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Cannabis Compound having Antibiotic Effects |

Cannabis Compound having Antibiotic Effects

Context

∙ Scientists at CSIR-Indian Institute of Integrative Medicine (IIIM), Jammu, have found that phytocannabinoids, a class of compounds found in the cannabis plant, possess some hitherto unexplored antibiotic properties.

About the study

∙ The study specifically focused on tetrahydrocannabidiol (THCBD), a phytocannabinoid, and its efficacy against Staphylococcus aureus, a bacteria contributing to antibiotic resistance.

∙ THCBD demonstrated strong antibacterial effects against various resistant strains of S. aureus, including the methicillin-resistant strain.

Challenges and opportunities

∙ Legal hurdles: Research related to cannabis comes up against legal constraints and the need to adhere to specific regulations when studying this plant.

∙ Section 20 of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances   Act   1985 restricts the use of cannabis and doesn’t make exceptions for research.

∙ Lack of ease of research: Currently, many universities lack approval to conduct research on the plant. Hence, establishing a framework and transportation agreement is important.

∙ Solubility challenge: Solubility is an important consideration for a drug. Before active ingredients of antibiotics can be absorbed at a specific site in the body, the drug will need to dissolve in an aqueous solution. If it doesn’t dissolve properly, the body won’t be able to absorb it as intended.

Way Ahead

∙ Cannabis has the potential to make a dent in India’s fight against the escalating threat of antibiotic resistance.

∙ Highlighting the anti-bacterial nature of cannabis will go a long way towards circumventing the taboo around it, and transform it into a valuable resource.∙ Conducting a comprehensive safety profile assessment, to pave the way for its use as a dru

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