You may have heard of Charlotte’s Web and the story of a little girl. And no, I am not referring to E.B. White’s 1952 children’s novel. I am referring to the low-THC, high-CBD cannabis strain developed by the Stanley Brothers. The strain, Charlotte’s Web, was named after a little girl, Charlotte Figi.
Young Charlotte was only three months old when she experienced her first seizure. The seizures continued regularly and Charlotte’s parents, Paige and Matt, spent the early days of Charlotte’s infancy in and out of hospitals. Doctors prescribed powerful, addictive medications, like benzodiazepines, in hopes of stopping the seizures. They didn’t.
At two and half years old, she was diagnosed with Dravet Syndrome, a rare type of intractable epilepsy. She would suffer from 300 seizures weekly. Life for the Figis was turned upside down. But, Matt and Paige did not give up; they kept hope. They looked for any and all opportunities of light for their child. One day, they came across a success story about a California boy who suffered from Dravet Syndrome and had successfully countered the seizures with cannabis.
The Figis lived in the cannabis-friendly state of Colorado, which permits the use of medical cannabis for specific qualifying conditions. Seizures is on the list of qualifying conditions. However, they would have to find two doctors to certify young Charlotte, who was only five years old, for a medical marijuana card. After many rejections from doctors who were unwilling to certify Charlotte, the Figis got their blessing from Dr. Margaret Gedde and Dr. Alan Shackelford.
After getting Charlotte’s certification to use medical cannabis, Matt and Paige acquired a low-THC, high-CBD strain from a local dispensary. They extracted the oil from the plant and began administering the oil for Charlotte. The results were miraculous. After the first dose, Charlotte’s seizures went away for the next seven days. Soon after, they met the Stanley Brothers, who were cultivating a low-THC, high-CBD strain and were able to provide a constant supply of medicine for Charlotte. Matt and Paige continued to administer the high-CBD oil to Charlotte’s diet; her seizures dropped from 300 a week to twice or three times a month.