Bacterial Infections and CBD Oil: An Alternative to Antibiotics?
Written by Jason Brett — Edited by Cathy Rozyczko on April 1, 2021 — Reviewed by ayesharashid
CBD oil is gaining ground as an effective treatment for a number of common ailments and research is continually being done to better understand all the ways CBD oil can potentially benefit human health. One of the most significant developments in the use of CBD oil as a medicinal supplement has been in the area of bacterial infections.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), “antibiotic resistance is one of the biggest threats to global health, world security, and development…” Far from being just a modern-day issue, bacteria have been building resistance to mankind’s treatment methods even before the invention of penicillin in 1928.
Some argue the widespread use of antibiotics has sped up bacterias’ ability to resist manmade medications, with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reporting that approximately two million Americans per year are now being infected with antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
Luckily, CBD oil may be able to help.
Benefits of Taking CBD Oil for Bacterial Infections
Antibiotics indiscriminately attack both good and bad bacteria in your body, essentially wiping the slate clean. The good bacteria reside mostly in your gut, aiding in digestion—and possibly more. Recently, studies have been finding linkages between the presence of good gut bacteria and a person’s mood, suggesting the health of these good bacteria could affect other parts and functions of your body.
Because good bacteria contribute to overall health, and because antibiotic-resistant bacteria are steadily on the rise, it’s important to consider whether you really need to take antibiotics when you’re feeling sick, or if you should allow your immune system to fight off the invaders on its own—or with the help of CBD oil.
If you have a mild to moderate bacterial infection that doesn’t warrant a course of antibiotics, or if you have a resistant strain of bacteria in your system, it may be worth considering CBD oil.
CBD oil shows promise as an effective bacteria fighter, which is covered in ‘Effectiveness of CBD Oil for Bacterial Infections’ below. It also won’t wipe out your good bacteria or produce the side effects (nausea, vomiting, stomach pain) associated with common antibiotics.
Effectiveness of CBD Oil for Bacterial Infections
CBD has been found to possess antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. The impacts of CBD oil on inflammation are highly researched, but the last significant study into its use on bacteria was conducted in 2008. Though a bit older, this groundbreaking study may point to the legitimacy of using CBD oil as an alternative to antibiotics.
CBD Oil as an Antimicrobial
A joint study between Italian and English researchers investigated the impacts of various cannabinoids, including cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), on pathogenic bacteria. The cannabinoids were tested against six strains of the antibiotic-resistant “superbug” MRSA. Amazingly, all five of the cannabinoids showed “potent activity” against the bacterium. In fact, the results showed that “activity was exceptional against some of these strains, in particular, the multidrug-resistant (MDR) SA-1199B” and also “against EMRSA-15 and EMRSA-16, the major epidemic methicillin-resistant S. aureus strains occurring in U.K. hospitals.”
The study concluded that there were incredibly promising benefits of the use of cannabinoids to treat resistant bacteria, though it could not be determined exactly how the cannabinoids carried out this function.
A more recent 2014 study by the National Yang-Ming University School of Medicine, Taiwan, investigated the use of CB2 receptor agonists (like CBD) on rats which were artificially infected with bacterial peritonitis. It found that using CBD “decreased bacterial overgrowth/adhesion.”
Because these findings are so promising, especially those examining cannabinoids’ effects on MRSA, it’s likely more research will be done on CBD oil’s antibiotic qualities. Too, as CBD and cannabis in general become more widely accepted on a legal level, it could be just a short matter of time before CBD oil joins the ranks of revolutionary bacteria busters like penicillin.
CBD Oil as an Anti-Inflammatory
Inflammation plays a key role in helping the body fight a bacterial infection, but if not managed, it can also be a hindrance. Chronic inflammation can cause pain and stiffness to many areas of the body, and is also responsible for a host of internal conditions. Uncontrolled bacterial inflammation encourages cell apoptosis (cell death) and the generation of harmful free radicals, which has been linked to conditions such as Alzheimer’s Disease.
