In the Beginning: Karen Watts is definitely not a newcomer to the healing powers of marijuana. After all, she started smoking weed 42 years ago while growing up on the outskirts of Washington, D.C. Coming from a family with a history of mental illness, “I just sort of gravitated to it and at some point realized, wow, it’s helping me with the serious anxiety and depression we all had.” The 59-year-old Watts didn’t respond well to prescription pills, so cannabis became “my form of pain relief.” And it remained that way throughout several decades working in sales in the publishing and advertising world.
When it All Changed: Nearly three years ago, Watts and her husband, Jeff Nauman, decided to give up their businesses and move from Long Beach, California to Portland, Oregon, for a fresh start. While doing some social media work for a local group called Tokeativity, which promotes events that encourage women to enter the cannabis industry, Watts heard about the healing powers of CBD for the first time. She was uneasy – “We thought it was just our friends who were stoners like us, doctors and lawyers who just didn’t want the stigma of getting high” – but felt better so quickly it was clear, “this was something people our age need.”
That wasn’t her only motivation, though. Watts lost a brother who she says was “massively over-prescribed medications, passing way at 60 but looking like he was 90 and begging us to kill him.” Her sister, meanwhile, suffered from anxiety and depression so severe, she had to endure endless electroshock and antipsychotic drug treatments before passing away last year. CBD came along too late to save her siblings but “that’s when I noticed how much it could help.”
What She’s Doing: In 2018, Watts and Nauman launched Comfortably Numb. Their company “doesn’t do medical marijuana, we only sell hemp-based CBD,” she explains. Besides marketing products, Comfortably Numb also tries to personalized every transaction by working with customers one-on-one to find their ideal treatment.
Words of Weed-sdom: “People are now coming to me saying, ‘I want to do what you’re doing.’ I think the most important aspect is they have to really invest themselves in learning the science of this plant. The Cannabis industry is wonderful for people our age. We’re needed because baby boomers can talk to seniors on a similar level.”
NOTES: “I was interviewed for this article and they have a few facts wrong. “social media work for a local group called Tokeativity,” – This is incorrect, I was just attending. Where it says, “She was uneasy – “We thought it was just our friends who were stoners like us, doctors and lawyers who just didn’t want the stigma of getting high” – Have no idea how they got that! I spoke about the fact that people did not want the high associated with Marijuana, so we thought CBD would be an excellent alternative. AND Baby Boomers are Seniors these days and my real name now is Karen Watts Nauman. Everything else is basically spot on! Karen Watts Nauman