Cannabidiol Is a Novel Modulator of Bacterial Membrane Vesicles

Uchini S Kosgodage, Paul Matewele, Brigitte Awamaria, Igor Kraev, Purva Warde, Giulia Mastroianni, alistair Nunn, Geoffrey Guy, Jimmy Bell, Jameel Inal, Sigrun Lange

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)
30 Downloads (Pure)


Membrane vesicles (MVs) released from bacteria participate in cell communication and host-pathogen interactions. Roles for MVs in antibiotic resistance are gaining increased attention and in this study we investigated if known anti-bacterial effects of cannabidiol (CBD), a phytocannabinoid from Cannabis sativa, could be in part attributed to effects on bacterial MV profile and MV release. We found that CBD is a strong inhibitor of MV release from Gram-negative bacteria (E. coli VCS257), while inhibitory effect on MV release from Gram-positive bacteria (S. aureus subsp. aureus Rosenbach) was negligible. When used in combination with selected antibiotics, CBD significantly increased the bactericidal action of several antibiotics in the Gram-negative bacteria. In addition, CBD increased antibiotic effects of kanamycin in the Gram-positive bacteria, without affecting MV release. CBD furthermore changed protein profiles of MVs released from E. coli after 1 h CBD treatment. Our findings indicate that CBD may pose as a putative adjuvant agent for tailored co-application with selected antibiotics, depending on bacterial species, to increase antibiotic activity, including via MV inhibition, and help reduce antibiotic resistance.
Original languageEnglish
Article number324
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
JournalFrontiers Cellular and Infection Microbiology
Publication statusPublished - 10 Sept 2019


  • E. coli VCS257
  • S. aureus subsp. aureus Rosenbach
  • antibiotic resistance
  • bacterial membrane vesicles (MVs)
  • cannabidiol (CBD)
  • gram-negative
  • gram-positive


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