CBD may reduce the inflammation experienced in a bacterial infection by working both directly and indirectly on the endocannabinoid receptors in the endocannabinoid system. These receptors are located throughout the body and central nervous system, with the CB2 cannabinoid receptor thought to play a significant role in the body’s regulation of inflammation. Cannabidiol (CBD) impacts the CB2 receptors in a way that’s thought to be a major driving factor behind CBD oil’s anti-inflammatory qualities.
CBD has also been shown to increase the level of the brain’s neurotransmitter adenosine, which in turn triggers the adenosine receptors. These receptors also play a significant role in the reduction of cell inflammation, and when activated, could potentially help reduce the symptoms of an inflammatory response to a bacterial infection.
How to Take CBD Oil for Bacterial Infections
Before you start taking CBD oil, it is best to talk to your doctor. While generally considered safe with no significant side effects, CBD oil can interact with some medications, including certain antibiotics. The combination of CBD oil and antibiotics is not necessarily a dangerous one, but it is still important to understand how they function together and how it may impact your body.
By talking to your doctor first, you can avoid any unwanted effects and establish a safe course of action going forward.
Once you have your physician’s approval to try using CBD oil to treat a bacterial infection, you’ll need to decide a CBD delivery format. CBD oil is available to purchase in a large range of product types, and what you choose will ultimately come down to your personal preference and types of symptoms you have.
For example, if a bacterial infection is affecting your skin, a CBD topical (lotion, cream, salve) will be the most direct way of addressing this issue. You can target the infection at the application site and let the CBD go to work for hours.
If the infection is wider spread, a more general delivery method like CBD oil drops or capsules may be a better choice. There is no shortage of options on the market, so do not be afraid to experiment in order to find what works best for you.
Dosage of CBD Oil for Bacterial Infections
Unfortunately, there is no universal dose of CBD oil for bacterial infections. Because CBD’s effects can depend on a number of factors like age, weight, and metabolism speed, it can be hard to come up with a single amount.
As a starting point, it is best to begin by following the lowest recommended dosage on the information sheet included with your CBD oil product. You can also speak to a naturopathic doctor for a dosage recommendation that’s most specific to your condition and needs.
But if you’re looking for further, more general guidance, we at CBD Oil Review have analyzed hundreds of products and come up with a standard serving suggestion:
The CBD Oil Review Serving Standard is 25mg of CBD, taken twice daily.
If you are not getting results from this amount, we recommend increasing the serving size by 25mg every 3 to 4 weeks until you find relief.
For more information on dosages and some useful tips for getting it right, check out our guide here.
The Best CBD Oil for Bacterial Infections
The best CBD oil for bacterial infections will be the one that works best for you. While that may seem like a frustrating non-answer, there are some things to consider that will help narrow down your options.
First, do not be afraid to try a few different brands and products. CBD oil will not cause you to become “high” or “intoxicated,” and with no serious side effects, experimenting with your different options presents very little risk to your mental and physical capacities.
You should also understand the laws in your state around cannabis and CBD oil. While the vast majority of CBD oil products on the market will follow the federal guidelines laid out in the 2018 Farm Bill, namely that CBD oil contains 0.3% THC or less, some products may contain more. If you live in a state with legal access to recreational and medicinal cannabis, this will be less of a concern. But for states with more restrictive access, you’ll want to check and verify the THC content before making a purchase.
Understanding the law will help you narrow things down between a full-spectrum CBD oil, broad-spectrum CBD oil, or CBD oil isolate. A full-spectrum CBD oil is one that contains all of the cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids, and fatty acids found in the whole hemp plant, including the mind-altering compound THC. A broad-spectrum CBD oil contains everything a full-spectrum product contains except THC. A CBD oil isolate is just cannabidiol without any of the other compounds of the hemp plant. Most full-spectrum products will be in line with the federal laws, meaning they should not contain enough THC to make you feel high, but there will always be outliers, which is why doing your research is so important.
