Saturday, December 21, 2019

*Prevention, treatment & cure for White-nose Syndrome in Bats using Cannabis extracts

My suggestion for prevention, treatment & cure for White-nose Syndrome in bats is to fumigate infected populations using aerosol terpenes extracted from Cannabis. Anti-fungal properties of Cannabis extracts are well established. Naturally occurring terpenes are non-toxic and may be beneficial to the health of mammals, fish and birds.

"The known sterol β-sitosterol-3-O-β-d-glucopyranosyl-6′-acetate was isolated for the first time from cannabis. Compounds 6 and 7 displayed significant antibacterial and antifungal activities, respectively, while 5 displayed strong antileishmanial activity." (1)

"Fogging" the caves with plant-based terpenoid compounds, using timers on fogging equipment placed inside the caves, would be the safest, most effective, least intrusive way to apply the materials.

  • "Terpenoid phenols, including carvacrol, are components of oregano and other plant essential oils that exhibit potent antifungal activity against a wide range of pathogens, including Candida albicansStaphylococcus aureus, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa." (2)

  • Readiness: How sufficiently developed is the idea? Do intended users have to develop other technologies or methods to apply the idea? Can it use “off the shelf” parts to carry out? (20%)

This idea is ready to deploy immediately, with an abundance of raw material available for extraction in Oregon. Involvement with the Oregon State University’s Global Hemp Innovation Center would expedite development and application of this idea. (3)

  • Deployment Scale: Which geographic regions of the United States and Canada will the idea work in? Can it work in more than one region?  What kinds of bat habitats can the idea work in? Will it work in the presence and absence of P.destructans? (15%)

The idea will work in all regions of the US.

  • Species Susceptibility: Will the idea work for the most highly susceptible bat species? (20%)

Yes, the idea will work for the most highly susceptible bat species.

  • Ease of Use: How easy is the idea to apply? For example, will carrying it out require significant physical exertion, extensive time in the field, highly trained scientists or other specialists, or significant safety training and precautions? (10%)

The method of application will require a minimum of effort, beyond transport of portable fogging equipment to the sites where it is to be set up, left overnight, and recovered after several applications of aerosol terpenes.

  • Cost Efficiency: Submitted solutions are not required to include a specific cost per bat to implement the idea, but do you have a sense of what it would cost to implement the idea? (10%)

The cost of the program would be minimal, since useable plant material is abundant and steam distillation relatively inexpensive. Fogging equipment would be simple to build.

  • Efficacy: How effective is the treatment at the point of application to eliminate or weaken P.destructans to help bats survive? (25%)

The treatment would be very effective, without unintended consequences.

  • Risk to Resources: When used at the proposed scale, will the idea keep harm to native natural or cultural resources at a minimum? Solutions that the judges find help bats, but only at the expense of causing irreparable harm to natural or cultural resources near bat populations, or solutions that cause significant harm to bats themselves, will not be considered for winning this Challenge.

Terpenes derived from plants are biocompatible with mammals. Insects, fungus and viruses are susceptible to terpenes. (4)

Thank you for your consideration, and for your great works.


Paul J. von Hartmann
Cannabis scholar, photographer (5)

1. Biologically Active Cannabinoids from High-Potency Cannabis sativa. 
2. Mechanism of Antifungal Activity of Terpenoid Phenols Resembles Calcium Stress and Inhibition of the TOR Pathway

3. OSU’s Global Hemp Innovation Center

4. A New MRSA Defense : Marijuana extracts kill antibiotic-resistant MRSA without a high.

5. Cannabis vs. Climate Change

"My team accepts and understands the Terms and Conditions described in the Challenge and agrees to abide by them."