Grizzle Report

A chemical compound found in cannabis could save thousands of lives by destroying the feared MRSA superbug, according to Canadian researchers.

The disease is resistant to many forms of antibiotic and scientists have previously estimated that it kills around 19,000 people per year in the United States alone. A team from McMaster University in Ontario has used a cannabinoid called cannabigerol (CBG) to successfully treat MRSA in mice.

The researchers tested 18 different commercially available cannabinoids and found that they all showed antibiotic activity. CBG was the most promising.

The researchers synthesized a large quantity of it and then went “deep into the research”. They hoped it could display antibacterial activity against drug-resistant MRSA.

It proved effective in preventing the bacteria from forming biofilms and destroying cells resistant to antibiotics. “CBG proved to be marvellous at tackling pathogenic bacteria,” said study lead Eric Brown, professor of biochemistry and biomedical sciences at McMaster. “The findings suggest real therapeutic potential for cannabinoids as antibiotics.”

Unlike THC, the CBG compound is non-hallucinogenic, so it will not get users high, but it could save their lives. Brown said the research “opens a therapeutic window”.

Researchers will now strive to refine the mass compound to make it more targeted towards MRSA bacteria and reducing the chance of toxicity.

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