Cannabidiol (CBD), one of the major products of the marijuana plant, is devoid of marijuana’s typical psychological effects. In contrast, potential antipsychotic efficacy has been suggested based on preclinical and clinical data (Zuardi et al., 2002). In this report, we further investigated the efficacy and safety of CBD monotherapy in three patients with treatment-resistant schizophrenia (TRS). This was an in-patient study. All patients were given placebo for the initial 5 days, and from the 6th to 35th day (inclusive) they received CBD (initial oral dose of 40 mg reaching 1280 mg/day). On the 36th day, CBD treatment was discontinued and replaced by placebo for 5 days, which was subsequently switched to olanzapine for over 15 days. Efficacy, tolerability and side effects were assessed. One patient showed mild improvement, but two patients didn’t show any improvement during CBD monotherapy. All patients tolerated CBD very well and no side effects were reported. These preliminary data suggest that CBD monotherapy may not be effective for TRS.
“This is particularly exciting because there have been no new molecular classes of antibiotics for Gram-negative infections discovered and approved since the 1960s, and we can now consider designing new analogs of CBD within improved properties.”
“Our Company is now primed to commercialise viable antimicrobial treatments which we hope will reach more patients in the near future. This is a major breakthrough that the world needs now.”
The research team also discovered that chemical analogs – created by slightly changing CBD’s molecular structure—were also active against the bacteria.
“Congratulations to Dr Blaskovich and his team for producing this significant body of research—the published data clearly establishes the potential of synthetic cannabinoids as antimicrobials,” Mr Ippolito said.
“Cannabidiol showed a low tendency to cause resistance in bacteria even when we sped up potential development by increasing concentrations of the antibiotic during ‘treatment’.”
Dr Blaskovich said collaborating with Botanix has sped up the research, with Botanix contributing formulation expertise that has led to the discovery that how cannabidiol is delivered makes a huge difference in its effectiveness at killing bacteria.
The research collaboration between The University of Queensland and Botanix Pharmaceuticals Limited could lead to the first new class of antibiotics for resistant bacteria in 60 years.