Web MD: Chemicals In Marijuana May Fight MRSA

  • by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director September 4, 2008

    Well what do you know? A mainstream media outlet finally picked up on this story!

    Sure it’s been over a week since I first blogged about it here and here. But given the MSM’s long history of sweeping similar medi-pot revelations under the rug, this is case where I gladly say ‘better late than never.’

    Of course, given the media’s current fixation with the Republican National Convention, it’s unlikely that this story will have any legs.

    That said, give Web MD credit for acknowledging pot’s germ-killing power against MRSA, and for not letting these important findings slip down the ‘memory hole.’ No doubt there’s plenty of folks at the Drug Czar’s office who are wishing that they had.

    Chemicals in Marijuana May Fight MRSA
    via Web MD

    Sept. 4, 2008 — Chemicals in marijuana may be useful in fighting MRSA, a kind of staph bacterium that is resistant to certain antibiotics.

    Researchers in Italy and the U.K. tested five major marijuana chemicals called cannabinoids on different strains of MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus). All five showed germ-killing activity against the MRSA strains in lab tests. Some synthetic cannabinoids also showed germ-killing capability. The scientists note the cannabinoids kill bacteria in a different way than traditional antibiotics, meaning they might be able to bypass bacterial resistance.

    At least two of the cannabinoids don’t have mood-altering effects, so there could be a way to use these substances without creating the high of marijuana. (NORML note: by this author’s count, four of the five cannabinoids tested in this study lack demonstrable psychoactivity.)

    MRSA, like other staph infections, can be spread through casual physical contact or through contaminated objects. It is commonly spread from the hands of someone who has it. This could be in a health care setting, though there have also been high-profile cases of community-acquired MRSA.

    It is becoming more common for healthy people to get MRSA, which is often spread between people who have close contact with one another, such as members of a sports team. Symptoms often include skin infections, such as boils. MRSA can become serious, particularly for people who are weak or ill.

    In the study, published in the Journal of Natural Products, researchers call for further study of the antibacterial uses of marijuana. There are “currently considerable challenges with the treatment of infections caused by strains of clinically relevant bacteria that show multi-drug resistance,” the researchers write. New antibacterials are urgently needed, but only one new class of antibacterial has been introduced in the last 30 years. “Plants are still a substantially untapped source of antimicrobial agents,” the researchers conclude.

    You can hear Russ Belville and I discuss this study on the NORML podcast here.

    24 responses to “Web MD: Chemicals In Marijuana May Fight MRSA”

    1. EVERYONE needs to stop calling it ‘marijuana.’ It’s a Mexican-Spanish word that Harry Anslinger used to dupe an ignorant congress into outlawing the nations #1 domestic crop. Call it by it’s ENGLISH names: cannabis, or hemp. It’s like consistently replacing a single word in your english vocabulary with it’s spanish counterpart: ‘good night, everyone, i’m going casa.’ (I don’t speak spanish, i only remember that word from a decades-old Steve Martin skit; casa means home, right? ‘casa day pepe. donde esta, casa de pepe?’)

    2. ps: i’m surprised they actually even used the word ‘marijuana,’ they could have used the word ‘cannabis’ and then no one would have known wtf they were talking about.

    3. _thinkican_ says:

      That’s awesome that the is one more thing marijauana is GOOD for or at least, potentially. Underlining that its even more important for more research be done.

      although a tragedy it does NOT get the proper media attention. They would rather recap America’s got Talent!
      aren’t you glad you can count on our government and local media. to keep us in touch with important issues!

    4. Why is that just about every time you read about marijuana research it is from outside our borders. Is it fear or oppression or BIG BROTHER MENTALITY OR BUREAUCRACY. It is a shame that when a derivative from marijuana is found our govt. frowns upon it. As time keeps going on the govt. is going to come to reality what a wonderous plant marijuana is. Lets face it, millions of people on this planet can not be wrong of the medicinal value of marijuana or recreational use of a plant that nature has given to the world to be used ia a dignified way.So shame on you UNCLE SAM and the give humanity their needs and quit playing possum with what we want instead of what you think we need, you HYPOCRITES.

    5. Mike says:

      So what i dont get is if they have found that marijuana DOES infact have medical value how come they havent atlea=st moved it to a schedule 2 drug i always thought aslong as it has some proven medical use it HAS to be schedule 2

    6. Buggsy, the reason it’s from abroad is because it’s a Schedule 1 drug in the states, meaning that the US doesn’t recognize it as medicine and any research done in the US (outside of the sole allowed-researcher in the US, which is the government itself) isn’t recognized because the research never should have happened in the states because it’s a Schedule 1 substance. It’s a catch-22: the government says it’s not medicine and it’s illegal, meaning the government won’t do any research on it; but the government won’t do research on it because it’s an illegal substance. I explained that poorly, Jack Herer does a much better job of explaining it in his book ‘The Emperor Wears No Clothes’ which you can read online for free at jackherer.com, and you should also read ‘The Marijuana Conviction’ which was originally published in 1973 or so and you can read some of what it contains at http://tinyurl.com/1mn and http://tinyurl.com/potconviction

    7. Mike, they don’t want anyone being able to grow their own medicine in their back yard; they want you buying synthetic drugs developed by big pharma, and they like throwing nonviolent citizens in prison to recover with prison labor the labor they lost when the north won the civil war and outlawed slavery.

    8. Bruno says:

      Mike and Buggsy, because the president and his cabinet (and all those before him in the last 80 years) indeed ARE hypocrites. The government holds patents on the medicinal properties of cannabis – yet they won’t move it to a schedule 2. They are fully aware of the healing properties and the lack of danger/damage, but that’s not what it is about. Methenphetamine, Cocain, and opium are considered [by the big heads] schedule 2 – yes, safer than and more medicinal value than pot.

      It’s about interests. Cannabis does not fit into their agenda. Self medication hurts the drug companies that run our country. If it becomes legal, there will be less “criminals” on the streets so profits for Prison tycoons also diminish. Other industries like textiles and even seed companies (like for commercial bird food) also have their hand in profit from the prohibition. All of these companies have powerful lobbyists with deep enough politics to make pot almost obsolete in politics.

      And Buggsy, the reason these studies are most always from other countries is that it is illegal to study cannabis in the States. Seldom researchers have procured licenses to investigate pot. The few that do have the legal ability to research it are normally – say it with me now – Government agencies. And they’re not looking to disclose any sort of positive results they may encounter.

      Some researchers/scientists say that it’s more difficult to find something bad about pot, than the overwhelming [and blatantly obvious] amount of good. This explains why it takes the government agencies so long to put out any results of their studies.

      Pot prohibition is a slap in the face to every American.

    9. Bruno says:

      Yeah, what Phil E. said – except I’d never heard of the labor thing re: the end of slavery.

      It seems like that would only have affected the South. And since it was a while ago, I would have thought they would have recovered by now. If this were the case, I would think the unemployment rates would be lower.

      It costs taxpayers about $250,000 per year to incarcerate one person. The government writes the checks to the prison owners with our money to cage nonviolent pot smokers like you and I. If they ever had a soul, it’s long gone by now.

    10. Arlington, Tx says:

      once again….so many medicinal properties and the U.S. gov’t doesn’t care. anything new??? of course not!!! move to canada or the u.k. if you want real freedom…that’s what i’m trying to do