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Cannabis sativa L. and its antimicrobial properties – A review



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Badania i Rozwój Młodych Naukowców w Polsce Agronomia i ochrona roślin
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11. Cannabis sativa L. and its antimicrobial properties A review
Martyna Głodowska, Malgorzata Łyszcz
Institute of Soil Science and Plant Cultivation State Research Institute, Pulawy, Poland
Supervisor: dr. Anna Gałązka
Martyna Głodowska:
Key words: hemp, cannabis, metabolites, THC, CBD,
Cannabis sativa L. is a very potent plant that exhibit many interesting features. Although,
presently it is mainly perceived as a narcotic, not many knows that it is also a great source of fiber
and a powerful medicinal plant. The metabolic profile of the cannabis is extremely rich. More than
480 active compounds have already been isolated, among which 180 belong to the cannabinoids
family. The most studied secondary metabolites are the delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ9-THC) which
is known to have psychoactive properties, and the cannabidiol (CBD) known for its medicinal
potential. Antimicrobial properties are attributed mostly to some of these active compounds. Several
studies investigated these properties. Therefore, the goal of this paper is to review available scientific
data about the antibacterial and antifungal properties of the cannabis extracts.
Cannabis sativa L. is an annual herbaceous plant that belongs to the Cannabis genus,
a species of the Cannabaceae family. Originating from Central Asia cannabis is one of the oldest
psychoactive plant known to man But also it has been used all over the world either as a medicinal
plant or as a source of food and fibers (Jiang 2006). One of the first use of this plant was reported in
China: archeological findings pointed out that cannabis was cultivated for fibers and further used in
textiles, ropes and paper production, since 4000 B.C. (Zuardi 2006). In Europe, cannabis was
introduced by Muslims in paper manufacture techniques, first in 1150 in Spain and later in Italy
(Aldrich 1997). Although cannabis is presently perceived mostly as a recreational drug, the plant has
been appreciated and applied in ancient medicine since centuries. The first written information about
the medicinal use of cannabis comes from ancient China, in the oldest pharmacopoeia dated from the
first century of this Era. At the time cannabis was used in the treatment of rheumatic pain, intestinal
constipation, disorders of the female reproductive system, malaria, and other health problems (Touwn
1981). Some sources reports that cannabis was used in the twentieth century B.C in Egypt to treat
sore eyes. In India, before the tenth century B.C., bhang, (edible preparation of cannabis, traditionally
used in food and drink for centuries) was used as an anesthetic and anti- phlegmatic (Sachindra and
Pradhan 1977). It is still used among Hindu and Muslims as spasmolytic, analgesic in mental
conditions and to increase resistance to severe physical stress (Mechoulam and Lander 1980). It is not
uncommon that cannabis is recommended to patients suffering from rabies, cholera, rheumatism, and
tetanus. In the middle of 19th century in Western Europe, cannabis gained some attention in the
medical science. Later, in 1860, the first clinical conference about cannabis took place in the United
States and afterwards many scientific papers have been published (Zuardi 2006). The situation
changed when in 1942 cannabis was removed from United States Pharmacopoeia and lost its medical
statute due to its potential to lead to” insanity” (Fankhauser 2002). Following the US, most of
European countries adapted in 1971 the Convention on Psychotropic Substances instituted by United
Nations by which cannabis became illegal (Amar 2006). It is the main reason why cannabis gained a
bad reputation, interest in this plant drastically decreased and the access became limited to the black-
market. Since a few years however, an increasing number of scientific evidences demonstrate the
efficiency of cannabinoids in the treatment of epilepsy, Parkinson disease, analgesia, antiemetic
effect, appetite disorders, multiple sclerosis, Tourette’s syndrome and other neurological diseases,
carefully reviewed by Amar (2006) in “Cannabinoids in medicine: A review of their therapeutic
potential”. Nowadays, many countries cultivate cannabis for the fiber and seeds production.
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Furthermore, an increasing number of countries have legalized the medicinal use and cultivation of
plants with an increased THC and CBD content. New varieties with desired characteristics and
suitable for certain climate conditions are constantly being developed. Therefore, cannabis becomes
a very important crop of great potential and economical value. Most of the available literature
concerning cannabis rather describes its medical properties and its use in clinical research. Similarly,
an important number of studies focus on psychological effects for humans. Besides that there is quite
a lot known about its antimicrobial activity against human pathogens but only little is known about
its antimicrobial properties against crop pathogens. Therefore the main goal of this review is to gather
scientific data about the inhibitory effect of cannabis and some of its secondary metabolites on the
microorganisms that cause some of the crop diseases. Although cannabis is mostly know for it
medicinal and psychoactive properties it is widely used as a source of fibers in textile productions.
Furthermore, hemp (cannabis grown for industrial purposes) gain recently some importance as a bio-
composite material used for construction and insulation (National Non-Food Crops Centre). Whole
seeds and seed oil are consumed by human, seeds and leaves are frequently used as a feed to animals.
Moreover, seed oil and stalks can be burned as fuel (Clark 2002).
