Laboratory Profiles of Treatment-Seeking Subjects With Concurrent Dependence on Cannabis and Other Substances: A Comparative Study
Medknow -- International Journal of High Risk Behaviors and Addiction
DOI 10.5812/ijhrba.10993
  1. Cannabis
  2. Urine
  3. Liver Function Tests
  4. Leukocyte Count


Cannabis is one of the most widely used illicit drugs in India and worldwide. It is considered to have a minimal effect on physical health.


The aim of this study was to compare the laboratory profiles of treatment-seeking patients who were cannabis dependent, and drug users who concurrently use other substances, with non-users.

Materials and Methods:

Medical records of patients, whose urine was tested for the detection of cannabis within the last year, were considered for the study. The inclusion criteria for the study group were; co-morbid diagnosis of cannabis dependence according to DSM-IV TR criteria, positive urine drug screen for cannabis, and at least one biochemical or hematological examination report during the treatment period. The subjects who underwent all of the above mentioned tests, but who were negative for any psychoactive substance with no past or current history of substance use, were placed in the control group.


A total of 51 subjects fulfilled the inclusion criteria for the study group and 30 subjects were considered as controls. There was no significant difference found between the demographic profiles of the subject and control groups. The mean duration of cannabis use in the patients was 9.53 ± 8.06 years. Serum levels of; bilirubin, SGOT (serum glutamic oxaloacetic transaminase), SGPT (serum glutamic pyruvic transaminase), total protein, alkaline phosphatase, ESR, and eosinophil counts, were raised in; 13.7%, 15.6%, 33.3%, 17.6%, 37.2%, 75% and 5.8% of subjects, respectively. The relative monocyte count was lower than normal in 92% of cases. Physical complaints were reported in 98% of subjects. The two groups showed significant differences in serum alkaline phosphatase [t (79) = 6.5, P ≤ 0.01], TLC [t (79) = 2.36, P = 0.03] and hemoglobin levels [t (79) = 5.50, P ≤ 0.01].


Abnormal laboratory parameters were observed in patients with cannabis dependence. The study emphasizes the need for regular physical examinations and laboratory investigations for cannabis users.