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Get the Scoop on CBD and Cannabis in Foods, with Emily Kyle

Sharon Palmer

CBD and cannabis in foods is hot, hot, hot! It’s in everything from beverages and treats to lotions and shampoos. People have touted these plant ingredients with miraculous abilities to treat a variety of ailments and conditions. But the science doesn’t support most of these claims. Some research has shown that it may help improve sleep, relive symptoms of arthritis, epilepsy, and chronic pain, and reduce anxiety and depression. But how do you know if those benefits will work for you? How do you select the right products? And how much should you take? Those are the top questions I receive on this hot topic.

That’s why I’m so glad to chat with expert Emily Kyle, RD, a friend and fellow dietitian who specializes in Cannabis Counseling as a Certified Holistic Cannabis Practitioner. Check out our live chat, as well as our written interview transcription below, where Emily shares her best advice on how to use CBD and cannabis within a healthful diet.

Get the Scoop on CBD and Cannabis in Foods, with Emily Kyle

Things you will learn in this episode:

  • How to use CBD and cannabis to help manage inflammation, anxiety, and chronic pain.
  • How to determine the proper dosage of CBD and cannabis.
  • Emily’s 4 step REAL method for choosing a safe CBD product.
  • Potential safety risks associated with CBD and cannabis in foods.
Emily Kyle, RD

Follow Along with Emily Kyle and her CBD oil Resources:

Get the Scoop on CBD and Cannabis in Foods, with Emily Kyle

Sharon: Hi Everyone, thank you for joining me today. I’m really excited, because I have a guest with me today, she’s really special because she is a holistic cannabis practitioner, and she’s my fellow dietitian friend Emily Kyle! Thank you for joining us Emily!

Emily: Hi! Thank you so much for having me I’m excited to be here.

Sharon: Yes, well we’re going to be talking a lot about all sorts of issues when it comes to CBD and cannabis, which is such a hot topic right now. So we’re really excited to have you here with us. First of all, can you just tell us a little bit about how you got started in the field of nutrition, in particular cannabis?

Emily: Absolutely! I started in nutrition kind of with a personal experience as we all do, my little sister had type 1 diabetes when we were kids, so I grew up really understanding the importance of food as medicine. And then I’ve always personally been a cannabis user, I’ve talked about that in my story, to manage anxiety and depression. And over the past year I really saw the interest in cannabis growing especially with the CBD boom, so I decided to make my personal passion a professional one, went back to become a holistic cannabis practitioner and have really integrated cannabis in every facet of my business now.

Sharon: That’s so timely because it’s so important and popular, and there’s a lot of misinformation out there, right?

Emily: So much, too much! It’s disturbing to me the lack of education that’s out there.

Sharon: Yeah, its really great that you’re out there providing the reliable information, because I know that I always recommend people look at what you’re doing. When people are googling the topic, they’re just going to find so much misinformation out there! So, if you could just start with the issue of CBD because it’s so popular, I see it in everything! What should people know about CBD in terms of the real scientific health benefits?

Emily: So, I always say first and foremost, CBD is not a cure-all, it’s not a magic pill, it needs to be used in conjunction with a healthy diet and a healthy lifestyle to work best. But the pre-clinical evidence is really, really strong in showing that CBD is incredibly effective in managing inflammation, very helpful for certain anxiety disorders, and we’re really starting to study the role of pain and how CBD can help with chronic pain as well.

Sharon: Ok, so those are the areas where we know the most about: inflammation, pain, anxiety. I’ve read about that too, that makes sense. So, all these other things you’re seeing about CBD, saying that it does everything, like cures cancer, what would you say to those kinds of claims?

Emily: It very well could, but we don’t know that for sure, that’s why the FDA is slapping around companies left and right for making these claims, because there is no scientific evidence to prove it. And it’s ok to sell the product but you can’t sell claims that are not validated yet.

Sharon: That’s right, I’ve been seeing in the news lately that the FDA is coming after companies, right? Is it because they are overpromising on CBD?

