The research findings could also open new doors for the natural products industry, as the cannabis substances may also provide a more earth-friendly alternative to synthetic antibacterial substances widely used in soaps, cosmetics and other personal care items.
In the study, scientists tested five marijuana ingredients—called cannabinoids—on different strains of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), a superbug that is becoming increasingly impervious to antibiotics. All five substances were able to successfully fight these drug-resistant strains, as were several synthetic non-natural cannabinoids, researchers reported. The scientists also showed that the cannabinoids have greater potential to avoid bacterial resistance than conventional antibiotics because they appear to destroy bacteria by different mechanisms. At least two of the substances have no known mood-altering effects, which means they could potentially be developed into marijuana-based drugs or natural care ingredients that pose no risk of inducing a drug “high.”