By Joy Stephenson-Laws, J.D., Founder
CBD May Be A Powerful Tool In Fighting Infectious Disease
In the current climate of concern for COVID-19, many of us may forget that there are other problems such as infectious diseases which could potentially be even bigger in the future if we are not proactive. One of these problems is bacterial infections which we have addressed before - especially bacteria which is resistant to antibiotics.
“Antibiotic resistance is one of the most urgent threats to the public’s health. Antibiotic resistance occurs when bacteria develop the ability to defeat the drugs designed to kill them. Each year in the United States, at least 2 million people get infected with antibiotic-resistant bacteria, and at least 23,000 people die as a result,” according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Hospital-acquired infections (also called healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) or nosocomial infections) are particularly relevant now. Many people are in hospitals due to COVID-19 (some with compromised immune systems, making it more challenging to fight infections).
Some types of HAIs include bloodstream infections such as sepsis and staphylococcal (staph) infections, catheter-associated urinary tract infections and surgical site infections.
There is also the risk of ventilator-associated pneumonia, which is a lung infection that occurs in a person using a ventilator. And as we know, there are many people having to use ventilators now.
“A ventilator is a machine that is used to help a patient breathe by giving oxygen through a tube placed in a patient’s mouth or nose, or through a hole in the front of the neck. An infection may occur if germs enter through the tube and get into the patient’s lungs,” reports the CDC.
Many of these infections are caused by bacteria (not necessarily viruses as is the case with COVID-19). And if antibiotics are unable to fight off these bacteria, then we have a major problem on our hands.
Turns out, cannabis may be a solution for some strains of resistant bacteria.
Note that I’m not talking about weed when I refer to cannabis. I’m talking about CBD (cannabidiol, a chemical found in cannabis plants). CBD will not get you high like the better known cannabis molecule delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) - the one that gets you high when you smoke or ingest marijuana.
A recent study found evidence which suggested that antibiotics were better at fighting staph bacteria when the antibiotics were enhanced with CBD.
“Alternative strategies are being explored and helper compounds are attracting attention. Helper compounds are non-antibiotic compounds with the capability of enhancing the efficacy of antibiotics,” according to one report discussing the study.
CBD has shown that it may be a good helper compound.
According to the study, there are multi-drug resistant clones of staph bacteria all over the world. And it’s such an issue that researchers fear this will become an even bigger problem in the future.
However, the combination of antibiotics with CBD may be just the medicine we need. When staph bacteria was treated with this combination, the results showed that:
- The bacteria could not divide (replicate) normally.
- “The expression of certain key genes (cell division and autolysis genes) in the bacteria was lowered.”
- The bacterial membrane became compromised.
Reportedly, Americans are more interested in CBD than any other health topic so it will be easy to create an awareness of the benefits of CBD. More research may be necessary but it appears that implementing CBD treatment into the use of antibiotics may make bacteria less resistant overtime. This could be huge for the future of public health.
In a report from the World Health Organization, CBD was noted to have the potential to fight staph infections. Furthermore, it has been associated with improving a wide range of health issues including pain, anxiety, depression, cancer, arthritis, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes complications and more.
And if you are worried about addiction to CBD, WHO reports that “...CBD exhibits no effects indicative of any abuse or dependence potential.”
How else can we be proactive about infectious disease and antibiotic resistance?
- Strengthen our immune system. Your immune system is your body’s best defense against all kinds of illnesses. So don’t wait to get sick to start thinking about your health. Boost your immunity now so you get sick less often, can recover quickly and enjoy a healthy life. Eat a diet rich in fruits and vegetables to get the nutrients needed for a strong immune system. The following supplements may also help: Probiotics, black elderberry, magnesium, vitamin C, vitamin D and antioxidants. Also be aware of your nutritional status by periodically doing a nutrient test. The results will let you know which nutrients you are deficient in so you can identify the amount of the right foods you need to eat to keep your immune system in good shape.
Read here to learn how you can help make your immune system as strong as possible. And remember that the essential mineral iron may also help in the fight against resistant bacteria.
Enjoy your healthy life!
The pH professional health care team includes recognized experts from a variety of health care and related disciplines, including physicians, attorneys, nutritionists, nurses and certified fitness instructors. This team also includes the members of the pH Medical Advisory Board, which constantly monitors all pH programs, products and services. To learn more about the pH Medical Advisory Board, click here.