Cannabigerol (CBG) could be weapon in fight against superbugs

April 2, 2020

A study by Canadian researchers showed that cannabigerol (CBG) kills some of the most worrying antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

A team of scientists from McMaster University, Hamilton, who tested the effectiveness of cannabinoids, found that CBG showed “antibacterial activity” against MRSA, one of the most resistant microbes on the planet. The World Health Organization (WHO) has classified antibiotic resistance as “one of the greatest threats to global health”.

So far, little pharmacological research has been done on CBG, which is converted into more well-known cannabinoids such as cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) during plant growth.

MRSA, also known as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, is a slightly widespread and common “superbug” that can cause pneumonia, meningitis and so-called carnivorous diseases.

The study describes the “mechanism of action” of CBG as an attack on the “cytoplasmic membrane” of the target bacteria. It also shows that cannabinoids are effective against gram-negative organisms whose outer membrane is permeabilized, when CBG acting on the inner membrane. Finally, the researchers show that cannabinoids in combination with polymyxin B act against multidrug-resistant gram-negative pathogens, which shows the broad therapeutic potential of cannabinoids.

The research team demonstrated the effectiveness of the substance both in the laboratory and in animal models in which mice with MRSA infections were cured. This happened after combining CBG with an established antibiotic called polymyxin B, resulting in a compound that killed the resistant bacteria.


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