Could CBD Make Antibiotics More Effective in Fighting Bacteria?

A recent study has shown the potential CBD has in improving the efficacy of antibiotics and helping the battle against bacteria.

CBD and antibiotics

Published in the journal Scientific Reports by researchers from the University of Southern Denmark, a study has been looking into CBD and antibiotics, or more specifically its ability to boost the functioning of antibiotics. 

CBD was found to be a “helper compound” by the researchers involved in this study, which has the ability to enhance the effects and functioning of antibiotics. The discovery was made as researchers used CBD in conjunction with a common antibiotic known as bacitracin. 

The researchers further stated that “When we combined CBD with antibiotics, we saw a more powerful effect than when treating with antibiotics alone. So, in order to kill a certain number of bacteria, we need less antibiotics”.

For the purposes of their research, they studied the effect of CBD alongside the antibiotic bacitracin and the Staphylococcus aureus bacteria. This is a fairly common type of bacteria and is responsible for causing numerous infections such as pneumonia, skin infections, heart valve, and various bone infections. 

Antibiotics & Bacteria

Sir Alexander Fleming was the man who discovered antibiotics in 1928 in the form of Penicillin. Since his discovery, antibiotics have been increasingly utilised in addressing bacterial infections and diseases. However, exposing bacteria to antibiotics has caused them to mutate and, in some cases, become immune to current antibiotics. 

When it comes to Staphylococcus aureus, there are now a number of drug resistant versions of this bacteria, which makes any resulting infections hard to address. However, the researchers from this study believe that a combination of CBD and antibiotics could potentially be used as a novel treatment for such a condition. 

CBD – the ‘Helping Compound’ 

What was observed by researchers was that a combination of CBD and bacitracin assisted with the breakdown of Staphylococcus aureus bacteria. It was noted that the bacteria struggled to multiply as they normally would. In addition, the bacterial membrane became unstable, and the number of key genes in the bacteria was lowered.  

The main cause of antibiotic resistance in bacteria stems from the overuse of antibiotics. Researchers believe that combinations such as those observed in this study could help manage this phenomenon. 

Further studies are showing the potential of cannabis, CBD and antibiotics, particularly the compound CBG, in killing Staphylococcus aureus bacteria.

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[…] Several other cannabinoids, such as CBG, CBD, CBN, CBCA, Δ9-THC and Δ8-THC were the most effective. These destroyed bacteria at concentrations low enough to warrant deeper investigation – with CBD being the most promising.  […]