pneumonia, tuberculosis, gonorrhea, and salmonellosis are becoming more difficult to treat, according to the World Health Organization. These diseases can affect anyone regardless of age, gender, and nationality. Therefore, antibiotic-resistant bacteria present a threat to the global population as a whole.
The study is important beyond just the scope of CBD. It shows that there may be other compounds that are effective in fighting antibiotic-resistant bacteria that we haven’t discovered yet. In other words, if CBD had antibiotic properties, there may be other compounds that have antibiotic properties as well that we aren’t aware of.
In addition, while doctors said that CBD may develop into an effective antibiotic in the future, researchers in the study said that you shouldn’t try to treat a serious infection with CBD yet. Scientists need more information before they can develop a specific dosage and route for ingestion.
What is CBD?
CBD, or cannabidiol, is a naturally occurring compound found primarily in hemp plants. CBD has been used by humans for its medical benefits for thousands of years. In fact, using CBD to treat headaches goes back to ancient China. CBD is in the same family of chemicals as THC, the compound in marijuana that gets you high. However, CBD doesn’t have any psychoactive effects. As a result, it won’t inebriate you like THC will.
Instead, CBD may have a multitude of health benefits. These may include pain relief, increased appetite, and better sleep. CBD may also be effective in preventing the spread of some cancers. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved prescription form of CBD to treat certain types of seizures in 2018. The CBD industry is booming in the U.S. as well. In fact, Forbes predicts that CBD may be a $16 billion dollar industry by 2025. Now, CBD is being used by some as a non-pharmaceutical treatment for many ailments.