HEALTH
Weed Is Better at Preventing Cavities Than Most Toothpaste Brands, Study Says
The study found that cannabis compounds could not only revolutionize oral health and dentistry, they could slow the spread of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, too.
Published on February 25, 2020

A recent study confirmed that compounds naturally found in cannabis could be more effective at preventing cavities and gum disease than most widely available synthetic oral hygiene products.

The study, published in the January edition of the Cureus Journal of Medical Science, found that the cannabinoids CBD, CBGA, CBG, CBN, and CBC killed more bacterial colonies in plaque than Colgate, Oral B, and Cannabite F toothpastes. (Cannabite F is a plant-based toothpaste made from algae and pomegranate.)

The researchers made their discovery after collecting plaque samples from 60 healthy participants. The plaque was collected with sterile toothpicks and spread across petri dishes. The dishes were then hit with either a mixture containing one of the five cannabinoids mentioned above, or a mixture containing one of the common toothpaste brands. On average, the cannabinoids prevented the growth of bacteria better than any of the three toothpaste products or controls.

The researchers concluded that cannabinoids could not only revolutionize oral health and dentistry, the weed-derived compounds could also slow the development of antibiotic resistance seen in difficult-to-treat infections like MRSA.

“Cannabinoids have the potential to be used as an effective antibacterial agent against dental plaque-associated bacteria. Moreover, it provides a safer alternative for synthetic antibiotics to reduce the development of drug resistance,” the researchers wrote. “Although commercially available oral care products are considerably effective in maintaining the oral hygiene of the average population, our study found that cannabinoids are substantially effective in reducing the colony count of the bacterial strains of the dental plaque as compared to the well-established synthetic oral care products such as Oral B and Colgate.”

Of course, every study has its weaknesses, and this one is no different. The researchers didn’t conduct statistical analyses for their data, which should be fairly standard in any study of this type. They also mentioned that their results varied among participants since everyone’s mouth contains a unique microbiotic environment with different strains of bacteria.

Regardless, Colgate — unlike Oral B — may want a follow-up on this study as soon as possible. The international company, which is one of the largest oral hygiene product manufacturers in the world, recently purchased Hello, a brand of toothpaste and mouthwashes infused with CBD.

Hey, what better way to get young people to start taking care of their teeth, eh? Just put some weed in it.

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Randy Robinson
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Based in Denver, Randy studied cannabinoid science while getting a degree in molecular biology at the University of Colorado. When not writing about cannabis, science, politics, or LGBT issues, they can be found exploring nature somewhere in the Rocky Mountains. Catch Randy on Twitter and Instagram @randieseljay
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