Clinical trials examining cannabidiol (CBD) as a potential treatment for gum disease are set to launch in Australia. The groundbreaking research will be conducted by medical cannabis company Impression Healthcare with products from U.S.-based cannabis manufacturer AXIM Biotechnologies.
Study participants will use CBD-infused mouthwash and toothpaste. Researchers want to know if these products have an effect on gingivitis and periodontitis, common gum diseases. The randomized controlled trial spans 40 affected participants. Each will use the products three times daily for 30 days, allowing researchers to monitor gum health.
“Formal registration of the gingivitis and periodontitis trial represents significant progress in IHL’s medicinal cannabis activities and is the culmination of many months of work by our team and research partners,” said Joel Latham, Impression’s CEO, in a statement.
“We are excited to have assembled highly qualified researchers for a world first trial for the use of CBD in treatment of Gingivitis and Gum Disease, which are major problems representing a major market.”
Medical interest in CBD has surged in recent years. Some studies show that CBD may have antibacterial properties, which could come into play in the gum disease trial. Researchers from the Centre for Superbug Solutions at the University of Queensland in Australia have demonstrated CBD’s ability to destroy many dangerous bacteria. 
“Cannabidiol showed a low tendency to cause resistance in bacteria…We think that [CBD] kills bacteria by bursting their outer cell membranes,” explained Mark Blaskovich, PhD, senior research officer at the centre. The power of CBD to kill bacteria even includes antibiotic-resistant strains such as MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus).
It’s not clear exactly how CBD’s antibacterial properties work. The research is still young, and unlike the gum disease study, many CBD studies haven’t moved past the animal testing phase. That said, numerous clinical trials are in the works.
- Blaskovich MAT, et al.The antimicrobial potential of cannabidiol. Commun Biol. 2021;4(7). https://doi.org/10.1038/s42003-020-01530-y