Cannabidiol (CBD) is slowly but surely making a name for itself as the miracle drug of the decade, if not century. The controversial cannabis extract has powerful medicinal properties that make it effective against a variety of conditions, from chronic pain and high blood pressure to severe forms of childhood epilepsy. With funding from a Toronto animal health company, researchers in Ontario are looking to see if the compound is just as effective against cancer in dogs.
The three-year study is the first of its kind in Canada, and it will try to prove if cannabis can be used to treat canine cancer. In a press release on Tuesday, The University of Guelph’s Ontario Veterinary College (OVC) said the research would “help point the way to alternative pet therapies.” It will focus primarily on CBD’s ability to treat bladder cancer in canines, particularly on a common and hard to treat variant known as urothelial carcinoma.
These tumors are responsible for two percent of all cancers in all dog breeds, and they are especially challenging to remove in surgery for both humans and dogs. The Veterinary College’s Dean Jeff Wichtel said in a statement that “veterinarians and pet owners have been eager for information on the medical applications for cannabis. This groundbreaking work will help us learn about the role of cannabinoids in cancer and advance the field of medical research in Canada.”
With the data from the study, researchers will be able to kill two birds with one stone. A statement released by lead researcher Professor Sam Hocker said that apart from identifying alternative treatments for canine cancer, the new study could “ultimately help in designing potential therapeutic options for the more aggressive form of bladder cancer in humans.” Researchers will study how CBD interacts with the cancer cells, whether the compound kills the cells, and how it works when paired with radiation and chemotherapy treatment.
The three-year study will be funded by Grey Wolf Animal Health, a specialty animal health company that focuses on improving the life and well-being of pets in Canada. The company will also supply the OVC with CBD oil for use during the study. Ian Sandler, Grey Wolf CEO, said that the company is thrilled to be supporting the study at a Canadian veterinary school. “This research at the University of Guelph will meet a growing need for treatments in the exciting and emerging field of veterinary cannabinoid medicine.”
It is believed that CBD companies like Canopy Rivers Inc. (TSX: RIV) (OTC: CNPOF) and LiveWire Ergogenics Inc. (OTC: LVVV) will look forward to the outcome of this research since it will increase the credibility of CBD as a therapeutic compound.
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