Last Edited: June 30th 2019, 02:18:45 PM, Author: Anthony Russano, anthony@qualitywebsolutions.org Donate!


Cannabinoid molecules such as Cannabidiol (CBD) demonstrate a lipid signaling function in human cells which has the ability to activate certain membrane-bound receptors. In human studies conducted ex vivo and in vitro, this lipid signaling function was shown to prevent increases in intestinal permeability (related to inflammatory bowel disease).[1] But now scientists are exploring how CBD's lipid signaling affect can work on bacterial membranes. CBD's affects on membrane fatty acid composition, fluidity and surface charge could hold the key to new advances in fighting bacterial infections.

Studies have already been done showing that CBD treatment with traditional antibiotics can work to disrupt the bacterial membrane. Researchers found that "CBD is able to potentiate the effect of bacitracin against Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and other Gram-positive bacteria such as Listeria monocytogenes and Enterococcus faecalis. In addition, by combining CBD with either kanamycin or polymyxin B, we have found that it is able to potentiate the effect against Gram-negative bacteria such as Uropathogenic Escherichia coli (UPEC), Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Salmonella typhimurium."[2]

Now promising new research has been presented at this year's meeting of the American Society for Microbiology showing CBD can work independently as an antibiotic. Dr Mark Blaskovich at The University of Queensland’s Institute for Molecular Bioscience’s Centre for Superbug Solutions, presented research proclaiming Cannabidiol as a Powerful New Antibiotic against Gram-positive and some Gram-negative bacteria, with potency similar to that of established antibiotics.[3]

“Given cannabidiol’s documented anti-inflammatory effects, existing safety data in humans, and potential for varied delivery routes, it is a promising new antibiotic worth further investigation,” said Dr. Blaskovich. “The combination of inherent antimicrobial activity and potential to reduce damage caused by the inflammatory response to infections is particularly attractive.”

"Importantly, the CBD retained its activity against bacteria that have become highly resistant to other common antibiotics. Under extended exposure conditions that lead to resistance against vancomycin or daptomycin, Cannabidiol did not lose effectiveness. Cannabidiol was also effective at disrupting biofilms, a physical form of bacteria growth that leads to difficult-to-treat infections."

The growing publicity within the scientific and medical community will hopefully ensure that CBD can be more thoroughly investigated for its potential as an antibiotic.

Sources:

