ASM Microbe 2019 — Cannabidiol shows antibiotic promise


  • Emily Willingham, PhD
  • Conference Reports
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Takeaway

  • Cannabidiol shows “surprisingly effective” antibiotic activity against Gram-positive strains (e.g., Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus pneumoniae), according to findings presented at the ASM Microbe 2019 meeting.
  • The authors say that it is a “promising new antibiotic.” 
  • These results are from in vitro studies, but the researchers point to existing evidence of cannabidiol’s safety in humans.

Why this matters

  • Infections by these strains are responsible for millions of infections each year and thousands of deaths.
  • Resistance has created an urgent need to identify new antibiotics.

Key results

  • Cannabidiol showed activity even against highly resistant strains, including those resistant to vancomycin and daptomycin. 
  • It also could disrupt biofilms. 
  • It had no effect against Gram-negative strains. 
  • The authors say it showed low propensity to induce resistance. 

Study design

  • The authors used a series of standard antimicrobial tests to assess the antibiotic power of cannabidiol.
  • Funding: Botanix; Innovation Connections (Australian government).

Limitations

  • In vitro findings presented without peer review at a conference.