Have you or someone you love ever struggled with anxiety or depression? Listen to this episode to learn how your host, Emily Kyle, overcame the same struggles with the help of cannabis. Tune in to discover what it truly means to live Well With Cannabis.
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- Release Date: February 18th, 2023
- Episode Number: Season 1, Episode 1
- Special Guest: Your Host Emily Kyle
Why You Will Love This Episode
If you receive my newsletter or are a member of the Well With Cannabis community, you already know that I've been working hard on creating a new podcast!
I am excited to announce that the Well With Cannabis Podcast is officially launching with our first episode, my idea of what it means to live Well With Cannabis.
In this episode, I share my personal story and journey with cannabis, anxiety, and depression, how cannabis has shaped my life, and why I created this show in the first place.
My goal for the show is to provide you with connection, inspiration, and education through heartwarming interviews with regular, everyday people whose lives have been dramatically changed by the plant.
In this episode, we'll discuss my personal story and what you can expect from the podcast moving forward. Use the time markers to jump ahead to a part of the show you're interested in.
00:00 - Teaser
01:41 - Welcome and Introductions
03:49 - Three Things You'll Get From This Show
09:17 - Emily's Personal Story
42:55 - Final Four Questions
Meet Your Host Emily Kyle
If we are spending time together, whether in your home, on your way to walk, on a walk, or however you listen to podcasts, I want you to feel like you know me!
In this episode, I will give you a behind-the-scenes look at my introduction to cannabis, my experience coming out of the cannabis closet, and my experience of using cannabis during pregnancy and motherhood.
You can also get to know me better through my photo dairies:
Links & Helpful Resources
The helpful links and resources listed below will offer insight into the world of cannabis, providing knowledge and guidance if you are seeking answers on your cannabis journey.
Frequently Asked Questions
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Hello, and welcome to the Well With Cannabis Podcast. My name is Emily Kyle, registered dietitian, nutritionist, and certified holistic cannabis practitioner, and I am your host for this show.
So today, in our very first episode, I will be giving you just a little overview of what I hope this podcast will become and what I hope you take away from it when you listen to our episodes. Then I’m just going to give you a little bit of background on me and my journey with cannabis. I will ask myself the same questions that I plan to ask all of our upcoming guests.
I just want to give you the chance to feel like you know me because if we are going to be spending any amount of time together on a podcast, whether you are listening to me in your car, in the shower, in your home, we are spending time together. I appreciate it, and I want you to feel connected, and, like you know, who is behind the voice on the other side.
So welcome. I am super excited to be starting this project. If you don't know me, my name is Emily Kyle, and I work exclusively as a cannabis educator, primarily through my website EmilyKyleNutrition.com, and it's amazing that I get to work in cannabis and that this is my full-time job.
I never expected I would be working and running a business in the cannabis space the way I have, and it's really magical. I'll take you through my journey there. Cannabis has given me so much besides just a career. It has improved my life in so many different ways, and I feel like my purpose in this world is to spread that message to other people that cannabis is life-changing and that it can make a huge impact on your overall health, wellness, and quality of life. That is what I hope to share here in this podcast.
The goal is to interview all sorts of people from all walks of life. I've already recorded about ten interviews, and so far, it's going exactly the way I wanted it to go. Real people talking about real-life situations. What brought them to cannabis, and how they're just living a life truly well with cannabis at this point, I’m so excited for anyone who is listening.
My goal is that you're going to take away three things from this podcast. The first is connection. When I first started using cannabis, I had nobody to talk to about it. I didn’t learn about it from a girlfriend, a mom, or a relative, and I always felt so alone in my journey.
I don't want anyone to feel that way anymore. We are lifting the stigma and the stereotypes, and it's becoming more accepted, especially here in the United States where I live, and legalization is happening everywhere. But we still feel very alone and isolated in a lot of situations.
My hope is that if you are listening to this and you are currently using cannabis, it feels amazing and it feels right, but you are still feeling lonely or just that you don't have a personal connection to someone who really truly believes in the magic of the plan. I hope that this podcast is going to bring you that. These interviews that I've done so far are heartwarming and inspiring, and that is just what I want you to feel when you're listening on the other end.
