D67: Cannabis and Antimicrobial Resistance

Cannabis and Antimicrobial Resistance

The growing issue of antimicrobial resistance has stimulated research into alternative therapeutic options, one of which is the use of cannabinoids like THC and CBD. These compounds, along with various terpenes and flavonoids in cannabis, have been investigated for their antimicrobial properties. However, their role in mitigating or exacerbating antimicrobial resistance is not fully understood, making it critical to delve into both the potential benefits and risks.


  1. Antibacterial Properties: Cannabinoids like CBD have shown antibacterial activity against Gram-positive bacteria[1].
  2. Biofilm Disruption: Certain cannabinoids may disrupt bacterial biofilms, a contributing factor to antimicrobial resistance[2].

Risks and Adverse Effects:

  1. Concentration-Dependent Effects: High concentrations may be needed to achieve antimicrobial effects, raising concerns about toxicity[3].
  2. Incomplete Understanding: The exact mechanisms behind cannabinoids’ antimicrobial effects and their impact on antimicrobial resistance are not fully known[4].

Comparison Table: Interactions of Cannabinoids with Antimicrobial Resistance

CompoundInteraction with Antimicrobial ResistanceImpact on SuperbugsEffects on Bacterial Cell MembranesBiofilm ImpactReference
THCUnder StudyUnknownUnknownUnknown[4]
CBDInhibitoryEffective on Gram-positiveDisruptivePossible[1]
TerpenesSynergisticLimited DataLimited DataLimited Data[2]
FlavonoidsUnder StudyLimited DataLimited DataLimited Data[3]


  1. Appendino, G., Gibbons, S., Giana, A., Pagani, A., Grassi, G., Stavri, M., … & Rahman, M. M. (2008). Antibacterial cannabinoids from Cannabis sativa: a structure− activity study. Journal of Natural Products.
  2. Ribeiro, A., Ferraz, C., & Silva, F. (2015). Cannabis and its secondary metabolites: their use as therapeutic drugs, toxicological aspects, and analytical determination. Medicinal Chemistry Research.
  3. Feldman, M., Smoum, R., Mechoulam, R., & Steinberg, D. (2018). Antimicrobial potential of endocannabinoid and endocannabinoid-like compounds against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. Scientific Reports.
  4. Russo, E. B. (2016). The pharmacological history of Cannabis. Handbook of Cannabis and Related Pathologies.

Special Notes:

Individuals with pre-existing liver conditions, pregnant or lactating women, and those with compromised immune systems should be cautious when considering cannabinoid treatment and should consult healthcare professionals for personalized guidance. For more specialized care, please consult Dr. Caplan at CED Clinic.

📗 Note: If this diagram was a taste test, the book is the smorgasbord. Chow down on knowledge here 📗

Cover of The Doctor-Approved Cannabis Handbook featuring a green medical plus symbol
Unlock the world of medical cannabis with The Doctor-Approved Cannabis Handbook.

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