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Antibiotic-resistant bacteria, often referred to as superbugs, present a frightening challenge that medical science is still working to address. Serious infections like Staphylococcus and Streptococcus pneumoniae can be deadly, as these bactera can multiply out of control and become resistant to any available treatment.

Apart from being antibiotic resistant, the core of what makes these superbugs so deadly is their ability to send the body’s natural inflammatory response into overdrive. The same mechanisms that help fight ordinary infections can also spiral into very dangerous circumstances in a matter of days or even hours. Superbugs are called such because of their resistance to conventional antibiotics, leaving doctors with few options for controlling and eliminating the resulting bacterial infections.

The inflammatory roots of such infections have led some to wonder, what can CBD do to help fight the effects of such bacteria. So far data that supports CBD’s antibiotic properties is very limited and overall these effects have not been fully examined.

At a recent meeting of the American Society for Microbiology, however, some new research shows promise for CBD as a potential treatment against superbugs.

After topically testing synthetic cannabidiol on various skin conditions, researchers found that it was very effective in killing various strains of Gram-positive bacteria, even after periods of extended use.

These results are significant, in part because of CBD’s notable safety profile, as well as its performance in controlling infection compared to treatments that are sometimes ineffective against antibiotic-resistant bacteria. This included vancomycin or daptomycin.

Dr. Mark Blaskovich, of The University of Queensland’s Institute for Molecular Bioscience’s Centre for Superbug Solutions, noted that “The combination of inherent antimicrobial activity and potential to reduce damage caused by the inflammatory response to infections is particularly attractive.” The research, completed in collaboration with Botanix Pharmaceuticals Ltd. is said to merit further investigation into cannabidiol’s superbug fighting effects.

It’s important to note that the form of CBD used in the study was a synthetic version. It’s not yet clear whether natural CBD oil will provide comparable effects under similar circumstances, and doctors have cautioned against using CBD in lieu of necessary convention medical invention. This is especially important when it comes to infection, which can go from a minor discomfort to a life-threatening situation if not controlled.

If results are consistent, CBD could help turn the tide on what is sometimes described as a crisis of antibiotic resistant-superbugs. The results could mean many lives saved at a time when other options have fallen short. Though more study is needed, cannabidiol has once again provided hope in the face of difficult-to-treatment ailments.