So that brings us to number two, which is inspiration. When we talk to all of our guests, they are regular people. I am a regular person. I am a random girl who grew up in a small town in upstate New York. I have nothing really special about me at all. But cannabis has changed my life in so many different ways. And now I am talking to hundreds of thousands of people every month about cannabis, and so inspiration in the sense that if somebody else can come from their hardest times, you can, too.
I'll talk about mine, and other people will talk about theirs, and their interviews with the times of life really seemed the hardest, and that somehow cannabis was introduced to them from a friend, or an active bravery or something, and cannabis has really changed the course of their life.
But they're a regular normal person. They're now living their best life. I want you to feel inspired when you listen to these interviews. If you don't currently use cannabis, maybe incorporating that into your lifestyle could get you to the next level of where you're feeling better. And if you do currently use cannabis, and your feeling ashamed or unwilling to explore that side, I want you to listen to these interviews and be like: “you know what? I am not alone in this journey.”
Whether I am physically close to these people or not, listening to them through my earbuds, hearing this conversation, and being a fly on the wall: this is giving me the inspiration I need to go out and live my best life with cannabis.
My third pillar will be education. I am not going to claim to know everything about cannabis because the more I learn about cannabis, the more I realize I don't know. We don't know; science doesn't know. I will never sit here and preach and say; "I know everything there is to know".
But I do know that basic education can really help everybody when it comes to cannabis. Whether you use cannabis or not, I do hope to add in a little bit of education, as we go and make things as evidence-based and educational as possible. It's really tricky in the cannabis space. I'm a registered dietitian nutritionist by training; I do have a little bit of that medical field in me. Of course, I want to make sure that we are giving the best and most solid advice out there, so hopefully, we can provide just a little baseline education that will leave you feeling better off in the end as well.
I will caveat to say I'm not perfect. I'm not out here to claim to be perfect. I am literally just a woman who fell in love with the cannabis plant, and it has changed my life dramatically. I'm not an expert. I'm not anything special, but I’m genuine. I really feel like it's my job to turn around and say, you know “I've been helped; now it’s my turn to turn around and say, here's my hand to take it. I'm going to help you next.” I don't mind saying I’m sorry if I’m wrong. In cancel culture, I’m sure I'll offend someone at some point. I like to swear. But I'm just here to be a real person, and I hope we can connect and you can feel that with me.
I will also say, as I go through this podcast, I always want people to know I am not against pharmaceuticals or Western medicine in any way. Can they have bad outcomes? Yes. What if my son breaks his arm? He needs to go to the hospital. I thank God for Western medicine. If you take a pharmaceutical to manage your anxiety and depression, which makes you feel good, more power to you.
I don't want anyone to ever feel like if they are doing something that is currently working for them, they should change that. As we go through these conversations, many people talk about their ability to get off pharmaceuticals and leave that behind. I just don't want you to feel bad if you're not there yet, because you don't have to be.
Alright, that's it. That's what the podcast is. I'm going to read the tagline here, and then I'm going to move on to my own personal story. This podcast will feature inspiring interviews that share heartwarming stories of how cannabis has improved the lives of real people just like you worldwide.
Listeners will walk away feeling uplifted, knowledgeable, and empowered to make their own choices about cannabis consumption. The three things you'll get from listening to this podcast, I hope, are connection, inspiration, and education.
Now, if you're here and just to learn more about the podcast. That part is over. I will move into my own personal story, and if you want to stick around and listen to it, please do. I hope it will be very similar to the interviews that you're going to be hearing in our next series of episodes.
I will share my journey with cannabis, how it started, and how it's going. I really, truly, just want the opportunity to connect with you as my listener. I want you to feel like you know who I am. I mean, I spend so much time just on the internet as a web page.
I want people to get to know the real me and really understand why cannabis has impacted my life in such a profound way. And why I can connect with a lot of my interviewees because, at the end of the day, all cannabis users have a lot of things in common, especially shared life experiences. So hopefully, we can all just connect there.
