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31 Jan 2021 | Australasian Dental Practice

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Is cannabis the antibiotic of tomorrow?

The main nonpsychoactive component of cannabis has been shown to kill the bacteria responsible for gonorrhoea, meningitis and legionnaires disease, which could lead to the first new class of antibiotics for resistant bacteria in 60 years.


The research collaboration between The University of Queensland and Botanix Pharmaceuticals Limited could lead to the first new class of antibiotics for resistant bacteria in 60 years. The UQ Institute for Molecular Bioscience's Associate Professor Mark Blaskovich said CBD - the main nonpsychoactive component of cannabis - can penetrate and kill a wide range of bacteria including Neisseria gonorrhoeae, which causes gonorrhoea. "This is the first time CBD has been shown to kill some types of Gram-negative bacteria. These bacteria have an extra outer membrane, an additional line of defence that makes it harder for antibiotics to penetrate," he said. "We think that cannabidiol kills bacteria by bursting their outer cell membranes, but we don't know yet exactly how it does that and need to do further research".

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