While researching CBD products to buy, look for the following to ensure you’re getting the best, high-quality CBD oil for bacterial infections:
- Ingredients. Typically, the best CBD oils will have the fewest ingredients. You will want a CBD oil that contains, CBD, a carrier oil like MCT oil or hemp seed oil, and other natural ingredients. Avoid anything that contains chemicals or artificial additives.
- Product sourcing. Look for brands that source products from organically grown hemp, which is more agriculturally sustainable and free of harmful pesticides and herbicides.
- Certificates of Analysis (CoA). Most reputable brands will send out their CBD products for independent lab testing to ensure quality and potency. The lab results from these tests are then posted in a Certificate of Analysis. This analysis will tell you what hemp compounds (cannabinoids, terpenes, etc.) are in the CBD product as well as any harmful heavy metals or chemicals that may remain after the extraction process. This is also where you can verify the accuracy of the CBD amount claimed on the packaging and check the THC content.
While research on the uses of CBD oil for bacterial infections is ongoing, it appears that it could present an effective and beneficial alternative or supplement to traditional antibiotics.
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Find out if CBD oil could be as effective at fighting bacterial infections as traditional antibiotics. Learn about CBD oil antibacterial dosage, research, and benefits.
Cannabis oil kills bacteria better than established antibiotics
It offers hope of curing killer infections – including MRSA and pneumonia, say scientists
Cannabis oil kills bacteria better than established antibiotics… providing a possible new weapon in the war on superbugs, according to new research.
It offers hope of curing killer infections – including MRSA and pneumonia, say scientists.
Known as CBD (cannabidiol), it is derived from marijuana and hemp plants – and has no effect on the mind.
It can be found in a range of products from CBD coffee and frozen yogurt to balms, drops and even cosmetics.
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Now, scientists have found it kills germs that are responsible for a host of serious illnesses.
The breakthrough was made by chance as Dr Mark Blaskovich’s team was investigating topical uses of CBD creams for various skin disorders.
His lab found it was remarkably effective at killing a wide range of bugs, including those that have become resistant to other antibiotics.
What is more it did not lose effectiveness after extended treatment, he told an American Society for Microbiology meeting in San Francisco.
Dr Blaskovich, of The University of Queensland’s Institute for Molecular Bioscience’s Centre for Superbug Solutions in Australia, said: “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.
“The combination of inherent antimicrobial activity and potential to reduce damage caused by the inflammatory response to infections is particularly attractive.”
Importantly, the drug retained its activity against bacteria that have become highly resistant to other common antibiotics.
In experiments, CBD was just as potent as the common medications vancomycin or daptomycin which are becoming increasingly ineffective.
Under extended exposure conditions that lead to resistance against vancomycin or daptomycin, it did not lose effectiveness.
It also successfully disrupted biofilms, a physical form of bacteria growth that leads to difficult-to-treat infections.
While there is limited data to suggest CBD can kill bacteria, the drug has never been thoroughly investigated for its potential as an antibiotic, said Dr Blaskovich.
The study co-funded by Australian drug company Botanix Pharmaceuticals Ltd comes in the wake of a UN warning that antibiotic resistant bacteria may be claiming 50 million lives a year by 2050.
CBD has been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of a form of epilepsy.
It is also being investigated as a possible therapy for a number of other conditions including anxiety, pain and inflammation.
CBD is extracted from the cannabis plant by steam distillation. It is usually consumed orally, and has a very distinct taste.
It is available to buy in the UK and is not illegal as long as products contain less than 0.05% THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol).
This is the psychoactive component in marijuana that makes users feel “high”. There have been high profile calls for higher concentration oil to be made legal.
The family of epilepsy sufferer Billy Caldwell, 12, were granted an exemption by the Home Secretary Sajid Javid to take concentrated CBD cannabis oil after insisting it was a lifeline.
And Alfie Dingley’s parents say the six-year-old should be allowed the same treatment after describing its impact on his seizures as “nothing short of a miracle”.
On November 1, 2018, medical cannabis became available to patients in the UK on NHS prescription.
The London Economic | Cannabis oil kills bacteria better than established antibiotics | Lifestyle