The spread of antibiotic resistance is alarming medical scientists but they also see hope in cannabidiol from marijuana. According to a report from health authorities, antibiotic resistance is one major reason for the death of about 23,000 Americans in the past several years. This medical catastrophe started since the 1980s, because from that time, a new class of antibiotics had yet to be discovered.
What’s Causing The Problem?
When the antibiotic was discovered in 1928, the battle against bacteria did not stop there. It was soon to be discovered as well that the little monsters were capable of resisting antibiotics if given the least chance or if one of them is left to survive.
Fleming, who discovered the drug, warned against committing such a mistake. He admonished fellow experts to remind users to kill all bacteria present in the body when taking antibiotic drugs by following their doctor’s prescription. Otherwise, the surviving bacteria will multiply and carry genes that can make them resistant to antibiotics.
A Promising Solution
While people were waiting for new developments on antibiotic resistance from medical research, marijuana came into the picture and it seems to be offering a good solution. It can offer a temporary or even a lasting solution. Of particular interest to scientists are the cannabinoid substances in marijuana.
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The substances have antimicrobial properties which may be more potent than available drugs. These antimicrobial properties are now being subjected to serious investigations. Five of these substances are cannabinol, delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, cannabigerol, cannabichromene and cannabidiol.
Cannabidiol is particularly gaining much attention from experts because it is showing a lot of promise for treatments for major diseases like cancer and Alzheimer’s. In recent studies, cannabidiol rich hemp oil has been found to be able to kill bacteria that have been already declared to be resistant to current drugs. All these marijuana substances are also under careful studies for their anti-inflammatory and antiemetic properties.
Related Facts for Research
For people who need to extend their research to discover more of health benefits of using marijuana, here are some more facts to consider.
- One of the most recent discoveries in science is the identification of the endocannabinoid system in the human body. This system regulates responses to stimuli and maintenance of homeostasis. There are findings that suggest marijuana substances can stimulate this system.
- Marijuana compounds are manufactured by hemp plants to specifically target bacterial cells, but the mechanism through which these compounds kill bacteria is still unknown. Antibiotic mechanisms such as fatty-acid syntheses and DNA gyrase have been investigated but were found to be not the ones used by cannabinoids or phyto-cannabinoids. The high potency of the way these substances kill bacteria suggests there is a very unique mechanism that has to be discovered and possibly help in the understanding of antibiotics in general.
Cannabidiol Research: Antibiotic Resistance
- Antibacterial cannabinoids from Cannabis sativa: A structure-activity study (PubMed)
- Antibacterial activity of delta9-THC and CBD
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