eMEMBERSHIP  LOGIN

Cannabinoids kill hospital superbug MRSA

Posted on Sept. 8, 2008, 6:35 a.m. in Infectious Disease Medical Marijuana

Chemicals found in marijuana called Cannabinoids may prove useful in the fight against the antibiotic-resistant superbug MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus), new research suggests.

Results of a study by researchers in Italy and the UK has revealed that the five major cannabinoids in the Cannabis sativa plant are effective against different strains of MRSA. Two of the cannabinoids tested are nonpsychotropic, which means that they do not possess the mood-altering properties associated with marijuana. Furthermore, the researchers found that the cannabinoids kill bacteria in a different way to traditional antibacterial drugs, thus meaning that MRSA may not be able to develop resistance against them.

The authors write: “Although the use of cannabinoids as systemic antibacterial agents awaits rigorous clinical trials and an assessment of the extent of their inactivation by serum, their topical application to reduce skin colonization by MRSA seems promising.”

The study authors said that their findings highlight the need for further study into the antibacterial properties of cannabinoids: “this plant represents an interesting source of antibacterial agents to address the problem of multidrug resistance in MRSA and other pathogenic bacteria. This issue has enormous clinical implications, since MRSA is spreading throughout the world and, in the United States, currently accounts for more deaths each year than AIDS.”

Appendino G, Gibbons S, Giana A, Pagani A, Grassi G, Starvi M, Smith E, Rahman MM. Antibacterial Cannabinoids from Cannabis sativa: A Structure—Activity study. Journal of Natural Products. 2008;71:1427-1430.

 

  

Health Headlines MORE »

Currently available drugs may help women at high risk of breast and ovarian cancers avoid the need for radical preventive surgery.
People who experience chronic sleep disturbances may be at risk of developing dementia and Alzheimer’s disease at an earlier age.
Bariatric surgery can dramatically reduce an obese person's risk of all-cause mortality and nearly halve their risk of heart attack and stroke.
Compounds in peaches may inhibit the growth of breast cancer cells and their ability to spread.
Older people who have above-average muscle mass also have a significantly lower risk of dying from all-causes.
Chemotherapy may accelerate molecular aging to the equivalent to 15-years of normal aging.
Long after compulsory schooling ends, education continues to enhance cognitive functions.
A self-rated poor level of fitness in a person’s 50s may predict onset of dementia within the next three decades.
People who have a confident self-esteem tend to experience fewer health problems as they age.
Cells appearing normal may actually be harbingers of lung cancer.