Emily: It’s because of the claims that they are making. You cannot say a product cures cancer when you have no scientific evidence to prove that it does.

Sharon: Ok. So, you know the government is stepping in and trying to regulate things a little bit, which is probably a good thing because there’s so much misinformation.

Emily: We need regulations. I’m nervous how much the government is going to step in, but at this point it is so unregulated, we need someone to come in and set at least a safety standard.

Sharon: That’s great. So now one of the things that I get questions on is because there are so many CBD products; when you are looking, how do you know which one to choose? What should you be looking for? What do you recommend when people are looking for a CBD oil or product that would be good for them?

Emily: So, this is actually the number one question that I get, so I created my 4 step REAL method for choosing a safe CBD product. So, we use the acronym REAL. R stands for raw material, where is your hemp coming from? I want to see that it’s grown in the USA, ideally organic if possible, and you should know the state of origin. After that, we’ll go to E, which is extraction method, so how are they getting that CBD off the hemp plant and into the bottle. The gold standard right now is super critical CO2 extraction, but other common forms of extraction that are not as ideal are alcohol or ethanol extraction or butane extraction. Then we’ll go to additive ingredients, I’m really big on this one, I don’t want to see sugar or artificial dyes or any kind of unnecessary ingredient in, you should ideally only have CBD and a high-quality carrier oil like coconut oil. And then last, for L would be lab testing. We need that third-party lab testing to verify what you say is in the product is actually in the product.

Sharon: Wow, that’s really great that you’ve put it together in a handy tip form like that, do you have that resource on your blog that we can send people to?

Emily: I do, yeah, absolutely I’ll send it to you! I have it inside the guide to using CBD oil, it’s like a checkbox people can use for any product and really just quickly go through and if it meets those checkmarks, usually you’re pretty good to go.

Sharon: Ok we’ll make sure to share that in our show notes for our interview today because that sounds really handy. That’s another question I get a lot; how to choose those products. Do you find that most of the brands are sharing that kind of information, is it hard to do homework on that?

Emily: It shouldn’t be, I always tell my clients if you have to dig for any of that information you can move on to another product. Brands know what people are going to expect and ideally when FDA regulations come in, they’re going to kind of outline this a little better. Brands know what’s coming, brands know that the only ones who are going to last in this industry are the ones providing quality products. If the information isn’t available, if you have to ask for the lab testing, go to a new one, it should be readily available on their website.

Sharon: That’s perfect. So now the next question is dosing. I’ve noticed that different bottles have different amounts, and it could be that different types of products have different amounts per dropper, so could you explain a little about the dosing?

Emily: Oh gosh, this is why we need regulation right? Because there is no standard, anyone can put any label they want out there and that’s why it gets confusing! Some companies will put the milligrams of CBD per bottle, some companies do it per dropperful, and that’s where it gets really confusing. So I always like to start with the standard, most bottles if you’re looking at a tincture are 30 mL and that’s helpful to know, and I’m not great with milligrams, milliliters things like that, but if you have a bottle that says it’s a 500 mg bottle, and you know that its 30 mL, a dropper is usually 1 mL, so you’ll get 30 serving sizes out of that, so you’ll take 500, divided by 30, you’ll get about 16g CBD per dropper. Now one thing that I always like to emphasize is what does 16 mg of CBD mean to me or you? We don’t know, it’s a starting point but we all react differently, we all have different endocannabinoid systems, and that’s why there are no dosing recommendations, it’s truly a self-experiment where you experiment on yourself to see what kind of a reaction your body has.

Sharon: Yeah, that’s what I’ve been reading a lot. So, do you recommend starting with that lower dose, perhaps that 16 mg?

Emily: I recommend people just start at 10 mg and go from there. It’s very low, it’s a safe place to start. I’ve read studies that CBD is safely taken at up to 1500mg per day. So, 10 is relatively small but people have different reactions and so it’s important to start low and really be patient with the process. I tell people CBD is not something you take one time and you think “wow I feel amazing!” It really needs time to build up in your body. Most of my clients when I’m working in private practice say that they don’t really notice the positive impact that CBD has had on their life until they stop taking it, and those symptoms of pain, joint pain, irritability creep back in. They don’t necessarily realize they are feeling as well as they are. But it just goes to show CBD is silent, it’s a silent helper, that helps your body where it needs to be helped, it’s just not always so apparent and in your face.

