Charlotte's Web is a brand of high-cannabidiol (CBD), low-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) products derived from industrial hemp and marketed as dietary supplements and cosmetics under federal law of the United States. It is produced by Charlotte's Web, Inc. in Colorado. Hemp-derived products do not induce the psychoactive "high" typically associated with recreational marijuana strains that are high in THC. Charlotte's Web hemp-derived products contain less than 0.3% THC.
|Origin||Colorado, United States|
Charlotte's Web is named after Charlotte Figi whose story had led to her being described as "the girl who is changing medical marijuana laws across America." Her parents and physicians say she experienced a reduction of her epileptic seizures brought on by Dravet syndrome after her first dose of medical marijuana at five years of age. Her usage of Charlotte's Web was first featured in the 2013 CNN documentary "Weed".
Media coverage increased demand for products high in CBD, which have been used to treat epilepsy in toddlers and children. One of the initial strains developed by the Stanley Brothers was originally called "Hippie's Disappointment" as it was a strain that had high CBD and could not induce a "high".
While initially anecdotal reports sparked interest in treatment with cannabinoids, there was not enough evidence to draw conclusions with certainty about their safety or efficacy. In 2018, Epidiolex (cannabidiol as the therapeutic ingredient) oral solution was approved by the FDA for two types of epilepsy.
Charlotte's Web was a strain developed by the Stanley brothers (Joel, Jesse, Jon, Jordan, Jared and Josh) through crossbreeding a strain of marijuana with industrial hemp. This process created a variety with less tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and more cannabidiol (CBD) than typical varieties of marijuana. The Stanley brothers grow the plants at their farm and greenhouses. A CBD rich oil is extracted from the harvested plants and concentrated through rotary evaporation. As it is so low in THC, the variety was originally called "Hippie's Disappointment". It is a less profitable plant with "close to no value to traditional marijuana consumers."
Medical uses edit
In 2014, there was little evidence about the safety or efficacy of cannabinoids in the treatment of epilepsy. A 2014 Cochrane review did not find enough evidence to draw conclusions about its use. A 2014 review by the American Academy of Neurology similarly concluded that "data are insufficient to support or refute the efficacy of cannabinoids for reducing seizure frequency."
The Cochrane review suggests cannabinoids be reserved for people with symptoms that are not controllable by other means, who have been evaluated by EEG-video monitoring to confirm diagnosis, and are not eligible for better-established treatments such as surgery and neurostimulation. A second review described four placebo-controlled trials of cannabidiol including 48 people with a disease that was not manageable by other means. Three out of four trials reported some reduction in seizures, but no comparison with placebo was possible due to the small number of people in the trials. The drugs were well tolerated. A third review found that no reliable conclusions about the effect of cannabis on epilepsy could be drawn due to the poor quality of available data, but further research may be warranted because of the good safety profile observed in small clinical trials.
Due to the anecdotal nature of the health claims being made medical bodies have published statements of concern.
A 2014 position statement by the American Epilepsy Society stated:
The recent anecdotal reports of positive effects of the marijuana derivative cannabidiol for some individuals with treatment-resistant epilepsy give reason for hope. However, we must remember that these are only anecdotal reports, and robust scientific evidence for the use of marijuana is lacking... at present, the epilepsy community does not know if marijuana is a safe and effective treatment, nor do they know the long-term effects that marijuana will have on learning, memory, and behavior, especially in infants and young children.
Society and culture edit
Legal status edit
With the main ingredient being classified as "industrial hemp" in the United States, (Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018) Charlotte's Web Oil and other CBD products are legal in all 50 states, as long as the THC content is less than 0.3%.
The publicity associated with Charlotte's Web has inspired a number of legislative bills, some of which are in the planning stages, and others that have been proposed or actually passed. Children, as "uniquely powerful advocates for medicinal pot across the country," have inspired "the movement to legalize medicinal marijuana," a movement which "has a face like Charlotte's – and it's a young one that's hard to ignore. Lawmakers across the country are pushing legislation to legalize marijuana oil as a treatment for children with epilepsy."
On March 20, 2014, the Florida House of Representatives Budget Committee passed the "so-called Charlotte's Web measure (CS/HB 843)" designed to limit prosecutors' ability to prosecute those in possession of low THC/high CBD marijuana ("0.5 percent or less of tetrahydrocannabinol and more than 15 percent of cannabidiol") used for treating seizures. The law took effect July 1, 2014. Since then, Florida legislators have passed a bill with bipartisan support legalizing the use of Charlotte's Web, and Governor Rick Scott signed the "Compassionate Medical Cannabis Act of 2014" (SB 1030) into law on June 6, 2014. The law is also referred to as the "Charlotte's Web" law. The law specifies the number of distribution centers, which types of nurseries can grow the plants, requires various other controls, and provides funding for research.
