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Marijuana Ingredients Show Promise In Battling Superbugs

Date:
September 8, 2008
Source:
American Chemical Society
Summary:
Substances in marijuana show promise for fighting deadly drug-resistant bacterial infections, including so-called "superbugs," without causing the drug's mood-altering effects, scientists in Italy and the United Kingdom are reporting.

Substances in marijuana show promise for fighting deadly drug-resistant bacterial infections, including so-called "superbugs," without causing the drug's mood-altering effects, scientists in Italy and the United Kingdom are reporting.
Credit: iStockphoto/Karin Lau

Substances in marijuana show promise for fighting deadly drug-resistant bacterial infections, including so-called "superbugs," without causing the drug's mood-altering effects, scientists in Italy and the United Kingdom are reporting.

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Besides serving as infection-fighting drugs, the substances also could provide a more environmentally-friendly alternative to synthetic antibacterial substances now widely used in personal care items, including soaps and cosmetics, they say. 

In the new study, Giovanni Appendino and colleagues point out that scientists have known for years that marijuana contains antibacterial substances. However, little research has been done on those ingredients, including studies on their ability to fight antibiotic resistant infections, the scientists say.

To close that gap, researchers tested five major marijuana ingredients termed cannabinoids on different strains of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), a "superbug" increasingly resistant to antibiotics.

All five substances showed potent germ-killing activity against these drug-resistant strains, as did some synthetic non-natural cannabinoids, they say. The scientists also showed that these substances appear to kill bacteria by different mechanisms than conventional antibiotics, making them more likely to avoid bacterial resistance, the scientists note. At least two of the substances have no known mood-altering effects, suggesting that they could be developed into marijuana-based drugs without causing a "high."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Chemical Society. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Appendino et al. Antibacterial Cannabinoids from Cannabis sativa: A Structure−Activity Study. Journal of Natural Products, 2008; 71 (8): 1427 DOI: 10.1021/np8002673

Cite This Page:

American Chemical Society. "Marijuana Ingredients Show Promise In Battling Superbugs." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 8 September 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/09/080908103045.htm>.
American Chemical Society. (2008, September 8). Marijuana Ingredients Show Promise In Battling Superbugs. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 27, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/09/080908103045.htm
American Chemical Society. "Marijuana Ingredients Show Promise In Battling Superbugs." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/09/080908103045.htm (accessed March 27, 2015).

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