In-vitro anthelmintic activity and phytochemical composition of Cannabis sativa used as a dewormer for poultry in Uganda
The increasing challenges associated with conventional drugs for treatment of helminthiasis have forced farmers to shift to alternatives such as medicinal plants like Cannabis sativa (C. sativa). However, there is scanty literature about their scientific evaluation regarding anthelmintic activity and phytochemical composition. To address this problem, the study aimed at determining the in-vitro anthelmintic activity and phytochemical composition of 70% ethanolic and aqueous extracts of C. sativa aerial parts used as a dewormer for poultry in Uganda. The aerial plant parts were used and 70% ethanol and water were employed as extraction solvents. The extraction yield, phytochemical composition and anthelmintic activity in terms of time to death of Ascaridia galli (A. galli) post treatment exposure and EC50 at 6 hours were determined. For phytochemical composition, standard methods for qualitative phytochemical analysis were used to detect the presence of six phytochemicals namely: alkaloids, flavonoids, tannins, saponins, terpenes and glycosides. To determine anthelmintic activity, stock extracts were diluted with Goodwin’s solution to form 50mg/ml, 25mg/ml, 12.5 mg/ml and 6.25 mg/ml dose intensity while albendazole was used as a standard control. Ascaridia galli was then exposed to these treatments in duplicates and time to death post treatment exposure was recorded. The ethanolic extract had a higher extraction yield (14.4%) as compared to the aqueous extract (8%). Ethanolic extract tested positive for all the phytochemicals screened for with very high intensity of alkaloids, flavonoids and phenols while aqueous extract tested positive for only saponins, alkaloids, flavonoids and phenols with high intensity for saponins. Ethanol extracts exhibited a better anthelmintic activity than the aqueous extract. At all the dose intensity of 50mg/ml, 25mg/ml, 12.5 mg/ml and 6.25 mg/ml, there was a shorter time of 3±00hrs, 6±00hrs, 6±00hrs and 8 ±00hrs, respectively to death of A. galli worms exposed to ethanolic extracts, as compared to the time of 6±00hrs, 7±00hrs, 10±00hrs and 11 ±00hrs, respectively taken by those exposed to albendazole standard with a statistically significant difference (p꞊0.018) at concentration 12.5mg/ml. The ethanolic extract exhibited the lowest EC50 (5.129 mg/ml) as compared to albendazole (5.327 mg/ml) and the aqueous extract (16.398 mg/ml). The study concluded that C. sativa has good in-vitro anthelmintic activity and it further recommends that it can be evaluated for in-vivo and standardised to be used as an alternative to conventional anthelmintic.