For many people hearing the phrase “Charlotte’s Web” brings to mind the beloved children’s tale of a young girl’s pet pig, Wilbur, and a spider, “Charlotte”, who befriends, and ultimately saves Wilbur’s life.
Today the term is widely becoming associated with something that may also be seen in it’s own way as helping save lives, or at least vastly improving the lives of children suffering from seizures, and that is the Charlotte’s Web Hemp Strain. The name has been given to a specialized therapeutic strain of medical marijuana. The extract in the form of an oil is also known as Realm oil or Alepsia, (from the Latin meaning of a seizure), is extracted from the cannabis plant. During the extraction process the psychoactive component (THC) is removed, leaving behind the beneficial cannaboid, Cannabidiol, (commonly referred to as CBD). The oil is administered either over food, or through a feeding tube.
Developed in Colorado Springs, CO by Joel Stanley and his four brothers, the product has been subject to extensive research which has shown the extracts’ efficacy as an anti-inflammatory, anti-tumoral, neuro-protective, neuro-genic, pain reliever, anti psychotic and anti-microbial. The effect, when administered in the treatment of intractable epilepsy, and in particular, the case of a now five year old girl, Charlotte Figi, who suffers from a particular type of epilepsy, known as Dravet syndrome, has proved remarkable, reducing the severity of her symptoms drastically.
Since commencing treatment in 2012, and after experiencing vast improvements in her condition, the developers felt it only right that it bear her name, and the derivative now is commonly referred to as Charlotte’s Web. One hundred and eighty pediatric epilepsy patients have now begun treatment with the Hemp Oil, which is tested three times throughout the processing to determine the exact milligram dosage for each individual treatment.
The success experienced by the Figi family, who live in Monument, Colorado has prompted a number of families to move to the state in order for their children to receive the treatment. The oil costs about $300 per month, and some of that cost is offset by the Stanley’s non profit, (theroc.us). Currently Colorado and California are the only states where the oil can be administered legally.
In other states such as Florida, where the Senate has proposed bill 1582, which proposes people 21 or older being permitted to cultivate six marijuana plants and legally possess up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana, a separate bill, allowing use of a non-euphoric Florida medical marijuana extract known as Charlotte’s Web, is making progress in the Florida House.
Recent hearings in Tallahassee and tearful testimony from parents of children suffering epilepsy from all over the state of Florida have brought attention to the bill that would potentially allow the sale of the marijuana oil in Florida. If passed, Floridians would have access to the CBD oil as soon as possibly July, or October. For families with children afflicted with this disease and who believe this can help, that day cannot come soon enough.
By: Robert Roundtree