Back in 1928, Alexander Fleming identified Penicillin and initially believed its antibacterial properties could help chemotherapy patients. By 1942, a purified form of the drug, called Penicillin G, was developed and over the next few decades, further antibiotics were created to defeat all manner of bacterial infections.
While antibiotics have doubtless saved countless lives, scientists have made a very disturbing discovery in recent years. Antibiotic-resistant bacteria have formed, and these microbes are harder to treat. This means patients receive even higher doses of medication which is potentially toxic. This has led many researchers to seek other solutions to these tough bacterias. CBD could be one of those solutions.
So, is CBD the answer to the antimicrobial resistance question?
How Does Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria Effect People?
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), “antibiotic resistance is one of the biggest threats to global health, world security, and development today.” The rate at which antibiotic-resistant bacteria are growing is incredibly concerning, and it is very much a global problem. Of course, it is one of the biggest issues with medication in the United States as well.
The CDC recently released a rather disturbing set of statistics relating to antibiotic-resistant bacteria in America based on a report written in 2013. Each year in the U.S., an estimated two million people are infected with antibiotic-resistant bacteria, and 23,000 people die annually as a result. An unspecified number of people perish due to conditions complicated by antibacterial resistance.
You may be shocked to learn that antibiotic resistance bacteria actually predate the medical use of antibiotics by humans. The widespread usage of this form of pharmaceutical drug has served to exacerbate the problem. The list of reasons for antibacterial resistance is long and includes:
- An enormous increase in availability and use since the 1950s.
- Uncontrolled sale of antibiotics in low and middle-income countries where it is possible to make a purchase over-the-counter. In many cases, antibiotics are used needlessly which only hastens bacterial resistance.
- Antibiotic usage in livestock.
- Environmental pollution.
Antibacterial resistant bacteria emerge due to one of the following mechanisms:
- A natural resistance amongst specific types of bacteria.
- Genetic mutation.
- One species of bacteria are acquiring resistance from another.
There is a host of preventive measures in place including:
- Only using antibiotics as and when needed.
- Choosing narrow-spectrum antibiotics over their broad-spectrum counterpart.
- Utilization of proper hygiene methods amongst hospital staff.
The increasing rate of antibiotic resistance bacteria growth is chiefly caused by the usage of antimicrobials in humans and animals along with the spread of resistant strains between species. When you take antibiotics, you are increasing the rate of ‘selective pressure’ in populations of bacteria and cause the death of ‘vulnerable’ bacteria. The bacteria that remain are strong and continue to grow.
Globally, antibacterial resistance accounts for 700,000 deaths, and it is clear that alternative treatments are necessary. This is where CBD comes in.
How Can CBD Help With Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria?
If patients are unable to tackle a bacterial infection with antibiotics, what other options do they have? Taking large doses is potentially dangerous, but thankfully, there is an all-natural solution at our fingertips. Scientists are confident that CBD exhibits a level of anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory properties that enables people to consume it, achieve relief for their condition and not have to worry about deadly infections.
The Research on CBD
In 2008, a group of Italian and British researchers combined their skill to create a study that could ultimately change history. They tested five different marijuana cannabinoids (including CBD) against six different strains of ‘superbug’ MRSA and discovered that every single cannabinoid showed ‘potent activity’ against the various bacteria strains. The cannabinoids used in the study were CBD, THC, cannabigerol, cannabichromene, and CBN.
Activity was described as ‘exceptional’ against several strains including SA-1199B which is known to be resistant to several pharmaceutical drugs. The cannabinoids were also particularly effective against EMRSA-15 and EMRSA-16.
According to Simon Gibbons, one of the authors of the study, the marijuana plant has evolved the various compounds as antimicrobial defenses that specifically target bacterial cells. One downside is that scientists are unable to determine the precise mechanism that kills the bugs.
Given the gravity of the situation and the exciting results of the aforementioned study, we are aghast to learn that there have been no significant studies in almost a decade since! Indeed, the only other similar study took place in 1976! It is incredible to think that the answer to one of the biggest challenges in the medical world is so easily and readily available yet we’re not utilizing it!
The study concluded that the cannabis sativa plant is “an interesting source of antibacterial agents to address the problem of multidrug resistance in MRSA and other pathogenic bacteria.” It also focused on the non-psychoactive compounds such as CBD.
Final Thoughts on CBD Oils and Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria
While there is nothing straightforward in the world of medicine, it seems obvious that CBD is at least worth trying in the fight against antibiotic-resistant bacteria. At present, MRSA alone accounts for more deaths per annum than AIDS in the United States and the problem with these ‘superbugs’ is only going to get worse.
At the time of writing, marijuana is still inexplicably a Schedule 1 drug according to the United States Government despite a lengthy list of studies showing its medical benefits. While there is nothing we can do about that for the time being, at least there are a few CBD products widely available in the marketplace. Rather than risk your life by pursuing a futile course of antibiotics, see if CBD is capable of treating your medical condition.
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