- Federal legislation was introduced in 2014 (U.S. 113th Congress 2013–2014) but was never brought to a vote and died in committee.
- Rep. Perry, Scott (R-PA-4) introduced to the U.S. 114th Congress (2015–2016) H.R.1635 – Charlotte's Web Medical Access Act of 2015 with 62 bipartisan co-sponsors. It was referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, the House Committee on the Judiciary, the Subcommittee on Health and the United States House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security and Investigations but was not brought to a vote.
On October 31, 2017, the FDA sent warning letters to four CBD marketers, including Stanley Brothers Social Enterprises, LLC (d/b/a CW Hemp), the producer of Charlotte's Web. They were warned "against making medical claims about cannabidiol (CBD). The agency also took issue with the businesses marketing CBD products as dietary supplements".
Charlotte's Web is named after an American girl, Charlotte Figi, who developed Dravet syndrome (also known as severe myoclonic epilepsy of infancy or SMEI) as a baby. By age three, Figi was severely disabled and having 300 grand mal seizures a week despite treatment. Her parents learned about another child with Dravet Syndrome, who had been using a different type of medical marijuana since June 2011, and decided to try marijuana. Her parents and physicians said that she improved immediately. She followed a regular regimen that used a solution of the high-CBD marijuana extract in olive oil. She was given the oil under her tongue or in her food. Her parents said in 2013 that her epilepsy had improved so that she had only about four seizures per month, and she was able to engage in normal childhood activities.
The type now named after Figi was not the first type her parents tried. As their original supply, a type called R4 that is also high in CBD and low in THC, was running out, they contacted the Stanley brothers. From the Stanleys' stock, they chose the high-CBD variety that has since been renamed to Charlotte's Web.
Charlotte's story has been featured on two CNN documentaries, The Doctors TV show, 60 Minutes Australia, and Dateline NBC, among many other sources. An article in the National Journal detailing the role of several children as "uniquely powerful advocates for medicinal pot across the country" described Charlotte as the "first poster child for the issue...." Her story has led to her being described as "the girl who is changing medical marijuana laws across America," as well as the "most famous example of medicinal hemp use". On November 13, 2019, Charlotte was the first child featured on the cover of High Times magazine in her "Namesake" role as a "High Times Female 50" award nominee. Charlotte Figi died on April 7, 2020.
Publicity and demand edit
When Charlotte was five years old, her story was featured in the August 11, 2013, CNN documentary "Weed", hosted by Sanjay Gupta. On November 24, 2013, Paige Figi was a guest on The Doctors TV show, where Charlotte's story was told. She was also featured in Gupta's March 11, 2014, CNN documentary "Weed 2: Cannabis Madness". The extract received more publicity on October 6, 2014, when The Doctors TV show again featured a story about usage of Charlotte's Web. The physicians called for a change of the Federal classification. Sanjay Gupta has also expressed his support for Charlotte's Web on The Doctors TV show. On the October 17, 2014, episode of the ABC TV series The View, Paige Figi and Joel Stanley were interviewed by Whoopi Goldberg and Nicolle Wallace.
The CNN documentaries received widespread publicity and popularized Charlotte's Web as a possible treatment for epilepsy and other conditions. Colorado has legalized both the medicinal and recreational use of marijuana, and many parents have flocked there with their suffering children in search of Charlotte's Web and other forms of medical marijuana. In November 2013, CBS Denver reported that "[t]here is now a growing community of 93 families with epileptic children using marijuana daily. Hundreds are on a waiting list and thousands are calling." In October 2014, Time noted the Stanley brothers had a waiting list of "more than 12,000 families." They have been termed "marijuana refugees", "part of a migration of families uprooting their lives and moving to Colorado, where the medicinal use of marijuana is permitted...forced to flee states where cannabis is off limits." In November 2014, David Nutt mentioned Charlotte's Web in the Royal Pharmaceutical Society's Pharmaceutical Journal, where he appealed for "the UK government [to] acts on evidence, allowing the use of medicinal cannabis and reducing barriers to its research."
Families who say they have run out of pharmaceutical options have moved to Colorado to access Charlotte's Web. The demand has spurred calls for more research to determine whether these products actually do what is claimed. Amy Brooks-Kayal, vice president of the American Epilepsy Society, stated that epileptic seizures may come and go without any obvious explanation, and that Charlotte's web could cause developmental harm. She recommended that parents relocate so that their affected children could have access to one of the nation's top pediatric epilepsy centers rather than move to Colorado.
