Good news for potheads making their annual trek to Black Rock, Nev. this week to celebrate Burning Man: A new study says that marijuana appears to fight infections. According to research published in the Journal of Natural Products, the five most common cannabinoid compounds in weed—tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), cannabidiol, cannabigerol, cannabinol and cannabichromene—can kill antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Think MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus), which claimed more lives than AIDS in 2007 or, more recently, extensively drug-resistant mycobacterium tuberculosis (XDR-TB.)
Researchers were unable to pinpoint exactly how the ingredients interact with bacterial targets. They called for rigorous clinical trials to determine the safety and effectiveness of cannabinoids as topical antiseptics and as antibacterial agents. Researchers stressed that
certain strains of marijuana have high concentrations of nonpsychotropic cannabinoids (specifically CBD and CBG) and that these will be the focus of study for consumer use.* (Sorry to disappoint.)
* Note (8/28/08): This sentence has been altered since publication.