Marijuana and Charlotte’s webSimone Loganathan
Why Marijuana has a bad reputation?
Marijuana has been used as a medicine since before the 1930s, when it was defamed due to political reasons. Not only did marijuana become an illegal substance, but people were afraid of using it.
Anti-marijuana campaigns and the high addictive potential of cannabis added to this fear. So, a substance once prescribed as a medicine was now viewed as dangerous.
A family from Colorado had the same perception about marijuana until something miraculous happened that completely changed their minds.
How marijuana helped the Figi family?
Matt and Paige Figi had two fraternal twin baby girls in 2006 and they named them Charlotte and Chase. Both of them were healthy and everything was normal until Charlotte had a seizure at the age of 3 months. She was rushed to the hospital and doctors gave her the necessary treatment, but the seizure lasted for 30 minutes.
Doctors put her through typical medical tests; an MRI, EEG etc., but diagnosed it as a random seizure that will pass.
Charlotte’s development was perfectly usual, just like her twin sister until she was two years old. By the age of two, her development stunted and she started declining cognitively. She manifested behavioral changes and difficulty in moving.
Seizures multiplied in number rapidly and she was diagnosed with Dravet syndrome.
Dravet syndrome is characterized by prolonged seizures, often triggered by high temperature, in the first year of a child’s life.
It’s also known as severe myoclonic epilepsy of infancy.
The Figis tried everything to alleviate their daughter’s suffering- Medication, special diet, acupuncture etc. etc.. Some of these treatments nearly killed her, but nothing helped.
They found out about medical marijuana being helpful but hesitated because Charolette was too young and cannabis had a notorious reputation.
Charlotte’s condition worsened and seizures reached up to 300 per week.
They gave in and tried medical marijuana obtained from a dispensary and it cost them $800 for 2 ounces and Charlotte improved.
How marijuana alleviates seizures?
The science behind marijuana’s ability to work as an anti-seizure drug is a chemical called cannabidiol (CBD) that has immense benefits. Another compound in marijuana, the tetrahydrocannabidol (THC), is psychoactive in nature and gets you stoned.
So, finding a strain of cannabis, low in THC and high in CBD is what benefits seizure patients.
Cannabidiol has the power to alleviate excess electrical activity in brain that leads to seizures. Science also shows that low amounts of THC is brain protective. Medical marijuana also shows immense efficacy in other diseases like migraine, irritable bowel syndrome and anxiety.
The marijuana the Figis obtained from the Denver dispensary was low in THC and high in CBD.
Charlotte was given medical marijuana twice a day in her food. Her condition improved and the number of seizures declined. She was forced to experience 300 seizures per week but it came down to only one per week after she was given medical marijuana!
High cost wreaked havoc on Figis and this lead them to discovering the Stanley brothers.
They grew a strain of cannabis with less than 1% THC and 21% CBD which no one bought because it doesn’t make you “high”. However, it helped Charlotte in alleviating seizures and the Stanley brothers gave it to her for free.
They have named it as “Charlotte’s web”.