CBD oil and antibiotics

CBD oil and antibiotics

1. Is taking CBD and antibiotics together safe?

2. Can CBD improve the effectiveness of antibiotics?

3. Understanding antibiotic resistance

4. Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacteria

5. Could CBD oil replace antibiotics?

6. To finish


Since the first antibiotics were developed, hundreds of millions of lives have been saved from deadly infections. It is extremely difficult to imagine a modern world without antibiotics. Unfortunately, as bacteria become more resistant, some antibiotics become less and less effective. For this, scientists around the world are working hard to develop new classes of antibiotics that could combat these advanced forms of bacteria. But what if the solution everyone is looking for is right in front of us? For example, take CBD oil. In this article, we will try to understand first the compatibility of CBD and antibiotics, and second, if CBD could one day replace antibiotics. Let's go !


1. Is taking CBD and antibiotics together safe?

When talking about the possible effects of CBD on antibiotics at the level of metabolic treatments, it is very important to think of the cytochrome P450 system. But what is it ? Alright, sit down, and let's get the story started.


Our body contains enzymes, proteins that act as catalysts in living organisms, regulating the rate of the chemical reaction without being changed during it. It is difficult to underestimate the importance of enzymes to the body because without these enzymes many chemical reactions in the body would not proceed at an appreciable rate. Enzymes catalyze all elements of cellular metabolism, and the human cell contains approximately 1300 different enzymes. These enzymes, together with coenzymes, can form nearly 100,000 different chemicals that allow us to see, hear, smell, move, digest food and think.


The cytochrome P450 enzyme group is one of approximately 75,000 enzyme groups thought to be present in the human body. This group of enzymes is encoded by the P450 genes and expressed as membrane-bound proteins, found primarily in the endoplasmic reticulum of the liver. They are also present in the small intestine (reduced bioavailability of drugs), lungs, placenta and kidneys. Drug interactions are often due to a change in cytochrome P450 metabolism.


In some of our previous articles, we have told you about the side effects of CBD, including its medical interactions with different products. CBD can prevent the cytochrome P450 enzyme from working. For example, compounds in grapefruit inhibit the same group of enzymes, which is why doctors advise their patients not to eat grapefruit shortly before or after taking medication. By inhibiting cytochrome P450, CBD can either reduce or enhance the effects of other drugs. This phenomenon is called the “grapefruit effect”.


So, in general, you shouldn't take CBD and antibiotics together, but it's important to understand how the combination may affect you. We recommend consulting your doctor before taking CBD and antibiotics together.


2. Can CBD improve the effectiveness of antibiotics?

Let's take a look at a 2020 study conducted by a group of scientists from the University of Southern Denmark and published in Scientific Reports by Nature. This research concerned the characterization of CBD as a potential auxiliary compound against resistant bacteria, in combination with the cyclic peptide antibiotic bacitracin. According to the study, bacitracin was associated with CBD against Staphylococcus aureus bacteria, the main human pathogen often causing disease, acquired in communities and hospitals. The researchers observed three consequences on the Staphylococcus aureus bacterium when they treated it with a combination in their study: the bacterium could no longer divide normally, the expression of certain key genes (genes for cell division and autolysis) in the bacteria was reduced and the bacterial membrane became unstable. Overuse of antibiotics is the main cause of antibiotic resistance, researchers say. The authors said the combination of CBD and antibiotics could be a new treatment for infections caused by antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

Indeed, the overuse of antibiotics is one of the key factors that make bacteria more resistant. In this case, the ability of CBD to reduce the amount of antibiotics needed for treatment can be extremely valuable. Additionally, the combination of antibiotics and CBD may spur scientists to develop innovative treatment strategies. Researchers around the world have confirmed that CBD can potentially be a very effective antimicrobial compound, but its exact mechanism has yet to be discovered.


In short, at first glance, the latest research results show that CBD can improve the effectiveness of antibiotics. However, there is still a long way to go to uncover the true benefits of CBD when it comes to positive antibiotic outcomes in animals and humans.

3. Understanding antibiotic resistance

Antibiotic resistance is when microbes such as bacteria and fungi develop the ability to resist drugs aimed at killing them. It occurs when antibiotic-resistant bacteria are free to grow, multiply and cause infections in the host, even when exposed to antibiotics. As a result, it becomes impossible to use certain antibiotics to effectively fight certain infections. This has implications for the treatment of various illnesses, the time to prevention and the duration of recovery. So what do scientists think of antibiotic resistance? Well, there are a few ways to combat it. In addition, specialists regularly analyze bacteria to determine their resistance to antibiotics (the last antibiotic resistant bacteria identified is Klebsiella pneumonia producing KPC resistant to ceftazidime and avibactam, whose resistance was determined in 2015).


