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Cannabidiol (CBD): A Promising Antifungal Agent Against Candida albicans Biofilms



Candida albicans, a prevalent fungal pathogen in humans, poses a significant health risk, particularly due to its ability to form biofilms. Biofilm formation is a key virulence factor in C. albicans infections. In a recent study that was published in Microorganisms, researchers explored the potential of cannabidiol (CBD), a compound derived from plants, to inhibit the formation and removal of fungal biofilms. The findings not only reveal CBD's effectiveness in inhibiting biofilm formation but also shed light on its multi-target mode of action, making it a promising candidate for alternative antifungal treatments.

CBD's Time-Dependent Inhibitory Effects

The study demonstrated that CBD exerts pronounced time-dependent inhibitory effects on both the formation and disruption of mature C. albicans biofilms. Remarkably, these effects were observed at concentrations below minimal inhibitory and fungicidal concentrations, highlighting CBD's potency in combating fungal infections.

CBD's impact on biofilm architecture was evident in its ability to reduce thickness and exopolysaccharide (EPS) production, crucial components of biofilms. This was accompanied by the downregulation of genes associated with EPS synthesis, showcasing CBD's ability to modulate the structural aspects of fungal biofilms.

CBD also played a role in altering fungal morphology, correlating with the upregulation of yeast-associated genes and the downregulation of hyphae-specific genes. This modulation of gene expression is significant in understanding how CBD influences the development and structure of C. albicans biofilms.

A noteworthy finding was CBD's ability to repress the expression of virulence-associated genes in C. albicans. This suggests a potential role for CBD in mitigating the pathogenicity of the fungus, further highlighting its therapeutic potential.

CBD's effectiveness against C. albicans biofilm extends beyond conventional antimycotic agents. The study revealed that CBD induces reactive oxygen species (ROS) production, reduces intracellular ATP levels, induces mitochondrial membrane hyperpolarization, modifies the cell wall, and increases plasma membrane permeability. This multi-target mode of action distinguishes CBD as a unique and promising alternative for treating fungal infections.


The study proposes that CBD's effectiveness against C. albicans biofilm is attributed to its multi-target mode of action. The compound's ability to modify biofilm architecture, alter fungal morphology, repress virulence-associated genes, and induce various cellular changes positions it as a compelling candidate for further development as an alternative treatment for fungal infections. The findings open avenues for exploring the therapeutic potential of plant-derived compounds in combating fungal pathogens and addressing the growing challenge of antimicrobial resistance.


Lydia K. (Bsc. RN) is a cannabis writer, which, considering where you’re reading this, makes perfect sense. Currently, she is a regular writer for Mace Media. In the past, she has written for MyBud, RX Leaf & Dine Magazine (Canada), CBDShopy (UK) and Cannavalate & Pharmadiol (Australia). She is best known for writing epic news articles and medical pieces. Occasionally, she deviates from news and science and creates humorous articles. And boy doesn't she love that! She equally enjoys ice cream, as should all right-thinking people.