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September 2020 (Vol. 5 Issue 6)

Cannabis derivative is beating the superbugs
About the author: 
Bryan Hubbard

Cannabis derivative is beating the superbugs image

The benefits of cannabidiol—a derivative of cannabis and hemp plants—just keep getting better. It's been used to treat epilepsy and pain, and researchers have just discovered it's a very powerful antibiotic, even against serious infections.

It's as effective as some of the front-line antibiotics, such as vancomycin and daptomycin, and is a genuine answer to the antibiotic-resistant 'superbugs', say researchers at the University of Queensland.

They made the discovery almost by accident. They had been testing a synthetic form of cannabidiol on simple skin conditions when they realised it was successfully treating serious staph infections.

The cannabidiol continued to be effective over a long time, suggesting the bacteria weren't becoming resistant.

Cannabidiol also works as an anti-inflammatory, says Dr Mark Blaskovich, the research team leader, and so it's also clearing up damage caused by bacterial infection.

The most promising news of all is that cannabidiol successfully treats the antibiotic-resistant 'superbugs', he says, and can combat biofilms, a physical form of bacterial growth that leads to difficult-to-treat infection.


(Source: Proceedings of the American Society for Microbiology annual conference, San Francisco, June 23, 2019)

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