Guelph researchers hope to find out whether cannabis can be used as a possible treatment for bladder cancer in dogs as part of one of the first studies exploring the subject since legalization.

Over the next three years, Sam Hocker and a small team of researchers with the Ontario Veterinary College at the University of Guelph will look at what effects cannabidoil has on cancer cells, as well as the effects it can have on chemotherapy and radiation therapies in dogs.

“We really don’t have a lot of evidence in dogs at this time to say, is this going to work? And in these different ideas of treatment in cancer or other aspects,” Hocker said.

His research will look at whether potential anti-cancer properties of cannabidiol can kill cancer cells and if so, how.

Hocker said he chose to study cannabis as a potential treatment to bladder cancer in dogs because in his experience, the disease is “very frustrating” to treat.

He said bladder cancer is a very invasive disease in dogs and is also fairly resistant to most treatments. Hocker said veterinarians can’t surgically remove the tumour like doctors can in human medicine.