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Episode 22: CBD Vets Australia

00:00:32 Glenn:       Welcome back to Natural Health for People and Pets. I'm co-host of the show, Glenn Cooke, but I'm gonna introduce the host of the show, Narelle Cooke, who's going to also introduce our special guest.  

00:00:42 Narelle:        Hello everyone. We have a really exciting show for you today and we are very excited, privileged and fortunate to be able to speak to Dr. Christopher Lee, who is the veterinary director of CBD Vets Australia. CBD Vets is literally Australia's first veterinary service where pet owners can legally access medicinal cannabis under the care of an Australian registered veterinary practitioner. To give you a quick background on Dr. Lee, he has been a small animal veterinarian for over 30 years. He's certified as a veterinary acupuncturist, which we just love and we've spoken about the huge benefits of acupuncture on the show before. He has a keen interest in small animal surgery orthopaedics. He's recently been to the University of Tennessee to gain his canine rehabilitation practitioner certification, and Dr. Lee runs his own veterinary practices in South Australia where he and his amazing team specialise in pet rehabilitation, regenerative medicines, including the advanced pain care techniques.  

00:01:42 Narelle:        So I'm guessing Dr. Lee, that's where your interest in the clinical application of CBD for pets came about with your pain care techniques. But welcome, there's so much we've got to talk about today. I know this is a really big topic for a lot of pet owners. I get a lot of emails every week from pet owners asking me about options for not only chronic pain, but stress, anxiety, epilepsy, you know, all things that CBD comes to mind for. So there's lots of things that we can cover today, but I dunno if there's anything else you wanna say as an introduction. Maybe we can just begin by outlining what CBD is, and one of the main questions I get asked is, what's the difference between CBD and something like hemp seed oil?  

00:02:22 Christopher:       Thank you very much for having me on your show today, Narelle. Very excited to be here. Yes, that's a very good question. I guess just a bit more about what I'm about. I've been a vet for a long time now and you know, animals give so much to us as human beings, as owners and pet parents. And when you think of what they can do for us and what they've done for us, really pain control becomes something that's very close to most veterinarians' focus and heart, because we know that pain causes so many issues. And as a result through my career, I've always been very interested in trying to, you know, look after our pets the best possible way. And their quality of life translates to a lot more joy that we see from them. And of course it brings so many benefits to our health and our joy as well. And they become part of our family,  

00:03:15 Christopher:       And that's why it's so absolutely important that we look after our furry friends. My journey's gone through a long, long way, I guess it's 30 years of a long way. And being a surgeon as well, like my passion is in surgery. We do cause a lot of pain in surgery, so I'm always looking at advanced techniques of pain relief, to look after our patients post-surgery and for their whole life. Even just for chronic pain for arthritis and things like that. So obviously straight away when I graduated back in ‘91, I qualified pretty much immediately with the International Vet Acupuncture Society with acupuncture in ‘92. And then my journey went on to a surgical learning episode for five years in the UK, and then I came back to Australia. We probably got into stem cell therapy and regenerative medicine. So that's another form of painkiller and healing that's super important.  

00:04:14 Christopher:       And then of course rehabilitation has led me down a big rabbit hole of different technologies, including electrical stimulation, TENS, ultrasound, shockwave therapy, and of course CBD came along. Straightaway my ears picked up and  went and explored it. So CBD actually stands for Cannabinoids and they are extracts, or active ingredients of the cannabis part. Cannabis, of course, is the most well known for its marijuana, which is Cannabis Sativa, and that has a very high level of THC in it, which is the psychoactive component of Cannabis. But then CBD, which is cannabidiol, and these names are just crazy because there's a lot of different names that are very similar sounding. CBD itself is actually also a cannabinoid part of the marijuana plant, but it does not have the psychoactive components and it also has a lot of the health components of the Cannabis plant. Which I'm sure your listeners and readers know, has a hell of a lot of benefits that makes it sound as if it’s the panacea of all illnesses in the world, and in many ways it can be.  

00:05:39 Christopher:       So that's my journey down into why I'm here now, talking about CBD oil. It is an extract of the cannabis plant. We do not have to be worried about CBD being addictive, it is not. It does not give us the high that marijuana does either, and it is extract of the leaves, the stalk, and the flowers of the cannabis plant, but not the seed. And this is where the other confusion is when we have Cannabis seed oil. That actually has no CBD or THC in Cannabis seed oil. That is actually just a nutritional supplement like olive oil would be, high in omega 3, omega 6 fatty acids and vitamins, and minerals, but none of the medicinal benefits of the cannabis plant itself.  

00:06:28 Narelle:       And I think that's a big point of confusion for a lot of people and pet owners. Hemp seed oil is heavily promoted, and there's a lot of misinformation and mismarketing around hemp seed oil versus CBD. So, it's great to clarify the difference between the two and, it's good for pet owners to know. I mean, hemp seed oil has enormous nutritive and health benefits as you mentioned. And I guess because they are different, if a pet owner does have their pet on hemp seed oil for general health and wellbeing, they can still incorporate CBD under the care of a vet.  

