CBD Could Improve the Efficacy of Antibiotics in Fighting Bacteria

26th March 2020

CBD (cannabidiol) has been found to improve the efficacy of antibiotics in killing bacteria in a recent study. The study, published by researchers from the University of Southern Denmark was published in the journal Scientific Reports.

The researchers found that CBD was able to act as a “helper compound” with the ability to enhance the effects of antibiotics. The discovery was made when researchers used cannabidiol, one of the main active components of the cannabis plant, alongside the antibiotic, bacitracin.

The researchers state in their study that:

“When we combined CBD and antibiotics, we saw a more powerful effect than when treating with antibiotics alone. So, in order to kill a certain number of bacteria, we needed less antibiotics”.

For their study, the effect of CBD alongside the antibiotic bacitracin and the Staphylococcus aureus bacteria. This type of bacteria is fairly common and can cause a number of infections including skin infections, pneumonia, heart valve, and bone infections.

Antibiotics and Bacteria

Antibiotics were discovered by Sir Alexander Flemming in the form of Penicillin in 1928. Since this discovery, antibiotics have been increasingly utilised in the fight against bacterial infections and diseases. However, this exposure has resulted in bacterias mutating and becoming immune to current antibiotics.

In the case of Staphylococcus aureus, there are now a number of drug-resistant versions of this bacteria, often making resulting infections difficult to treat. However, researchers who worked in this study believe that the combination of CBD and antibiotics may be a novel treatment for such conditions.

CBD as a ‘Helper Compound’ in Antibiotics

The researchers found discovered that CBD, given in conjunction with bacitracin, aided the deterioration of Staphylococcus aureus bacteria. It was observed that the bacteria were unable to multiply normally. 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 is the overuse of antibiotics. The researchers state that combinations such as the one highlighted in this study could help to control this phenomenon.

A similar study also found that another cannabinoid, CBG, could also help to kill Staphylococcus aureus bacteria.


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