Over the past decade, CBD has gained enormous popularity in the health arena. The chemical compound, derived from the cannabis plant, has been said to have many health benefits. Some people use CBD cream to alleviate back pain, while others use CBD gummies for anxiety – the products and cures are seemingly endless. But with cannabis’ federal classification as a Schedule I drug, how could a substance like CBD gain so much popularity without any clinical trials conducted? A six-year old girl had something to do with it. Charlotte Figi was born in 2006 and diagnosed with Dravet syndrome. Dravet syndrome is a severe form of epilepsy characterized by frequent, prolonged seizures. Needless to say, life was crazy for Charlotte’s family trying to prevent the seizures. In 2012, Charlotte’s mother began treating Charlotte’s seizures with CBD oil. Charlotte’s seizures went down from 300 a week to two or three per month. Charlotte went on to start her own CBD company, be featured in major news publications, and inspire families with similar diagnoses across the globe.
While CBD products are commonplace today, the public wasn’t privy to the non-psychoactive cannabinoid in 2006. Charlotte was born and raised in Colorado, which began their medical patient registry just six years earlier. At the time, fewer than ten states had legalized medical cannabis. Charlotte’s early diagnosis led to the prescription of seven different drugs. The drugs didn’t help. Her parents tried everything to manage the seizures and eventually landed on alternative medicine. They read a lot about the CBD trend and how it treats epilepsy. At age five, with options seemingly low, they decided to try medical cannabis. Not only did Charlotte’s parents have to find doctors to approve the youngest medical cannabis patient in the state, but they also had to find an appropriate product for such a small child. Luckily for them, they were introduced to the Stanley brothers.
Charlotte and her family got connected with the Stanley brothers early into their CBD quest. The Stanley brothers made high-dosage CBD cannabis oil, which Charlotte began taking. During her first years of treatment with the CBD oil, Charlotte went from having 300 seizures a week to only two to three a month. She also regained her ability to walk and feed herself. In 2014, the Stanley brothers renamed their products to Charlotte’s Web and started to produce a full product line of CBD products. Little did Charlotte, her family, or the Stanley brothers know that this would be the beginning to a new cannabis movement.
Charlotte’s story gained notoriety throughout the world. Sanjay Gupta, chief medical correspondent for CNN and from whom most of the country first heard the term CBD, had a big role in amplifying her story. Gupta interviewed Charlotte and her family in 2013 in the multi-part documentary special titled, “Weed.” Charlotte became an overnight face and hero for the medical cannabis and CBD movement. Over fifteen thousand families reached out to the Stanley brothers after the documentary aired. In 2018, Charlotte’s Web Holdings, Inc. launched its initial public offering in Canada. The company is still public to this day.
Death and Legacy
In April 2020, Charlotte was hospitalized with pneumonia, which then caused seizures, respiratory failure, and cardiac arrest. She died on April 7, 2020, at the age of thirteen. In just thirteen years on Earth, Charlotte made a bigger impact than most are able to make in a lifetime. She changed minds globally just by living her life. She never asked to be a part of the cannabis conversation, but her life’s unexpected collision with the cannabis and CBD movement inspired a shift in public sentiment. Charlotte’s journey brought pain relief to so many other patients and families across the globe. Charlotte will forever be remembered as a pioneer in the cannabis industry. Her short, yet fulfilled life prevented thousands of others from suffering the way she did.
Guest Author Bio
Jeff is an expert in the cannabis industry and enjoys delving into the stories of people who impact the field for the better.