00:06:59 Christopher:       That's right, and CBD itself is a fascinating compound. Certainly, I've been ordering my CBD from CBD Vets Australia and the reason I've done so is that it's pretty much pure and that is something that's really, really important. That means I get predictable results when I use it. And CBD itself has been shown to have painkiller activity in some cases similar to codeine, which is opioid. So that's a phenomenal result. It's got antioxidants in it, it's neuroprotective, it's been used in epilepsy treatment and has been shown in several clinical trials to be beneficial for epilepsy, and also registered in the human field for it. CBD has also been neuroprotective, so we do know that it has benefits and there are studies done with dogs with degenerative myelopathy, which unfortunately some dogs will suffer from where the nerves degenerate in the spine, has been used for intervertebral disc disease.  

00:08:04 Christopher:       So neurologically it's a wonderful drug for pain and neuroprotection. It's got other benefits, such as it's found to be anti-cancer, and recently this year, research done as an antibiotic as well. Its potential benefits are pretty much limitless really, from what I can tell. But ultimately the other small benefit that comes with CBD oil is that it actually makes our pets feel more settled because it does have a mood balancing effect. So CBD’s interesting because it's really the science behind it that’s not really well understood. It's got to do with the endocannabinoid system, which is a neural hormonal pathway system that's not very well known at all. And it's really important that this system regulates our balance in our body. So it balances our mood and hormones, and has abilities to control inflammatory responses.  

00:09:04 Christopher:       And certainly in humans they're investigating it in many autoimmune diseases, including IBD. It's a fascinating compound. But, to be fair, a lot of it is unknown. And while it's been proven to have benefits, how effective are these benefits that's yet to be discovered, and what dose rates we need to get the effects is still completely unknown. It is pretty much venturing into a little bit of unknown territory when we start talking about CBD oils. But there's plenty of proven benefits about how it actually works, what dose rate we need. Most of that is still under investigation. We do know a couple things though, we do know that it's a great painkiller. We do know that it's good for epilepsy, and we do know that it is a good mood balancing product as well. And being neuroprotective is also good for any nerve degeneration issues.  

00:09:59 Narelle:        Sounds like CBD’s the new turmeric, 'cause turmeric in the past has been touted as the elixir to every sort of health condition. Glen and I started on the journey of CBD because of one of our French bulldogs, you know, with spinal issues, which is certainly not uncommon in the breed. So we've touched base with CBD Vets Australia, which has been wonderful and I'll talk a little bit more about how people can get in touch at the end of the show. But one of the other benefits I've read that people may not think of, and I'd be curious to hear your thoughts on this, Dr. Lee, is for allergies. Because so many dogs suffer from varying degrees of atopic dermatitis or food allergies, environmental allergies, and it makes sense to me that CBD may potentially play a role in providing relief for those dogs being such a potent anti-inflammatory agent. Helping to calm the nervous system or the immune system, helping to just reduce that angry inflammation and sort of redness topically, and even the disruption that chronic, quite severe allergies can have in terms of quality of life, disrupting sleep, creating anxiety, creating more compulsive behaviours in dogs. Is that something that you've used it for, or had any case studies that you've come across in the use of CBD for allergies in dogs?  

00:11:11 Christopher:    I must admit I haven't used it for allergies in dogs because there are so many other products that are so effective and proven with allergies in the veterinary world. We tend to use what we know has been proven and successful and safe. And when we run out of ideas and we do not have any other options, then we start reaching out to more experimental or more unknown products such as CBD, which are still being investigated thoroughly. So with allergies, I haven't specifically gone to CBD as a treatment for allergies. Basically because we've got so many other super effective treatments for it that can be very effective. There is a very strong anti-inflammatory component, because that's the second component after the neurology, the nervous system that CBD works on. And that's why there's investigations into inflammatory bowel disease and allergies at the moment. It's certainly a benefit, certainly a help, but exactly how great that help, once again is a big question at the moment and certainly a lot more investigations need to go into it. And the beauty about CBD, which I probably haven't mentioned yet, is that it's extremely safe. So there's very little harm that can be done with CBD by adding it onto other allergy forms of treatment, and certainly can reduce use of medicines if you're using CBD as well, at the same time for allergic conditions.  

00:12:37 Narelle:        You raise a good point. You're saying that CBD is very safe, but there still are a lot of unknowns as you indicated. Which brings me to a concern that I have for pet owners who do have dogs in chronic pain states, and they go online and they just start Googling CBD oil, and they might buy something that comes in from overseas, for example, Because it’s not as tightly regulated in countries as like in the US. So what are your concerns about people who are just buying a product marketed as CBD from the internet? 

