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Cannabinoids vs. Chlorhexidine: A Breakthrough in Dental Plaque Control




In a groundbreaking study published in the Journal of Cannabis Research in 2020, researchers explored the efficacy of cannabinoids infused mouthwash products in inhibiting total-culturable bacterial content in dental plaque samples. Dental plaque is a prevalent global health issue affecting individuals across various age groups, prompting researchers to investigate alternative solutions beyond traditional oral care products.

The study focused on in vitro evaluations of two cannabinoid-infused mouthwash products containing cannabidiol (CBD) and cannabigerol (CBG) respectively. Each mouthwash contained less than 1% cannabinoid by weight. The research involved testing these products against total-culturable bacteria from dental plaque samples collected from 72 adults aged between 18 and 83 years. Participants were categorized based on the Dutch periodontal screening index (DPSI) score.

To assess the efficacy of cannabinoid-infused mouthwashes, the study included two commercially available over-the-counter products (Product A and Product B) representing common mouthwash formulations and the gold standard chlorhexidine digluconate 0.2% as a positive control. The antimicrobial activity was measured using disc diffusion and agar well diffusion approaches.

On average, the cannabinoid-infused mouthwash products demonstrated bactericidal efficacy comparable to chlorhexidine 0.2%. Both chlorhexidine and cannabinoids infused mouthwash products effectively inhibited bacterial growth in all tested samples. However, Product A and Product B exhibited limited antimicrobial activity, with Product A showing marginal inhibition in only nine samples.

The range of zones of inhibition and their averages were 8-25 mm (18.1 mm) for CBD-mouthwash, 8-25 mm (17.7 mm) for CBG-mouthwash, and 12-25 mm (16.8 mm) for chlorhexidine 0.2%. Product A displayed minimal inhibition (7-8 mm) in only nine samples, while Product B showed no detectable inhibition zone. The slight performance difference favoring cannabinoids was statistically significant for CBD-mouthwash and nearly significant for CBG-mouthwash.

This study marks the first report on the efficiency of mouthwash products containing natural key ingredients, including cannabinoids, and devoid of fluoride or alcohol. The in vitro results suggest the potential of cannabinoids in developing effective and safer mouthwash products, paving the way for next-generation oral care without the use of fluoride and alcohol. The findings highlight a promising avenue for incorporating cannabinoids into oral hygiene practices, revolutionizing dental plaque control.


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.