Cannabis active compounds
Cannabis sativa L. is known to have numerous active compounds representing different
chemical classes. Some of them belong to primary metabolites, for example, amino acids, fatty acids
and steroids, while cannabinoids, stilbenoids, flavonoids, lignans, terpenoids, and alkaloids belongs
to secondary metabolites. Generally, the metabolic profile of this plant is extremely rich, more than
480 compounds have been discovered, from which 180 belong to cannabinoids family (Fischedick et
al. 2010). Cannabinoids are usually a group of compounds build of 21 carbons (C21) and they are in
the form of carboxylic acids. The cannabinoids are the most known among secondary metabolites of
cannabis (Amer 2006). The classical cannabinoids are usually concentrated in the viscous resin
produced in structures known as glandular trichomes (Figure 2).
Tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ9-THC) (Figure 1a) is the most studied among them and it attracts
lot of attention due to its psychoactive properties. On the other hand cannabidiol (CBD) (Figure 1b)
is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid that gained lot of interest in recent years due to the increasing
number of evidences demonstrating its efficiency in the treatment of several neurological diseases.
The concentration of active compounds depends on many factors such as variety, age, tissue type,
growing conditions, harvest time as well as storage conditions. Hemphill et al. (1980) found that the
quality as well as quantity of cannabinoids varies importantly between organs of geographically
distinct hemp plants. It the analysis of the leaves of different ages it was demonstrated that the
youngest leaves from the upper part of the flowering plant contained the highest concentrations of
cannabinoid. Some study report that the production of cannabinoids increases in plants under stress
conditions (Pate 1999). Also, it was reported that hemp grown in the northern latitudes has usually
higher concentration of Δ9-THC and CBD (Leizer et al. 2000). Cannabinoids are found in all parts of
hemp organs, however the highest concentrations are found in the resinous exudate of flowering tops
(Figure 2).
Theoretically all genotypes of industrial hemp contain Δ9-THC. Nonetheless, unlike
marijuana (cannabis with the high content of THC, used as a recreational drug), industrial cultivars
contain minimal amount of THC, usually not exceeding 0.2% (w/v), which is about 50 times lower
than that of marijuana (Nissen et al. 2010). Most of available studies assessing antimicrobial
properties of plant extracts, based on the high-THC varieties, which are known to have powerful
antimicrobial characteristics (Appendino et al. 2008). Nevertheless, remarkably little studies focus on
the antimicrobial features of compounds isolated from low-THC varieties, which are much more
common and can be cultivated without any legal restrictions.
Badania i Rozwój Młodych Naukowców w Polsce Agronomia i ochrona roślin
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Figure 1. Two most important compound from cannabinoid family
a) cannabidiol (CBD) and b) tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ9-THC)
Figure 2. Phenology of Cannabis plant and its inflorescence
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Cannabis and its antibacterial activity
For a long time cannabis has been regarded as possessing an antibacterial activity against
a wide range of pathogenic bacteria as well as against some fungi. The antibacterial character is
contributed mainly from Δ9-THC and CBD. However number of studies demonstrated that plant
extracts or essential oils also present this activity. Wasim and coworkers (1995) tested ethanol and
petroleum cannabis extracts prepared out of leaves against different microorganisms. The results
showed that the extracts have strong inhibitory effects on both Gram positive (Baccilus subtilus,
Baccilus pumilus, Staphlococcus aureus, Micrococcus flavus) and Gram negative bacteria (Proteus
vlugaris, Bordetella bronchioseptica). The antibacterial activity of extracts was compare with the
effect of the common antibiotic Celphalexin. The results were comparable, however the concentration
of leaf extract was 250 times higher than the concentration of the antibiotic. It can be explain in two
ways. First of all the plants that were used for this study were wiled varieties with unknown content
of cannabinoids, therefore the concentration of active compounds could be very low. Second of all
the extracts were prepared out of leaves. Although cannabis leaves can contain some cannabinoids,
it is well known that the highest concentration of these substances are usually found in the
inflorescences. Nissen et al. (2010) assessed the in-vitro antimicrobial activity of the essential oils
extracted from the inflorescence of three hemp varieties of low-THC content. The antimicrobial
activity was tested against Gram (+), opportunistic and moderate pathogenic bacteria such as
Clostridium spp. and Enterococcus spp., and against Gram (−), phytopathogens bacteria including
Pseudomonas spp. and Pectobacterium spp. Results showed that oil made of the Futura variety was
the only oil that was able to inhibit all Garam (+) and Gram (-) bacteria, as well as yeasts.
Characterization of essential oils revealed that this variety had a significantly higher concentration of
terpinolene compare to the three others. Therefore, it was assumed that the antimicrobial activity was
attributed to this compound. The results suggest that although Δ9-THC and CBD are the most studied
compounds, there are still many compounds out of 480 already discovered in the cannabis plant that
have not yet been tested for antimicrobial properties. It is possible that some of these substances are
even more efficient in antibacterial agents. Furthermore, the interactions between compounds of
essential oils are still not clear. It is highly probable that the synergic and antagonistic effects of oil
compounds exist and are the cause of different activities of the oils. Indeed, the synergistic activity of
some monoterpens, such as terpinolene and pinenes, have been already reported (Gallucci et al. 2009).