00:13:06 Christopher:   Look, there's a lot of stuff out there, I've even seen things in super markets with CBD on it. And I think that even about three years ago there was a massive study done in America about nutraceuticals. I think they investigated over 200 nutraceuticals for human use, and these were things like omega three fatty acids, chondroitin, glucosamine. You know, just your normal supplements that are in the human field. And unfortunately they found most of those compounds, or most of those products on the shelves did not have what they claimed was in it. Some of them had zero active ingredients, and others actually had 20 times too much, which is actually toxic. And that's on products that are well-recognized brands, and it was independent of price or branding what they found in these nutraceuticals. So it could have been your big brands that were selling these products that we are all aware of.  

00:14:04 Christopher:    So when it comes to CBD oil, there's no guarantees that you're getting what you're asking for. And certainly what we as veterinarians would use would be to try to get the pure ingredients and that's really important because there's no point buying something which may or may not have any active ingredients in it. And the second problem with it is how is this product made? What toxins are in it, or what impurities are in it and how was it even manufactured? So CBD oil cannabinoid extractions, there are about three or four different ways and people can, you know, extract it using solvents and petroleum type products, like alcohol or various solvents like, like that. And when they do that, we have found petroleum toxins in the end of the distillate section. The cheaper ways of doing it is to extract it with olive oil for example, but once again, you know, pesticides and poisons that might be on the plant or in the process that's not been purified. The cleanest and most accurate, safest way of extracting it is with a carbon dioxide extraction system, which is also the most expensive, but it is the cleanest and purest CBD oil that you can get. And then they need to be analysed to make sure that the product has no impurity and no toxins in it. And most of these products out in the market, because it's in the over the counter products, just like your supplements in America, they're not regulated. So there's no requirement for them to prove that what is in it is really what they say is in it. So I have a lot of clients that come to me and guiltily look at me and say, I've got some CBD and I've used it on my dog and said it doesn't work.  

00:15:56 Christopher:   And I'll go, well, it's probably not pharmaceutical grade and we do need to use pharmaceutical grade products to be safe and effective. And when I tell them about the price of CBD, the eyes boggle and they go, well that's not how much I paid for mine. I said, well why don't you try these for a couple of weeks and come back to me? And invariably they all come back and say, oh my God it's amazing, my dog's different now. It's so much happier, it's less painful. Obviously what I was giving before was rubbish. And it's like, yeah, well that's, that's usually the case. So it's really important that we get our drugs from a reputable source that is pure, and that has active ingredients that it claims it has. And also, while it is extremely safe, there are side effects and every animal can have side effects to different products. And if you do not know the concentration of what you're giving, then the risk of getting into an adverse reaction as well becomes much greater. And it may not be the CBD itself that's poisonous. It may be that it could be interacting with other medications your pets are getting or the toxins may be, and that could cause some serious side effects.  

00:17:05 Narelle:        It's quite sad that in trying to do the right thing by their pets, you know, a lot of pet owners can inevitably be doing harm to them. I mean we're quite lucky to have quite strict regulations in Australia through the TGA, which as you mentioned is a lot more lax in the US with the supplement side of things. So I guess, one of the risks is not just whether the CBD that someone buys offline is contaminated, they may not know the accurate dose, or the dosage given is for humans, and people may not know how to accurately dose that down appropriately for the dog, or how to introduce it to the dog in a way that is titrated up in a safe and effective manner. So there's a lot of things that people don't realise need to be taken into account. The health status of the dog, any medications that they're on, any other health conditions that they're suffering from. So really people do need to be under the care of a vet who understands CBD, to do it in the most safest way possible for their dog.  

00:18:02 Christopher:   That's right, Narelle. And the thing about medications that we have to remember is that a lot of medications are actually sourced from nature. Paracetamol, aspirin, a lot of medications that we use for heart disease and so forth, they are all naturally occurring compounds that have been purified, experimented on thoroughly and then marketed as a medication for, whatever heart disease, or whatever it may be. And because they've been thoroughly experimented, we know exactly their side effects and their benefits and their risks of using it. Products that are fairly new onto the market, that's going through all this research for example CBD. A lot of experimentations going through it. It has been registered as safe levels for certain usage. But certainly for us in the veterinary field, because it's not been licensed specifically, there isn't any real published material saying that you can use CBD oil, but you can't use it with X, Y or Z, or you can't use it because the experimental studies haven't been there yet. So because of that, using pharmaceutical grade products, which we know are pure means that we can carefully titrate our doses up, as you mentioned, to make sure it doesn't react with anything else that your pet might be getting. And as a result of that, we can use it extremely safely with all the wonderful effects and none of the side effects 'cause we're always watching out for those. We don't really know what the long-term usage of CBD oil is going to produce in result with animals. But certainly the toxicity trials are very, very safe and people that are using it are understanding that it is a non-licensed product. In other words, it hasn't been regulated to say that it is definitely safe in animals and we do have to use it at our own risk. Because of that, we have to use it cautiously and report anything that may be abnormal back to your vets if you see anything at all.  