  1. Study Type: PhD Thesis
    Title: The actions of cannabidiol and palmitoylethanolamide on inflammation and permeability of the gut
    Author(s): Couch, Daniel
    Institution(s): University of Nottingham, UK Campus > Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > School of Medicine
    Publication: University of Nottingham
    Date: 10 Sep 2018
    Abstract: In health, the gut provides a barrier between the external and internal environment. This selectively permeable barrier allows absorption of nutrients and water from the gastrointestinal contents, whilst preventing the transfer of noxious material such as bacteria. During episodes of inflammation, this barrier becomes compromised, allowing transfer of noxious material into the systemic circulation, leading to disease states such as inflammatory bowel disease and septic shock. There are no clinically available compounds to combat this increase in permeability directly. The endocannabinoid system is a group of endogenous lipid signalling molecules which activate membrane-bound receptors. Plant-derived and synthetic compounds also act at these receptors, generating a wide variety of secondary effects. The aims of this study were to identify compounds with action on the endocannabinoid system which could be used clinically to treat inflammation and hyperpermeability of the gastrointestinal tract, exploring mechanisms of action. Systematic review and meta-analysis of existing literature revealed 51 preclinical studies, and 2 clinical studies examining the effect of cannabinoid compounds. In preclinical studies, cannabinoid drugs reduced myeloperoxidase activity in the gastrointestinal mucosa within mouse and rodent models of colitis (standard mean difference -1.26, 95% confidence interval (CI)-1.54 to -0.97, I2=48.1%) and macroscopic disease activity scores (standard mean difference -1.36, 95% CI -1.62 to -1.09, I2=61%). Clinical trials found no overall benefit of cannabinoid drugs in Crohn’s disease (mean difference -74.97, 95% CI –229 to 0.79, I2=75%). Two compounds, cannabidiol and palmitoylethanolamide, possessing positive outcomes and preferable side effect profiles, were put forward for further study to examine potential clinical benefit. The mechanism of action of palmitoylethanolamide and cannabidiol were explored further by examination of their effects on the immune response, permeability of cultured cell monolayers, intracellular signalling pathways, expression of membrane-bound proteins governing permeability and receptors of the cannabinoid system. We found that these agents were anti-inflammatory in both cultured Caco-2 cells and explant human colonic tissue, prevented increases in permeability secondary to inflammation, and were likely to act through adenylyl cyclase, protein kinase A and extracellular signal-regulated kinases. The downstream effects of these compounds prevented down-regulation of the TRPV1 receptor, upregulation of aquaporin 3 expression, and prevention of downregulation of claudin-3. The effects of palmitoylethanolamide and cannabidiol were then examined on permeability in the human colon in vivo by means of a double blinded, randomised controlled trial. This study demonstrated that aspirin increased the permeability of the human gut, determined by increases in urinary concentrations of lactulose and D-mannitol, quantified by mass spectrometry. Groups receiving oral cannabidiol or palmitoylethanolamide demonstrated lower urinary concentrations of lactulose and D-mannitol, suggesting that these two drugs could be used clinically to prevent disease-induced hyperpermeability. In conclusion, cannabidiol and palmitoylethanolamide have shown consistent anti-inflammatory actions in colonic ex vivo and in vitro models, and also prevented increases in intestinal permeability in vitro and also in vivo in a randomised, double blind, placebo-controlled trial. Their clinical use in IBD should now be assessed in phase II clinical trials.
    Link: Source
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  2. Study Type: Conference abstract (Copenhagen Bioscience Conference: Averting the post-antibiotic era - challenges and developments, 2018)
    Title: CHARACTERIZATION OF CANNABIDIOL AS A HELPER COMPOUND AGAINST RESISTANT STAPHYLOCOCCUS AUREUS
    Author(s): Wassmann, Claes Søndergaard
    Institution(s): Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Faculty of Science, University of Southern Denmark
    Publication: Danish National RESEARCH DATABASE
    Date: 2018
    Abstract: Development of resistance towards conventional antibiotics has become a huge problem worldwide. Infections which used to be easily treatable are now difficult to treat due to development of resistance. Therefore, we must turn to other approaches such as use of helper compounds. Helper compounds usually have no antibacterial properties themselves, however, when combined with antibiotics they are able to potentiate the effect of the antibiotic. A newly discovered helper compound is the cannabinoid cannabidiol (CBD) (Patent No. 17176612.4 - 1466). In our research group, we have found that it is able to potentiate the effect of bacitracin against Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and other Gram-positive bacteria such as Listeria monocytogenes and Enterococcus faecalis. In addition, by combining CBD with either kanamycin or polymyxin B, we have found that it is able to potentiate the effect against Gram-negative bacteria such as Uropathogenic Escherichia coli (UPEC), Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Salmonella typhimurium. Now, we are working to clarify the mechanism of action of CBD and how it potentiates the effect of bacitracin. Therefore, various molecular experiments have been conducted such as RNA-sequencing of treated S. aureus and whole-genome sequencing of CBD resistant strains. These results have led to several interesting genes selected for further studies. In addition, treatment with CBD have also shown to disrupt the membrane potential leading us to look further into how CBD affects the bacterial membrane. Therefore, we are currently looking on how CBD affects membrane fatty acid composition, fluidity and surface charge.
    Link: Source
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  3. Study Type: Press Release
    Title: Cannabidiol is a Powerful New Antibiotic
    Author(s): ASM Communications staff
    Institution(s): American Society for Microbiology, The University of Queensland’s Institute for Molecular Bioscience’s Centre for Superbug Solutions, Botanix Pharmaceuticals
    Publication: American Society for Microbiology
    Date: June 23, 2019
    Abstract: New research has found that Cannnabidiol is active against Gram-positive bacteria, including those responsible for many serious infections (such as Staphyloccocus aureus and Streptococcus pneumoniae), with potency similar to that of established antibiotics such as vancomycin or daptomycin. The research is presented at ASM Microbe, the annual meeting of the American Society for Microbiology.
    Link: Source
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