Ali et al. (2011) studied the effect of Cannabis sativa L. seed oil as well as petroleum ether and
methanol extracts of the whole plant on two Gram (+) organisms (Bacillus subtilis, Staphylococcus
aureus), and two Gram (-) organisms (Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa). The Cannabis
sativa seed oil demonstrated a strong antibacterial activity (21 - 28 mm) against Bacillus subtilis and
Staphylococcus aureus, and moderate activity (15 mm) against Escherichia coli and Pseudomonas
aeruginosa (16 mm). These results are similar to those reported by Wasim et al. (1995), although the
extracts were prepared from different plant materials. Cannabis seeds are known for their nutritional
values and they are being considered as a great source of fatty acids, however the concentration of
secondary metabolites is rather low. Whole plant extracts based on methanol and petroleum ether
showed a slightly higher antimicrobial activity, particularly in the case of Bacillus subtilis where the
inhibition zone was 29 and 28 mm respectively.
Antifungal properties of cannabis
Few researchers investigated antifungal properties of the cannabis and its secondary
metabolites. Although this effect is not as extensively studied and as strongly pronounced as in the
case of antibacterial activities, some papers report that plant extracts can be successfully used in the
control of pathogenic fungi. Wasim and coworkers (1995) demonstrated that the ethanol and
petroleum extract of cannabis leaves are effectively inhibiting the growth and development of the
common human pathogenic fungi Candida albicans and Aspergillus niger, responsible for the black
mould in fruits and vegetables. The zone of inhibition in both cases was significantly higher compare
Badania i Rozwój Młodych Naukowców w Polsce Agronomia i ochrona roślin
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to antifungal antibiotic (Nystatin), however the concentration of the leave extract was 10 times higher
compare to antibiotic. Similarly, Ali and coworkers (2011) studied the effect of Cannabis sativa L.
seed oil as well as petroleum ether and methanol extracts of the whole plant on two fungi Aspergillus
niger and Candida albicans. The seed extract as well as the whole plant methanol extract turned out
to be inactive against the two fungi tested, but the whole plant petroleum ether extract showed a
modest activity against Candida albicans. Pal and coworkers (2013) tested the extracts of eleven weed
plants for their antifungal activity against seed-borne phytopathogenic fungi Alternaria SPP. All
plants demonstrated antifungal properties, some performed significantly better than others. Although
Cannabis sativa L. was not the most efficient among studied plants, it did show quit height percentage
of mycelial growth inhibition. Among 5 different types of extracts, the acetone based extract turned
out to be the most powerful antifungal agent.
Cannabis sativa L. is a very powerful plant which present many interesting properties due
to its rich metabolic profile. Although most people associate it with drugs, many scientific data
showed that its medicinal features should not be neglected. Number of studies showed its potential as
an antimicrobial agent. An important amount of them focus on antibacterial properties, however there
is less studies analyzing antifungal properties. The physiology of cannabis is already well understood.
It is know that the highest concentration of active compounds is concentrated in inflorescent, therefore
it is surprising that in most studies assessing antimicrobial properties of cannabis, leaves and seeds
are usually used to prepare extracts. Furthermore, many of the studies look at the response of the same
pathogenic fungi such as Aspergillus and Candida, or bacteria such as Baccilus or Staphlococcus.
Due to environmental issues associated with pesticides use, many studies nowadays focus on finding
alternatives to synthetic disease control chemicals. Natural plant extracts might be one of them.
Therefore, future studies should search for cannabis use against plant pathogenic bacteria and fungi
instead of focusing on the same model organisms.
Aldrich M. (1997) History of therapeutic cannabis. In: Mathre ML, eds. Cannabis in medical practice.
Jefferson, NC: Mc Farland: 35-55.
Ali EM, Almagboul AZ, Khogali SM, et al. (2012) Antimicrobial Activity of Cannabis sativa
L. Chinese Medicine. 1;3(1):61.
Amar MB (2006) Cannabinoids in medicine: A review of their therapeutic potential. Journal of
Ethnopharmacology 105: 125.
Appendino G, Gibbons S, Giana A, et al. (2008) Antibacterial Cannabinoids from Cannabis sativa:
a structureactivity study. J Nat Prod. 71:142730.
Clarke RC (2002 )Filed Interview Schedule and Questionnaire for Investigating Cannabis Use,
Rockville National Institute on Drug Abuse,” Journal Indian Hemp, Vol. 7, No. 1, 83-88.
Fankhauser, M (2002) Chapter 4: history of cannabis in Western medicine. In: Grotenhermen, F.,
Russo, R. (Eds.), Cannabis and Cannabinoids: Pharmacology, Toxicology and Therapeutic
Potential. The Haworth Integrative Healing Press, New York, 3751.
Fischedick JT, Hazekamp A, Erkelens T et al. (2010) Metabolic fingerprinting of Cannabis sativa L.,
cannabinoids and terpenoids for chemotaxonomic and drug standardization purposes.
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Gallucci MN, Oliva M, Casero C, et al. (2009) Antimicrobial combined action of terpenes against the
food-borne microorganisms Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus and Bacillus cereus. Flavour
and Fragrance J, Vol. 24(6): 34854.