00:20:09 Christopher: But from my experience of it, and I've been using a fair bit of CBD now for over a year and I've got quite a few animals on it for quite a while. I've not seen a serious side effect at all. The benefits brought to pets that are on it, especially older pets or pets that are in pain is tremendous. Because unlike a lot of painkillers that we have in the veterinary field that are toxic today, uh, kidneys, CBD oil is completely safe in kidney disease. So it gives us an opportunity to use painkillers that are non-addictive, because CBD is not addictive. It doesn't develop tolerance either, so it doesn't mean that you need to keep increasing a dose over time like you would with narcotics. So there's a lot of benefits in CBD oil, bearing in mind it's still a non-registered, non-licensed product and it is used at your own risk, but under careful supervision it's very, very safe and very, very beneficial.  

00:21:05 Narelle:        I guess there's a lot of medications used in the veterinary world that are off-label and you know, there are still a lot of those unknowns hanging over them, for example. But a question I often get asked from pet owners is if their pet has a chronic pain condition, their vet has told them that they need to go on something, whether it's meloxicam or gabapentin, you know, for the rest of the dog's life. So how would a pet owner make that decision about whether CBD is right for their dog or whether something like gabapentin is the better approach. Is there a thought process that you go through in a situation like that?  

00:21:37 Christopher:   Well, it's a complicated one, and once again gabapentin is also a product that's not licensed for use in dogs or cats either. So it falls under the same sort of category and it really does depend on coexisting diseases in the pet. Though it could be cognitive dysfunction syndrome, whereby, you know you might have a pet, it doesn't have to be old, I mean scientifically if scientists or veterinarians are looking specifically at cognitive dysfunction syndrome, we find it as young as dogs of seven or eight years of age. Whereas clients or as pet owners, we don't tend to see them till they're 12 or 13 years of age before we start recognizing cognitive dysfunction syndrome. So there are a lot of other factors, pet based disease based factors as well as concurrent medications that would determine which medication we would then tend to lean towards.  

00:22:33 Christopher: For me, I tend to look at whether there's other issues as well. If it's just for pain, well you know, there are lots of variety of medications available, and once again as a veterinarian I guess I would lean towards the registered known products that we know have been thoroughly experimented and safe for long-term use. And if those are not available to me, or they're not giving me a sufficient response, then certainly CBD oil, gabapentin, those products come into the fold and we would probably choose one based on whatever the most benefit it would give to that particular patient. So if the dog's suffering from anxiety, if it's suffering from cognitive dysfunction, I'll probably tend to choose CBD because it does have neuroprotective function, it can slow the cognitive dysfunction syndrome down. You know, if it's just acute pain and anxiety and it's a cat, well there's a lot less information known about cats and CBD, so I would tend to reach for gabapentin in that situation. So it is something that needs to be assessed by your veterinarian depending on which product suits your pet best.  

00:23:37 Narelle:        You mentioned acute presentations there. I guess in my mind I've always just thought of CBD as sort of a long-term use product for chronic conditions, but can it be used effectively, acutely for short-term acute presentations and then discontinued and then reintroduced as needed if there's any flare ups for example? Or is that sort of not its best use?  

00:23:55 Christopher:  Well, I've started using that in short-term conditions as well. For example, post-surgical in some cases and look, I'm getting really good results, no side effects and I do ramp it up quite quickly in those acute phases. But when you're talking about chronic cases, certainly there's the opportunity to go slow, which is the recommended way of approaching any non-registered, non-licensed product, and slowly build it up watching for side effects or adverse events. Acutely, I've used it a couple of times where my routine drugs are no good, you know, the kidney, the dog, the dog or the cat's got kidney disease and I need something else, different, that I can use and it's anxious for example. So I do tend to reach for CBD in those situations and I've had pretty good results with it. I do find that I do get a response within a day or two. But it is fair to say starting slow and going up slowly, it might take longer for you to get a response as well. But I've also found that a response at a much lower dose rate can occur as well, so there is a fair bit of individual variants and that's also something that we have to be a little bit careful about because different animals, individual animals will absorb it at different rates as well.  

00:25:09 Narelle:        Yeah, it just highlights again the importance of using CBD under the care of a licensed veterinarian to mitigate any of those risks and to get the dosing right for the individual animal. Would you think that CBD would be a good approach, a first approach if someone’s dog was in the early stages of a degenerative disease and they didn't really wanna go for any of the heavier medications at that point. Could they potentially use CBD initially and see how that goes and then over time progress to something heavier if need be? Is that an approach that people could take with their dogs? I guess I'm just thinking with our french bulldog, he acts a bit of a mess but he's not so far that we need to put him on medication, but in the back of my mind I'm thinking well maybe just a low dose of CBD might just give him a little bit of peace and comfort for the next couple years, until things degenerate further and then we might need to go on to something like gabapentin longer term.  

