Coronavirus (COVID-19) & Cannabidiol (CBD)
Cannabidiol demonstrated low levels of propensity to reduce resistance, which should ensure it avoids the fate of many antibiotics in becoming gradually less effective over time
The unwelcome advance of the Coronavirus has focused society’s attention on the importance of scientific research in tackling health issues. Scientists around the world are racing to identify and develop treatments which can counteract the COVID-19 strain of Coronavirus, whose symptoms include shortness of breath, fever and coughing. And while the laboratory testing necessary to establish effective vaccines and antibodies continues apace, the Coronavirus pandemic has demonstrated gaps in our knowledge of how the human body interacts with certain external agents.
Another area where science is struggling to keep up with growing demand for knowledge and understanding is cannabidiol. This naturally occurring component of the cannabis sativa plant species has long been rumored to offer significant health benefits, yet state-level ambiguity towards the legal status of the hemp plant has often stymied research. However, a newly-published report by researchers at the University of Queensland in Australia1 has finally established something many people have long suspected – cannabidiol (better known as CBD) can be a remarkably effective antibiotic.
At Cannalogica, we are firm believers in the skin-cleansing and muscle-healing properties of hemp, whose natural cannabinoids include CBD. However, the University of Queensland’s research has suggested the antibiotic qualities of cannabidiol could also be beneficial in tackling infections caused by drug-resistant Gram-positive bacteria. Named after the 19th-century scientist Hans Christian Gram, Gram-positive bacteria secrete toxic proteins in their cell walls. High-profile examples include the bacteria responsible for anthrax and diphtheria.
The University of Queensland research started by analyzing the risks posed by drug-resistant Gram-positive bacteria, which cause millions of infections and tens of thousands of deaths each year throughout North America alone. Some bacteria have developed resistance to traditional antibiotics, and the search has been ongoing for some time to discover antimicrobial agents which can overcome these resistant strains.
The Queensland team tested cannabidiol against both aerobic and anaerobic bacteria, which attack varying parts of the body and have different properties. Among their key findings was the discovery that cannabidiol was “remarkably effective” at killing certain Gram-positive bacteria. Crucially, cannabidiol demonstrated low levels of propensity to reduce resistance, which should ensure it avoids the fate of many antibiotics in becoming gradually less effective over time. It’s also notable that cannabidiol proved to be active against MRSA bacteria, suggesting it could have a future role in the fight against this so-called superbug.
Body of Evidence
Body of Evidence
The study’s authors also acknowledged the growing body of evidence suggesting cannabidiol has anti-inflammatory effects, which is something Cannalogica has long argued. The Queensland team described cannabidiol’s combination of antimicrobial activity and its potential to reduce inflammatory damage caused by infections as “particularly attractive.” Its potential for oral delivery was also noted as an advantage.
Research into the antibiotic qualities of cannabidiol reflects a growing need to tackle acute health conditions and pandemics such as Coronavirus. At Cannalogica, we hope scientific advances will continue to advance mankind’s ability to fight both antibiotic-resistant bacteria and viruses like COVID-19, helping us all to live longer and healthier lives.