In November 2013, Josh Stanley said that Charlotte's web was 0.5% THC and 17% CBD, and that it "is as legal as other hemp products already sold in stores across Utah, including other oils, clothing, and hand creams, but is illegal, federally, to take across state lines." The legalities of selling the product to people who transport it across state lines are complicated, with difficulties for both the sellers and transporters.
- Realm of Caring Foundation (2014), Realm of Caring: About Us, retrieved May 31, 2014
- Martinez, Tracy (March 7, 2014), Touring the marijuana facility growing plants to save children's lives, Al Jazeera America, retrieved March 7, 2014
- Cordell, Kasey (May 1, 2014), "Tangled Web", 5280 (The Denver Magazine), retrieved April 19, 2015
- Allen, Greg (January 16, 2014), Florida Bill Would Allow Marijuana Extract For Child Seizures, National Public Radio, retrieved January 16, 2014
- Waltz, Vanessa (September 18, 2014), Realm of Caring Announces Charlotte's Web to be Shipped to All 50 US States, Ladybud Magazine, archived from the original on October 20, 2014, retrieved September 19, 2014
- Osborne, Hannah (June 20, 2014), "Charlotte Figi: The Girl Who is Changing Medical Marijuana Laws Across America", International Business Times, retrieved June 22, 2014
- Producers, TechKnow (August 25, 2015). "The chemical brothers: Colorado family makes good in medical pot business". Al Jazeera America. Retrieved February 21, 2017.
- CBS Denver (November 18, 2013), Epilepsy Patients Flock To Colorado After Medical Pot Gives Them Hope, CBS Denver, retrieved January 1, 2014
- Melville, Nancy A. (August 14, 2013), Seizure Disorders Enter Medical Marijuana Debate, Medscape Medical News, retrieved January 14, 2014
- Gloss, D; Vickrey, B (March 5, 2014). "Cannabinoids for epilepsy". The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. 2014 (3): CD009270. doi:10.1002/14651858.CD009270.pub3. PMC 7120304. PMID 24595491.
- "FDA approves first drug comprised of an active ingredient derived from marijuana to treat rare, severe forms of epilepsy". U.S. Food and Drug Administration. June 25, 2018. Retrieved March 4, 2020.
- Ferner, Matt (November 13, 2013), "Weed Pioneers Look To Save Epileptic Kids With New Medical Marijuana Strain", The Huffington Post, retrieved January 16, 2014
- Honan, Mat (April 2014), High Tech: How Silicon Valley entrepreneurs are rushing to cash in on cannabis, Wired, retrieved April 18, 2014
- Young, Saundra (August 7, 2013), Marijuana stops child's severe seizures, CNN, retrieved January 1, 2014
- Stewart, Kirsten (October 12, 2013), Utah lawmaker will help moms import cannabis extract, The Salt Lake Tribune, archived from the original on January 12, 2014, retrieved January 1, 2014
- Weed 2: Cannabis Madness, Dr. Sanjay Gupta Reports (full transcript), CNN, March 11, 2014, retrieved March 15, 2014
CNN's main page. See full CNN video.
- Honan, Edith (January 8, 2014), New York's medical marijuana law excludes some who seek the drug, Reuters, retrieved January 20, 2014
- Tedesco, Laura (December 8, 2014), Why Parents of Children with Epilepsy Are Increasingly Turning to Marijuana, Yahoo.com, retrieved February 9, 2016,
'Charlotte's Web is high in CBD and low in THC,' ... Similar varieties of CBD-rich marijuana available in California include ACDC, Harlequin, and Cannatonic. To many in the medical community, these parents are relying, at best, on shaky science. A 2013 Cochrane review of studies examining CBD as a treatment for epilepsy concluded that, due to the dearth of large, high-quality studies, 'the safety of long-term cannabidiol treatment cannot be reliably assessed.'
- Koppel, Barbara (April 29, 2014), "Systematic review: Efficacy and safety of medical marijuana in selected neurologic disorders", Neurology, 82 (17): 1556–1563, doi:10.1212/WNL.0000000000000363, PMC 4011465, PMID 24778283, retrieved May 16, 2015
- Benbadis SR, Sanchez-Ramos J, Bozorg A, Giarratano M, Kalidas K, Katzin L, Robertson D, Vu T, Smith A, Zesiewicz T (2014). "Medical marijuana in neurology". Expert Rev Neurother. 14 (12): 1453–65. doi:10.1586/14737175.2014.985209. PMID 25427150. S2CID 28097113.
