The honest answer is it depends. There is a good chance that your basket pipe is just a lower grade of briar, and that is the reason it has the opaque finish. Someone was trying to cover up the natural imperfections of the wood. It has been theorized that these finishes hold more heat in the wood that a stained pipe, bit each piece of wood is unique so you'd be had pressed to come up with a definitive answer.
One option would be to wet sand the finish off the pipe and then either restain or leave it as a natural finish, you may uncover some fills or something else hidden under the glossy finish, but I would rather have a pipe that smokes well than one that looks good sitting on a shelf and never gets smoked.
In my world, everyone's a pony and they all eat rainbows and poop butterflies!
Interested in Paleo/Primal way of life? Join us in the Paleo Lifestyle social group