My story really starts in 2008 when I graduated high school. I live in the middle of nowhere in upstate New York, just outside of Rochester. I graduated with maybe 150 kids in my class. I was always the mean girl in high school.
I always look back and feel bad about who I was, but now it makes more sense as I move forward into my story of how this all happened. High school was high school, I guess; I hated it. I was a mean girl. I'm sorry if I was mean to anybody in high school. Now I think about it, and I feel bad.
I graduated at 17 years old. My birthday is in October, and I went to Fredonia State. I stayed in the dorms, and I wasn't ready emotionally or mentally. I really started to struggle badly with anxiety, depression, and doing all the college things that you're not supposed to do. I dropped out with a 1.9 GPA.
I came back to my mom and dad's house, and that was probably my lowest moment. I felt so physically, mentally, and emotionally terrible about myself. Now that I look back, I just realized that it was anxiety and depression that I wasn't able to control on my own.
And, obviously, just big life changes. I moved back home, I had a boyfriend, and his family was extremely cannabis positive, and I had never really been introduced to cannabis. I'll actually share an interview I did with my mom, but I never knew that she used cannabis throughout my whole childhood, and I don't really remember smoking weed in high school, maybe a couple of times here and there.
But when I was introduced to this boyfriend, their family was cannabis consumers and very open and friendly about it. It was so different for me, and eventually, I tried it and was like, “oh, my gosh, the world has just opened up," Never mind you, I’m a college dropout, and I’m waitressing, and that was it.
I really felt bad about myself. And cannabis comes in, and suddenly I’m like, “oh, my God! I feel amazing. This is what I have been missing these last 3-4 years of my life. This is what it's like not to be riddled with anxiety and depression, and this is what it looks like to feel like I can be productive again”.
It changed everything for me. I went back to my local community college at MCC. I cannot tell you what a great experience I had. I enrolled, and I was so proud of myself, and I said I'm going to school to become a registered dietitian.
At the time, as most 18 years old’s are, I was just obsessed with myself and how I looked. I was somewhat inspired to work in the health field. My sister is a type one diabetic. She was diagnosed when we were 7, so growing up, food and health, and wellness were always a component of our lives. I did have a separate interest there, but also, I was secretly just in for myself, and I’m like, “I’m going to school for nutrition because I can learn all these things and benefit myself.”
I went to MCC. I commuted, so I still lived with my mom and dad and with my boyfriend at the time, and I was using cannabis daily, and I tell you, I felt great. To the point where I was also waitressing, but I believe I picked up two jobs. I was working all the time; I was paying my tuition, and I paid my whole way through MCC. I was on top of the world. Cannabis changed everything.
I ended up not staying with that boyfriend, and I just can't thank him and his family enough, especially his family. I actually ran into his father recently, maybe like a year ago, and he was so sweet and nice and told me how proud of me he was. He knows my story, and it really felt full circle to me because if it wasn't for that family, I mean, they changed my life in so many different ways. I know you guys know who you are. Thank you so much.
Moving on, I was at MCC, waitressing, feeling amazing. Time to move to a big girl school. At this time, I was still living with my parents. I had a new boyfriend and a new job at a local restaurant very close to where I lived, and this job changed the course of my life as well. I got a job at Ember, and I've met my very best, a lot of my very best friends in the world, and my husband there.
That place has given me so much, and so I waitressed there, and I ended up getting accepted to Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) to pursue my Bachelor’s degree in Nutrition and Dietetics. I spent two years smoking weed, going to college, working three restaurant jobs, and during this time, I hid the fact that I used cannabis - like hard - from everyone, especially going to school at RIT.
l had the cutest little red Tiburon 2-door sports car; I was commuting. I didn't live on campus. It was nice to have a car that I worked for, paid for, and bought myself. I remember I would smoke in the car before class, and then I had a bag of perfumes, lotions, potions, you name it.
I'm talking gum, lip gloss, hand wash, everything - to the point where I was OCD about it before I went into class because, God forbid, anyone would know that I use cannabis. I always was like: “If anybody ever found out, I would be dead; I can't even face the thought that people would know.”
