Photo by: Sandmood Photography
Inesa Ponomariovaite may be renowned today as the founder and CEO of Nesas Hemp, but she hasn’t always been one of the world’s leading experts on CBD and CBDa, the main phytocannabinoid in the hemp plant. Long before Ponomariovaite entered the CBD industry, she was interested in holistic healing practices, wellness, and healthy living. That’s because she herself suffered from substantial health problems.
As the oldest of three siblings in Lithuania, Ponomariovaite was forced to grow up fast. At the age of 10, she started working outside the home. “I was working all day up to midnight in the farm picking berries, and then waking up at 5 am in the morning to sell in the farmer’s markets,” she reflects.
She had to take on even more responsibility, however, when her mother — the main provider of her family — needed to take a job far from home. At that time, the young Ponomariovaite effectively became her siblings’ guardian. “At the age of 10 I already had responsibilities to take care of my siblings and run the household,” she says. “Every summer, while other children were doing fun stuff, I had to work and help my mom to provide for my family as the oldest child.”
While Ponomariovaite greatly appreciated being able to help her mother, it was a lot of responsibility to have as a young child. She quickly learned how strong and determined she was.
This was not the only time in Ponomariovaite’s life in which she faced challenges she had to overcome. After coming to the United States and settling in Chicago, she became a victim of domestic violence. “I have been in a relationship where my freedom was completely taken away, and I experienced physical abuse,” she remembers.
One incident even landed her in the emergency room. “During that relationship, my back was injured and I also lost my gallbladder and was diagnosed with ovarian cancer and major lung infections when I couldn’t breathe, and many other life-threatening symptoms,” Ponomariovaite says.
But Ponomariovaite refused to be kept down for long. “I strongly believe that all the pain that I have experienced, it was meant to be,” she says. “It built me as a very strong, untouchable woman, and every time I experienced pain, I promised God that I would do everything it takes to make sure others don’t have to go through what I had to go through.”
Turning to nature
While Ponomariovaite was able to secure employment and build a safe new home for herself, the illness still plagued her. “When I was extremely sick from all kinds of diseases I stayed on endless antibiotics and steroids that never led me to the final cure,” she reflects.
That’s when she began her journey into holistic healing practices. “After being miserable for so long I decided to try something different and change my diet and lifestyle and to seek out natural healing remedies,” she says. “I’ve noticed improvements, and these improvements made me so excited that I decided to go all in.”
Little by little, she was able to wean herself off of the pharmaceuticals and recover her health. This transformational time in her life is what planted the trust she has in alternative medicine and it laid the groundwork for her future in the hemp and CBD industry.
Photo by: Sandmood Photography
A stunning discovery
“When I had finally gotten settled in my life and made my American Dream come true, I got a phone call from my mom saying that she was diagnosed with cancer,” Ponomariovaite remembers. “That was the day when I promised myself, my mom and God that I will do whatever it takes to make sure she is healthy and since I trusted nutrition and changing the lifestyle more than pharmaceutical drugs, I began researching CBD.”
Patients with cancer and other chronic illnesses have long used CBD for pain management and anxiety relief, and scientific research has shown CBD’s promise in other ways. As one recent study states, “CBD may have the potential for the treatment of cancer, including the symptoms and signs associated with cancer and its treatment.”
“Since the CBD industry is new and not regulated but the plant itself is so promising, I decided to find the best product in the market that I could personally trust to represent or sell to other people,” Ponomariovaite explains.
That’s when she made a stunning discovery. “After visiting different farms, working with the laboratories, testing different products across the country, and consulting with top scientists in the cannabis industry, I realized there was no product in the market that truly represented what I was looking for,” she says. “So, I was challenged to start something that I believed was missing in the market.”
Ponomariovaite became determined to help patients gain access not only to high-quality CBD but also to CBD that preserves the hemp plant’s healing powers. In other words, she sought to bring “Living CBD” or “CBDa” to market, which is exactly what Nesa’s Hemp does.
“Sadly, today the industry is choosing profits over the people, and that will never be the case with Nesas Hemp,” Ponomariovaite says.
CBDa: Active hemp for healing
Nesa’s Hemp is the first CBD product to receive an official safety seal from FDA-registered laboratories. Her tincture is also certified organic, from the soil through seed to bottle. Each and every batch is not just tested for purity and quality, but also tested to the parts per billion. The back of every bottle includes a QR code for that particular batch’s lab results.
“I created the purest, cleanest, safest and most effective organic CBDa oil for the people,” Ponomariovaite says. “Today, Nesas Hemp is on the mission not just to be recognized as the highest quality product, but we also use a portion of our funds to create a better society and stop the suffering and pain in the world. I have a deep desire to make a huge difference and have already started here locally in Chicago.”