10 Weirdest Sources for Antibiotics

Kristin Brinckerhoff ponders the selection at 3D Cannabis Center, a retail marijana store, in Denver, Colo. In addition to all its other uses, scientists are researching marijuana's antibacterial properties. Craig F. Walker/The Denver Post/Getty Images

Marijuana has been legalized in many U.S. states for medical purposes, such as nausea relief and as a treatment for anxiety. But there's also a possibility that Cannabis sativa, the plant from which marijuana is produced, may also have antibacterial properties.

In 2008, researchers in Italy and Great Britain reported that five different chemicals extracted from marijuana were effective in killing MRSA. The cannabinoids, as the chemicals are called, attacked the microbes in a manner that was different from conventional antibiotics, which suggests that they might work on other germs that have developed drug resistance as well.

At least two of the cannabinoids don't have mood-altering effects, so there may be a way to use them without getting patients stoned in the process [sources: Schultz, Wilbert].