Hemphill JK, Turner JC, Mahlberg PG (1980) Cannabinoid content of individual plant organs from
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Leizer C, Ribnicky D, Poulev A. et al. (2000) The composition of hemp seed oil and its potential as
an important source of nutrition. Journal of Nutraceuticals, functional & medical foods, 2(4), 35-
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Centre. February 21, Retrieved 2011-02-16.
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... Trichomes are small hair-like structures which are most abundant on the sepals (bud remnants at the base of the flower) and subtending bracts (leaves supporting the flower) that help protect the plant from herbivory. While trichomes in other plants species may not be glandular, trichomes in Cannabis sativa L. may be both glandular and non-glandular; they are secretory glands which produce a resin containing many different cannabinoids, terpenes, and other compounds (De Meijer et al. 2003, Andre et al. 2016, Głodowska and Łyszcz 2016, Davidson et al. 2018, Iseppi et al. 2019, Brousseau et al. 2021. Cannabis sativa L.'s glandular trichomes can be differentiated into three main subtypes: capitate-stalked trichomes, capitate-sessile trichomes, and bulbous trichomes (Brousseau et al. 2021). ...
... There are more than 600 different chemical compounds found in hemp (Davidson et al., 2018). Of these, more than 180 are cannabinoids, comprising a large percentage of the metabolites that have been discovered (Głodowska and Łyszcz 2016). Many of these molecules have 22 carbon atoms in acid form and 21 carbon atoms in decarboxylated form (Głodowska and Łyszcz 2016). ...
... Of these, more than 180 are cannabinoids, comprising a large percentage of the metabolites that have been discovered (Głodowska and Łyszcz 2016). Many of these molecules have 22 carbon atoms in acid form and 21 carbon atoms in decarboxylated form (Głodowska and Łyszcz 2016). Cannabinoids which end in -varin are homologs of cannabinoids which have a propyl side chain rather than a pentyl side chain (Iseppi et al. 2019). ...
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Cannabis sativa L. is a crop plant that is native to Asia. It is a primarily dioecious annual agriculturally used for its seed, fiber, and flowers. After recent legislative action legalized hemp nationally for research and cultivation in the US, distinct classifications had to be made. Cannabis sativa L. cultivars are presently separated into two major categories by the FDA: medical marihuana and hemp. Within the hemp classification, there is CBD-type hemp and industrial hemp. These classifications are based on Cannabis sativa L.’s chemical composition, which varies throughout the plant’s tissue. The desired cannabinoid chemicals for CBD-type hemp and medical Cannabis (high THC) are found in high concentrations in the female flowers. To differentiate CBD-type hemp from medical marihuana, the USDA’s current regulations limit tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) concentration to no more than 0.3% total. Genetic research on the plant has been, until recently, limited to legal applications of differentiating industrial hemp from medical marihuana. This study has been completed to ascertain Cannabis sativa L.’s current chemical composition and genetic diversity among Maryland growers. Hemp growers located across Maryland provided the field sites and samples. Chemical composition was determined from an analysis of flowers through a partnership with a Morgan State University chemistry lab. The determination of genetic diversity was completed on hemp leaves through the analysis of 12 standard and novel microsatellites. Cannabis sativa L. samples were taken from eight field sites across twenty eight distinct cultivars. Cultivars #5 and Cherry had the highest CBDA content among the strains studied. Microsatellite analysis determined that the most genetically variable cultivars were A-B1 and #5. With this research, CBDA type hemp growers in Maryland will be able to determine some strains which have high concentrations of their desired cannabinoids and which cultivars are more genetically variable.
... 12,24,65,66,67,74 Therefore, new antimicrobial products are urgently needed to repeat the "golden years" of antimicrobials. 11, [75][76][77] This can be achieved by changing the strategy that must be carried out by the pharmaceutical industry around the world; stop the production of synthetic antimicrobials 24,60,71,75 and switch to alternative sources, namely plants. 24,75,68 The postulation on which this strategy is based is the rarity of diseases in wild-growing plants and the search for plants that can cure human ailments is an idea that has existed since ancient times. ...
... 10,13 In fact, various plant extracts have been used as alternative treatments that are safe, effective, and almost without side effects. 76,70 It is undeniable then that there are as many as 80% of the world's population who rely on alternative medicine as a health catalyst. 24 Based on this, plants are expected to become new sources of antimicrobials, especially plants used in traditional medicine. ...
... The spectrum still has the possibility to expand if the cannabis extract used comes from flowers, because the part of the cannabis that contains the most cannabinoids is the flower part. 76 This is because cannabinoids have a major role in presenting an antimicrobial effect, so the amount of cannabinoid composition contained in a cannabis extract determines how effective the antimicrobial effect is. 60,65 Furthermore, repeating the results of two previous studies, 84,85,86 The part of the cannabis plant that was extracted the most in the research collected in this article was the leaves as many as six studies, while the flowers contained two studies. ...
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Cannabis sativa, or widely known as ganja and other names in Indonesia, is a plant that could not be used in the health care system in Indonesia. It is because cannabis is still a Class 1 Narcotic. However, trends within the last few years show that cannabis has medicinal properties, and is already approved as medicine and (even) for recreational means in several nations/countries-Thailand is the first nation in Southeast Asia that did. This article aims to emphasize the antimicrobial potential that cannabis has. Since conventional antibiotic is considered unable to provide, it is important to find another source to counter the high rates of antibiotic (antimicrobial) resistance. Moreover, this article is also aimed to introduce one of the potentials that cannabis have to Indonesia since scientific article written in Bahasa is rare.
