CBD vs. P. gingivalis (One of the “Bad Bugs” of Gum Disease)

CBD continues to look promising when it comes to oral health, courtesy of new evidence presented at the recent meeting of the International Association of Dental Research.

If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you may recall some of the CBD studies we’ve looked at before, although some studies were burdened by potential conflicts of interest. That doesn’t seem to be an issue with this newest research, which was presented by L. Jack J. Windsor, PhD, an Indiana University dentistry professor.

The study focused on the bacteria called P. gingivalis, a major player in the gum disease process. Certain factors it produces help the pathogen do its damage, including proteases (enzymes that break down proteins) called gingipains Rgp and Kgp, and hemagglutination, the ability of some microbes to cause red blood cells to cluster or clump together.

Can CBD stop the growth of P. gingivalis and prevent it from causing damage? That’s what the study aimed to find out through testing different concentrations of CBD on both the free-floating and surface-attached forms of P. gingivalis.

If you’re not familiar with CBD, it’s one of a family of compounds called cannabinoids, which are found in cannabis and some of which are medically useful. CBD in particular is commonly used to treat problems such as pain, anxiety, chronic inflammation, and insomnia, and unlike THC, it doesn’t make you feel high.

The results of the current study confirms that CBD may have antimicrobial qualities, as well.

Test results showed that CBD concentrations of 0.47 μg/mL or higher significantly inhibited the growth of P. gingivalis biofilms. The minimum concentration of CBD needed to kill P. gingivalis was 3.75 μg/mL.

Additionally, CBD reduced the hemagglutination activity of P. gingivalis at concentrations below the level needed to stop its growth. It also slightly inhibited the overall protein-breaking activity of the microbe.

Bottom line? According to these results, CBD may effectively prevent the growth and tissue-damaging activities of P. gingivalis, even at relatively low concentrations.

As ever, more research needs to be done to confirm – or disprove – these findings, but they do add to the evidence base, as well as clinical observations, suggesting that CBD may be helpful in maintaining a healthy oral microbiome – one in which helpful bacteria outnumber the bad and keep them in check, contributing to your overall health and well-being.

For more on the oral microbiome, check out Dr. David Kennedy’s short film “Bad Bugs.”

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