I finally made it through college. I graduated, and I was proud of myself because I worked my whole way through college. I paid my way through college. I took on my own student loans when I couldn't pay for them. You know, my parents gave me all the emotional support that I needed, but I really did that on my own. And me and cannabis did that together, and I was really excited to graduate.
I graduated in 2013. Immediately after that, I had to go to graduate school, and if you want to become a registered dietitian, you have to do a 1,200-hour unpaid internship for a year.
I did that along with my Master's degree simultaneously so I could just get it done. My ultimate goal was to work in a hospital as a registered dietitian. I thought that that was the gold standard in my life. I was going to make $50,000 a year. I was going to wear a cute outfit, and everything would be perfect, and I was working towards that goal.
In 2014 I graduated with my Master's degree. I did not take my exam yet, but while I graduated with my Master's degree, I was pregnant with my son Ransom. He was a wonderfully welcome surprise with my husband, Phil. We weren't married at the time. Life was pretty good.
I absolutely abstained from cannabis, though, when I found out I was pregnant because I was terrified. I guess you know, as every mother is, and I didn't experience a lot of morning sickness at all. I was really quite healthy, so I just continue to waitress at that time at my husband's restaurant.
I didn't get a job as a dietitian yet, because I was pregnant, and I knew I didn't want to work with the new baby. So waitressing, waitressing, waitressing. Ran was born in September, and then I fell in love with being a cannamom.
He was, and is still, the perfect child, the perfect first child. Perfect, just a companion for my life. Ransom is a family name. Everyone's always like: “why did you name your kid Ransom?” That is his great-grandfather's name and his great-great grandfather's name.
My husband and I fell in love at work. He was a chef; I was a waitress. I cannot believe we worked together in that environment for five years and still ended up getting married, which is crazy. Ran was born in 2014, and in 2015, a few months after he was born, I came to this realization: “oh my God, I cannot go work a full-time job. Who is going to watch this baby? I want to be with this baby.” I cannot envision a full-time job at this point.
I got this crazy idea that I was going to start a blog. I remember he was an itty-bitty infant, I pulled up my big PC computer, and I started a Wix website or go Daddy website. It was called RDN Mommy because I was a dietitian and I was a mom. I started my job and my blog.
Once my couple of months with the baby was up, I actually got my “dream job” at Highland Hospital. I thought it was my dream job. I was so happy. It was a part-time job so I could be home with my son. My mom watched him while I went to work. I thought that that was it. That's what I went to school for; it was perfect.
I worked there all in 2015 and all of 2016. In 2016, Phil and I got married. We had Ransom when we got married, but either way, it still works out perfectly. In 2016, as I was working in the hospital, it really really sunk in that: “holy crap. this is not what I want to do for the rest of my life”. Working in a hospital, first off, I just don't have the stomach for it.
It was gross, and I’m so sorry; I know this is not anybody's fault, but like hospitals are just - I’m just not that kind of person. My sister is a registered nurse; she is that kind of person. She is a wonderful, blessed, amazing nurse; I just can't do it. Then there was just a lot of realizing that this health care system is whacked.
I remember having to take in a breakfast tray with two slices of French toast, orange juice, an apple, and syrup. I would literally set the tray down, and you're like: “Hi! You're here because you've been diagnosed with diabetes. Let's talk about your diet!”Just that oxymoron in and of itself was like: “what am I doing?”
I worked in women's oncology. There was a point where a woman would come in being diagnosed with breast cancer, and they wanted us to give them a pamphlet about weight loss. Imagine being diagnosed with breast cancer, and here comes Emily and her high heels with the pamphlet; she's like: “you want to learn and talk about losing weight?” Like, if that was me, I'd say, "get the f@*k out of here.” It's so backward, it's inhumane.
Unfortunately, I actually got to experience this in real life. In 2017 I had an IUD placed because I didn't want to have any more babies then. Just like all women do, I thought it was just a regular procedure, no big deal. But as you listen back on the commercials, and they're like, “1% of people might have X, Y, and Z.”
I ended up being that one percent, and I got really sick. My stomach expanded, it just swelled up, and it was so painful. I was in and out of the hospital a few times. This is what makes me the maddest: if they would have just taken out the IUD when I first said that this was a problem, none of the other things would have happened, but they didn't listen to me. They left the IUD in, and I developed pelvic inflammatory disease.