00:26:04 Christopher:    Yeah, that's a very good point Narelle, and I think you're very correct in that because it's a natural compound, there is a perception that it's safer. It’s certainly got a very high safety profile but we do know that it does affect the liver, so we do have to be a little bit careful about that aspect of it as well with respect to using it for say your dog's back problem. I think it's a brilliant application for that. This comes back to the original statement I made just now about what are actually therapeutic levels, because there's no point treating something if you are not getting a therapeutic effect. So, we do know that we can give CBD for pain alone, and we do know roughly the correct dose to achieve that. And of course I'm talking about the pure pharmaceutical grade CBD because we do have accurate control of what we're doing.  

00:26:59 Christopher:  And the next question is, what level do I need to use to achieve a neuroprotective effect of CBD? For example, if your dog's got a back issue, if I want to not just suppress pain but I want to protect the nerve, nerve function and preserve nerves. What dose rate do I need to get to before I get that effect? And a lot of these questions are still under research at the moment. So I guess in that situation I would tend to look at it saying, look, if your dog's got muscle spasms on its back, if it's got pain and discomfort, if it looks a bit stiff in getting up, we would titrate our CBD dosage up to the level whereby we can control most of that, or until we see some adverse events happening. And that could be excessive drinking, it could be vomiting, diarrhoea, it could be excessive licking or some sort of abnormal behaviour. And what I might do then is back it off a little bit, and hopefully getting to a point, whereby I have a happy healthy dog with no pain and probably some neuroprotection. That would be where I would go to but exactly what dose I need to achieve for neuroprotection, I do not know. But hopefully we can at least, at the very least control the pain and get the benefit of perhaps doing neuroprotection as well.  

00:28:18 Narelle:        Yeah, and I guess it doesn't have to be all or nothing, one or the other. It doesn't have to be CBD or another medication. From what I've heard, CBD can be used quite safely alongside standard veterinary medications. So if someone's combining the two, the beauty of that might be that a lower dose of a medication can be used to minimise potential long-term side effects of that drug while still supporting the dog and getting a therapeutic benefit over time.  

00:28:43 Christopher:  Yeah, that's right Narelle, the thing about it is that I guess I look at CBD as another drug. I treat it like a drug. I've gotta respect it, it has known side effects even though they're very mild. It’ss very low in toxicity because the toxic dose rates are thousands of times higher than therapeutic dose rates. So we know that generally we're not gonna cause a lot of harm with CBD, that's the good thing. But I still look at it as it is another drug in my armament of pain care. I guess I don't tend to separate natural remedies from drugs in so much as I respect natural remedies as much as I would respect registered drugs. In both, I'm trying to understand the side effects, the benefits and the dose rates.  

00:29:30 Glenn:       Hi Dr. Chris, it's Glenn here. I'm the untalented passenger on this show. So I'm sitting back and listening to the conversation between Narelle and yourself in regards to this. But something that is sparking a little interest in myself, I would probably say at a consumer level when you're talking about side effects, what would be some of the most commonly seen side effects that you would see with CBD?  

00:29:51 Christopher:   The most common side effect I see really is sedation. We do see good side effects as well, some of which are really beneficial, such as increased appetite. Especially in your older dogs, or your animals with kidney disease once again, increased appetite is a great thing to have. We do see a mood balancing effect whereby the enzolytic, as well as the antidepressant effects. And so dogs are getting older, they might be getting a little bit, you know, confused, might be barking more. I found that those dogs have benefited a lot from CBD as well because once again it's low toxicity. it doesn't affect the kidneys, which we are always very worried about with older animals. Dry mouth syndrome is described in people and we do find that some animals drink more water with CBD, but I do not see any changes in renal parameters that would make me concerned that it's actually affecting the kidneys at all.  

00:30:47 Christopher: So I do think that’s dry mouth syndrome in animals as well, essentially causing the increase in drinking, vomiting and diarrhoea. But you know, the thing about it is that it could be as much the carrier oil as it is the CBD drug itself. Because most CBDs are mixed in with some form of carrier oil. Generally the side effects are low, but we do have issues when we start mixing CBD or any psychotropic type drugs, potentially psychotropic drugs with antidepressants. So if you mix it with other antidepressants, we could potentially get and Gabapentin, and all these other painkiller drugs, with antidepressants you could get a serotonin syndrome which can cause seizures and potentially death. So I guess that's where we want to stay well clear of that, even though the CBD product by itself in a healthy animal is super safe. When you mix it in with drug interactions, perhaps liver failure as your pet's getting older, and can’t metabolise these drugs and eliminate it as well as it should, then you get a relative overdose of all these drugs building up in the system and that's where we get in trouble.  

00:31:55 Christopher:    So adequate monitoring is really, really important and safe usage of any drug. And as I said to you, I treat CBD like I would any other drug.  