... Overall, scant data exists on hemp or byproducts production, especially in Africa. Hemp is a multifaceted plant commonly cultivated for fiber and oil, although other components of the plant might have beneficial uses as medicine (25,26). Primary uses of hemp are determined by variety and region of origin (4). ...
... Hemp production is low as it is often confused with marijuana which is illegal to cultivate in most countries (14,15). However, many countries have legalized the commercial production of hemp and utilization of its by-products (26). For example, South Africa recently passed a law to license cultivation and processing of hempseed using varieties with <0.001% THC (29). ...
... Hemp has a total of 538 identified bioactive compounds dominated by terpenoids (>120), cannabinoids (>70) and polyphenols (11,36,43). Resin glands on trichomes or head cells of glandular hair are major production sites for terpenoids, cannabinoids, and polyphenols (26,28). Terpenoids, cannabinoids, polyphenols, and fatty acids (FA) comprise classes of bioactive compounds of great interest in hempseed and its byproducts due to their plethora of health-promoting properties (11,43). ...
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Plant by-products obtained from agro-industrial processes require valorisation to demonstrate their potential for enhancing animal health, meat production, and shelf life extension. One example is the fast-growing hemp industry, which produces seeds, leaves, seed oil, and cake. Studies on the nutritional value of hempseed cake have shown it can be a valuable source of protein in ruminant diets. However, there is limited documentation on the bioavailability and bioefficacy of hemp phytochemicals for improving ruminant health, production, and extending meat shelf life. The current review provides an overview of existing information on nutrient and phytochemical composition of hemp by-products, their bioavailability, and bioefficacy, and explores current limitations and prospects regarding their valorisation.
... The Cannabis plant and its secondary metabolites have also been studied for their antifungal capabilities. Some articles claim that Cannabis extracts may be effectively utilized in the control of pathogenic fungi, albeit this impact has not been as widely explored as its antibacterial properties (Głodowska and Łyszcz, 2017). Popescu-Spineni et al. (2021) showed that ethanol and petroleum extract from Cannabis leaves effectively inhibited the growth and development of Candida albicans, Candida krusei, and Aspergillus niger. ...
... In both instances, the concentration of the leaf extract was 10 times greater compared to the antifungal antibiotic (Nystatin), although the zone of inhibition was substantially larger with the antifungal antibiotic. The antifungal properties of Cannabis sativa L. seed oil and whole-plant extracts of petroleum ether and methanol were investigated by Głodowska and Łyszcz (2017). However, while the whole-plant petroleum ether extract exhibited some action against C. albicans, the seed extract and whole-plant methanol extract were ineffective against the two fungi tested. ...
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Cannabis sativa , also known as “hemp” or “weed,” is a versatile plant with various uses in medicine, agriculture, food, and cosmetics. This review attempts to evaluate the available literature on the ecology, chemical composition, phytochemistry, pharmacology, traditional uses, industrial uses, and toxicology of Cannabis sativa . So far, 566 chemical compounds have been isolated from Cannabis , including 125 cannabinoids and 198 non-cannabinoids. The psychoactive and physiologically active part of the plant is a cannabinoid, mostly found in the flowers, but also present in smaller amounts in the leaves, stems, and seeds. Of all phytochemicals, terpenes form the largest composition in the plant. Pharmacological evidence reveals that the plants contain cannabinoids which exhibit potential as antioxidants, antibacterial agents, anticancer agents, and anti-inflammatory agents. Furthermore, the compounds in the plants have reported applications in the food and cosmetic industries. Significantly, Cannabis cultivation has a minimal negative impact on the environment in terms of cultivation. Most of the studies focused on the chemical make-up, phytochemistry, and pharmacological effects, but not much is known about the toxic effects. Overall, the Cannabis plant has enormous potential for biological and industrial uses, as well as traditional and other medicinal uses. However, further research is necessary to fully understand and explore the uses and beneficial properties of Cannabis sativa .
... While the antibacterial effect of some cannabinoids has been reported, the modes of action of whole-plant cannabis extracts are yet to be discovered. The interactions between different cannabinoids and other compounds common to the cannabis extract chemical profile, such as terpenes and flavonoids, hold additional valuable information (Głodowska and Łyszcz, 2017). In addition to potential biological effects of individual cannabinoids, a mixture of various cannabinoids may have a unique modes of action resulting from specific antagonistic or synergistic interactions and other entangled biological interaction components (Russo, 2011). ...
