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Weekly Medicinal Cannabis Research Wrap - 15/7/2020

Cannabigerol shows antibacterial properties against MRSA

The cannabis plant contains at least 113 known cannabinoids, the two most well-known of these being Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). A combined interdisciplinary team of researchers at McMaster University has found that a lesser known cannabinoid called cannabigerol (CBG) has anti-bacterial properties and is also effective in treating the drug resistant bacteria MRSA when tested on mice.

The study(1) looked at the antibiotic properties of 18 different cannabinoids with results of all invitro testing showing promise. CBG was a frontrunner in terms of antibiotic properties, especially against the MRSA bacteria, so further tests were carried out on MRSA positive mice.

The results from the study showed that the mechanism of action of the CBG for fighting the MRSA was via targeting the cytoplasmic membrane of the bacteria. This prevents the MRSA bacteria from forming biofilms on cells, as well as eradicating the pre-formed biofilms and the stationary phase cells that are normally resistant to antibiotics. This is extremely promising for further research into the antibacterial properties of the lesser known cannabinoids from the cannabis plant.

1) Uncovering the Hidden Antibiotic Potential of Cannabis

Maya A. Farha, Omar M. El-Halfawy, Robert T. Gale, Craig R. MacNair, Lindsey A. Carfrae, Xiong Zhang, Nicholas G. Jentsch, Jakob Magolan, and Eric D. Brown

ACS Infectious Diseases 2020

Is Cannabis the new “runners high”?

A recent study(2) completed by researchers at the University of Colorado Boulder found that 82% of people partaking in exercise used Cannabis before or after their workouts. While 82% seems unusually high, it is important to note that Colorado is one of the US States where cannabis use is legal both medically and recreationally. Not only is the plant more accessible there, the stigma around its use is significantly lower.

Most of those that use cannabis in this way reported that it increases motivation to work out, increases enjoyment whilst doing so as well as aiding and speeding up their recovery afterwards. The study was completed by 605 participants using an online survey. Participants that endorsed using cannabis in conjunction with exercise tended to be younger as well as male, however after making controlled adjustments for these differences the overwhelming result showed that participants that used cannabis in conjunction with exercise tended engage in more minutes of both anaerobic and aerobic exercise per week.

New Zealand has some of the highest obesity rates in the world, with the 2018/19 health survey finding that 30.9% of our adult population are considered overweight. Humans tend towards activities that bring them enjoyment and if using cannabis in conjunction with exercise can increase the enjoyment of the chosen physical activity then this can only be a positive thing. It is important to note that in many competitive arenas cannabis is already considered a performance enhancing drug and is outlawed by the governing bodies of many sports regardless of whether the cannabis was consumed in a legal manner. This study is an extremely important step in clarifying the effects of cannabis use with exercise in adults.

2) YorkWilliams SL, Gust CJ, Mueller R, Bidwell LC, Hutchison KE, Gillman AS, and Bryan AD (2019) The New Runner's High? Examining Relationships Between Cannabis Use and Exercise Behavior in States With Legalized Cannabis. Front. Public Health 7:99. doi: 10.3389/fpubh.2019.00099

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