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Aim: Smoking is an increasing problem in public health world-wide. Smoke from marijuana and cigarette have been shown to contain many toxins. This study investigated the effect of marijuana and cigarette smoking on hematology, blood chemistry and plasma dopamine level of smokers in comparison to non-smokers.
Materials and Methods: Blood samples were taken from thirty randomly selected Nigerian male and female non-smokers (control) and thirty smokers each. Analytical biochemical procedures and standard Randox diagnostic kits were used to determine the blood chemistry, hematology, electrolytes and plasma dopamine level of smokers and non–smokers.
Results: The completely randomized design study revealed no significant (p>0.05) difference in the blood chemistry, hematological parameters, electrolytes and plasma dopamine levels between the test and control subjects. Though within normal range, the values observed for total leucocytes were marginally higher in the cigarette smoking test subjects, while marginally lower in marijuana smoking test subjects when compared to the control (non-smokers). PCV and hemoglobin were marginally higher in all the test subject. Dopamine levels were marginally higher in all test subjects when compared to control.
Conclusion: This study showed that smoking of cigarette and marijuana marginally effected hemoglobin, PCV, leukocyte count and dopamine. The marginally lower leucocytes in marijuana smoking test subjects is an indication that cannabinoid, the psychoactive substance contained in marijuana, may reduce immune responses in marijuana users.