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A strain of medical marijuana known as Charlotte’s Web giving hope to hundreds of children with epilepsy

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TELLER COUNTY, Colorado - Hundreds of families around the country are moving to Colorado to take advantage of the state's legal marijuana laws, but they are going there to help their sick children, not to get high themselves.

These families, including some from our area, say they desperately need a specific strain of marijuana they believe slows the progression of epilepsy without getting their child high.

The substance getting all the attention is called Charlotte's Web. It was developed by a group of Colorado brothers whose refusal to give up on one child with epilepsy is now giving hope to hundreds of families.

"When you have intractable epilepsy you are really searching outside of the box when you know pharmaceuticals aren't going to work," said Paige Figi of Colorado.

The Figi's seven-year-old daughter, Charlotte, was diagnosed at age two with a form of epilepsy that doesn't respond to medications.

Desperate for any sort of relief, the Figi's began researching alternative treatments, eventually learning of cannabidiol, a component found in marijuana and its impact on seizure disorders. Some scientists believe cannabidiol, or CBD. slows the activity in the brain that causes seizures.

"I had called everyone in the industry. I got my daughter on the state of Colorado registry for medical marijuana. I got her a red card and growers were coming to my house constantly," said Figi.

That's how Paige met Joel Stanley. He and his five brothers run one of Colorado's largest medical marijuana farms.

"At the time Paige contacted us we had eight plants, eight finalized plants within that breeding project," said Joel Stanley who created Charlotte's Web with his brothers.

Now, 80% of what they grow here is a strain known as Charlotte's Web. It took more than two years of cross breeding and extensive lab testing before the Stanley brothers arrived at this strain, which has high levels of CBD and only trace amounts of THC, the component that gives marijuana users a high.

"When people think of giving hemp or cannabis to a child they think how would they ingest that. Do you teach them to smoke it? And that's not the case," Stanley said.

Rather, Charlotte's Web is sent to a lab where cannabidiol is extracted. The CBD is then infused with a medium, like olive oil, so parents can administer it to their children.

Not everyone has jumped on board with this alternative treatment. Groups like the American Academy of Pediatrics want more research and the Stanley brother's are working to give them just that.

In the meantime, families, like the Figi's have all the proof they need right in front of them. "She is two years on the treatment, two years off pharmaceuticals and she is about 99.8% seizure free. She has one to two a month. She was having 1,200 large, large seizures a month," Figi said.

From research that's been done on patients who've taken Charlotte's Web, 85% report a significant reduction seizures. Those patients now have 50% to 100% seizure control.

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