Sharon: Yeah, and does the dosage depend on what you’re trying to treat? You talked about inflammation, anxiety, pain, is the science showing that the dosages are different for each of those conditions?

Emily: Really the science shows more that it’s based on the individual rather than the condition, which makes it ultimately really, really hard to find a standard dosage. It’s hard, and other factors come into play too, weight, height, gender, medications, it’s just very complicated, and you and I both practice individualized nutrition, and this just takes it one step further in that individualized healthcare because it’s so nuanced.

Sharon: Right. Well that sounds like a really good starting strategy, start out low. So that also brings me to my next question about safety. Are there any potential safety risks that people should be aware of?

Emily: Absolutely, so the first safety risk is A) getting a safe product. That’s probably the biggest issue out there today. Otherwise, science shows that CBD is very well tolerated by the body. We know that it does not impact heart rate, blood pressure or body temperature so in terms of other medications its relatively safe. The World Health Organization has said they don’t believe it incites any type of dependence. So we know CBD is safe, but we have to know that the product you’re getting is safe, and we also have this kind of unresearched area of drug interactions, so we know that CBD utilizes the cytochrome P450 pathway in the liver, so any medication that also does, needs to really be discussed with a physician before taking CBD to ensure that the CBD isn’t going to have a bad reaction with that.

Sharon: Ok, that sounds like something important. Is there anything else that you think people should know about CBD if they are considering trying it in their diet regimen?

Emily: I always like to tell people CBD is just the first step into the world of cannabis. There are over 110 different cannabinoids, THC being one of them, and for a lot of conditions it’s the ratio of CBD to THC that makes a difference. And in most cases very small amounts of THC are needed to see the benefit of the CBD.

Sharon: Ok well that’s a great segue into my next question about cannabis! I’m really interested about the use of cannabis in foods because I’m a dietitian, so you know I want to really ask a lot of these questions. I live in California, so now it’s legal and I’m seeing so much cannabis in foods, in edible form, whether it’s in chocolates or baked goods or beverages or gummies. And, so what about the scientific evidence on cannabis edibles in foods? What do we know about any potential health benefits?

Emily: So, we know that evidence is severely lacking. We also know that when orally consumed cannabis can act differently in the body, especially THC. So, for me personally eating CBD isn’t my first choice because by the time it goes through the liver you have about approximate 6% bioavailability, which is lower than the traditional 30% that you get with a sublingual tincture. So, eating CBD is kind of more of a novelty, otherwise you need to eat more of it to get the same effect. But eating THC, for 4 out of 5 individuals, in the liver your body will process THC into THCOO, which in some individuals when there’s too much can create these hallucinogenic effects. That’s why people have these really crazy experiences when eating edibles, so I always like to put the disclaimer out there that eating CBD is entirely than eating THC, and THC really does take a little bit of education before jumping right into eating it, because there’s a lot to consider.

Sharon: I know there’s not a lot of science, but are there any areas that seem like there might be some potential health benefits coming along? I know the research is really difficult because it’s been hard to even do the clinical research, right?

Emily: Right, not only is it hard to do that clinical research but the cannabis plant is so unique and has so many compounds that we’re studying for health, so were studying the 100 different cannabinoids, we know CBD and THC mostly, but were learning more about CBN, and CBG, and CBC, but then we also go into terpenes, which you probably know from more of a plant science perspective, but were really starting to research how the terpenes in cannabis can benefit health, specifically they’re studying myrcene right now, and how it really interreacts with the cannabinoids, how the phytonutrients all interreact together, it’s called the entourage effect, it’s why they really don’t recommend isolating single sources out of the plant, they believe it should all be together for that synergy. So, it gets so difficult and then we tap on our own unique biochemistry, and it makes it so difficult to say how any one person would react with any said dose of medication if that makes sense. It’s very complicated, and again going back to the importance of self-experimentation. If I took 10 mg of CBD and ate it, and you took 10 mg of CBD and ate it, we could have vastly different reactions, positive or negative.