The world acceptance of medical cannabis slowly widens. Cannabinoids are known as the main therapeutic active compounds in the cannabis plant, yet their bioactive physiological effects are still unknown. In this study, the mode of action of nine selected cannabinoids was examined using a bioluminescent bacterial panel, as well as the extracts of six different cannabis varieties and cannabinoids standards artificial mixtures. The bacterial panel was composed of genetically modified E. coli bacteria that is commonly found in the gut microbiome, to which a lux operon was added to various stress promoters. The panel was exposed to the cannabinoids in order to identify bacterial defense mechanism, via the aforementioned specific stress types response. This enables the understanding of the toxicity mode of action of cannabinoids. From all the tested cannabinoids, only delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinolic acid A (THCA) produced a genotoxic effect, while the other tested cannabinoids, demonstrated cytotoxic or oxidative damages. Unlike pure cannabinoids, cannabis plant extracts exhibited mostly genotoxicity, with minor cytotoxicity or oxidative stress responses. Moreover, cannabinoids standards artificial mixtures produced a different response patterns compared to their individual effects, which may be due to additional synergistic or antagonistic reactions between the mixed chemicals on the bacterial panel. The results showed that despite the lack of cannabigerol (CBG), cannabidivarin (CBDV), cannabinol (CBN), and cannabichromene (CBC) in the artificial solution mimicking the CN6 cannabis variety, a similar response pattern to the cannabinoids standards mixture was obtained. This work contributes to the understanding of such correlations and may provide a realistic view of cannabinoid effects on the human microbiome.
... Their biosynthesis involves the alkylation of olivetolic acid with geranyl diphosphate, which is catalyzed via geranyl transferase [13]. This reaction leads to the formation of cannabigerolic acid (CBGA, Figure 1A), which is a precursor molecule for numerous other cannabinoids, such as Δ 9 -tetrahydrocannbinol (Δ 9 -THC), cannabidiol (CBD), cannabigerol (CBG), cannabinol (CBN) and cannabichromene (CBC) (see Figure 1B-F) [14,15]. Cannabinoids bind to cannabinoid receptors CB1 and CB2 in humans [11], and are distributed throughout the body, including in immune cells. ...
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A post-antibiotic world is fast becoming a reality, given the rapid emergence of pathogens that are resistant to current drugs. Therefore, there is an urgent need to discover new classes of potent antimicrobial agents with novel modes of action. Cannabis sativa is an herbaceous plant that has been used for millennia for medicinal and recreational purposes. Its bioactivity is largely due to a class of compounds known as cannabinoids. Recently, these natural products and their analogs have been screened for their antimicrobial properties, in the quest to discover new anti-infective agents. This paper seeks to review the research to date on cannabinoids in this context, including an analysis of structure–activity relationships. It is hoped that it will stimulate further interest in this important issue.
... Since these early findings, numerous of reports on the antimicrobial activity of different extracts prepared from Cannabis sativa on Gram-positive, Gram-negative bacteria, and different fungi , which have also been partially reviewed elsewhere [98,130,131]. ...
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Novel antimicrobial drugs are urgently needed to counteract the increasing occurrence of bacterial resistance. Extracts of Cannabis sativa have been used for the treatment of several diseases since ancient times. However, its phytocannabinoid constituents are predominantly associated with psychotropic effects and medical applications far beyond the treatment of infections. It has been demonstrated that several cannabinoids show potent antimicrobial activity against primarily Gram-positive bacteria including methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). As first in vivo efficacy has been demonstrated recently, it is time to discuss whether cannabinoids are promising antimicrobial drug candidates or overhyped intoxicants with benefits.
Conference Paper
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Kenevir (Cannabis sativa L.) yüzyıllardan beri başta endüstriyel ve tekstil ürünleri olmak üzere hammadde olarak kullanılan lif ve yağlı tohum kaynağı bir bitkidir. Halen dünya genelinde otuzdan fazla ülkede endüstriyel kenevir yetiştirilmekte ve kenevirden elde edilen ürünler dünya pazarlarında alıcı bulmaktadır. Kenevir bitkisi endüstriyel olarak değerlendirildiğinde, yaklaşık 25 bin alternatif ürünün hammaddesi olarak kullanılma potansiyeline sahiptir. Potansiyeli yüksek olan endüstriyel kenevire son on yılda dünya genelinde ilgi tekrar artmaya başlamıştır. Kenevir içerdiği yüksek protein ve yağ içeriği nedeniyle hayvan beslemede kullanılabilmektedir. Kenevir, birçok farklı alanda kullanılan önemli bir endüstri bitkisidir. Hayvan beslemede işletme karlılığının arttırılması için rasyonlara ilave edilen ekonomik performans arttırıcıların kullanım oranları, hayvanlar üzerindeki olumlu etki aralıklarının belirlenebilmesi konuları üzerinde daha fazla çalışma yürütülmesi ve yapılacak çalışmaların çeşitlendirilmesine ihtiyaç vardır. Hayvancılık faaliyetlerinde bütün giderlerin %70 gibi bir kısmını yem giderleri oluşturmaktadır. Kanatlılar kaba yemleri değerlendiremediği için bu oran ruminantlara göre daha da fazladır. Söz konusu yem kalemlerinin de en büyük kısmını protein kaynağı yemler oluşturmaktadır. Kanatlı hayvanların protein ihtiyaçları pahalı protein kaynağı yemlerden sağlanmakta olup bunların başında soya küspesi gelmektedir. Kanatlı türlerinin beslenmesinde çok büyük oranlarda mısır-soya küspesi temelli ticari yemler kullanılmaktadır. Soya küspesi değerli bir protein kaynağı olarak yüksek fiyatlarla ithal edilmektedir. Bu yem ham maddesinin yerine alternatif protein kaynaklarını kullanabilme olanakları bütün dünyada yoğun bir şekilde araştırılmaktadır. Kenevir ve kenevir küspesinin yerli üretimi kapsamında, oransal olarak bile olsa soya küspesini bir miktar ikame etmesi ihtimali yerli ve milli sermayenin ve yetiştiricimizin yararına olacağından bu olasılıkların değerlendirilmesi için mevcut literatürün detaylı incelenmesi ve yeni çalışmalarla konuya ışık tutulması önem taşımaktadır. Bu çalışmada, kenevirin farklı hayvan türlerinin beslenmesinde kullanım olanakları incelenerek güncel gelişmelerin ortaya konulması amaçlanmıştır.
