Does CBD Interact With Antibiotics?

Antibiotics are used to prevent or treat specific types of bacterial infections. In some cases, they are prescribed for an infection that keeps coming back or causes an increased risk of complications.

However, antibiotics are not effective against viral infections, such as the common cold or flu (1).

Can CBD Be Taken With Antibiotics?

There is no known interaction between CBD (cannabidiol) and antibiotics. However, there is a potential risk when combining CBD and antibiotics, as both are metabolized (broken down) through the cytochrome P450 enzyme system (2).

Due to how antibiotics are metabolized, the concentrations of these drugs could potentially increase when taken with CBD.

The CYP450 liver enzymes are responsible for breaking down toxic compounds, including over 60% of any over-the-counter or prescription drugs consumed.

Certain substances can affect processing times within this system, making drugs metabolize faster or slower than they would on their own.

Cannabidiol can inhibit the cytochrome P450 system’s ability to metabolize certain drugs, leading to an overall increase in processing times, resulting in potentially higher levels over a longer period of time (3)

Antibiotics use the cytochrome P450 enzyme system and can interact with CBD, as reiterated by authors Eileen Konieczny, RN, and Lauren Wilson, in their book, Healing with CBD (4).

Until studies that specifically look at how CBD interacts with antibiotics are completed, talk with a doctor to make sure there are no CBD drug interactions with other medications currently taken.

CBD Oil As Antibiotic: What the Research Says

CBD oil has been shown to possess antimicrobial properties, making it another tool for fighting infection. 

Although it is not well-understood how CBD oil fights bacteria, studies have confirmed CBD’s antibiotic properties, which are particularly useful in attacking bacteria that have become resistant to traditional antibiotics.

One such study investigated how various cannabinoids, including CBD and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), affect pathogenic bacteria (5).

In the said study, each cannabinoid was tested against six strains of the antibiotic-resistant superbug, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). All cannabinoids showed potent activity against a variety of MRSA strains. 

The results of the study indicated that CBD has proven to be effective at fighting one of the most treatment-resistant strains of bacteria the field of medicine has ever seen.

Then, the researchers at the University of Queensland’s Institute for Molecular Bioscience discovered in 2019, through a series of test-tube experiments, that CBD could kill numerous strains of bacteria, including treatment-resistant strains like VRSA, VISA, and MRSA (6).

These strains have developed resistance to other existing Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved antibiotics over the years. However, they did not develop any resistance to CBD. 

In one of the experiments, the researchers found that despite exposing the strains to CBD for 20 days, this cannabis compound was able to outmaneuver the entire process of superbug development.

Moreover, CBD was found to be effective at disrupting biofilms, a microscopic conglomeration of bacteria, mucopolysaccharides, and waste products and act as a physical barrier that prevents antibiotics from working against the bacteria growth that leads to difficult-to-treat infections. This breakthrough in microbiology could ultimately lead to the development of new treatments.

Lead author, Mark Blaskovich, stated there was no doubt CBD possessed a unique mechanism that worked against bacteria resistant to other antibiotics. He admitted, however, that he and his team still could not explain how this mechanism works. 

A later study, conducted in August 2019 by scientists from the United Kingdom, has shed light on the workings of that unique mechanism (7).

In the said study, which was published in Frontiers in Cellular and Infection Microbiology, the authors examined the antibacterial effects of CBD and Escherichia Coli bacteria (E. coli)’s membrane vesicles, which the bacteria use to spread and communicate. 

The researchers discovered that the antibiotic’s ability to prevent the release of those membrane vesicles is enhanced by CBD. 

The results suggested that CBD could help fight specific bacteria as a tailored co-application with selected antibiotics.

The researchers concluded that CBD might help increase antibiotic activity and reduce antibiotic resistance when used in tailored co-application.

Conclusion

The results of the studies demonstrating CBD’s antibiotic properties are especially exciting for the CBD community. 

However, it is essential to note that researchers still do not know what made CBD powerful at fighting the infections during the experiments. 

All the research was carried out in a lab, in test tubes and on bacteria cultures, not on humans.

To date, there has been no study that recommends taking CBD with antibiotics. Neither is there a study that suggests CBD can replace antibiotics in the treatment or prevention of some types of bacterial infections. 

