With evolution, bacteria are able to become immune to certain types of antibiotics used against infections - a significant threat to the future of medicine and worrisome to researchers around the world.
This bacteria, which has developed resistance to several different types of antibiotics, is known as Super Bug, and the concern is that one day bacteria will evolve to be resistant to all known antibiotics so they can not be treated.
Australian scientists who have tried to find possible solutions to the problem believe that cannabidiol (CBD), Cannabinoids, which are not the main cannabis plant, may in the future serve as a basis for a new antibiotic - one that will be able to cope with these super-bacteria.
In a new study, the researchers examined the effects of CBD Including staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), which causes significant morbidity and mortality in hospitals, pneumococcal streptococcus pneumonia, and anthococcus falcis, which causes life-threatening infections in people with weakened immune systems.
The study, whose findings were first presented at the annual meeting of the American Microbiology Association last week, has yet to be officially released. CBD has killed all bacterial strains tested in the laboratory, including those considered to be particularly resistant to the types of antibiotics currently available.
Moreover, the CBD succeeded in "overcoming the evolution" of the bacteria and led to the fact that despite exposure of the bacteria to CBD for 20 day they could not develop resistance to it, as opposed to some of the antibiotics used.
Even when testing the model in preliminary experiments in mice, it was found that a topical treatment of CBD was able to cure bacterial skin infection. However, it has not yet been proven whether this procedure also works systematically in humans.
"It manages to work on bacteria that have developed immunity to other antibiotics, but we are not yet sure how this happens, Explains Research Director Mark Blaskowicz, senior research fellow at the Center for Superbug Solutions, Australia.
"We've been able to show that it works locally, on the skin, and if it seems to work for systemic infections like pneumonia and complicated tissue infections, which must be given oral antibiotics or injections, it would be very useful," he added. "A very preliminary study carried out did not show that it worked in such situations."
"The most challenging part of the study was to obtain the appropriate permits to conduct CBD research from the government in Queensland (one of the Australian states)," he said.
Despite the promising results, Blaskovic is the first to emphasize that this is a preliminary study that has not yet been tried on humans, so it should not be considered a recommendation to replace existing antibiotic therapy.
"Most of the results we've presented have been received in test tubes so there's a lot more work to see if it's effective in treating human infections," he said. "It may be dangerous to try to treat a serious infection with cannabidiol instead of using conventional antibiotics."
Dr. Andrew Edwards, a professor of molecular microbiology at Imperial College London, said: "The antibacterial properties of cannabidiol have not been properly evaluated and their efficacy against antibiotic-resistant bacterial strains as demonstrated in the study is impressive."
On the other hand, he stressed that the study was in its early stages, and that CBD had shown only effectiveness against one type of Gram positive bacteria. "We have not seen any efficacy against gram-negative bacteria, for which it is particularly difficult to develop new antibiotics because they have an outer envelope that prevents most drugs from entering," he explained.
This study is not the first to discuss whether cannabis is as effective as antibiotics for infections. In 2012 we published Review of studies Who found preliminary findings similar to those of the current study.