Is Cannabis the Antibiotics of the 21st Century?

Prof. Doron Steinberg, a researcher and lecturer from the Faculty of Dental Medicine and the Director of the Biofilm Research Lab, says that modern microbiology is not designed to kill viruses but rather to attack the biofilm construction.  In his lab, basic research is combined with clinical applications for a variety of developments and innovations to help combat biofilm as a major cause for infectious diseases like fungal diseases and Cystic Fibrosis that he is currently researching. “My goal is to think of additional applicable applications for cannabinoids, and the possibilities are endless.”


Prof. Steinberg says: “We’re involved with a joint study with the head of the Pulmonary Department at Hadassah Ein Kerem, Prof. Malena Cohen.  Cystic Fibrosis is a terminal illness of the biofilm of the lungs with a very rapid morbidity.  Patients are subjected to high levels of all sorts of antibiotics daily which on occasion can be the actual cause of their deaths.  Our hope is to find a cannabinoid that is more effective for the treatment of this condition.”


An additional research focus in the joint study, alongside measuring the effectiveness of the cannabinoids, is how they can be best delivered to the lungs.  The team has developed an innovative solution that has already been tested and shown very positive responses.  Last month the team submitted a research grant to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.


“The next stage that we are already working on, is on more ‘traditional’ infectious diseases, that will be easier to progress with in terms of regulatory issues because if we are successful when it comes to Cystic Fibrosis that these non-terminal diseases should be simpler in that regard.”



Prof. Steinberg’s most recent findings on cannabinoids research were published in the journal Scientific Reports.  Hebrew University is home to a Cannabinoids Research Center that is a global leader in this field and enjoys working partnerships with leading Israeli companies that are investing in new developments in this area as well as via the “Maadan” track of the Ministry of Health that has a vested interest in developing Israeli interests in science and healthcare.


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