Sharon: Right. I know that historically there’s been evidence for things like cancer treatment and dealing with anorexia related to medical conditions, and anxiety, and that area seems to be pretty well accepted in the nutrition field. Doesn’t it seem that’s a pretty standard use for cannabis?

Emily: I think that we are going to hugely benefit from applying cannabis to a lot of the different conditions that we treat with nutrition, that’s why I really think cannabis and nutrition pair so well together. It’s plant medicine either way, you’re eating it you’re using it in your daily life, they really go well together especially when we practice, like both of us, more of a holistic perspective, looking at the whole person and their lifestyle, it just fits in so perfectly, that’s why I think dietitians need to be educated and excited to enter this space.

Sharon: I agree, I mean this is a plant that has been around for centuries and used in traditional medicine, right? So, it’s something we should embrace and harness and understand and become really knowledgeable about! So, I really appreciate what you’re doing in your work, because we really have to learn a lot!

Emily: We do, and I’m learning every day, we all learn something new every day and that’s kind of the exciting part about it, it’s like nutrition we learn new things every day, it’s an evolving field.

Sharon: Right. So talking a little more about dosing, I know you mentioned a little about how with cannabis everyone has their own unique response based on their unique self, but can you give us more pointers about dosing when it comes to edible cannabis, because I know there are different strengths that could be found in edible foods, so what advice do you have there?

Emily: Yeah, so it first really depends on if you’re having a CBD or a THC infused product, or in California where its recreational and there’s a lot more options they’ll be put in ratios of CBD to THC ratio. So, 1:1 CBD to THC ratio is probably the most common, and what we know is CBD helps to offset some of the unwanted effects of THC, so that’s why that 1:1 ratio is ideal. So, if you’re going for an edible make sure your understanding does it have CBD, and does it have THC. Then you want to make sure that the dosing is extremely clear. How many milligrams of CBD or THC are you going to be getting in that piece of chocolate versus the bar of chocolate? Because that’s really important too in understanding how much you should take. The hard part about THC edibles is the onset time could be anywhere from 1 to 4 hours. So if you eat that little piece of chocolate and you think “hm, that didn’t do anything for me” and you eat another one but it’s not until 3 hours later that you see all the effects, that’s where some people get in trouble and accidently take too much. So, knowing how much you are taking and then being patient. I always tell people if you’re doing edibles for the very first time, especially THC edibles, you should do it in the comfort of your own home. You should not be out in public; you should not be at a party. Too much THC can cause paranoia, anxiety, panic attacks for people, so I really suggest going low, going slow, and doing it from the comfort of your own home first so you can learn to understand how your body is going to react and then make a safe plan from there.

Sharon: That’s a really great piece of advice, especially allowing time, you know because I’ve read a lot about people taking more thinking, “Oh, it’s not enough, I don’t feel anything,” and then taking too much, so that’s a really important piece of advice.

Emily: Yes, and the effects of THC edibles can last much longer as well, so maybe if you didn’t plan enough time before you have to go to an event or something, it’s important to time it so that you don’t have to go do anything when maybe you’re not in the state to do anything productive.

Sharon: So, are there any other risks that people should know about when it comes to edible cannabis products?

Emily: I think I’m just going to get up on my dietitian soapbox for a minute, my one thing that I’m really passionate about that drives me crazy is the mixing of this plant-based medicine with ingredients that we know to not be beneficial to health. So, the CBD gummies, the CBD chocolate, I don’t understand that we can logically think that were going to use CBD to manage inflammation in the body, when we’re eating it in a sour gummy worm covered in sugar. It just makes it more of a novelty, people think of it more of a joke, and it makes me think people are not taking health seriously. Cannabis is a great medicine, but it cannot be used alone, it needs to be used with nutrition interventions for optimal wellness. So, it’s fun sometimes to make brownies, but if were looking for optimal health, consuming products made with CBD or THC but not other nutritious ingredients just doesn’t make sense.

