A hero died April 14th, at the age of 13, although she probably didn't know that she revolutionized the way Cannabis is now perceived.
I first heard about Charlotte Figi and her amazing family on the CNN special Weed, when Dr. Sanjay Gupta told how her use of CBD treated her epilepsy. I did an about face on my view of Cannabis. It is now one of the strongest medicines my son uses for his seizures.
Charlotte Figi had her first seizure at three months old, and by age 5 was having 300 seizures a week, was confined to a wheelchair and was using a feeding tube. Medication and diet did not help with her Dravet syndrome diagnosis, a form of epilepsy. Her parents found a doctor willing to prescribe Cannabis. They made oil from a low-THC, high CBD-strain. Miraculously her seizures were reduced to one a month.
But the supply of Cannabis, at $800 for 2 grams, was running out. The family reached out to the Stanley brothers, hemp growers in Colorado and what an exceptional partnership it became. The brothers welcomed the family and created what is now the famous Charlotte's Web CBD oil.
The Stanley families started the Realm of Caring Foundation, a non-profit organization that provides education and hemp-based CBD to those in need. According to Dr. Malik Burnett's article on medicaljane.com (July 2018):"out of 200 children treated at Realm of Caring, 78% have seen seizure reduction with 25% being almost 100% seizure free".
At the time of her death Charlotte was hiking, riding on the front of her mother's tandem bike and riding horses with her sister. It was reported in the Globe and Mail that she died of complications from Covid-19.
So on behalf of the many, many families little Charlotte Figi helped, and the awareness she created about the benefits of Cannabis as medicine, thank you from the bottom of my heart and may you rest in peace.