00:32:04 Narelle:   Yeah, it's a really good point, and as the qualified herbalist as well, I'm always telling people just because it's natural, just because it's plant-based doesn't mean it's automatically safe. And herbs have such powerful effects in the body that people aren't aware of and brush aside. Something like St. John's Ward, I mean that's one of the most contraindicated herbs out there, in terms of other medications and things like that that people may not think about. So I don’t know why today I've been separating the CBD as a natural alternative from other sorts of standard veterinary medications or drugs and do have powerful effects in the body that people definitely need to be aware of.  

00:32:39 Christopher: I guess it's really my point of view. I mean it's just the way I think. You're completely correct. All your natural remedies, they all have side effects and toxicities when used inappropriately, and that's why it needs to be guided by somebody like yourself, or somebody that's educated in it. It goes no different for CBD. Fortunately though, CBD is much safer than a lot of our therapeutic drugs. In Australia it's actually been de-licensed from an S4 to an S3 drug. So in other words it's a pharmacy drug, potentially. Now that's not going to happen for a few more years because it's going to pass some regulatory hurdles, but as a class of drug it has been dropped from S4 to S3. So that shows the level of safety and the benefits of CBD, at low dose away from toxic levels are fantastic. And that's why I guess we had this conversation really because it is an exciting product that is both natural, it's organic as well.  

00:33:40 Christopher:  It's got a lot of new therapeutic applications that we're not even fully aware of yet. For example, I think there is a study describing CBD as a new therapy in pain because it's using a glycine pain pathway that none of our current pain drugs are using. That's why it's so safe to add to other painkillers as well to give us that cumulative or synergistic effect where, you know, one plus one doesn't necessarily even equal two, it could equal three. So CBD, because it's completely in a different system to our pain pathways in many cases, its side effects are also on a different pathway, so it becomes something that we can add to a lot of other drugs very very safely as well. So we talk about a lot about side effects. I think that's just because as a medical professional, always cautious about causing harm, and that's a lot of the focus of medical professionals.  

00:34:38 Christopher:   You know, we want to get the best result but with the least harm. And of course to achieve that we are always thinking about, you know, the harm aspect and how we can minimise that to maximise the benefits. But certainly the safety and effectiveness of CBD is something that is well worth looking into, and using on your pets. But find somebody that's familiar with CBD medications as well as all the other routine therapeutics, and balance it, because the trick is if you get a good balance you can have the maximum lifespan with the least amount of discomfort, and least amount of damage to organ systems which leads to better health.  

00:35:17 Narelle:        I think it's really exciting that pharmaceutical grade prescribed CBD is available to our pets in Australia now. That was a big point of wanting to do the show with you today because of my journey with my French bulldog, and wanting to source a pure source of CBD and not some random product from the internet that I don’t know what it’s  contaminated with, that I don’t know what dose to use, that I don’t know how to titrate up or to manage the frequency. And I really wanted to highlight to people in Australia, pet owners in Australia, CBD Vets Australia is an option and it is really straightforward. So go to their website, cbdvetsaustralia.com au. It's full of amazing information and resources. Their blog page has lots of really interesting articles that people can read and the actual process to speak to someone at CBD Vets Australia is really straightforward.  

00:36:03 Narelle:        You can give them a call or you can just fill out their online form and then they will give you a call back to get the ball rolling. And so the way it worked with us, I contacted CBD Vets Australia, I had a call back, and then they just put me in touch with the closest vet to me who prescribed CBD, and it was a really straightforward process. I took my dog there, my dog had a full vet check and we had a great conversation about what was going on and what my goals were for the dog. And we are still in that process, but I just want to let people know, do the right thing by your dog. Don't risk some adulterated product that either has too high, or toxic levels of compounds in it, or on the other end of the spectrum may have nothing medicinal or therapeutic in it at all and it's just an oil that's been marketed for therapeutic benefit. I know we're really conscious of your time Dr. Lee, is there anything else you wanted to let the listeners know today about CBD Vets Australia or CBD itself?  

00:36:55 Christopher:  I've only dealt with CBD Vets Australia. My confidence in them is that the products that they are selling are of extremely high quality. They supply a certificate of analysis for every product that I get from them, so I do know that I'm getting pure products, and that's important to me. Because for me, I'm not here to waste people's money on things that may not work. I do want things that work and work well. So, I do find that good quality CBD products are not cheap. It's not something that I guess is necessarily affordable for everybody. But certainly with small dogs and cats, it's extremely affordable. For your really large dogs, especially if you're using it for epilepsy and things like that, we tend to use higher doses, it can be quite expensive, but it's certainly well worth investigating.  

00:37:49 Christopher:   It is a bit of a panacea, in that it's low toxicity, great benefits, multiple benefits throughout the whole body. It's involved in making your pets feel a lot better. We started off dipping a toe in it with a couple of hundred mls, and now we are ordering it by the litres every month, because there are so many pets that we are using it on, that are benefiting from CBD now. And people are finding that the pharmaceutical grades are so much more effective and safer than just a random product off the shelves, which has no compliance to it. In other words, they don't have to be truthful of what they say is on the label. On that note, please talk to people that use CBD oil. Try to get the pharmaceutical great stuff, try it on your pets.  

