Research based articles

Antibacterial Effects of CBD and CBDA

Understanding The Importance of an Antibacterial

An antibacterial is an agent that interferes with the growth and reproduction of bacteria. Both antibiotics and antibacterial agents attack bacteria. However, the terms have evolved over the years to mean different things. Antibacterial agents are most commonly described in commercial products made to eliminate bacteria. Antibiotics, on the other hand, are most recognized for their clinical role in healthcare studies, though both work the same.
There are two main types of antibacterial agents. Those that act rapidly to destroy bacteria, not quickly disappearing and leaving no active residue, such as alcohol, peroxide, and chlorine. Then there are antibacterial agents that consist of compounds that leave long-acting residue on a surface and have a prolonged antibacterial effect. These include triclosan and triclocarban, two ingredients that are very common for household use. In fact, our homes are filled with antibacterial products we use on a daily basis. Until two decades ago, antibacterial products were strictly for use in healthcare settings.
Currently, soaps, lotions, and many cleaning agents have triclocarban, and products like plastic kitchen tools, cutting boards, kid’s toys, and fabrics are being infused with triclosan. This poses a potential problem, as both of these agents are not widely studied for their effects on human health. According to the FDA, short-term animal studies found exposure to triclosan is associated with decreased levels of thyroid hormones. There have also been studies done linking triclosan to antibiotic resistance. Antibiotic-resistant bacteria have become a serious problem in recent years, and it is prominent more research is being done to find therapeutic options to help fight harmful bacteria, without causing any health risks.
Research has found cannabinoids may be a great option for use as an antibacterial agent for a wide range of product applications, without inducing any harm to those who consume them. Let’s take a look at the antibacterial effects of CBD and CBDA.

CBDA and CBD Explained

CBDA is the most prominent cannabinoid found in the hemp plant and can be found in small traces in the cannabis plant. CBDA serves as the precursor to CBD. This means when CBDA is decarboxylated, or exposed to heat, it converts to CBD. Both cannabinoids provide a wide range of benefits.
However, CBDA has many advantages when compared to CBD. A study published in the 24th Annual Symposium of the International Cannabinoid Research Society found CBDA is 19x more bioavailable than CBD. This makes it a more potent therapeutic for a variety of instances, including reducing inflammation, anxiety, depression, and nausea. Additionally, CBDA has a greater affinity to a variety of receptors, including 5-HT1A, which is responsible for modulating dozens of processes in the body including mood, nausea, and pain.
Both CBDA and CBD are non-psychoactive cannabinoids, making them appealing choices for those who want the benefits cannabinoids have to offer without inducing uncomfortable euphoria.


Research has found CBDA and CBD act as potent antibacterial agents against a wide range of bacteria. A 2022 study found that both CBDA and CBD exhibited inhibitory effects against e. coli, s. aureus, p. aeruginosa, and b. subtilis. S. aureus, or MRSA, is a bacterial infection that has demonstrated drug resistance to a wide range of antibiotics and is one of the 12 bacterial infections listed by the World Health Organization that poses a threat to global health.
When combined with the terpenes b-pinene, a-pinene, myrcene, and limonene, CBD exhibited the most antibacterial effects. (1) Another study conducted the same year, found CBD can kill a subset of gram (-) and gram (+) bacteria, including Neisseria Gonorrhea, which is listed by both the World Health Organization and CDC as a high priority drug resistant pathogen. (2) CBDA’s and CBD’s ability to inhibit these bacteria suggests it may help with bacteria that have developed a resistance to standard antibiotics.
CBDA and CBD also act as antibiofilm agents, helping to prevent bacteria colonization. (3) This action can benefit a wide range of applications, including skin and oral health. In 2020, it was found CBD successfully reduces the colony count of dental bacteria, even more so than standard oral care products, such as Colgate and Oral B. (4) Dental plaque is a complex biofilm that gets formed on the teeth and acts as a reservoir for bacteria. It is the root cause of several dental problems, including tooth decay and tooth loss. Research demonstrates CBDA and CBD could help prevent dental plaque and help eliminate any that has accumulated.
CBDA and CBD are minor cannabinoids that have the potential to have a major effect when used as an anti-bacterial agent. Their properties can be leveraged into a wide range of products, including skin care, oral care products, and antibiotics. They provide a potential option to treat an array of bacterial infections that have become resistant to standard antibiotics. Public health agencies have identified antibacterial resistance as one of the most critical challenges of our time and it is prominent more research is being done into the antibacterial effects of CBD and CBDA.
Research Studies
Jovic et al 2022  (1)
Blaskovich et al 2021 (2)
Nigro et al 2022 (3)
Stahl et al 2020 (4)
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