CBD AND EPILEPSY: THE HISTORY OF CHARLOTTE

 

When the news broke, Charlotte Figi was 6 years old and suffered more than 300 serious seizures a week. At birth, he looked like a healthy baby; but only after 3 months, everything changed. He had his first attack of epilepsy, which lasted 30 minutes.

 

 

 

 

YEARS OF FIGHT


Her parents took her to the hospital, but the doctors were confused. They did all the necessary tests, but they found nothing wrong with the girl. Since no underlying disease was found, let alone a cure, they had no choice but to send Charlotte home. It was not until a week later when Charlotte had another attack, one that went on for a long time. This became common, Charlotte suffered regular attacks, prolonged and uncontrollable.

The doctors did not know what to do, no matter what they did, they could not find anything wrong with Charlotte. All tests were normal - until one of the doctors produced a possible diagnosis - Dravet syndrome, also known as childhood myoclonic epilepsy. Dravet syndrome is a rare form of intractable epilepsy - that is, it can not be controlled with medication. It is usually something that develops before the child reaches one year of age, and increases in intensity during the second year, producing attacks and muscle spasms that last more than 30 minutes.

When the diagnosis was made for the first time, Charlotte seemed to be healthy and going through the same cognitive and physical development as her twin sister. But as the attacks began to worsen, and the drug cocktail prescribed by doctors became increasingly ineffective, Charlotte's cognitive functioning began to plummet.

When he was two and a half years old, Matt and Paige Figi decided to take their daughter to the Children's Hospital of Colorado. There Charlotte was tested to find the genetic mutation SCN1A, a mutation that is a common denominator in 80% of cases of Dravet syndrome. The results were positive.

When these arrived, they caused a great variety of emotions. On the one hand, it was devastating for Charlotte's parents to know that their worst fears had come true, but at the same time, the confirmation of the diagnosis was a relief to know what they were facing.

 

 

THE SEARCH FOR A CURE


Charlotte's father, Matt, a member of the Armed Forces of the United States, left his job to be at home with his daughter. With few treatment options available, both Matt and Paige began to investigate what could be done. His search was desperate, and at one point they even considered testing a French experimental drug that was used to treat seizures in dogs.

Paige took Charlotte to a specialist in Dravet Syndrome, who suggested a special diet, known as the ketogenic diet, that can help with the treatment of epilepsy. This diet is high in fat and low in carbohydrates. It forces the body to produce more ketones, a chemical that inhibits seizures.

The diet seemed to work at the beginning, stopping the seizures. But unfortunately, it came with many unwanted side effects. Charlotte began to suffer from bone loss, behavioral problems and the immune system. Two years after starting the diet, the attacks started again.

Shortly thereafter, when the family had lost all hope of finding adequate treatment, Matt watched a video on the Internet about a boy from California whose Dravet Syndrome was successfully treated with cannabis. The strain used to treat the small one was low in THC and high in CBD - two of the active components of cannabis. THC is the main psychoactive component of cannabis, and although it has a wide range of medicinal properties by itself, this cannabinoid is mainly associated with the high that causes cannabis. CBD, on the other hand, is not only highly medicinal, but also has no psychoactive properties.

In their research, Matt and Paige discovered that scientists had found that CBD reduces the chemical and electrical activity in the brain that causes seizures - all without apparent side effects. In a sense, it was a revelation for Charlotte's parents, who before they discovered this, strongly opposed the legalization of cannabis.

 

 

NO TREATMENT OPTIONS - ONLY CBD


It was around the time of this discovery, when Charlotte had deteriorated so much that she was no longer able to function, and had lost her ability to eat, walk and talk. He had about 300 severe seizures a week - seizures that affected the entire brain and caused loss of consciousness and muscle spasms.

These constant attacks were beginning to take their toll on Charlotte, and her heart had stopped many times. The doctors suggested putting her in an induced coma, to give her a break. Matt and Paige had given up all hope, and had even signed a no-resuscitation order, in the event their heart stopped again. The doctors said they had no other options, that they could not do more.

With no one to turn to, Paige decided to try marijuana, specifically the CBD. However, this is easier in theory than in practice. Paige needed the support of two doctors before she could give Charlotte access to a marijuana program, and in addition, the effects of marijuana on children are not well researched. Moreover, no previous case had been given of a child using medical marijuana - Charlotte would be the youngest patient in the state.

Previous studies have suggested that marijuana use at an early age can interfere with brain development, and result in lower IQ, be slower in tasks, have a higher risk of stroke and an increased incidence of psychotic disorders. Logically, most of the doctors were hesitant to support the initiative, as it was an unknown territory - even in the case of Charlotte, in which there were no other options. Most of the research that supports the above claim is based on people who started smoking cannabis in adolescence. Not much is known about how marijuana affects pre-teen children - but Charlotte was not going to smoke it.

The first doctor on board was Dr. Margaret Gedde. When Gedde learned how many times Charlotte had been so close to death, and the probable brain damage caused by the intense number of attacks she suffered, she saw no other way out than to approve the use of cannabis for Charlotte.

The second doctor who gave the go-ahead was Dr. Alan Shackelford, a Harvard-trained doctor who already worked with medical marijuana patients. At first she was very reticent due to Charlotte's age and her own lack of experience with the girl's illness; but like Dr. Gedde, upon learning that all other possible options had already been exhausted and that cannabis was Charlotte's last hope, she gave them her approval.