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Antimicrobial activity is one of the most well-studied properties of hemp, with numerous contradictions and anecdotal information. However, most of the studies on antimicrobial activity of hemp have been focused on extractives, obtained by use of polar or nonpolar solvents such as petroleum ether, acetone, methanol, and ethanol, etc. This work compared the antimicrobial activity of unprocessed hemp hurds powder, processed hemp hurds-lignin containing nano-fibrillated cellulose (LNFC), and their ethanol extractives. The hemp hurd shives were pulped (defibrillated) to obtain fibers by employing a hydrothermal, carbonate and kraft pulping process. The obtained cellulose fibers were further processed into LNFC using intensive mechanical processing. LNFC films were prepared using a solvent casting method. The extractives of hemp hurd powder and differently treated pulps were obtained using ethanol and benzene. The obtained extractives were used to treat selected sterilized paper discs and hydrothermal pulped LNFC films. Extractives from the hemp hurds were characterized for the presence of antimicrobial active compounds using GC–MS. The LNFC films and extractives-treated paper substrate were tested against E. coli for their antimicrobial activity. The extractives-treated paper showed a significant reduction in bacterial growth and resulted in a zone of bacterial inhibition up to 1.85 mm in disk diffusion assays. The antimicrobial activity of extractives was confirmed by doing a colony-forming assay, which showed a bacterial inhibition by 98% colony forming units (CFU). However, no significant antimicrobial activity of unprocessed hemp hurd powder or LNFC films was observed. On the contrary, treating LNFC films with obtained extractives led to a reduction of CFU by 99.7%. These results of using hemp extractives and LNFC as antimicrobial coatings creates great potential for valorizing the industrial hemp residues for sustainable antimicrobial applications. Graphical Abstract
Cannabis has been used in ancient medicine to treat a wide array of medical issues. Specifically, Cannabidiol (CBD), a non-psychoactive component of cannabis, has been linked to containing antimicrobial properties. However, research surrounding the potential use of CBD as an antimicrobial agent is still preliminary. This study aims to examine the potential of CBD oil as a postharvest treatment used by consumers at home to reduce microbial growth and extend the shelf life of strawberries. CBD oil was applied to fresh fruit after harvest followed by storage at 1 °C for 8 days and 10 °C for to 8 days. Strawberries were evaluated for visual quality and microbial load before and during storage. Results from this study showed that CBD oil was effective at maintaining the visual appearance of strawberries, above the minimum threshold of a visual rating score of 3, compared to the fruit that was not treated. It was also found that CBD oil was effective at reducing the microbial load on treated strawberries compared to fruit that was not treated. This research shows that CBD oil has the potential to be used by consumers at home as an effective antimicrobial treatment and to extend strawberry shelf life.
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Marijuana (Cannabis sativa) has long been known to contain antibacterial cannabinoids, whose potential to address antibiotic resistance has not yet been investigated. All five major cannabinoids (cannabidiol (1b), cannabichromene (2), cannabigerol (3b), Delta (9)-tetrahydrocannabinol (4b), and cannabinol (5)) showed potent activity against a variety of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) strains of current clinical relevance. Activity was remarkably tolerant to the nature of the prenyl moiety, to its relative position compared to the n-pentyl moiety (abnormal cannabinoids), and to carboxylation of the resorcinyl moiety (pre-cannabinoids). Conversely, methylation and acetylation of the phenolic hydroxyls, esterification of the carboxylic group of pre-cannabinoids, and introduction of a second prenyl moiety were all detrimental for antibacterial activity. Taken together, these observations suggest that the prenyl moiety of cannabinoids serves mainly as a modulator of lipid affinity for the olivetol core, a per se poorly active antibacterial pharmacophore, while their high potency definitely suggests a specific, but yet elusive, mechanism of activity.
