DENVER – Charlotte Figi has died at 13, presumably due to complications related to COVID-19. The Colorado girl kick-started the worldwide CBD movement when her family used the substance to successfully treat her severe seizure disorder. Her story was featured in Dr. Sanjay Gupta’s groundbreaking 2013 CNN docuseries “Weed.”
A friend of the family announced Charlotte’s death on the Facebook page of her mother, Paige Figi. The post simply read, “Charlotte is no longer suffering. She is seizure-free forever. Thank you so much for all of your love.” The message also asked for the family’s privacy at this difficult time.
Paige Figi added an update to the post on April 8.
A pioneering patient in the use of CBD oil, Charlotte suffered from Dravet syndrome, a severe form of childhood epilepsy that had affected her since she was three months old. Her case highlighted the effectiveness of CBD oil for the condition. Cannabidiol, known as CBD, is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid extracted from hemp and cannabis.
After receiving a diagnosis and exhausting conventional treatments for Dravet syndrome, Charlotte was suffering 300 grand mal seizures a week. Her condition continued to decline until her father, Matt Figi, saw a video online of a young boy in California being successfully treated for epilepsy with CBD oil.
The family moved to Colorado, where medicinal cannabis was legalized and accessible. They were able to source cannabis with high levels of CBD, which was extracted into oil. At age five, after being treated with CBD oil, Charlotte’s condition improved, quieting the seizures almost immediately. Paige Figi also emerged from the ordeal as a powerful advocate for medicinal CBD.
The Realm of Caring, a nonprofit co-founded by Paige Figi, posted yesterday on its Facebook page, “It is with a heavy heart that we write to let you know that Charlotte Figi passed away this afternoon. Charlotte’s story directly impacted thousands of families across the globe and has changed the face of cannabis in many ways.
“A life that created a revolutionary movement in legitimizing cannabis as a therapeutic option. Your work is done Charlotte, the world is changed, and you can now rest knowing that you leave the world a better place,” the post continued.
A high CBD strain of cannabis, developed by Colorado-based cultivators the Stanley Brothers to help treat Charlotte and others, was named Charlotte’s Web in her honor. Eventually, Charlotte’s Web also became the name of the CBD company founded by the Stanley Brothers, which has evolved into leading producer of CBD products.
“She was divine,” read a memorial post on the Charlotte’s Web website “She grew, cultivated by a community, protected by love, demanding that the world witness her suffering so that they might find a solution. She rose every day, awakening others with her courage, and with that smile that infected your spirit at the cellular level.
“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,” the memorial continued.
According to the Denver Post, neither state nor county officials have confirmed her death. Charlotte would be the state’s youngest victim of coronavirus.
Colorado, which currently is under “stay-at-home” orders, due to the pandemic, has reported 5,429 cases of coronavirus in the state. So far, nearly 29,000 Colorado residents have been tested for the virus.