Journal of Natural
Substances in marijuana show promise
for fighting deadly drug-resistant bacterial infections, including so-called
“superbugs,” without causing the drug’s mood-altering effects, scientists in
Italy and the United Kingdom are reporting. Besides serving as
infection-fighting drugs, the substances also could provide a more
environmentally-friendly alternative to synthetic antibacterial substances now
widely used in personal care items, including soaps and cosmetics, they say.
Their study is scheduled for the Sept. 26 issue of ACS’ monthly Journal of Natural Products.
the new study, Giovanni Appendino and colleagues point out that scientists have
known for years that marijuana contains antibacterial substances. However,
little research has been done on those ingredients, including studies on their
ability to fight antibiotic resistant infections, the scientists say.
close that gap, researchers tested five major marijuana ingredients termed
cannabinoids on different strains of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus
(MRSA), a “superbug” increasingly resistant to antibiotics. All five substances
showed potent germ-killing activity against these drug-resistant strains, as did
some synthetic non-natural cannabinoids, they say. The scientists also showed
that these substances appear to kill bacteria by different mechanisms than
conventional antibiotics, making them more likely to avoid bacterial resistance,
the scientists note. At least two of the substances have no known mood-altering
effects, suggesting that they could be developed into marijuana-based drugs
without causing a “high.”
News release from American Chemical Society (ACS) on September 8, 2008.