Remembering a little fighter:
The cannabis community mourns the loss of Charlotte Figi
Photo credit: Paige Figi via Facebook
Today, the cannabis community said goodbye to one of its youngest heroes—Charlotte Figi. At age 13, she passed away from complications believed to be related to coronavirus yesterday (April 7).
In a post shared on social media, Charlotte’s mother, Paige Figi, shared details about her daughter’s recent health complications, culminating in hospitalization as a “likely COVID-19 case.”
She wrote, “Her fighting spirit held out as long as it could and she eventually passed in our arms peacefully.”
Figi bravely battled a lifelong case of Dravet syndrome—a rare and debilitating form of epilepsy—and her successful use of cannabis as a medical supplement helped illuminate the applications of cannabidiol (CBD) in treating childhood diseases. From the age of three months, Charlotte’s doctors struggled to find an adequate treatment for her seizures, which would reach a peak of nearly 300 per week by the age of five. Based in Colorado, the family then decided to explore cannabis upon coming across anecdotal reports of its benefits in treating a host of diseases, including childhood epilepsy. Charlotte was the youngest patient in the state to ever apply for a medical marijuana card.
In partnership with the Stanley brothers, cultivators who founded the Realm of Caring Foundation, a nonprofit organization that provides little-to-no cost medical-grade cannabis to patients, Charlotte began regularly taking CBD oil with her meals. Her cognitive functions improved, and she began riding a bicycle, talking, and, most importantly, was almost seizure-free.
As such, the high CBD strain provided to Charlotte, and numerous other children battling pharmaceutical resistant diseases, was aptly named Charlotte’s Web. A hemp-based CBD extraction company under that name also followed.
The Figi’s advocacy for the research, reform, and inclusion of the plant in state and federal health care programs shifted policy and staunch mindsets across North America—including the passing of a CBD bill in Florida and introduction of the Charlotte’s Web Medical Access Act in 2015.
Charlotte’s success story was the subject of several documentaries and deep media dives on the topic of medical cannabis, including a feature aired on CNN. Her story inspired numerous advocacy groups, families, and researchers who explored CBD for patients.
The community, from advocates to policy makers, has taken to social media to commemorate her life, sharing stories, memories, and photographs celebrating her impact in changing the laws and mindsets around cannabis.
American congressmen, attorney generals, and senators swayed by Figi’s story also took to Twitter today to remember her role in shifting their mindset around cannabis reform.
An In Memoriam published on Charlotte’s Web today reads: “What began as her story, became the shared story of hundreds of thousands, and the inspiration of many millions more in the journey of their betterment. 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.
Charlotte, you are the light of our lives.”