Research roundup: CBD vs. resistant bacteria; cannabis vs. alcoholism

Researchers found a significant decrease in alcohol intake on days when participants consumed cannabis


Photo by AntonioGuillem/iStock/Getty Images Plus.


According to a study published this week in the journal Addiction, people seeking alcohol treatment drink less on days when they use cannabis. Researchers affiliated with the University of Colorado at Boulder and with Colorado State University looked at the relationship between cannabis use and alcohol intake in 96 cannabis-using individuals enrolled in an alcohol treatment program.

They found a significant decrease in alcohol intake on days when participants consumed cannabis. This was true among heavy cannabis users and those who used only light amounts occasionally.

“Across the sample, individuals drank approximately 29 percent fewer drinks and were 2.06 times less likely to have a binge-drinking episode on days that cannabis was used compared with days cannabis was not used,” the authors reported. “These patterns were observed in males, females and the infrequent and frequent cannabis use groups.”

Paul Armentano is the Deputy Director of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws. Commenting on the study’s findings, Armentano said: “Several previous studies have examined whether cannabis is more likely to act as either a substitute or as a compliment for alcohol and, thus far, they have yielded mixed results. This study’s findings are an important addition to this growing body of literature and offer strong evidence that cannabis can act as an intervention for certain persons seeking to reduce their alcohol consumption.”

CBD kills bacteria

Researchers in Australia have found that synthetic CBD can kill the the bacteria responsible for gonorrhea, meningitis, and legionnaires disease.

This research was undertaken as a collaboration between The University of Queensland and Botanix Pharmaceuticals Limited, with the results published in Communications Biology. According to a press release from the university, the study could lead to the first new class of antibiotics for resistant bacteria in 60 years.

“This is the first time CBD has been shown to kill some types of Gram-negative bacteria,” said UQ Institute for Molecular Bioscience’s Associate Professor Mark Blaskovich. “These bacteria have an extra outer membrane, an additional line of defence that makes it harder for antibiotics to penetrate.”

According to Blaskovich, CBD can penetrate and kill a wide range of bacteria. These include  Neisseria gonorrhoeae, which causes gonorrhea, and antibiotic-resistant pathogens such as MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus).

“We think that cannabidiol kills bacteria by bursting their outer cell membranes, but we don’t know yet exactly how it does that, and need to do further research,” Blaskovich said.

Don’t try this at home

Gonorrhea is the second most common sexually transmitted infection in Australia. However, as an article on InQueensland points out, CBD’s efficacy in a laboratory setting doesn’t mean people should attempt to replicate those results at home.

“We encourage people not to self-medicate with CBD because it is very dependent on how you apply it and for a serious infection inside your body we have no evidence that it works,” the article quotes Blaskovich as saying.

Its collaboration with UQ has enabled Botanix to progress a topical CBD formulation into clinical trials.

“What we are hoping is that we can find a new antibiotic based on CBD that we could give it as a pill or injection and it would work at killing infections inside the body,” Blaskovich said.” That’s the holy grail of where we would like to go in the future.’’

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