 

 

THE POWER OF THE CBD


With the approval assured, Paige set out to find a dispensary that sold a strain of cannabis with a low level of THC and high CBD. After searching for a long time, he finally found one and bought the two ounce stocks. A friend converted cannabis into a concentrate of oil.

Charlotte

Starting with a very small dose, Charlotte was given medicine rich in CBD. Being an unknown territory, nobody knew very well what to expect. The video that Matt had found was only anecdotal, without scientific support. What happened was beyond his wildest dreams - the results were totally impressive. Charlotte did not have seizures for an hour, then two hours, and then seven days. His parents were speechless. It was like a revelation. But they were running out of CBD oil quickly.

 

 

CHARLOTTE'S WEB


Paige got in touch with the Stanley brothers, some of Colorado's largest medical marijuana breeders. At that time, the brothers had just created a strain with a high CBD content and low THC content, but they had difficulty finding a use for it.

Like the doctors, the brothers were very reluctant at first to medicate a child; but after meeting Charlotte, they joined the task.

The brothers agreed to supply the strain to Paige and Matt, a strain now properly named Charlotte's Web. They have also created a charitable foundation that provides for those suffering from serious diseases such as cancer, epilepsy or Parkinson's disease. They make sure to supply it at very low prices, so that it is affordable for everyone who needs it. All they ask is for patients to make a donation that they can afford. The charity also receives donations to help siblings continue to provide cannabis at a low cost, by sponsors who believe in their work. As a result, and because of their efforts to help whoever needs it, regardless of whether they can afford it or not, the Stanley brothers are known as the Robin Hoods of marijuana.

 

 

HOW THE CBD HAS CHANGED THE FIGI'S LIFE FOREVER


It has now been demonstrated, by a series of studies, that CBD regulates epileptic seizures without causing side effects, and the case of Charlotte is the prime example. Charlotte receives a dose of oil rich in CBD twice a day, with food. Dr. Gedde has calculated that she needs about three or four milligrams of CBD for every pound of body weight to keep the attacks at bay. The CBD has made it possible for Charlotte's life to return to normal.

Today, Charlotte lives a healthy life and mostly without seizures, with only two or three a month, usually while she sleeps. Now she can eat alone, she has started talking again, she can walk and even ride a bicycle. Both his parents and doctors are amazed at the speed with which he recovers, and parents say they can see a considerable improvement every day - as his brain re-establishes the connections lost during the intense period of attacks. Now he even paints, rides horses, ski and dances; is able to make friends for the first time, feels happy and healthy. The CBD has changed his life.

One of the biggest controversies in history is a misconception. Many believe that Charlotte has highs or that it is placed, but it is not like that. The CBD is not psychoactive, so the strains with a high level of CBD and low THC do not cause the user to have highs or colocones. It is also worth noting that neither THC nor CBD is addictive.

 

 

AND THERE IT DOES NOT FINISH EVERYTHING, THE CBD CONTINUES TO IMPROVE LIVES


The story of Charlotte's recovery under the watchful eye of the CBD caught the attention of the media and quickly became a national story. In an excellent example for all people who suffer, and has shed light on the extraordinary benefits of medical marijuana. It has allowed Dr. Gupta, a famous doctor and correspondent who was against marijuana, to see the benefits that Charlotte receives; and has encouraged him to carry out his own research on cannabis and, ultimately, to change his stance towards it completely. He is currently a great advocate of this medicine, and has created documentaries that inform millions of people of the real benefits of marijuana, and how the previous propaganda has had the nation tricked.

Parents in similar situations now turn to the state with the hope of helping their children. Increased pressure from parents, doctors and activists is forcing the federal government and politicians to reconsider their position on cannabis. Recently, the Food and Drug Administration of the United States has given the green light to the tests with a purified extract of CBD, created by GW Pharmaceuticals, called Epidiolex. It is hoped that this medication will become a widely available option for the treatment of epilepsy.

The demand of Charlotte's Web and other stocks rich in CBD has grown in such a way that the Stanley brothers do not give coarse, and more than a third of their cash crops are now strains with a high level of CBD.

"We are not a group of assholes, and we do not relate to the stereotypes that people think, we care about what we do," Joel, one of the brothers, told the news agencies.

The strain used by Charlotte has 0.5% THC and 17% CBD, which makes it not psychoactive. The power that CBD has shown, and its lack of negative effects, is causing doctors to lean in favor of CBD-based treatments for children, including the best pediatric neurologist at the University of Utah.

The Stanley brothers have recently created another strain rich in CBD, jokingly called "The Hippie's Disappointment" (the disappointment of the hippy), for its lack of psychoactive effects. "This is just the tip of the iceberg," says Dr. Gedde. "People will keep coming because it works, patients experience a 50 to 90 percent reduction in their seizures, and no side effects, it's amazing."

It is stories like this that open the debate on the healing properties of the CBD, drive research, educate people and, in the end, cause reforms in drug laws. Charlotte's story has become a source of inspiration for the cannabis community. It is thanks to the love and determination of Charlotte's parents that many people have been able to change their lives for the better.

 

Source: www.zamnesia.es