When you think of the stereotypical medical marijuana user, Charlotte Figi may be the last person that comes to mind.
That's because Charlotte is 6 years old.
She also suffers from debilitating seizures as a result of a rare form of epilepsy, a condition that's driven the family through just about every possible treatment, searching for some form of normalcy.
Desperate for options, Charlotte's dad, Matt, told CNN they took her to a specialist who recommended a highly specialized diet. That helped slightly, for awhile until "at one point she was outside eating pine cones and stuff, all kinds of different things," Matt said. "As a parent you have to say, let's take a step back and look at this. Is this truly beneficial treatment because of these other things?"
With no other choices, the family explored cannabis oil -- an unconventional treatment, to say the least -- but they told KDVR it worked immediately.
According to a blog by Charlotte's mom, Paige, her daughter's seizures fell from 300 a week to around 3 over an 8 month period. She does note the program was first approved by a team of neurologists and pediatricians. Other benefits:
[Charlotte] is consistently eating and drinking on her own for the first time in years. She sleeps soundly through the night. Her severe autism-like behaviors of self-injury, stimming, crying, violence, no eye contact, zero sleep, lack of social contact ... are a thing of the past. She is clear-headed, focused, has no attention deficit. Charlotte rides horses, skis, paints, dances, hikes. She even has friends for the first time. Her brain is healing. She is healthy. She is happy.
Charlotte is highlighted in a CNN documentary set to air this weekend, in which Sanjay Gupta, the news network's chief medical expert, engages in a national conversation about marijuana.
On Wednesday, Gupta apologized for having "misled" Americans regarding the effects of the drug. He's also penned an article titled, "Why I changed my mind on weed."