Charlotte’s Web oil is the name of a non-psychoactive form of medical cannabis that has been used successfully in the treatment of children who suffer from intractable epilepsy. The “Charlotte’s Web” plant was developed by the five Stanley brothers in 2011. The brothers crossbred a strain of cannabis with industrial hemp, creating a plant that contains less tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) than the “standard” marijuana variety and higher amounts of cannabidiol. The plant is suitable for the treatment of patients who do not wish to experience the “high” associated with standard marijuana. Because Charlotte’s Web oil is so low in THC, it was at first given the name “Hippie’s Disappointment.” The brothers are interested in moving this operation from Colorado to Uruguay to enable them to import Charlotte’s Web to any U.S. state as hemp.
Charlotte’s Web was named after Charlotte Figi. Charlotte and her twin sister, Chase, were born October 18, 2006 to her parents Matt and Paige. When Charlotte was two years old, she was diagnosed with Dravat syndrome, also known as severe myoclonic epilepsy of infancy. Little Charlotte was experiencing up to 1,200 grand mal seizures a month. These seizures occurred every half hour and were so violent that her parents placed a DNR on her medical records. She suffered from repeated cardiac arrest, was confined to a wheelchair, could barely talk and required a feeding tube and oxygen. Doctors recommended placing her in a medically-induced coma to give her body a rest.
Charlotte’s parents tried every other option at their disposal before resorting to medical marijuana. The first type of marijuana they tested her on was called R4. Her parents paid approximately $800 for the two available ounces. Charlotte’s mother, Paige, said that Charlotte was completely seizure-free for seven days after beginning marijuana treatment. Shortly after, Paige learned about the Stanley brothers and their work with medical marijuana. Called the “Robin Hoods of marijuana,” the brothers were completely on board with helping Charlotte once they met her and understood her situation. Because they are legally unable to give their cannabis away for free, they sell it at extremely reduced rates to enable patients to afford it.
There was a period when Charlotte did not laugh for six months. According to her mother, all she could do was cry. Today, Charlotte Figi is now a happy, healthy little girl. As of 2014, she was speaking in complete sentences, riding her bike, laughing and feeding herself.
Charlotte’s Web oil has been used to help other children who suffer from Dravet’s syndrome, which kills those affected with it before they reach adulthood. Approximately one in 40,000 children is affected by the disease. Several families have relocated to Colorado to be able to obtain Charlottes’ Web oil for their children.