As several laboratories have highlighted the power of CBD to kill antibiotic resistant bacteria, we should expect more research in this area, especially considering the current global situation with the Covid-19 pandemic. .


Now let's take a closer look at the most recent study conducted at Australia's University of Queensland by a group of scientists led by Mark Blaskovich, director of the IMB Center for Superbug Solutions. The study confirms the results of previous reports and expands the list of pathogens tested, including highly resistant Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus pneumonia and Clostridioides difficile. Thanks to the new tests, cannabidiol affected not only the spectrum of Gram-positive bacteria, but also that of Gram-negative bacteria.


Antibiotic resistance is one of the main factors in the prevention and treatment of many diseases, as well as in reducing recovery time. Therefore, fully understanding these phenomena and overcoming them could be a huge step forward for global medicine and the treatment of different diseases in the world.


4. Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacteria

Not all bacteria are the same and can be divided into two main groups: Gram-negative bacteria and Gram-positive bacteria. When they are colored, the former turn purple while the latter do not.


Gram-negative bacteria appear pale red when viewed under a light microscope after Gram staining. This is because their cell wall structure is unable to retain the crystalline violet color, causing them to only be stained with the contrasting color of safranin. Enterococci, Salmonella species, and Pseudomonas species are examples of Gram-negative bacteria.


Gram-positive bacteria have a characteristic purple color when viewed under a microscope after a Gram stain. This is due to the presence of a purple spot of crystal in the thick peptidoglycan layer of the cell wall. Examples of gram-positive bacteria include all staphylococci, all streptococci, and some Listeria species.


Why is staining important for identifying bacteria? Well, it allows scientists to quickly identify the cell membranes of bacteria. Unlike their positive counterparts, Gram-negative bacteria have an extra outer membrane and pumps that remove unwanted proteins – two things that can mess with antibiotics, soap and the immune system.


Thanks to the latest discoveries, we have learned that even certain Gram-negative bacteria (supposed to be more complex and well protected) can be targeted by cannabis extracts. According to one of the studies mentioned above, the compounds THC, CBD, and CBG could all show promising efficacy.

5. Could CBD oil replace antibiotics?

The first reports of the antibacterial activity of cannabinoids date back to the 1950s. However, since the phytochemistry of the plant was not well known, the possible bactericidal effect of Cannabis sativa could not be directly attributed to a specific component. Then, in 1976, it was discovered that ∆9-THC and CBD can have both bacteriostatic and bactericidal properties against a group of Gram-positive pathogens.


A 2020 study by the University of Melbourne and Monash University focused on the antimicrobial activity of cannabinoids. According to this research, since bacteria rapidly develop resistance to existing drugs, cannabinoids may represent a new and exciting possibility as a possible new source of antibiotics.


The aforementioned study highlights the role of CBD as an antimicrobial agent. The researchers mention that CBD may have extraordinarily beneficial antimicrobial activity, greater than previously reported, with possible clinical utility for nasal decolonization.


Another study by an international group of researchers from the University of Eastern Piedmont, the University of London and the Center for Research on Industrial Crops found that CBD may have actions against pathogenic bacteria.


Despite visible evidence of antimicrobial activity and promising laboratory test results, it is important to emphasize that there are still no current results from human and animal studies, and the question of whether to replace possible antibiotics by CBD oil will probably be postponed for the next few years.


6. To finish

We strongly recommend that you avoid taking CBD with antibiotics due to insufficient research. Additionally, you should consult a healthcare professional first if you need advice on dosage, product type, route of administration, or any other information about CBD products. CBD is normally well tolerated when taken in moderate doses, but if you ever experience unpleasant side effects, you should stop consuming it or reduce your daily dose.


Please be aware that you should not use CBD as a replacement for prescribed antibiotics given the lack of scientific research and lab test results that would allow the medical community to fully describe and analyze the mechanism of CBD's antimicrobial activity. . Further research will determine whether the combination of CBD, CBG or THC and antibiotics is safe for animals and humans.


Before taking any CBD product (including oils) with or without antibiotics, it is very important to consult your doctor.


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