This study was carried out to evaluate the effect of marijuana smoking on cardiac enzymes in Albino rat. A total of 18 albino rats were used in this study, they were grouped into three groups of six(6) rats each. The first group received only feed and distilled water and they served as control while the second group received feed, water and 10mg of marijuana leaves and the third group received feed, water and 20mg of marijuana leaves. The samples were collected by cardiopuncture with the aid of sterile syringe and needle and the statistical analysis was carried out using statistical packages for social sciences(SPSS) version 20·The result obtained showed that the final body weight in the group 2 rats (99.4±4.48) and group 3 rats(85.4±3.68)  was significantly decreased (P<0.05) when compared with the  final body weight in group1 rats (202.0±15.3). The final body weight in the  group 2 rats  (99.4±4.48) was significantly increased(P<0.05) when compared with the final body weight in the group3 rats(85.4±3.68). The mean value of AST(13.0±6.0) , ALT(17.38±7.22), LDH(30.63±9.97) and CK-MB(47.38±13.13) was significantly increased(P<0.05) in the Group 2 rats when compared with the mean value of AST(7.38±4.47), ALT(10.88±3.38), LDH(20.88±10.09) and CK-MB(17.25±7.25) in the Group 1 rats . The mean value of AST(25.83±9.42), ALT (30.17±12.86), LDH(47.83±), and CK-MB(66.0±17.93) in Group 3 rats was significantly increased(P<0.05) when compared with the mean value of AST(7.38±4.47), ALT(10.88±3.38), LDH(20.88±10.09) and CK-MB(17.25±7.25) in the Group 1 rats. This finding showed that marijuana leaves could probably have a cardiopathologic effect and can cause many cardiovascular diseases.




Title page                                                                                          i

Certification                                                                                                ii

Dedication                                                                                         iii

Acknowledgement                                                                                      iv

Abstract                                                                                            v

Table of content                                                                               vi

List of tables                                                                                    x

List of figures                                                                                    xi


         1.0     Introduction                                                                                      1       

1.1     Justification                                                                                      2

1.2     Aim and Specific objectives                                                        4




2.1     Origin of marijuana                                                                           5

2.1.1  Components of marijuana                                                      6

2.1.2  Pharmacological response and metabolism of marijuana                 7

2.1.3  Physical and psychological effects of marijuana                          8

2.1.4  The medical value of marijuana                                                       9

2.2     The Heart                                                                                       10

2.2.1  Position of the Heart                                                               10

2.2.2  Structure of the Heart                                                           11

2.2.3  The interior of the Heart                                                                 14

2.2.4   Flow of blood through the Heart                                                    15

2.2.5   Conductive system of the  Heart                                          16

2.2.6 Nerve supply to the Heart                                                     17

2.2.7  Blood pressure                                                                      18

2.3   Diseases of the Heart                                                                         19

2.3.1 Atherosclerosis and myocardial infarction                              19

2.3.2 Heart failure                                                                            20

2.4   Cardiac Enzymes                                                                     20

2.4.1 Creatine Kinase                                                                       20

2.4.2 Lactate dehydrogenase                                                            22

2.4.3 Transaminase                                                                                   23

2.5    Marijuana smoking and the Heart                                                    25

2.6    Marijuana smoking and Heart enzymes                                             26

CHAPTER THREE: MATERIALS AND METHODS                                   

3.1     Animals                                                                                   29

3.2     Drug procurement                                                                   30

3.3     Drug Dosage                                                                                     30

3.4     Experimental  design                                                              30

3.5      Collection of blood                                                                         31

3.6      Laboratory procedures                                                          31

3.7     Statistical analysis                                                                  37


     4.0                 Result and Analysis                                                                         38


    5.1        Discussion                                                                               42

5.2        Conclusion                                                                              43

5.3        Recommendation                                                                    44

REFERENCES                                                                                            45

  APPENDICES                                                                                     50








Table 4.1:   Result showing mean ± standard deviation of body weights of the                      three groups of rat in gram(g)                                                 38

