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

About Phytocannabinoids

  • Cannabinoids are a class of compounds found in the cannabis plant.
  • The prefix ‘phyto’ in phytocannabinoid means it comes from a plant.
  • Cannabinoids bind to receptors in the bodies of animals to produce a variety of neurological effects.
  • The researchers extracted cannabidiol from a cannabis plant and made it react with hydrogen, using palladium as a catalyst.
  • This process yielded a mixture of molecules with the same composition and order of atoms but different structures. One of them was THCBD.

What were THCBD’s effects?

  • Researchers tested the antibacterial properties of tetrahydrocannabidiol (THCBD), a semisynthetic phytocannabinoid, against Staphylococcus aureus, the bacteria responsible for the second most number of deaths due to AMR worldwide.
  • The minimum quantity found to be efficacious against a strain of Gram-positive S. aureus used commonly in AMR research was found to be 0.25 μg/ml, which the researchers called “potent”.
  • They found that THCBD “significantly reduced” the number of viable microbial cells of S. aureus skin infections in mice.

Key facts about Antimicrobial resistance (AMR)

  • It is a major health concern worldwide.
  • It refers to when bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites no longer respond to medicines used to treat them.

Q1) What is Staphylococcus aureus?

It is a type of bacteria. It stains Gram positive and is non-moving small round shaped or non-motile cocci. It is found in grape-like (staphylo-) clusters. It is one of the five most common causes of infections after injury or surgery. It affects around 500,000 patients in American hospitals annually.

Source: Jammu CSIR lab finds cannabis plant compound has antibiotic effects | Explained