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Thursday, September 11, 2008

 

Chemicals in Marijuana May Fight Antibiotic-Resistant MRSA “Superbug”

‘Chemicals in marijuana may be useful in fighting MRSA, a kind of staph bacterium that is resistant to certain antibiotics. Researchers in Italy and the U.K. tested five major marijuana chemicals called cannabinoids on different strains of MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus). All five showed germ-killing activity against the MRSA strains in lab tests.

Some synthetic cannabinoids also showed germ-killing capability. The scientists note the cannabinoids kill bacteria in a different way than traditional antibiotics, meaning they might be able to bypass bacterial resistance. At least two of the cannabinoids don’t have mood-altering effects, so there could be a way to use these substances without creating the high of marijuana. [..]

In the study, published in the Journal of Natural Products, researchers call for further study of the antibacterial uses of marijuana. There are “currently considerable challenges with the treatment of infections caused by strains of clinically relevant bacteria that show multi-drug resistance,” the researchers write.

New antibacterials are urgently needed, but only one new class of antibacterial has been introduced in the last 30 years. “Plants are still a substantially untapped source of antimicrobial agents,” the researchers conclude.’




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