Sharon: That’s a really interesting perspective, I don’t hear people talking about that enough. How do you suggest using it in edible products that would be more healthful?

Emily: I always suggest that people do it just like nutrition, anything that you make in the comfort in your own home is going to be healthier because you can control the ingredients, you know what’s put in there. So, we have access to butter and oils, and all sorts of different options, so you can take that back home. I have a recipe on my website for whole fruit gummies. You don’t have to go buy the sugar gummies at the store; you can easily make them at home in the comfort of your own home. I am really excited about the cannabis culinary scene that is growing, I just don’t want nutrition to be left behind.

Sharon: Yeah, that’s really great! And it reminds me that I’d love it if you could share some of your resources like your website, any links, of course I’ll include these in the notes for this interview, but if there’s anything you’d like to add about some of the resources you have and about this whole field of CBD and cannabis that would be great.

Emily: Thank you so much, I appreciate it, I’m really excited to be turning my whole entire website into a cannabis resource, so my website is and on there I have my blog and what I call the cannabis collective which is just a resource of all of my cannabis articles. Next, we’re kind of transitioning all of our recipes into cannabis infused recipes so we can show people how they can use cannabis in their kitchen at home, so they can make healthier food.

Sharon: Wow, and so do you sell cannabis, like the CBD oils and everything?

Emily: I do, I have a very small product line, I wasn’t sure if I was going to go for it but it just makes it easier knowing 100% that it’s safe so when I’m recommending it to clients I don’t have to kind of do the back and forth looking at their products and going through theirs, so it’s more of a peace of mind for me.

Sharon: You’re vetting the products; I would appreciate that as a consumer because then I don’t have to read all of the background!

Emily: Yes, I did the hard work first!

Sharon: Exactly, I think that’s a great resource. Emily, thank you so much for joining us, I learned so much! I read about this all the time, so this has really been helpful, and I know everybody out there is going to love this too.

Emily: Thank you so much!

Sharon: You can find all of this information on the blog that goes along with this interview so please check it out at Thank you so much for joining us this has been Sharon Palmer reminding you to live and eat well.

About Emily Kyle

Emily Kyle is an award-winning, nationally recognized media dietitian, nutrition spokesperson, speaker, two-time published author and Certified Holistic Cannabis Practitioner. Emily Kyle Nutrition is a Nutrition Communications and Cannabis Consulting Company located in Rochester, NY serving clients virtually around the country. Emily Kyle Nutrition is also a includes a Private Practice specializing in Cannabis Counseling, Food Sensitivities and Medical Nutrition Therapy for autoimmune and inflammatory conditions.

Emily writes for her own Nutrition and Cannabis Blog, shares evidence-based cannabis resources, nutrition articles, nutritious recipes, as well as her love for backyard gardening and modern homesteading inside. Her first cookbook, The 30-Minute Thyroid Cookbook: 125 Healing Recipes for Hypothyroidism & Hashimoto’s was released December 2018 and her second book, The Hashimoto’s AIP Cookbook: Easy Recipes for Thyroid Healing on the Paleo Autoimmune Protocol was released August 2019.

As a writer, speaker, author and media personality, Emily loves to share her nutrition knowledge with the public. You can catch her life every Monday morning on Good Day Rochester sharing her love for cooking delicious, healthy food.  Outside of work, you can find her caring for her garden, flock of chickens, and young son Ransom.

For other interviews with Sharon, check out: 

What is Biodynamics?
Eating for IBS on a Plant-Based Diet with Kate Scarlata
Plant-Based Indian Cooking with Vandana Sheth
Fight Breast Cancer with Plants, with Dr. Kristi Funk

For more information about the effects of CBD oil on your health, check out my post: Is CBD Oil Good for Your Health? Get the Answers to Your Top Questions.

Image: CBD oil, Sharon Palmer, MSFS, RDN

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