- Robson PJ (2014). "Therapeutic potential of cannabinoid medicines". Drug Test Anal. 6 (1–2): 24–30. doi:10.1002/dta.1529. PMID 24006213.
- Szaflarski JP, Bebin EM (2014). "Cannabis, cannabidiol, and epilepsy--from receptors to clinical response". Epilepsy Behav. 41: 277–82. doi:10.1016/j.yebeh.2014.08.135. PMID 25282526. S2CID 20064410.
- AES (2014), AES Position on Medical Marijuana, American Epilepsy Society, retrieved January 31, 2014
- NICE Clinical Guideline 20: The Epilepsies, NICE, January 1, 2012, archived from the original on May 18, 2015, retrieved May 16, 2015
- Rozental, Dr. Aaron; McGrath, Dr. Stephanie (March 3, 2020). "A tangled web: Teasing out the effects of CBD on canine seizures". Phys.org. Retrieved March 4, 2020.
- Roller, Emma (March 17, 2014), "How Kids Are Bringing Medical Marijuana to the States", National Journal, retrieved March 19, 2014
- Crivelli, Lisa (May 14, 2014), The new faces of marijuana, MSNBC, Hardball (news show), retrieved May 15, 2014
- HB 843 – Medical Marijuana (PDF), Florida House of Representatives, 2014, retrieved March 20, 2014 PDF download. "The term [cannabis] does not include any plant of the genus Cannabis that contains 0.5 percent or less of tetrahydrocannabinol and more than 15 percent of cannabidiol; the seeds thereof; the resin extracted from any part of such plant; or any compound, manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture, or preparation of such plant or its seeds or resin."
- Kennedy, John (March 20, 2014), Charlotte's Web marijuana bill advances in House, despite questions, Post on Politics, archived from the original on March 22, 2014, retrieved March 20, 2014
- Smith, Nancy (March 20, 2014), $1 Million for Medical Marijuana Research Sails Through House Appropriations, Sunshine State News, archived from the original on March 22, 2014, retrieved March 20, 2014
- Perez, Andrew (May 1, 2014), "Florida Gov. Rick Scott Says He'll Sign 'Charlotte's Web' Medical Marijuana Bill", The Huffington Post, retrieved May 4, 2014
- Cotterell, Bill (June 16, 2014), UPDATE 2-Florida governor signs law allowing limited medical marijuana use, Reuters, retrieved June 21, 2014
- CS/CS/SB 1030: Cannabis, MyFloridaHouse.gov, June 16, 2014, retrieved June 21, 2014
- Call, James (July 29, 2014), University of Florida says it won't risk federal funding to participate in marijuana research, SaintPetersBlog, retrieved July 31, 2014
- Sweeney, Dan (June 21, 2014), Charlotte's Web 101: Medical marijuana and you, Sun-Sentinel, retrieved July 31, 2014
- Larrabee, Brandon (June 16, 2014), Governor Scott Signs Medical Marijuana Bill, CBS Miami, retrieved June 17, 2014
- H.R.5226 - Charlotte's Web Medical Hemp Act of 2014, House of Representatives, July 28, 2014, retrieved August 11, 2014 "Official Title as Introduced: To amend the Controlled Substances Act to exclude therapeutic hemp and cannabidiol from the definition of marihuana, and for other purposes."
- "H.R.5226 - 113th Congress (2013-2014): Charlotte's Web Medical Hemp Act of 2014". September 26, 2014.
- H.R.525 - Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2013, House of Representatives, February 6, 2013, retrieved September 28, 2014
- "H.R.525 - 114th Congress (2015-2016): Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2015". January 30, 2015.
- "H.R.1635 - 114th Congress (2015-2016): Charlotte's Web Medical Access Act of 2015". April 29, 2015.
- "Cosponsors - H.R.1635 - 114th Congress (2015-2016): Charlotte's Web Medical Access Act of 2015". April 29, 2015.
- Zhang, Mona (October 1, 2017). "FDA Targets Country's Largest Cannabidiol Producer In Warning Over Cancer Claims". Forbes. Retrieved November 4, 2017.
- The View (October 17, 2014), Medical Marijuana Charlotte's Web. Paige Figi and Joel Stanley discuss medical marijuana, Charlotte's Web., The View, ABC, retrieved October 18, 2014
- Waltz, Vanessa (July 29, 2014), A Limited Amount of "Caring": Parents and Advocates React to Realm of Caring's Federal CBD-Only Bill, Ladybud Magazine, retrieved October 14, 2014
- Cotter, Barb (June 10, 2013), Medicinal marijuana stops seizures, brings hope to a little Black Forest girl, The Gazette, retrieved January 1, 2014
- Tyrrell, Kelly (December 16, 2013), Seeking Charlotte's Web, The Philadelphia Inquirer, retrieved January 1, 2014
- Weed: Dr. Sanjay Gupta Reports (full transcript), CNN, August 11, 2013, retrieved January 1, 2014
See full CNN video.
