Marijuana cures 5-year-old girl of chronic seizures
After taking oil infused with a special strain of marijuana, 5-year-old Charlotte Figi no longer suffers from the seizures associated with her rare genetic disorder.
Charlotte used to have up to 300 grand mal seizures per week, causing repeated cardiac arrest episodes. Her condition required her to use a wheelchair and she could not walk or talk. Her mother looked to medical marijuana as a last resort, and two years later, it has paid off.
The pot strain, Charlotte's Web, supposedly led to a full recovery, and the young girl is now doing things her family never thought she would.
"A year ago, she could only say one word," her father, Matt Figi, told the Daily Mail. "Now she says complete sentences."
Doctors warn there is no proof that Charlotte's Web is effective, or even safe.
"Until we have that information, as physicians, we can't follow our first creed, which is do no harm," said Amy Brooks-Kayal, vice president of the American Epilepsy Society.
Nonetheless, Charlotte's recovery has inspired both a name for the strain of marijuana and a mass exodus of 100 families with seizure-stricken children to Colorado from states that ban the substance.
Holli Brown, whose 9-year-old daughter, Sydni, suffers from seizures, made the move from Kansas City to Colorado to get her treatment.
"It's the most hope lots of us have ever had," she said, adding that her daughter is now speaking in sentences and laughing.
The danger to this type of treatment is in marijuana's ingredients: The component THC can trigger seizures, but its other component, CBD, fights seizures.
Paige Figi, Charlotte's mother, teamed up with Joel Stanley, who is in the medical marijuana business, to breed a low-THC, high-CBD plant to help combat seizures.
Now, Stanley and his co-worker brothers provide the marijuana strain to nearly 300 patients and have a waitlist of 2,000.
The recovery of Charlotte and other seizure-prone children has inspired the Figis and others to travel the country, advocating for medical marijuana laws that would legalize high-CBD, low-THC pot strains.