00:38:39 Christopher:   It's fair to say that it doesn't work for every single pet, but for most pets that we've used it on, you know, a good 80% of people continue on with it and some even with very large dogs because they've seen the benefits of it, and it's well worth the effort to access it. So look, it's a, it's a completely new sort of a group of therapy that we haven't had before in the medical field. So definitely look into it and especially if your dog's suffering from co-morbidities and you need something that's low toxic, then certainly talk to CBD Vets Australia.  

00:39:13 Narelle:        Yeah, and I just want to point out too, there's provision on the CBD Vets Australia website for vets to become a prescriber. I guess for those people who are in areas where there isn't a current prescribing vet close by to them, they may be able to gently convince their current vet to look into using that service with CBD Vets Australia. I know that I'm gently encouraging our own personal vet to jump on board with the process. So it's just an option for people to highlight. Their vet may not be aware that CBD Vets Australia is a service available to them. So you know, you could always highlight that to your vet in a really nice way. It's been wonderful having you on the show today, Dr. Lee, and to highlight what CBD is, what conditions it can be effectively used for. Some of the things people need to be aware of, in terms of the risks and the side effects, and the importance of accurate dosing and having a pure pharmaceutical grade product. Once again, thank you very much. We appreciate your time.  

00:40:07 Glenn:       Absolutely.  

00:40:07 Christopher: Okay, thanks very much guys.  

00:40:09 Narelle:        Thank you. Bye-bye.  

00:40:10 Glenn:       Thank you Dr. Lee. That was an interesting conversation with Dr. Lee.  

00:40:13 Narelle:        It was. It's so great to get experts in the field talking about something that a lot of people are interested in but just don’t know where to go to get accurate information and resources about it. So CBD, because it's not available legally for say natural healthcare practitioners to prescribe, it's not something that I've spent much time looking into because it's not available for me to give to clients. So when our French Bulldog Opie started to have a few mobility issues, and I'm like, ah, I'd love to explore CBD, I didn't know what to do or where to go. There's a lot of well-meaning people that will give you recommendations for what to buy online. But because of my background, and you know I am so particular about quality and knowing exactly what my human clients are getting, and my dog clients as well, I don't differentiate and say dogs, we don't need to know exactly what the excipients are and things like that. So I loved when I came across CBD Vets Australia's website and was able to talk to the people who actually know about it  

00:41:04 Glenn:       And you're not getting a kickback from it either.  

00:41:06 Narelle:        Oh, I wish I was somehow.  

00:41:08 Glenn:       Yeah, I know.  

00:41:09 Narelle:       That would be nice to get some cheaper CBD. But you know, like Dr. Lee said, you do get what you pay for, and if you've tried CBD from an online source and you haven't seen the results, or you've had negative effects that you've noticed in your dog, then it might be worth trying. It doesn't have to, you know, be a lifetime commitment. You can go through CBD Vets Australia, get a quote, try it out for a short period of time and just make an assessment based on that.  

00:41:32 Glenn:        I know Narelle came in and when she started researching all about CBD, she was like, wheeeeee. And I said, all right, well let's do a podcast on it, and that was that. And before we finish up, why don't you tell the listeners all about the range that you're offering?  

00:46:14 Narelle:        I'm super excited to be stocking the Vet Activ8 range. A lot of the listeners will already be familiar with the joint health and the joint care products that the Vet Activ8 brands sell. So that's their products based on turmeric and curcumin and you know, rosehips. So they're amazing products for joint health and joint care. But what I'm really excited about now is that I'm also stocking their brain fuel. The Brain Fuel product is based on MCT oil, and one of my favourite uses for MCT Oil is for senior dogs. Or dogs that are ageing, because there's a lot of research around the use of MCT oil for things such as canine cognitive dysfunction syndrome, and just improved quality of life for our older dogs. So definitely get onto that. And then there's also their dental health products. So the dental health is based on the active ingredient Ascophyllum nodosum, which is a bit of a mouthful, but it has been clinically shown to reduce plaque and tartar in dogs. So the beautiful thing about that is for pet owners who are not comfortable in feeding their dogs whole raw bones, this is a great alternative to still keep their teeth nice and clean.  

00:47:22 Glenn:       And last but not least, your liquid herbs.  

00:47:25 Narelle:       Yes, I've got the Vet Activ8 range which is just going off the shelf, and I should have mentioned with the joint health and the joint care, they have actually sold out unfortunately, and I'm expecting new stock to arrive towards the end of November. So for those of you who are currently using those products, you'll just have to wait a few more weeks to restock your shelves.  

00:47:44 Glenn:       Goes to show how popular they are.  

00:47:45 Narelle:       They're amazing. And we've spoken on previous shows about the benefits we've seen from both of those products, particularly with Ladybug with her spinal injuries. 

00:47:53 Glenn:      And also that little video of that dog that was limping up the stairs, and after a couple of weeks of being on that product, was running up the stairs on its own with a much better gait. 

