“The aim of my certain research is to just evaluate whether or not cannabis kills cancer cells and if so, by what mechanisms is it performing that,” Hocker stated. “So can we treat these dogs with bladder cancer with classic chemotherapy or radiation therapy in conjunction with CBD and will it modify the all round survival or will it extend that survival for this sort of cancer dogs have?”

This sort of study is vital, stated Hocker, simply because vets are anecdotally hearing about much more circumstances of animal cancer, but it is tough to know if there’s been an uptick in the illness or just an raise in the reporting and diagnosing of it.

Treating bladder cancer can be difficult as well simply because existing Canadian laws avoid vets from prescribing the substance to animals. Veterinarians have been lobbying the federal government to let healthcare cannabis to be made use of on animals.

Their push comes as licensed cannabis producers — nonetheless consumed with supplying the substance to retail retailers and wading into the newly-legal edibles market place — want to cater to pets, as well. Smiths Falls, Ont.-primarily based licensed producer Canopy Development, for instance, has teamed up with way of life maven Martha Stewart to produce a line of CBD goods, some of which will be geared toward pets.

“Certainly the single, biggest driving force is the demand from pet households,” Dr. Sarah Silcox, the president of the Canadian Association of Veterinary Cannabinoid Medicine, told the Star in an e mail.

Statistics Canada identified in 2017 that about 7.five million Canadian households had a pet. About five.9 million Canadians owned dogs and 7.9 million had cats, the government agency identified.

That year, Statistics Canada stated, Canadian households spent $eight.23 billion in total on pets, their meals, connected solutions and veterinary care, up from the $six billion spent on the similar products in 2013.

Silcox, a veterinarian who focuses on palliative and hospice care, sees a “tremendous” quantity of inquiries about the use of cannabis for treating pets diagnosed with cancer and stated there is proof of how cannabis and its several elements perform in animals from thousands of research.

“What we do not have nonetheless, is a substantial quantity of published research displaying the effects of cannabis on treating widespread situations in the animal species that we have as companion animals — namely dogs, cats and horses,” she stated.

Cannabis’ legal history, its varying good quality and expenditures have created study challenging, but Silcox believes analyzing the substance additional is vital.

“We are only starting to scratch the surface into understanding how cannabis functions, which goods perform finest for which situations, how person or species variations play a function in responses, and which doses are most powerful for a offered healthcare situation,” she stated.

“There are years, if not decades, of study ahead of us.”

– Tara Deschamps is a Toronto-primarily based journalist and a freelance contributor for the Star. Stick to her on Twitter: @tara_deschamps