On April 7th, 2020, the world lost one of the major pioneers towards the acceptance of cannabidiol for medical use. Even if you’re unfamiliar with Charlotte Figi’s story, you’ve undoubtedly experienced the impact of her legacy. For those of you who turn to CBD when your back hurts or to help you sleep, you have Charlotte to thank. Her name deserves to be known, and her story deserves to be told. This is the journey of Charlotte Figi: the little girl who took the CBD world by storm.
Charlotte Figi was born in late 2006 with her twin, Chase, and she had all of the signs of a regular, healthy child. It wasn’t until she was three months old when Charlotte had her first seizure--one that lasted 30 minutes.
At first, doctors assumed it was a one-time thing. But, after only a week passed and Charlotte experienced another seizure, her parents knew it was something more serious. Despite having frequent and long-lasting episodes, most of her test results and screenings came back normal. Everybody was left completely stumped and feeling helpless.
Charlie, as she began to be called by her family, was suffering from multiple seizures a day, with some lasting up to four hours. Doctors were trying everything, though Charlie was still suffering: both from her epilepsy and her medications. As a two-year-old, the little girl was on seven different medications and it was clear that they were affecting her negatively, slowing her development compared to her twin.
Charlotte's Web: A Glimmer of Hope
After struggling to find a doctor in Colorado that would actually support the parent’s decision in getting a medical marijuana card, Paige Figi finally came in touch with Dr. Margaret Gedde and Dr. Alan Shackelford, and the process began. Charlie’s parents bought two ounces of a high-CBD strain of marijuana from a dispensary and then asked a friend to help extract oil from the buds. The result was a CBD-rich, natural cannabis oil, and it was going to be tested on Charlie directly.
A small drop was given to the little girl, and her parents couldn’t believe what they saw: Charlotte’s seizures reduced immediately, giving her hours of seizure-free relaxation. When she went a week without a seizure, Matt and Paige knew that this was their answer. The next issue, though, was how to continue to get this special remedy.
Her Legacy Continues
Soon after, the girls’ parents got in touch with the Stanley brothers, dispensary owners and cannabis cultivators in Colorado. The two were known for their work with medical marijuana and epilepsy, Parkinson’s, and certain cancers, so the Figi’s believed this was their best choice. Though the brothers had initial reservations about selling CBD oil for a girl of such a young age, the benefits were undeniable.
Unfortunately, after seven more years of healing and advocating for the cannabis plant, Charlotte lost her life due to complications from what they suspect was Covid-19. But though she’s no longer here physically, the impact that this little pioneer had was remarkable. Even at such a young age, Charlotte was able to inspire countless people across the globe to give CBD a chance.