This was a two-month period being in and out of the hospital, gynecologist appointments, and ultrasounds. I ended up with a cyst, a grapefruit-sized cyst. Eventually, I had so much scarring and scar tissue that I lost all function of my left ovary and fallopian tube.
The worst part about this is after being in a hospital, having all these things, they just kept throwing these medicines and antibiotics at me. I ended up developing C. diff, and if anyone's ever had it, it's like the worst, like diarrhea of your life. They missed that as well, and I had to live with that for two weeks before anyone realized what it was.
Throughout this 2-month ordeal, by the end of that, I was like, “f@*k this; I am not doing this mainstream medical bullshit anymore." I did have an OBGYN who was dabbling in her holistic side. She said to me: “you're going to stop all of these things, all of these medications, all of these antibiotics." She gave me this gut health protocol, like the 4Rs, and she told me to take many different supplements.
The dietitian in me was like: “I'm willing to give this a try." I went cold turkey on the medications and 100% on the all-natural remedies. That was what helped me get better, and cannabis, too. After all, this is said and done, I missed much time at work. I felt like my work was not sympathetic to what I went through at all after being hospitalized.
They were not understanding, and I felt betrayed by everyone who worked at that hospital who treated me terribly. I felt betrayed by all the health care providers who not necessarily treated me, but that I worked with, that treated me terribly.
I saw firsthand how disgusting our mainstream medical system is. I remember one day I showed up at the emergency department, throwing up so bad, my stomach, my everything, like scrunched up, laying on the emergency room floor. A nurse stepped over me and never looked at or talked to me.
They, at one point, accused me of doing drugs. I feel so much empathy and compassion for people who have had the same experience because, as we do these interviews, you'll find out there are so many people who have had the exact same experience, and that, to me, is wild.
I guess it's not surprising; part of me is like: “thank God for Western medicine. Mainstream medicine - it saves lives every day,” and the other part is like: “what are we doing here? We cannot keep doing this as a society.”
All this happened to me, and I quit the hospital two months later. I was like: “I cannot continue to work in a system that is so broken and disgusting.” And that was a really hard decision for me.
At this time, I was growing my food blog on the side, Emily Kyle Nutrition. I was literally just a food blogger taking pictures of food, writing recipes, and posting them on my blog. I wanted to quit my hospital job so badly, but I was so nervous because I didn't have any money to speak of to support myself.
I had my baby, my son Ransom, and I had my husband, Phil, who worked full-time in the restaurant. He wasn't making much money; it would have been a real pinch if he was the sole income. So, I was like: “you know what, I'm going to go all in on this food blog, and I’m going to see.” I had made a little bit of money from it, and I was like: “I’m going to see what I can really do here because I can't do this anymore.”
And I'll never forget the day my dad was the most supportive, and he was like: “if you're not happy, you have to quit. There's always something else on the other side; you're young and have lots of opportunity.”
I left the hospital, which was the best thing I ever did. Probably the scariest decision I ever made, but in the back of my mind, I was like: "I'll go back to waitressing because I would rather waitress than work here."
I went in all in on my food blog in that year, 2018; it was amazing; it was my year of yes. I said to myself: "if I’m going to do this business thing, I will say yes to every opportunity that comes my way." Holy cats, it led me on this crazy journey.
I was working as a registered dietitian, and I was doing all sorts of really fun work. I had my blog, and I had this really cool gig where I was on TV at my local news station, Good Day Rochester.
Every Monday morning, I had my own 5-minute segment where I could talk about anything food and health-related, which was the highlight of my career. I've done over 300 live TV show interviews, which was fun; I loved everything about it.
During this time, I was still in the cannabis closet. I definitely would never have wanted anybody to know that I used cannabis. I remember starting the new segments; I did them for five years, and when I first started said: "I will never smoke before I do a new segment."
Then, a year in, and I said: “maybe just I'll just I'll do a little.” And then I was like: "okay, I'm doing this; I can do the news better when I’m feeling better." And so, I used cannabis before I went on live TV, and I still did an amazing job. I still do segments across the country.
