Charlotte’s Web: A Young Girl and her Family’s Last Resort
Charlotte’s Web (Sativa)
Charlotte’s Web is a strain of cannabis sativa that has been specially crafted to treat a number of medical conditions. Most widely known for its treatment of epileptic seizures, Charlotte’s Web has high amounts of CBD and less than 0.3% THC, making it a unique strain that has been successful in treating a number of patients. The strain was named after a young girl, Charlotte Figi, who’s life was saved with an unconventional, yet effective, treatment for her seizures.
Treating Charlotte’s Severe and Virtually Untreatable Epilepsy
In 2012, a little girl named Charlotte was experiencing an epileptic seizure every 25 minutes. Conventional pharmaceuticals had no apparent effect on her condition – and brought with them serious side-effects that only exacerbated her suffering. She almost died twice – both times saved by her mother’s CPR knowledge. It was clear that she was suffering, and her parents and doctors agreed not to resuscitate her a third time, given how debilitating and untreatable her condition seemed.
The Stanley Brothers and the Realm of Caring Foundation
That was until the Figi Family heard of the Stanley Brothers, who had cross-bred a strain of cannabis that seemed to vastly reduce seizure frequency in epileptic patients. In one last-ditch effort to save their daughter, Charlotte’s parents agreed to give this strange treatment a go – with near-miraculous results. Now, thanks to Charlotte’s regular dosage of the Stanleys’ cannabis tincture, the number of her epileptic episodes has reduced to between two and four… per month.
If this reads like a quack doctor’s testimonial, that in itself should say something about cannabis’ incredible medical benefits. To date, a lot of the mechanisms of medical marijuana are only dimly understood. Unnecessary legal barriers prevent the research that is needed to fully reap the benefits of this miraculous plant. Because of this, there is a gross injustice that is being wrought on sufferers, like Charlotte, who might not be able to access it where they live.
But the science rings true: among many other compounds (including the psychoactive THC that we all know and love), cannabis contains cannabidiol – or CBD for short. It’s this CBD compound that has anti-convulsive effects. So naturally, when the Stanleys were breeding the strain that ended up saving Charlotte, they opted to maximize CBD content and suppress THC content, producing a breed of cannabis that doesn’t get you high, but is far more curative than any of the Big Pharma’s offerings.
Charlotte’s Web’s Many Other Uses
Epilepsy isn’t the only illness for which cannabidiol provides a palliative cure: studies suggest that it could help combat inflammatory disorders (including nasties like Lyme Disease) by acting as an antibiotic, and could also treat nausea, schizophrenia, and even cancer itself. All of this from a plant that is illegal in most of the world, but also very easily grown and produced on a household level. Even making tinctures, like the one that helped Charlotte, is easily achieved via a coconut oil extraction (instructions here), making it far more convenient, effective, and economical than many branded pharmaceuticals in some cases.
Charlotte’s Web: Looking Forward
It’s clear that we, as a society and a species, need to seriously re-evaluate the way we view cannabis. There will be many roadblocks along the way – social opposition, slow-moving legal processes, and of course pharmaceutical interests – but in the end we owe it to ourselves to re-frame cannabis not as a dangerous intoxicant, but as a medicine of the future. Perhaps ultimately, we owe it to the many other patients like Charlotte who are living and dying in agony, while an effective – but currently illegal – cure is well within their reach.