Abstract
BIOCHEMICAL AND HISTOLOGICAL CHANGES IN KIDNEY AND HEART OF MALE RATS FOLLOWING ORAL ADMINISTRATION OF AQUEOUS AND METHANOLIC EXTRACT OF CANNABIS SATIVA LEAVES

Osheke Shekins Okere, Moses Dele Adams* Florence David Tarfa and Eze Ejike Daniel

ABSTRACT

The biochemical and histological changes in kidney and heart of male rats was evaluated following oral administration of aqueous and methanolic extract of Cannabis sativa (Marijuana) leaves. Twenty seven (27) male albino rats were divided into three groups (A, B and C) comprising nine rats each. Animals in group A (115.43±2.45g), B (135.56±3.27g) and C (145.92±2.13g) were administered 0.5 ml of distilled water, 700 mg/kg body weight aqueous and methanolic extract of C. sativa leaves respectively. Treatment was done once daily until the 21st day. Secondary metabolites present in the methanolic extract are alkaloids, steroids, phenolics, terpenoids, flavonoids, tannins, cardiac glycosides, starch and reducing sugars while the aqueous extract contains all except phenolics, tannins and starch. Although treatment with the aqueous and methanolic extract significantly (p<0.05) decreased WBC, MCV, monocyte and lymphocytes in the aqueous and methanol group when compared with the control group, it increased the levels of platelet and Na+. However, treatment with both extract did not significantly (p>0.05) affect the levels of PCV, haemoglobin, uric acid, creatinine, K+, Cl‒, HCO3‒, PO43‒ when compared with the control group. Histological section of the kidney and heart were normal for the control group. However, it showed damaged pyknotic cells, degenerated distal and proximal convoluted tubule as well as disarranged glomerulus and narrowed Bowman’s capsule in both aqueous and methanol treated groups respectively. In the heart, it showed visible tissue inflammation, necrosis of heart muscle fibre and hypoplesia respectively in both groups throughout the exposure period. The effect of methanolic extract of C. sativa leaves was greater than that of the aqueous extract both in kidney and heart, suggesting that methanol is a better solvent for extraction of marijuana leaves than water. The alterations in biochemical indices and histology indicate that marijuana leaves can do more harm than good. Caution should therefore be exercised during consumption especially at the dose investigated in this study.

Keywords: Cannabis sativa, cannabaceae, marijuana, histology, pyknotic cells, hypoplesia.


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