Then I also had the opportunity to publish some cookbooks as a registered dietitian; I was approached with several thyroid cookbooks. And sometimes I’m like, “you wrote those!”. I'm a published author five times. Amazon, Barnes & Noble. I walked into Barnes & Noble and picked up my cookbook! All the while being someone who uses cannabis every single day.
Cannabis, for me, has given me so much productivity and energy. It can help me relax, too, but I feel so good and energized. That's how I feel about this podcast project right now; I'm so excited to work on it.
2018, my business as a dietitian is amazing. I got to travel all over the country, doing really amazing things. I went to Philadelphia and tour a mushroom farm, California to tour a peach farm, and New Orleans and Utah to learn about lamb.
I did some of the coolest things as a dietitian, and I loved every second of it, but I could never tell any of the dietitians that I used cannabis. I remember going to the conferences, always hiding things. I thought that, as a professional, there was no way to merge cannabis and my job.
Interestingly enough, 2019 comes around, and CBD comes on the scene, and I honestly didn't really know about CBD. I started doing some research and was like: “if I start talking about this, like, maybe this is the perfect toe in the water to start talking about cannabis because everyone seems to be okay with that.”
In 2019 I started talking about CBD, and people were so interested that I started on my blog writing about it, and that's when I met our then and now business partners, if you will, Doug and Romy from Vivaoils, to make our products. My nutrition business was doing so well, so I start slipping in CBD, and it was going really well, and at this point, my husband was able to retire from his job at the restaurant.
I didn't really even have that much money, but I was like: “I have plenty of money” because I just wanted him to leave the restaurant. It wasn't good for a work-life balance. He was going to work at 11 am and coming home at midnight or 1 am. We had a baby, but he never got to see him. Once I quit my job at the hospital and started working as an entrepreneur, I unlocked the realization that freedom was in my hands. Time freedom.
Freedom is my number one core value, and so, when he was ready to leave the restaurant, emotionally, I was like: “I am here; we can do this; let's do it.” And he did! He left the restaurant is probably one of the greatest moves we've ever made together.
Everything happens for a reason; this part comes in. We start talking about CBD. We met Doug and Romy, and we all went to Colorado, me, my husband, and Ransom. We met them and talked about creating cannabis products; at the time, it was CBD products. They took us to the lab, the kitchen, showing us how they make everything and how we could produce the same. My husband really took on the role of our shop, and so we started adding products to our website.
Then COVID hit. He just quit his job. At the time, our sole income was ad revenue from the website. When you visit our website, you see the ads, and that's how we make money. COVID hits, and it helps us so much because people are home making things, and they're bored.
We published our very first cannabis recipe, which was cannabis brownies. We were strategic about it, and then we published cannabis butter. We went all in on the website, produced tons of cannabis content, and at this point, I was like: "I’m going all in on cannabis."
First, being a dietitian, parts of it suck; I hate it. Second, I can't go anywhere; no one can see me; who will judge me if I’m talking in my own business about cannabis? COVID made me realize I actually don't care about anything that anybody thinks. So we started publishing all this cannabis content; it was the right thing to do. I changed a lot of parts of my business, but much of it stayed the same.
Now, we only do cannabis education. We produce blog content and social media, but we really produce free content that people can Google and get answers to their questions and learn how to use cannabis. In return, I get the ad revenue so that I can stay home with my kids and have that freedom that I really desire.
Then in 2021, even though I was told I would never get pregnant again, I found out I was pregnant with my sweet angel, Ronan. He was truly a miracle. But, it was actually hard for me because I never thought I could get pregnant again, and so I never had to think about what choice I would make if I needed to use cannabis during pregnancy.
When I discovered I was pregnant, I thought I could do this without cannabis. I had the worst morning sickness ever; I spent the first 18 weeks of his pregnancy in bed. The only thing that helped me was cannabis.
I really don't give a shit what anybody thinks because I don't know if I could have carried that pregnancy healthy and as well as I did without cannabis. I have no regrets. My midwife was extremely supportive.
