It is with sad but grateful hearts that Sky Naturals shares the story of Charlotte Figi, a young girl from Colorado Springs who passed away earlier this month at age thirteen. What follows is the inspiring and heartwarming story of a young girl championed as a hero of the CBD movement and a symbol of what cannabis can be. We wanted to share this story as a way to honor Charlotte’s life and what she brought both to the world and to the cannabis movement.
Charlotte, who was often described as full of joy and beaming with light, was not expected to live past age eight. She had a rare form of epilepsy, called Dravet Syndrome, which was difficult to treat. Every thirty minutes, Charlotte experienced a prolonged and potentially life-threatening seizure.
Things changed for Charlotte and her family in 2012. After exhausting all other treatment options, Charlotte’s mother gave her CBD oil as a possible treatment. At the time, the Stanley Brothers, in Charlotte’s home state of Colorado, were creating a high-CBD low-THC strain of cannabis called “Hippie’s Disappointment”. CBD, or cannabidiol, is a naturally occurring chemical compound that comes from the cannabis plant but unlike its well-known cousin, THC, it is non-psychoactive and does not affect cognitive functions.
When Charlotte began taking CBD as a treatment for epilepsy, the results were almost instantaneous. She went from having multiple seizures a day to only two or three a month. Along with the noticeable decrease in her seizures, Charlotte also began to participate in her life, through things such as eating, playing, and interacting with others, in an easier way. The medical cannabis strain was renamed “Charlotte’s Web”.
Over the following years, young Charlotte Figi influenced the medical marijuana movement in many ways. Her experience demonstrated that cannabis had the potential to be a viable health treatment and helped to popularize CBD for medical treatment. As a result, many eyes opened to what alternative therapy could look like. She also helped support US legislation on medical marijuana and was one of the main reasons the medical world took notice of CBD and scientists began studying CBD oil. According to a statement on CNN, Sanjay Gupta, neurosurgeon, medical journalist, and chief medical correspondent to CNN, says that Charlotte Figi “changed his mind and opened his eyes to the possibility that this was a legitimate medicine”.
Over the past month, as the world experienced the coronavirus pandemic, Charlotte and the rest of her family developed fevers and respiratory problems. Charlotte showed possible symptoms for COVID-19 and was hospitalized. While the rest of her family eventually recovered, Charlotte’s delicate body was unable to defend itself; her sickness developed into pneumonia and took her life.
Charlotte died in her mother’s arms. She was surrounded by family and friends and had the love of an entire movement and community around her. Here at Sky Naturals, we want to take a moment to honor the life of Charlotte Figi and say thank you; thank you for being the pioneer of a movement that has positively impacted our lives and the lives of so many.