A University of Southern Denmark study published this month in Scientific Reports suggests cannabidiol (CBD) could help us fight antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
Antibiotic resistance occurs when bacteria develop the ability to defeat the drugs designed to kill them. Infections caused by this type of bacteria are difficult - sometimes impossible - to teat and are consequently considered one of the world’s most urgent public health concerns.
As more bacteria develop mechanisms to resist the effects of antibiotics, researchers have started adding ‘helper compounds’ to enhance the efficacy of the antibiotics.
In the Denmark study, researchers used CBD as a helper compound to boost the efficacy of the antibiotic bacitracin against Staphylococcus aureus bacteria (a staph infection).
The addition of CBD produced a more powerful effect compared to treating the infection with bacitracin alone.
Even more importantly, fewer antibiotics were required to kill the infection.
As noted by lead study author Janne Kudsk Klitgaard, a widespread reduction in the use of antibiotics could “contribute to the development of fewer resistant bacteria.”
An unrelated study conducted last year in Australia found CBD alone was able to kill several strains of gram-positive antibiotic-resistant bacteria in a lab test. Furthermore, the bacteria did not develop a resistance to CBD even when exposed to it for the length of time generally required to develop antibiotic resistance.
By April Kuhlman