I had a medical marijuana card at the time, and they were like: “if that's what makes you feel better, then go ahead,” and so I’m so glad I did. He is absolutely perfect. I was afraid of public opinion, and I couldn't believe that here I am, cannabis educator Emily Kyle, pregnant.
I did not want to discuss my choice to use cannabis while pregnant. I didn't want people to judge my family. I didn't want people to judge me, and I didn't want people to judge my baby.
At the time, I was pretty active on social media. I had a big Instagram following. So I stepped back from all forms of social media for an entire year. At first, it was really hard, but then I realized that life exists on the other side of social media. That was a different lesson.
But I left social media for a year. I'm so glad I did it. It really brought me back to my family, back to my roots, back to who I am and what I choose to do. I used cannabis all throughout my pregnancy. I'm glad I did.
Roni was born in 2021; it was a quiet year. We just kept chugging along with the business. In 2022 I made a really big life decision for us all, and we bought a house, a second home in Florida. Part of that is because I suffer so badly from seasonal affective disorder.
I use cannabis to manage my anxiety and depression in the first place. But I live in upstate New York, and we don't see the sun all winter, and it really has been tough on me for the last several years. So now I’m a snowbird. This will be the third year I'm spending the winter in Florida, and I am pumped about it.
I really am putting my health and wellness first. Cannabis helps me do that. Cannabis helps me eat healthier. It helps me exercise. It helps me take care of my mental health and physical health. I make life decisions now based on the health of myself and the health of my family, and cannabis gives me the confidence to be able to do that.
That year I made a little return to social media, and that's what's got us here. I was posting on Instagram. I loved my Instagram account. I had it for six years, @emilykylenutrition. And one day, I had a video that went viral. It was a video of me and my son Ransom chopping down a cannabis plant; it got 3½ million views. There was a bad side to it, too; people were so mean.
People started reporting the post because: “oh my God! God forbid kids are around cannabis plants,” which I will talk about on another podcast episode. There's literally nothing harmful about children being around cannabis plants, but I believe a lot of people reported my account.
Instagram deleted it, deactivated it, and suspended it. I applied for the appeal. In 2022 I became a licensed New York State Adult Use Cannabis Cultivator; I'm allowed to grow up to one acre of adult-use THC cannabis. I grew ten plants last year.
I responded: “I’m a licensed cultivator here in New York State. Here's my license number,” and they gave me my account back. Three weeks later, I get a message; the account is gone, and we deleted it. You violated our policy on guns and drugs. No appeal; it's gone.
I was so upset about it. I'm not doing anything wrong. There's literally nothing illegal about what I’m doing; there's nothing morally wrong with what I'm doing. Why are we facing this type of censorship over a plant? There has to be something bigger.
I went through a three-week emotional rollercoaster. Not that I should be defined by my Instagram account or how many followers I have, but it definitely was a vanity thing for me that I had to get over.
Finally, clarity just came to me and said: “you know the universe is making a decision here for you. You need to decide what you're going to do, moving forward. But this is not the path.” I guess maybe it had always been back in my mind that I needed to do something that I owned that could be bigger than social media.
And that's where the idea for this podcast came in. Not only do I love being on camera, obviously I spent a lot of time on TV; I'm going to obviously do videos here along with the podcast. I love talking.
I feel like I have a really unique personality. I have a very strong, very confident personality, so I really enjoy getting the chance to talk and share that with people. And a podcast can't be taken away from me. Instagram can't delete it. Facebook can't delete it. Youtube can delete me. Facebook can delete me. Instagram can delete me.
I won't spend any more time on any platform that can be deleted, and these upcoming interviews are so amazing. I guarantee you they'll be deleted when I post them on Youtube, but they can't ever be deleted from my website, so that is why I’m here podcasting loud and proud. It will always live on my website, and that is the one thing I own. I’m super proud of that.
So that was my full story on cannabis. I mean, cannabis is life for me like. I’m not obsessed with it, but I can't live without it. When I think about the benefits that come from it versus the drawbacks, it's a no-brainer, and I want to show people that I am a regular person.