- The Doctors TV Show (November 24, 2013), November 24, 2013 – Unbelievable Nose Makeover; Medical Marijuana For Kids, The Doctors TV series, archived from the original on March 10, 2014, retrieved March 9, 2014
Other videos from this episode available on the website:
- Usher, Michael (July 31, 2014), Green Rush: The push to legalise medical marijuana for Aussie children, 60 Minutes Australia, archived from the original on May 27, 2015, retrieved June 7, 2015
- Garcia, Mario (June 7, 2015), Growing Hope: The Fight for Medical Marijuana for Epileptic Kids, Dateline NBC, retrieved June 7, 2015
See full Dateline video.
- Schaaf, Melissa (September 25, 2014), Hemp Industry Overview, Boulder Weekly, retrieved September 26, 2014
- Pena, Nina (November 12, 2019). "Charlotte Figi: The First Child to be Featured on the High Times Cover Hits Stands on November 13th". Hi-tech Chic. Retrieved November 13, 2019.
- High Times (November 6, 2019). "High Times Announces Inaugural Female 50 Honorees". High Times. Retrieved November 13, 2019.
- Ingold, John (April 8, 2020). "Charlotte Figi, the Colorado girl who inspired the CBD movement, dies following illness suspected to be coronavirus". The Colorado Sun. Retrieved April 8, 2020.
- Garcia, Sandra E (April 10, 2020). "Charlotte Figi, Who Helped Popularize CBD for Medical Use, Dies at 13". The New York Times. Retrieved April 10, 2020.
- The Doctors TV Show (October 6, 2014), New Mosquito-Borne Virus; Medicinal Marijuana to Treat Seizures, The Doctors TV series, retrieved October 6, 2014
Other videos from this episode available on the website:
- Gupta, Sanjay (September 27, 2013), Sanjay Gupta's Marijuana Stance, The Doctors TV series, retrieved October 6, 2014
- Healy, Jack (December 5, 2013), "Families See Colorado as New Frontier on Medical Marijuana", The New York Times, retrieved January 1, 2014
- Pickert, Kate (October 22, 2014), Pot Kids: Inside the quasi-legal, science-free world of medical marijuana for children, Time, retrieved October 23, 2014
- Stewart, Kirsten (November 11, 2013), Families migrate to Colorado for marijuana miracle, Delaware County Daily Times, retrieved January 1, 2014
- Phillips, Dave (October 27, 2013), Colorado's new pot laws draw marijuana refugees, The Denver Post, retrieved January 1, 2014
- Nutt, David (November 19, 2014), Medicinal cannabis: time for a comeback?, The Pharmaceutical Journal, Royal Pharmaceutical Society, archived from the original on November 29, 2014, retrieved November 20, 2014
- ""Charlotte's Web" marijuana supposed cure for kids' seizures but doctors skeptical", CBS News, February 18, 2014, retrieved May 16, 2015
- Abcarian, Robin (April 2, 2017). "Could the extraordinary compound in cannabis that helps kids with epilepsy make you feel better?". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved April 13, 2017.
- Davidson, Sara (April 20, 2017). "Why Microdosing Is Taking Over Medical Marijuana". Rolling Stone. Retrieved April 21, 2017.
- Borchardt, Debra (August 23, 2017). "Hemp Cannabis Product Sales Projected To Hit $1 Billion In 3 Years". Forbes. Retrieved August 25, 2017.
- Ricciardi, Tiney (October 19, 2022). "Major League Baseball now has an official CBD supplier, and it's based in Colorado". The Denver Post. Retrieved October 21, 2022.
- Leonard, Wendy (November 12, 2013), Utah parents look to Colorado for 'life-improving therapy' found in cannabis extract, Deseret News, retrieved January 1, 2014
- Stewart, Kirsten (March 25, 2014), How will marijuana grower decide who gets cannabis oil?, The Salt Lake Tribune, archived from the original on March 30, 2014, retrieved March 26, 2014
- Price, Michelle (March 25, 2014), Utah to welcome marijuana for limited medical use, Associated Press, archived from the original on March 26, 2014, retrieved March 26, 2014
- Charlotte's Dr. moves to Israel to continue research
- Weed: Dr. Sanjay Gupta Reports (full transcript), CNN, Full CNN video
- Weed 2: Cannabis Madness, Dr. Sanjay Gupta Reports (full transcript), CNN, Full CNN video