00:48:02 Narelle:        If you haven't seen that, jump onto my Instagram page, Natural Health and Nutrition and you'll see that video of the dog before and after the Vet Activ8 Joint Health. And if you are a listener and you're using the Joint Health or Joint Care on your dog and you're seeing enormous benefits, please video it and send it into me. We would love to see it. I know Vet Activ8 would love to get testimonials, so please make contact with me if that's something you'd love to share with everyone else. Moving on to my liquid herbs, I've got a great range of liquid herbal options. The top two sellers are always the Milk Thistle and the Mushroom Elixir. So they're great super safe tonics for dogs to use every day long term. And you can read about why you might choose one of those for your dogs and the benefits on my website, naturalhealthandnutrition.com au. And I guess one more thing before we go is my short course.  

00:48:52 Glenn:       Yeah, we better talk about that because that's been getting some traction lately as well.  

00:48:55 Narelle:       Yeah, so I've done a short course. It's all about understanding commercial pet food labels. So it goes for about two hours, it's only $39 Australian and it's broken down into great little chunks of information. So you can do a little bit at a time if you don't have a full two hour spare in one go. But it takes you through everything you need to know about how to understand what you're actually feeding your dog. What the different words on a pet food packet mean, what the guaranteed analysis means, what the ingredients list means, and the different foods in the ingredients list means. So really fundamental information for every pet owner to understand what their dog's eating, because that's a big part of their health and their longevity.   

00:49:35 Glenn:        How about since Bell and Bone have just given a nice generous offer to have a discount off, that you do one for your short course as well?  

00:49:41 Narelle:       Absolutely, I can do that. So what I can do for all the listeners today, let's do a 50% off.  

00:49:48 Glenn:        That's very generous.  

00:49:50 Narelle:       Yeah. So I will, on my Facebook page, Natural Health for People and Pets. So what we could do for a coupon code, since Bell and Bone are using Ladybug, we better not leave out some of our other dogs. So let's do Pixel 50.  

00:50:02 Glenn:       Pixel50, PIXEL five zero.  

00:50:06 Narelle:        Yep. I will make that happen. And you can jump onto my website, select the course, make sure you enter the coupon code and happy learning.  

00:50:16 Glenn:       And even if you don't use it for yourself like many other people do, you can recommend it to other people who may benefit from it. Because I'm telling you now, there's a lot of people out there, like I'm talking hundreds of thousands of people who autonomously go into supermarkets and they just simply buy anything off the shelf without doing any research whatsoever in it, because they've been commercially conditioned to do so. Many of us have, I've done it, you've done it, most of us do it. It's not an insult to anybody, it's just a way of life.  

00:50:44 Narelle:        It’s just, we don't know what we don't know.  

00:50:46 Glenn:       That's right. Exactly. So it'll be beneficial to anybody who's got a domestic pet, even people who've got any type of pet whatsoever, but specifically in this case for dogs and cats. They could read exactly what it is that they're putting into their bowls every day for the rest of that pet's life.  

00:51:02 Narelle:        Absolutely. It is truly fundamental information that pet owners really need to be educated around. And it's interesting because I get a lot of dog trainers listening to the show and when they do the course, like these are industry experienced people and even they're learning things that they didn't know before about what they're feeding their dogs. 

00:51:20 Glenn:       Well, I was gonna say that it's probably not a bad idea that a lot of other industry professionals are doing it because, unfortunately we get a little bit into a mantra of just selling whatever's in the front office, or the front room, or anything like that without really knowing what is it that I'm giving or recommending to my clients, my patients, my staff, my customers, whatever. 

00:51:41 Narelle:        And it's sad and, and this comes back to why we're so passionate in our support of companies such as Big Dog and Bell and Bone, because there are a lot of unscrupulous companies out there selling dog food, and it really does fall back on the buyer to do their due diligence in assessing that food before they feed it to their pets. So don't believe the marketing hype. Do the course, learn the information for yourself and both you and your pet will be better off for it.  

00:52:07 Glenn:        Last thing before we do, go tell everyone where they can find you, all the deets.  

00:52:11 Narelle:        I've already mentioned my website, naturalhealthandnutrition.com au. That's where all the information about me and my products can be found. That's where you can purchase the Herbal Tonics, the Vet Activ8 Range, and the Understanding Commercial Pet Foods course. If you wanna email me, you can do that at narelle@naturalhealthnutrition.com.au. If you've got any questions about the show, you can either email me or jump onto the Facebook page, Natural Health for People and Pets and just pop a post there and I'll see that and we can have a chat that way.

00:52:39 Glenn:       And don't forget to like your Instagram, you keep forgetting that every show.  

00:52:42 Narelle:        Yes. I'm slowly learning to use Instagram, so please support me by liking my page. and I will put more content on there.  

00:52:51 Glenn:       That sounds good.  

00:52:52 Narelle:       Thanks everyone. Bye. Bye. 

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