First Of All, What Is CBD?
CBD (short for cannabidiol), is the non-psychoactive components that occur naturally in the body, but can also be found in the cannabis plant. There are two sides to the cannabis plant. CBD is seen as the medicinal compound and THC, which is the psychoactive component that makes you feel high. CBD and THC can be extracted from the cannabis plant separately, so you can take CBD without feeling the effects of the THC. By adding more of the extract (CBD) from the cannabis plant to our bodies has been proven to provide many health benefits, naturally, and without any major, if none at all, side effects. However, CBD has been taking the world by storm as people not only specifically treat themselves for some sort of ailment but use it almost as a daily vitamin. Stores in the US are adding CBD to coffees or facials, the beauty company is diving onboard to add it to creams and lotions and even CBD toothpaste and CBD oral care are being brought to light. Despite the heavy trend behind CBD, there are also a lot of extremely significant factors that can help the medical world immensely.
CBD Antibacterial Properties
Currently, CBD research is being used to help the likes of epilepsy, pain, and anxiety; we are now seeing research move towards antibacterial properties.
When it comes to the CBD world or generally, any new medication that can surface, there is consistently a lot of research that needs to be done. More so, studies need to be completed multiple times to ensure the outcome is positive and consistent. However, that doesn’t mean the benefits aren’t there. When it comes to antibacterial properties of CBD, the research has become much more crucial for Americans than you may believe.
Antibiotic use in the U.S. has reached epidemic proportion and the outcome of this is not as good as you would expect.
An article from Pewtrust.org states that:
In 2015, the United States “wrote nearly 270 million antibiotic prescriptions.”This amounted to approximately 838 prescriptions for every 1,000 people. On top of this research, the CDC states that “more than 2.8 million antibiotic-resistant infections occur in the U.S. each year, and more than 35,000 people die as a result.”
To add to all of this, Time reported that:
“Up to 43% of U.S. antibiotic prescriptions may be ‘inappropriate [prescribed],’ according to the research.”
Therefore, with an increasingly large amount of prescriptions being written to patients, 43% of those patients receiving prescriptions, aren’t necessarily needed. To add, patients having antibiotic resistance; this can be seen as one of the 10 largest threats to global health problems. There doesn’t seem to be a stop to this epidemic as soon as we may hope.
Although there doesn’t seem to be any changes to this issue, there is hope.
Thanks to Mark Blaskovich, Ph.D., there have been movements towards CBD being used as an antibacterial agent. Although studies were done within test tubes and animals, the results came out promising. For instance, it was found that in comparison to antibiotics, CBD had similar effectiveness in every case. From the same WebMD article, he states that:
"We looked at how quickly the CBD killed the bacteria. It's quite fast, within 3 hours, which is pretty good. Vancomycin (or Vancocin, an antibiotic used to treat bacterial infections) kills over 6 to 8 hours.”
Further lab studies even showed that CBD will be less likely to have the same resistance in the body as current antibiotics do.
When it comes to biofilm, which is where most diseases are associated with, CBD seemed to disrupt this layer which generally antibiotics find difficult to do. This is an important finding as bacteria tend to latch onto biofilm so that they can survive. With this being a great positive, there are also certain bacterias that CBD doesn’t seem to be as strong against. For instance, the CBDs effect on gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria. Thoughtco.com explains that “Most bacteria are classified into two broad categories: Gram-positive and Gram-negative. These categories are based on their cell wall composition and reaction to the Gram stain test.” Gram-positive bacteria, which include infections of the skin and pneumonia, seemed to be fightable by CBD. However, gram-negative wasn’t as successful, although it potentially couldfight off some gram-negative infections. Those gram-negative bacteria include the likes of salmonella and E.coli, etc.
The more interesting aspect of this study is CBD doesn’t necessarily fight infection in the same way that antibiotics do. This is indeed something that researchers are seeking to figure out. This means CBD could potentially have a “new mechanism of action” when it comes to fighting off bacteria.
Although CBD was able to show these results, it is still important for people to know they cannot necessarily go out and buy CBD to start self-medicating. As research is ongoing, and much more research needs to be done, it's crucial to understand these findings are a huge positive, but not the bottom line of what CBD is able or unable to do.
The Bottom Line
Speaking frankly, the bottom line is antibiotic resistance is reaching dangerously high levels according to the World Health Organization. Antibiotic-resistance infections are very serious and have the potential to cause catastrophic disasters if not solved within a reasonable timeframe. With already 35,000 people dying per year as a result, those numbers could increase significantly as more and more people turn to antibiotics. With a natural compound having such positive effects on infection so far, it's important that more is done to continue the movement towards CBD being used as an antibiotic.
Further research needs to be done, specifically on humans, but it is looking very promising that CBD could be used to potentially help with antibacterial infections. It is not recommended to self-medicate with CBD, especially if you have an infection that could potentially be life-threatening.
Hopefully, with more research, we are able to see a new and more natural antibiotic reach the market.