Is Marijuana the Next Antibiotic?
As legalization opens new pathways for cannabis research, studies continue to expand the growing list of marijuana’s medical benefits. One such study, published in American Chemical Society of Infectious Diseases, has added to this diverse list of benefits, after researchers in Canada discovered that compounds in marijuana fight MRSA and other drug-resistant infections.
Medical Marijuana & MRSA
The spread of drug-resistant pathogens has left clinicians at a loss when it comes to treating conditions such as MRSA – a bacterium tougher to treat than most strains of staphylococcus aureus (or staph) – and few solutions have proven effective in the search for therapeutic alternatives.
Yet with this recent breakthrough, cannabis has provided scientists with the new lead they’ve been looking for. According to Eric Brown, lead researcher in the study at McMaster University:
These findings suggest real therapeutic potential for cannabinoids as antibiotics.
Is marijuana the next antibiotic? Today, CannaMD outlines how cannabinoids fight drug-resistant bacteria that man-made antibiotics cannot, marking a significant breakthrough in cannabis research.
Cannabinoids: Marijuana’s Natural Antibiotics
Cannabinoids fight bacteria in a different way than man-made antibiotics, which is why marijuana is such a promising alternative for fighting drug-resistant conditions. Since 1982, studies have shown that cannabinoids such as THC, CBD, CBG, CBC, and CBN have the ability to fight drug-resistant bacteria that are immune to antibiotic drugs.
While the belief that cannabis is a powerful antibiotic is nothing new, this recent study provides new insights on exactly how cannabinoids fight MRSA, and why they can destroy drug-resistant pathogens that antibiotic medications cannot.
The 2019 study at McMaster University found that various cannabinoids acted as powerful antibiotics when administered to MRSA-infected mice:
In this study, we investigated 18 commercially available cannabinoids and they all showed antibiotic activity.
Yet CBG, in particular:
…proved to be marvelous at tackling pathogenic bacteria.
Brown’s team found that CBG destroyed MRSA by targeting the outer cell membranes that protect these bacteria from antibiotic drugs. Unlike antibiotic medications, CBG destroys MRSA biofilms. Biofilms are collections of microbes with a protective outer coating that allow MRSA and other bacteria to survive antibiotic treatment.
In addition, CBG prevented new biofilms from developing, preventing MRSA from resisting its antibiotic activity. Researchers also found that CBG destroyed drug-resistant host cells.
While antibiotic medications simply fight bacteria, CBG showed the ability not only to eradicate MRSA, but also to prevent drug-resistance from occurring in the first place!
Since the legalization of marijuana in Canada, Brown’s team has spent two years studying cannabinoids’ antibiotic potential to treat MRSA and other drug-resistant conditions:
There is some stigma of investing in this kind of research, but there’s increasing anecdotal evidence on the medical use of cannabis. The stigma seems to be waning.
In light of their most recent study, these researchers will attempt to develop CBG into a new antibiotic medicine:
It opens an important therapeutic window to develop this into a drug. The next steps are to try to make the compound better in that it is more specific to the bacteria.
What is CBG?
CBG is a naturally-occurring cannabinoid found in the marijuana plant. Marijuana contains over 100 cannabinoids, and while THC and CBD are the most well-known, “minor” cannabinoids such as CBG offer equally impressive therapeutic effects.
As research continues to unveil CBG’s impressive health benefits, this cannabinoid has attracted the attention of the scientific and cannabis communities. In addition to its potential as an antibiotic, CBG is also suggested to act as a neuroprotective, anti-inflammatory, antiproliferative, antidepressant, cognitive enhancer — and so much more.
Interested to learn more about this exciting cannabinoid? Visit CannaMD’s recent blog post, Intro to CBG, to learn everything you need to know about CBG’s therapeutic benefits!
Invest in Your Health With CBG
As more and more research highlights the therapeutic potential of minor cannabinoids, Florida dispensaries have started to offer CBG-rich products, making it easier than ever to access these incredible health benefits.
If you are a Florida resident (permanent or seasonal!) interested in obtaining your medical marijuana card, you’ve come to the right place. CannaMD is here to provide everything you need to know about the application process, and our team of certified medical marijuana doctors can answer any questions you may have.
To begin, you can consult our online application to see whether you qualify for medical marijuana, or give us a call at (855) 420 9170!