Further research needs to be conducted to study the long-term side effects and resistance of CBD as an antibiotic. 

Before taking CBD or any CBD products to treat or prevent any infection, do research and consult with a doctor experienced in cannabis use for advice.


  1. NHS. (2019, May 23). Antibiotics Uses. Retrieved from https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/antibiotics/uses/.
  2. Pharmotech SA. CBD Drug Interactions. Retrieved from https://pharmotech.ch/cbd-drug-interactions/.
  3. Ibid. 
  4. Eileen Konieczny and Lauren Wilson. Healing with CBD: How Cannabidiol Can Transform Your Health without the High (California: Ulysses Press, 2018). P46-47.
  5. Giovanni Appendino, G et al. Antibacterial Cannabinoids from Cannabis sativa: A Structure−Activity Study. Journal of Natural Products 2008 71 (8), 1427-1430. DOI: 10.1021/np8002673.
  6. The University of Queensland. (2019, June 24). Cannabis compound could be powerful new antibiotic. Retrieved from https://imb.uq.edu.au/article/2019/06/cannabis-compound-could-be-powerful-new-antibiotic; CDC. (2010, Nov 24). General Information about VISA/VRSA. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/hai/organisms/visa_vrsa/visa_vrsa.html; CDC. (2019, June 26). Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/mrsa/community/index.html
  7. Kosgodage US, Matewele P, Awamaria B, et al. Cannabidiol Is a Novel Modulator of Bacterial Membrane Vesicles. Front Cell Infect Microbiol. 2019;9:324. Published 2019 Sep 10. DOI:10.3389/fcimb.2019.00324. 
CBD Clinicals is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

Featured Posts


Spruce CBD Review

Spruce is a family-owned business based out of Raleigh, North Carolina. The company was founded in 2018 in the belief that modern medicine is broken and that there is a need for alternatives to dangerous pharmaceuticals. Spruce’s lab-grade CBD oil is 100% natural and tested by a third-party lab in...

Read more

Best CBD Oil for High Blood Pressure (Hypertension)

Why People Are Taking CBD for High Blood Pressure? According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), high blood pressure can harden the arteries, which decreases the flow of blood and oxygen to the heart, leading to heart disease(5). In a 2015 study conducted by researchers from the...

Read more

CBDistillery Review 2020

CBDistillery is a U.S. Hemp Authority-, GMP-, GRAS-, and ISO-certified CBD brand in Colorado. It was created with the belief that everyone should have access to quality products and information on CBD.

Read more

Top 4 Best CBD Oil for Dogs With Cancer

Why Some People are Using CBD for Dogs with Cancer? An article posted by the American Kennel Club (AKC) says that there is no conclusive scientific data on using cannabidiol (CBD) to treat dogs specifically. However, there is anecdotal evidence from dog owners suggesting that CBD can help with neuropathic...

Read more

NuLeaf Naturals Review

NuLeaf Naturals claims to specially breed the therapeutic hemp grown on licensed Colorado farms for its wellness products. 

Read more

CBD Oil for Kids with Anxiety

Why People are Turning to CBD for Children with Anxiety? CBD has become a popular OTC treatment that parents give their children, says Doris Trauner, M.D., professor of neurosciences and pediatrics at the University of California San Diego School of Medicine and a physician at San Diego’s Rady Children’s Hospital....

Read more

SabaiDee CBD Reviews

SabaiDee CBD products are tested both in-house and by independent laboratories to verify the quality of every batch. Their products all come with SabaiDee’s Happiness Guarantee. 

Read more

Best CBD for Neuropathy (Nerve Pain)

As medical cannabis products have become more popular, people are turning to them to treat everything from anxiety to depression to chronic pain. Individuals who are suffering from neuropathy may show interest in trying CBD oil. What Is CBD? CBD comes from a plant that is part of the Cannabaceae...

Read more

CBD for Acid Reflux

CBD may show a promising position to help address acid reflux. Known for its anti-inflammatory properties, CBD modulates the movement and volatility of intestinal propulsions. CBD interacts with the surrounding soft muscles of the gastrointestinal system that results in the relaxation and contraction of the muscles.

Read more