I'm a productive person. I'm a responsible person. I'm an ambitious person. I’m a kind person. I’m thoughtful. You know all the stereotypes that are associated with cannabis. I aim to use this podcast because everyone I've interviewed is intelligent, articulate, educated, kind, and wonderful. I want to show the very best of cannabis users, and I appreciate the opportunity to get to do that.
So let's wrap this up. I will be asking the same four questions to all of my podcast guests. I am going to ask myself that as well. Question 1: What are you most proud of?
I thought about this question, which is the lifestyle I've created for myself. I have created a business that suits my lifestyle versus the other way around. I've created a business that allows me to work two hours a day and spend the rest of the time with my kids. I’m proud of being a stay-at-home, work-at-home mom, if that makes sense.
My mom was a stay-at-home mom. I didn't grow up in daycare. I don't want to talk shit about daycare. I know many people have to take their kids to daycare. But for me being able to be with my children as much as possible makes me so proud just because I love them so much.
I enjoy the time we spend together so much, and when I’m not with them when I’m here working, my husband's with them; he's home, too. I have given my children two-parent’s at home 24/7, and that, to me, is just the greatest gift that I could have. I know this time with them; they're eight and one years old right now, which is so short.
If I had to go back and wait for ten years, if this business went to sh*t, I wouldn't even care because what I have now with them is so precious, and I’m so thankful.
Not only has cannabis given me my health, but it's going to be a business that has given me a life. I genuinely mean cannabis has changed every aspect of my life, and my business is definitely one of those as well.
So that brings me to question two: what would your life look like if you didn't have cannabis?
I really believe I still would have gone to school to be a dietitian. But I believe I’d be working like that traditional 9-to-5 in a hospital, doing something I hated, for pay that now seems crazy low. I make more money now doing something I love with 100% control and freedom than they could have ever made staying in the hospital. And for me, I’m super proud of that.
But back to the question. If I didn't have cannabis, I’d probably be really unhappy working in a 9-to-5, sending my two kids to daycare, coming home, seeing them for an hour at night, putting them to sleep, and waking up and doing it all again the next day. The life I live now is so accessible and rich, and beautiful.
Next question: if you could sit down with yourself 10, 20, or 30 years ago, what would you say?
I would tell myself to trust the process. I do believe everything happens for a reason. I don't believe I would be here if I haven't had to go through everything that I've gone through, and I think you'll see that with all of my interviewees as well as them.
On the other side of hardship is something really beautiful, so I would tell myself to stay the course, and my number one is to trust my intuition. Every major decision in my life I have made on my very first gut instinct reaction. It is always right, and I do not second-guess myself.
And then last, and at least, if you could be remembered for one thing in the cannabis space, what would it be?
And my number one thing is: I want to be the woman who turns around, holds out her hand, and says: "let me help you, too." I do feel like I do that now because when I worked as a registered dietitian in the hospital, I never felt like I made a difference. I never felt like I had changed someone's life.
And now, I get messages daily that I have changed someone's life for the better in so many impactful ways. I mean, people have sent me the nicest messages. It's unbelievable. Telling me how my work, in some way or another, has improved the quality of their lives.
And that's what I want to be remembered for, turning around and helping others, holding out my hand and saying: "I've been through this, and I can help you through this as well."
That's what I hope you get from this Well With Cannabis Podcast. We are all out here just expanding our hands to the cannabis community, offering our help, our support, our wisdom, our love, and our guidance, and letting people know that they are not alone in their cannabis journey.
While the journey is so unique and individual to each one of us, we all share some things in common, and we can all learn from each other, and all support each other.
So thank you so much for being here. I hope you turn it in and listen to all the amazing interviews I have lined up for you. Like I said, ordinary, regular, everyday people, just like you, whose lives have been dramatically improved, and me.
Thanks to our beautiful cannabis plant. I love you, cannabis; I couldn't live without you; I truly mean that; I thank you for listening. Thank you for being here with me today. I'll talk to you soon.
It was great to hear the story behind how you created your business and what cannabis does for you. Thank you for sharing it.
Renée from Team EKN
Hi Duane. We are so happy you enjoyed the podcast! Thank you for your support!