Researchers identifying antimicrobial activity in cannabis roots

| David Brown

Researchers from Universities in Mississippi, USA and Egypt recently released a paper on the chemical study of Cannabis sativa roots, identifying antimicrobial activity in two of ten identified compounds. 

Two of those ten compounds found in the cannabis root were found to have antimicrobial activity against both Cryptococcus neoformans, a fungus, and Escherichia coli (E. coli), a bacteria. Both of these can cause health issues in humans.

In their paper, researchers noted that despite some of the oldest references to the use of cannabis for medical purposes including the use of the cannabis root, dating back as far as 2,700 BC in China, little research has gone into these medical effects in modern times. 

Cannabis roots from a high CBD variety used in the study came from the US cannabis farm and laboratory at the University of Mississippi. They were washed, dried and ground up before being extracted through various methods including hexane, ethyl acetate, and methanol. The extracted product was then analyzed to identify specific compounds in the root sample.

The antimicrobial activities of these ten isolated compounds were then tested against a host of microbes, including E. coli and C. neoformans. While E. coli is the better known of the two, primarily because it can cause gastrointestinal distress in some people, as well as urinary tract infections and, C. neoformans can affect the lungs or the central nervous system of people with compromised immune systems. 

The research does not state, however, any direct or promising applications of these findings, but notes that more research is needed to further identify other medical applications of cannabis roots.