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Longboat Key Monday, Feb. 24, 2020 9 months ago

Helping the ache

Lisa Baskfield, a lifelong Longboater, opened her CBD shop to try to help as many people as possible.
by: Nat Kaemmerer Staff Writer

For Lisa Baskfield, hemp is hope. She wants to spread that message around Longboat Key from the front door of Nature’s Gem CBD, her recently opened store in the Centre Shops on Longboat Key.

CBD is derived from hemp but doesn’t contain the cannabinoid THC.

“When I first opened on Longboat Key, I got called the pot shop,” Baskfield said. “I started to sit out in the chair, and it really helped. They came back.”

CBD has made its way into the mainstream in the past few years as part of a holistic approach to healing.

“It’s always more than just one thing,” Baskfield said. “Let’s see what’s going on with that body.”

A former marathoner, Baskfield began using CBD for her fibromyalgia symptoms. After living with chronic pain — which she’s now passionate about treating — her Pilates instructor and daughter both advised she check out CBD.

“I don’t ever want to be someone who’s going to say, ‘Gee, I don’t have fibromyalgia symptoms, and it’s all CBD,’” Baskfield said. “No, I eat right. I have to exercise, and I do have to get my rest. I do have to watch my stress level. I am able to manage it with those, but if I ate like crap, and I didn’t exercise, I would be totally sick again, in a heartbeat.”

She can play piano again now that she’s off narcotics, something she hasn’t done in years. She sponsors marathon athletes, like she used to be.

“I’ll always remember my first pain-free day,” she said. “I thought, ‘Wow, this really works.’ Then I was mad because the research was there, and I will never know what was done to my liver or my kidneys with all that medication.”

Baskfield has an insider knowledge of the pain her customers are going through, after living with fibromyalgia for years. She just wants to help people with her products, which are vegan, THC-free and anti-doping compliant. They’re consistently sourced, so customers and athletes always know what they’re getting. For Baskfield, her business is as much about health and wellness as it is about CBD.

“I thought, ‘Let’s start a company to really educate and help other people who live in chronic pain,’” Baskfield said.

CBD is not a cure, she insists, but it works to calm your system down. One of the ways in which that’s clearest is through Baskfield’s foot massages she gives, supplemented by CBD salve

Over a day, she’ll work deeper into people’s feet to try to get inflammation down and neuropathy under control. One woman could barely stand to have Baskfield touch her feet at all, but with a little determination and CBD, Baskfield was soon working deep into the aching areas.

“I’ve kind of become the neuropathy expert on the island,” Baskfield said.

Baskfield’s salve is just one of many methods to take CBD. Gummies help combat anxiety, pain, insomnia or inflammation. Oil, which can be taken under the tongue, is a fast way to get the compound into the bloodstream.

However, if you’re on blood thinners, as much of the island’s population is, you should absolutely not ingest CBD. 

One thing that Baskfield said upsets her is the companies passing out CBD on the street without knowing their customers and how it can interact with other things at work in their bodies.

“CBD has a known interaction with blood thinners, but CBD also thins blood,” Baskfield said. “It’s just too risky. Topically, you’re fine. Just don’t eat it.”

When someone comes into her shop, Baskfield is immediately attentive and asks potential customers what’s wrong. She’ll usually give them a quick massage with a bit of CBD salve and magnesium oil to try to calm down the system and stretch things out. The importance of the massage is something she’s learned from her own experience.

“I massage to calm down the nervous system,” Baskfield said. “When I was having a fibro flare-up, I would ask my husband to rub my back along the spine where the nerves are.”

Baskfield is careful to explain to the aching customers why she’s doing what she is and how they can replicate it to feel better. She never charges customers for the quick massages.

“My whole goal is to show you
how to do it yourself, so you can do it at home,” Baskfield said. Baskfield is calm and treats customers with care and a wealth of knowledge as she probes sore spots for knots and her customers for more information about their afflictions.

“All my runners and athletes say I give really good foot massages,” Baskfield said.

Baskfield is in the business to help people, not to make money or sell CBD as a cure-all. She knows it’s just one part of a much wider, healthier whole and wants to spread the salve around.

“You have to teach people what’s right for their body, especially in an industry that’s unregulated,” Baskfield said “And the only way you stop false claims is you educate people because there are people doing some pretty bad things in this industry.”

Nature’s Gem became a legal entity in 2018 and has been growing since. Baskfield is confident that the research is there, that her passion is there and that the money will follow as more people realize the helpful power of the cannabinoid.

“Education is power,” Baskfield said. “It’s all about passing it forward.”

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