Novara, Italy: The administration of natural plant cannabinoids can significantly reduce the spread of drug-resistant bacteria, including methicillin-resistant Staphyloccus aureus (aka MRSA), according to preclinical data to be published in the Journal of Natural Products.
Investigators at Italy's Universita del Piemonte Orientale and Britain's University of London, School of Pharmacy assessed the antibacterial properties of five cannabinoids - THC, CBD (cannabidiol), CBG (cannabigerol), CBC (cannabichromine), and CBN (cannabinol) - against various strains of multidrug-resistant bacteria, including MRSA.
"All compounds showed potent antibacterial activity," authors determined. Researchers noted that cannabinoids showed "exceptional" antibacterial activity against EMERSA-15 and EMERSA-16, the major epidemic MRSA strains occurring in UK hospitals.
Authors concluded: "Although the use of cannabinoids as systemic antibacterial agents awaits rigorous clinical trials, … their topical application to reduce skin colonization by MRSA seems promising. … Cannabis sativa … represents an interesting source of antibacterial agents to address the problem of multidrug resistance in MRSA and other pathogenic bacteria."
According to a 2007 study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, MRSA is responsible for more than 18,500 hospital-stay related deaths each year.
For more information, please contact Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director. Full text of the study, "Antibacterial cannabinoids from cannabis sativa: A structure-activity study," will appear in the Journal of Natural Products.