Most cannabinoids have anti-staphylococcal effects

Antibiotic resistance is becoming more common, and some cannabinoids have been shown to possess antibacterial propertiesStaphylococcus aureus contributes to many conditions including skin infections and "life-threatening bacteremia and meningitis".

This study examined the in vitro anti-staphylococcal effects of different cannabinoids directly extracted from plants at different points in their growth cycle. It was published online in the journal Scientific Reports in February 2024.

The study used ethanol to extract cannabinoids from soil-less (hydroponic) cannabis Type I (THC dominant) plants at various life stages between 1 and 13 weeks using 4 different feeding regimes.


We averaged the data the authors collected and created the chart below to show the changes in cannabinoid amounts (except THCA) in the ethanol extract over the 13 week growth cycle:

Line graph showing the development of cannabinoids over the growth cycle. CBCA expresses most in the first few weeks.

CBCA has its highest concentration in the first week of growth, then declines as the plant reaches maturity. Most of the other cannabinoids' concentrations increased over the life cycle. CBGA spiked at week 5 then slowly declined as the concentrations of other acidic cannabinoids (especially THCA) increased over the remaining weeks. THCA grew steadily and peaked about week 11 at almost 2000 micrograms/ml.

They compared the effects of different extracts and cannabinoids on two different strains of Staphylococcus aureus. One strain was antibiotic-resistant.

The tests confirmed the anti-Staphylococcus properties of all extracts, but found no real differences among the different feeding regimes. 

THCVA was found to reduce growth of the staph strains the most (74%).


All the tested cannabis extracts had a growth-inhibitory effect on each S. aureus strain.

this study identified THCVA as the main cannabinoid responsible for antibacterial activity

tetrahydrocannabivarinic acid (THCVA), reduced bacterial growth by 74%

Among the group of cannabinoids, the most active antimicrobial compounds reported were THC, CBD, and CBG

no statistically significant differences were found between the susceptibility of MSSA and MRSA or between individual nutritional treatments.


Authors' conclusions:

These findings suggest that the cannabis extracts tested in this study can be used for the development of new anti-staphylococcal compounds with improved efficacy.



The full text article is here at PubMed Central.



Malikova L, Malik M, Pavlik J, Ulman M, Pechouckova E, Skrivan M, Kokoska L, Tlustos P. Anti-staphylococcal activity of soilless cultivated cannabis across the whole vegetation cycle under various nutritional treatments in relation to cannabinoid content. Sci Rep. 2024 Feb 22;14(1):4343. doi: 10.1038/s41598-024-54805-3. PMID: 38383569; PMCID: PMC10881570.