Cannabis Compound Might Be New Weapon In Fight Against Superbugs

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A new discovery shows that a compound found in cannabis plants can eliminate drug-resistant bacteria.

Scientists recently discovered that a compound found in cannabis can eliminate drug-resistant bacteria, adding to the arsenal against superbugs, according to The Guardian.

During the research scientists screen five cannabis compounds for their antibiotic properties. They discovered that one compound, cannabigerol (CBG), had the ability to kill methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).

The compound was extremely potent and further analysis in the lab showed that CBG killed common MRSA microbes and "persister" cells that typically resist antibiotics and cause repeat infections. Furthermore, the compound was able to eliminate "biofilms" of MRSA that form on the skin and medical implants.

Eric Brown, a microbiologist who led the work at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, said cannabinoids were “clearly great drug-like compounds.” “There is much work to do to explore the potential of the cannabinoids as antibiotics from the safety standpoint,” he said.

Mark Blaskovich, who studies antibiotic cannabis compounds at the University of Queensland, said cannabis seemed to be particularly rich in antibiotics, though other plants such as tea tree, garlic and the spices turmeric and curcurmin also contained antibacterials.

“These are likely made as a defence mechanism to protect the plant from bacterial and fungal infections, but to date have not been very useful for human infections as they really only work outside the body,” he said. “That’s what makes this new report potentially exciting – evidence that cannabigerol is able to treat a systemic infection in mice.”

A new discovery shows that a compound found in cannabis plants can eliminate drug-resistant bacteria.

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