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.
Lone and Lone investigated and compared the protein yield and antimicrobial and antioxidant effects of C. sativa following both aqueous and acetone extraction . From 500 g samples, protein extraction from aqueous methodologies yielded 4.8 g of crude extract and 3.2 g from acetone. When compared with the aqueous extract, the acetone extract displayed fractionally superior bactericidal properties. A concentration-dependent response was observed against all strains, with V. cholera being marginally the most responsive bacteria, closely followed by P. aeruginosa. The fungal response was slightly more pronounced in C. albicans compared to C. neoforms. Additionally, this study found that C. sativa has antioxidant properties, thus widening its potential for clinical use.
Chemical structures of the most common cannabinoids: (A) CBGA; (B) Δ9-THC, with the numbering convention included; (C) CBD, also numbered; (D) CBG; (E) CBN; and (F) CBC.
Sarmadyan et al. investigated the antimicrobial properties of “Hashish” against common hospital-associated bacterial strains . Disk diffusion experiments found that cannabis extract exerted the greatest antimicrobial effects on S. aureus 25923, with an inhibition zone of 14 mm, followed by MRSA, E. coli and K. pneumoniae with values of 12, 10 and 7 mm, respectively. No activity was observed in P. aeruginosa or A. baumannii. This trend regarding spectrum of activity is consistent with the findings of Vu et al., whereby extracts from Vietnamese derived C. sativa plants were found to possess modest antimicrobial activity against Gram-positive bacteria, with Gram-negative bacteria being less susceptible . Similarly, Lelario and co-workers also observed that the major components of C. sativa extracts displayed moderate activity only against Gram-positive pathogens .
Investigation is also underway into the biological activity of commercially viable ∆ 9 -THC-free essential oil of C. sativa, which could have medicinal, cosmetic, veterinary, agronomic or food applications. The oil was evaluated against several S. aureus strains and exhibited both a moderate antibacterial effect and antibiofilm activity, which was partly attributable to the flavanone naringenin. Antimicrobial activity was also observed against Helicobacter pylori (a Gram-negative organism) but no anti-fungal activity was observed. This study demonstrates that C. sativa is a rich source of biologically active compounds and that its antimicrobial properties are not solely attributable to cannabinoids . Hemp seed hexane extracts have also been evaluated. The resultant oil was found to inactivate the growth of acne-causing Propionibacterium acnes as well as possess an anti-inflammatory effect .
Rhodia Corporation’s Phosphates, Hydrocolloids and Food Ingredients Division (formerly Rhone-Poulenc’s Food Ingredients Division) has conducted extensive testing on the effect of chemical leavening agents on the texture of baked products. Selections of Rhodia’s research on yellow layer cakes is presented in this study to illustrate how the TA.XTPlus Texture Analyzer quantifies textural differences which result from different types of chemical leavening agents. Rhodia conducted Texture Profile Analysis (TPA) tests, which (i) compressed a cake sample either a fixed distance, (ii) withdrew to the original sample height as it was determined by the trigger force, (iii) allowed the sample to rest/recover during a fixed time period, and (iv) repeated the compression to precisely the original penetration distance. Based on the product’s behavior, hardness (or softness), springiness, cohesiveness, gumminess (valid only for semi-solid products), chewiness, fracturability and resilience can be quantified. This study focuses on hardness, springiness, and cohesiveness.
Attributes: onset time to disintegration, time to solid failure, disintegration time
In this application study the shear characteristics of pre-made, store bought cooked 80% lean, 85% lean, and 90% lean burger patties were analyzed with the TA-46MORS blade. The TA-46MORS uses interchangeable narrow razor blades to perform targeted shear tests.
Two brands of breath strips films were evaluated for their disintegration rate. The TA108s-5i Indexable film fixture was used during the test and 3 metrics were quantified for disintegration. This method is sensitive enough to evaluate the impact of formulations, and consumer sensitivity.
Attributes: firmness, relaxation
This application presents a wire shear testing method for the firmness of butter and margarine using the TA.XTPlus Texture Analyzer, Exponent software, and the TA-26 Wire Cutting Fixture. The products that were tested are: Land O’ Lakes Sweet Cream Salted Butter, Shur Shine Sweet Cream Salted Butter, Land O’ Lakes Margarine, and Shur Shine Margarine.
Four different cookies with similar size and shape were tested using a TA.XTPlus Texture Analyzer mounted with a TA-44 Craft Knife, a TA-52 2mm Puncture Probe, and a TA-92 Three-Point Bend Rig. The three-point bend rig was best for differentiating stiffness and brittleness, the puncture probe did very well at looking at the vertical profile of the product, and the Craft knife measured the force to cut into the cookie.