A compound made by cannabis plants has been found to wipe out drug-resistant bacteria, raising hopes of a new weapon in the fight against superbugs.

Scientists screened five cannabis compounds for their antibiotic properties and found that one, cannabigerol (CBG), was particularly potent at killing methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), one of the most common hospital superbugs.

CBG reduced oxidative markers, such as iNOS, nitrotyrosine and Poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase 1 (PARP-1) and increase cell anti-oxidant defense through the modulation of SOD1. We reported that CBG anti-oxidant action depends on the CB2 receptors. Moreover, CBG treatment prevented IκB-αphosphorylation and translocation of the nuclear factor-κB(NF-κB) and modulated the mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinases pathway. All these actions resulted in an inhibition of cell death. Other than the anti-oxidant action, CBG showed neuroprotective effects in experimental models of Huntington’s disease and beneficial actions in a model of inflammatory bowel disease. Furthermore, CBG derivatives showed also neuroprotective effects in models of Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease and multiple sclerosis.

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