CBD Kills Drug-Resistant Bacteria

This is a scientific guide.

Based on the latest medical studies.

  • know how CBD and antibiotics work together against Staph and Listeria bacteria
  • discover how CBD may save us from a future of drug-resistant superbugs

Let’s get started.

2020 CBD Research

CBD makes antibiotics significantly more effective against drug-resistant bacteria.


nih medical study

New CBD Study Published March 2020

cbd research results


Study Results: 

  • CBD used in combination with bacitracin (a topical antibiotic cream) resulted in a greater than 64 fold increase in the effectiveness of bacitracin against gram-positive bacteria such as Staphylococcus species, Listeria monocytogenes, and Enterococcus faecalis.  All are common and potential deadly human pathogens (1).                                                                   cannabidiol antibacterial results 
  • The addition of CBD to bacitracin had a synergistic effect which helped to more effectively kill drug-resistant bacteria strains (2).                                                                     cbd skincare benefit



cannabidiol study results graph

Our summary: 

  • The findings of this study suggest that CBD is an effective “helper compound” for killing gram-positive bacteria (3).          
  • Because less antibiotic is needed to effectively treat infections when helper compounds like CBD are employed, the risk of developing antibiotic-resistant bacteria is decreased (4).                                                        

cannabidiol antibiotic benefit

CBD Antibiotic Synergy: 

  • To determine the synergistic antibiotic effects of bacitracin (BAC) and CBD, a time-kill assay was performed to test whether or not CBD actually increased the effectiveness of bacitracin (5).                                             
  •  There was no synergistic effect for CBD and bacitracin against gram-negative bacterias such as Pseudomonas aeruginosaSalmonella typhimuriumKlebsiella pneumoniae, and Escherichia coli.                              


  • Difficulty treating drug-resistant bacteria such as Staphylococcus aureus has sparked a search for new antibiotic compounds and treatment strategies (6).    cbd antibiotic treatment

Download The Study

Study Authors:

Claes Søndergaard Wassmann

Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Research Unit of Molecular Microbiology, University of Southern Denmark

Peter Højrup

Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Protein Research Group, University of Southern Denmark, Odense

Janne Kudsk Klitgaard

Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Research Unit of Molecular Microbiology, University of Southern Denmark

Institute of Clinical Research, Research Unit of Clinical Microbiology, University of Southern Denmark, Odense


Keywords: cannabidiol, antibiotics, antibacterial


Wassmann CS, Højrup P, Klitgaard JK. Cannabidiol is an effective helper compound in combination with bacitracin to kill Gram-positive bacteria. Sci Rep. 2020;10(1):4112. Published 2020 Mar 5. doi:10.1038/s41598-020-60952-0

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