Table 4.2:   Result showing mean ± standard deviation of cardiac enzymes (AST,                          ALT, LDH and CK-MB) of different groups                                    40














Marijuana is derived from the hemp plant cannabis sativa which is grown in many tropical areas in the world.  It is a green or grey mixture of dried, shedded flower and leaves. Marijuana is the most often used illegal drug in the United States. Most users roll loose marijuana into a cigarette called a “Joint” (William and Thomas, 2005). Some users mix marijuana into food or use it to brew tea, hash users either smoke the drug in a pipe or mix it with tobacco and smoke it as cigarette. Most researchers agreed that there is only one extract (sativa) with variant, while others believe that there are only three different extracts which include: Dranabinol (2,9-tetrahydrocannabinol), cannabinol and cannabidol (Agurell et al., 2000). Due to its nature as a substance of abuse, it is unlawful to posses or supply cannabis. Thus it is difficult to obtain precise estimate about the extent of its use. Data from 2013/2014 survey in Britain suggest that over 3.3 million people used cannabis that year (Chivite et al., 2014). From a New-Zealand birth cohort of 1265 children it was found that by the age of 21 nearly 70% has used cannabis (Fergusson and Hawood, 2011)

The heart is a muscular organ in all vertebrates which is responsible for pumping the blood by the repeated rhythmic contraction and involuntary muscles, it is supplied by the coronary circulation and enclosed by  a sac  known as the pericardium and it is surrounded by the lungs (Malton et al., 2009)

Enzyme markers of the heart disease can be assessed by estimation of a variety of enzymes such as creatine kinase (CK_MB), Lactate dehydrogenate (LDH) ,Alaninetransminase  (ALT) and Aspartate transaninase  (AST). A survey on 15 chronic marijuana smokers reveals that the values of AST, ALT,LDH, and Ck-MB were elevated following myocardial infarction when compared to non-smokers (Kew et al., 2010).


Marijuana smoking causes increased heart rate, myocardial infarction, increased blood pressure, acute coronary syndrome, increased cardiac muscle contraction and vascular complication which might cause injury to the heart. However, in a reviewed article for bulletin on narcotic, it was said that the use of cannabis causes portal hypertension which could impose threat to the cannabis users with hypertension, cerebrovascular disease or coronary artery disease (Khan et al., 2005). Three male patients (mean age 25 years) who were heavy cannabis smokers presented with transcients ischemic attack (TIA) shortly after cannabis abuse.

Ashton et al., (2007) in their paper review reported that cannabis has implicated cardiovascular processes including vasodilation, cardiac protection modulation of the bar receptors reflex in the control of systolic blood pressure and also the inhibition of neurotransmitter release in nucleus tractus solitaries. Previous studies have indicated that marijuana smoking leads to an elevation of CK-MB, LDH, AST and ALT  following myocardial infraction when compared to non smokers as shown on 15 chronic marijuana smokers where their CK-MB, LDH, AST and ALT levels were elevated following myocardial infarction when compared to non-smokers (Kew et al., 2010).

A case reported in 2009 revealed that higher level of CK-MB, LDH, AST and ALT were observed in patients that were smoking marijuana and cigarette than in patients that were smoking marijuana alone. This theory has been challenged by several studies that found no correction at all.

This research is aimed at assessing the effects of marijuana smoking on the heart by using some enzyme markers of cardiac pathologies.





  1. AIMS

To determine the effects of marijuana smoking on some cardiac enzyme in Albino rats

  2. To determine the serum levels of CK-MB, LDH, AST and ALT in Albino rats subjected to smoking.
  3. To determine the serum level of CK-MB, LDH, AST and ALT in Albino         rats that were not subjected to smoking
  4. To evaluate the influence of duration of marijuana smoking on some cardiac enzymes (CK-MB, LDH, AST, ALT)