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The oil of the seeds, petroleum ether and methanol extracts of the whole plant of Cannabis sativa belonging to the family Cannabinaceae were screened for their antimicrobial activity against two Gram positive organisms (Bacillus subtilis, Staphylococcus aureus), two Gram negative organisms (Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa) and two fungi namely Aspergillus niger and Candida albicans using the cup plate agar diffusion method. The oil of the seeds of Cannabis sativa exerted pronounced antibacterial activity (21 - 28 mm) against Bacillus subtilis and Staphylococcus aureus, moderate activity (15 mm) against Escherichia coli and high activity (16 mm) against Pseudomonas aeruginosa and inactive against the two fungi tested. The petroleum ether extract of the whole plant exhibited pronounced antibacterial activity (23 - 28 mm) against both Bacillus subtilis and Staphylococcus aureus organisms, high activity (16 mm) against Escherichia coli and inactive against Pseudomonas aeruginosa and both fungi. The methanol extract of the whole plant showed also pronounced antibacterial activity (29 mm) against Bacillus subtilis, low activity (12 mm) against Staphylococcus aureus and high activity (16 - 18 mm) against both Gram negative organisms, inactive against Aspergillus niger and low activity (13 mm) against Candida albicans. The minimum inhibitory concentrations of Cannabis sativa methanol extracts of the seeds and the whole plant against the standard organisms were determined using the agar plate dilution method. The standard organisms were tested against reference antibacterial and antifungal drugs and the results were compared with the activity of the extracts.
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Herbal fungicides are mostly using to control plant disease of fungi because of their ecofriendly nature and their cost effectiveness. The present investigation focuses on the antifungal activity of solvent based extracts extracted from some common weeds Achyranthes aspera, Parthenium hysterophorus, Cannabis sativa, Calotropis gigantean, Chenopodium album, Canada thistle, Phalaris minor, Cynoden dactylon, Argemone maxicana, Ageratum conyzoides, and Lantana camera were screened against seed-borne phytopathogenic fungus Alternaria SPP. by modified food poison method. The acetone, methanol, benzene, ethyl acetate and chloroform extracts of different parts of plants were evaluated for this study; the antifungal activity was more effect in extracts of Ageratum conyzoides and Parthenium hysterophorus, against phytopathogenic fungus Alternaria SPP. The present study suggests that chloroform and methnol extracts of Ageratum conyzoides and methanol extract of Parthenium hysterophorus, can form the basis for the development of novel broad spectrum herbal fungicidal formulations. We conclude from this that these extracts exhibit amazing fungicidal properties that support the notion that plant extracts may be used as herbal fungicides.
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The fatty acid and natural product content of hemp seed oil was analyzed by GC-MS and LC-MS. The presence of linoleic acid (LA) and -linolenic acid (LNA) were confirmed in their previously reported ratio of 3:1 LA:LNA. The presence of -caryophyllene (740 mg/L), myrcene (160 mg/L), -sitosterol (100-148 g/L) and trace amounts of methyl salicylate was observed in the oil which had not been previously reported. Trace amounts of cannabidiol (CBD) were also detected. Bioassays were performed with the oil to determine its effectiveness as an antimicrobial agent. Some bioactivity was observed during the primary screening. (Article copies available for a fee from The Haworth Document Delivery Service: 1-800-342-9678. E-mail address: Website: )
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Cannabisis grown and processed for a wide variety of uses. Many plant parts are used as medicine for humans and livestock; whole seeds and seed oil are eaten by humans; seeds and leaves are fed to animals, seed oil and stalks are burned for fuel. Whole plants, leaves and wood have environmental uses and bark, fiber and seeds are also of ritual importance. This paper introduces an interview schedule and questionnaire for investigating Cannabisuse.
Tetrahydrocannabinol is used as an antiemetic agent in cancer chemotherapy, and is a potential drug against glaucoma and asthma. Cannabidiol has been successfully tried in the clinic against epilepsy. Synthetic cannabinoids are being investigated as analgesics and as sedative-relaxants.
Individual plant organs from different geographical strains of Cannabis saliva L. were analyzed for their cannabinoid content by gas-liquid chromatography. Analyses showed that different plant parts from each strain varied quantitatively in their cannabinoid content. However, each plant part possessed a cannabinoid profile which characterized the chemical phenotype of that strain. Accumulation of a specific cannabinoid in high quantities that was uncharacteristic of that strain was found. Factors such as maturity of plant organ, sex of the plant, location of the plant organ on the plant and sampling procedures influenced the accumulation of cannabinoids. Pollen grains and seeds (intact or crushed) were found to lack detectable levels of cannabinoids. Based on these results, precautions that should be taken when accumulating data on the chemical phenotype of a Cannabis plant are discussed.
The aims of this work were to study the antimicrobial activity of nine monoterpenes and the synergistic or antagonistic associations between them, and to relate water solubility, H-bonding and pKa values with antimicrobial activity. The minimum inhibitory concentrations (MICs) and minimum bactericidal concentration (MBCs) were determined. The MIC of carvacrol against S. aureus was 3.2 g/l and of thymol was 7.5 g/l. E. coli was resistant. Carvacrol and thymol were bactericidal. The associations geraniol/menthol against S. aureus and B. cereus and thymol/menthol against B. cereus were totally synergistic. Eugenol/geraniol displayed partial synergism against B. cereus. The other groups did not show any synergistic effect. Eugenol had the lowest pKa, followed by thymol and carvacrol. Eugenol had the highest total area and polar area and intermolecular and intramolecular hydrogen-bonding capacity, while carvacrol and thymol only had intermolecular hydrogen-bonding capacity. The terpenes alone and in combination were effective against microorganisms. Phenolic compounds were the most active terpenes. Associations between terpenes were related to the chemical structure. Studies on the antimicrobial activity of associations of terpenes will advance the search for new alternatives for food preservation. Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.