We are heartbroken to hear about the recent passing of 13-year-old Charlotte Figi. The namesake of the famous CBD flower strain Charlotte’s Web, Figi made headlines in 2014 for her family’s fight to allow her the use of medical cannabis.
Figi was diagnosed with Dravet Syndrome, a rare form of epilepsy, after having her first seizure at 3 months old. By age 5, she was having 300 seizures a week. She lost her ability to swallow, stopped speaking and making eye contact, and had to use a wheelchair. According to Paige Figi, Charlotte’s mother, that’s when “we were told by the doctor that there was nothing left to try pharmaceutically.”
The Figi family decided to try using CBD, which Charlotte’s father Matt had read might be able to help epilepsy patients. “I didn’t think it was going to work.” Luckily, it did—and better than anyone would have predicted. Charlotte didn’t have seizures for the next week and began to recover from the damage caused by Dravet syndrome.
The Creation of Charlotte’s Web
When the Stanley brothers, a group of family growers in Colorado, heard about Charlotte, they stepped in to help. They chose a cannabis strain named “Hippie’s Disappointment” and began to make concentrate with it. With its high CBD level and low amount of THC (hence the name), it was perfect for Charlotte’s needs. When the Figi family’s story took off, the Stanleys decided to rename the strain “Charlotte’s Web.”
How Charlotte Figi Changed the Perception of CBD
Charlotte’s story gained traction in Dr. Sanjay Gupta’s “Weed: A CNN Special Report.” As the Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Gupta met the Figi family to learn more about cannabis. While he was once publicly opposed to cannabis, Charlotte’s story changed his mind.
“I have seen more patients like Charlotte firsthand,” he wrote in 2013, and believes that “it is irresponsible not to provide the best care we can as a medical community—care that could involve marijuana.”
Dr. Gupta is committed to his conviction that everyone should be able to experience the benefits of cannabis. “We have been terribly and systematically misled for nearly 70 years in the United States,” he said, “and I apologize for my own role in that.”
Celebrating Charlotte’s Legacy
After hearing the tragic news of Charlotte’s passing, the Stanley brothers wrote a moving obituary.
Charlotte “grew, cultivated by a community, protected by love, demanding that the world witness her suffering so that they might find a solution … her story built communities, her need built hope, and her legacy will continue to build harmony.”
The Figi family’s impact on the cannabis community has been undeniable. “Charlotte’s cause was her family’s cause,” they wrote, “and created a foundation of plant-based health that breathed life into their daughter, and the countless sons and daughters like her … Charlotte was and will be, the heartbeat of our passion, and the conviction that the dignity and health of a human being is their right.”
The determination of Charlotte and her parents will continue to influence generations of cannabis activists. In response to the tragedy of her death, Colorado governor Jared Polis decided to designate a statewide Charlotte Figi Day to be celebrated on April 7th of every year.
Where to Find CBD Flower and Cannabis Concentrates
Today, Charlotte’s Web and other CBD flower is not only accessible, but easy to find. Thanks to the determination of the Figis, full cannabis legalization is on the horizon. Picking up a diverse array of cannabis products for every need is easier than ever. Whether you’re looking for CBD patches, beverages, concentrates, or flower, the options are endless.