Q: “Charlotte’s Web” is often cited in the medical-marijuana debate. What is it? —George K., Miami
A: It’s a strain of cannabis named after 7-year-old Charlotte Figi of Colorado Springs, Colo., who suffered severe epilepsy until doctors treated her with a variety of the plant that produces no high. The oil extract, added to her food, dramatically reduced her seizures, and hundreds of kids have since benefited from the same strain.
“I’ve never seen anything quite like this,” says Dr. Sanjay Gupta, who featured Charlotte in his 2013 documentary Weed. “This is legitimately working for some patients. Charlotte seems to be doing really well.”
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“One of the big myths is that these children who are taking the medication are getting high, or taking something that’s making them so stoned from the psychoactive component of it,” adds Gupta. “It’s not that way. … The immediate thinking when you hear about a child taking marijuana, you’re imagining a young person smoking something that’s getting them high. Both those things, I think, are misconceptions.”
Charlotte’s case has spurred several states to legalize medical marijuana, and as of press time, 23 states have enacted laws to legalize it.
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