Charlotte’s Web: Untangling One of Colorado’s Biggest Cannabis Success Stories


Charlotte’s Web, a high-CBD strain has become such a buzz-word for all things CBD-related in this country that it has even been included in the language of medical cannabis legislation in other states. This week, Denver’s Joel Warner takes a look an excellent look at the strain, it’s origins, it’s supporters and it’s critics.
Eric Prine’s uncontrollable seizures began in late 1992, not long after the six-month-old’s parents, Ronnie and Jennifer, took him to the doctor for routine vaccinations. The near-constant seizures soon left Eric a shell of his former self. “We lost every bit that was him,” says Ronnie. “We never saw any more smiles or crying or anything like that, just seizures.” Ultimately, mounting medical bills forced Ronnie and Jennifer to declare bankruptcy. They sold the home they’d built in Lucedale, Mississippi, and in 2004 moved to the Denver area so that Jennifer could take a nursing job; Ronnie became their son’s full-time caregiver.

Eric had stopped developing; at 21, he was the size of a five-year-old. That’s when the family was hit by more bad news: Chloral hydrate, the one drug that seemed to decrease Eric’s seizures, was being taken off the market. Scouring the Internet for alternatives, Ronnie came across a YouTube video of two children, Charlotte Figi and Zaki Jackson, whose epileptic seizures had been drastically reduced thanks to a strain of medical marijuana named Charlotte’s Web, one that was high in a non-psychoactive component called cannabidiol, or CBD. The strain was being grown outside of Colorado Springs by six brothers — Joel, Jesse, Jon, Jordan, Jared and Josh Stanley — and a nonprofit called Realm of Caring had been established by Paige Figi and Heather Jackson, the mothers of Charlotte and Zaki, along with Amanda Stanley, Joel Stanley’s wife, to connect potential patients with the medicine.
Ronnie called the number for Realm of Caring listed on the YouTube video and, after he’d secured a medical marijuana card for Eric, Paige and Amanda showed up at his door on April 28, 2013, with Eric’s first dose of oil made from Charlotte’s Web — free of charge. That night, Ronnie and Jennifer inserted fourteen drops of the oil into the feeding tube that ran into Eric’s stomach. After a single seizure the next day, Eric’s seizures went away.
“I was amazed,” says Ronnie. Like many parents of kids on Charlotte’s Web, he began volunteering with Realm of Caring. It was like they were all part of one big, growing family, and he wanted to help spread the word. He staffed Realm of Caring’s booth at the Capitol Hill People’s Fair that June. Then, after a CNN documentary titled Weed spread Charlotte Figi’s story across the nation in August (Eric was filmed as well, but he wasn’t included in the program), Ronnie volunteered to answer the calls that flooded in from parents with sick children. As one of the first patients after Charlotte and Zaki to receive Charlotte’s Web, Eric was featured on Realm of Caring’s website — in a story describing how, for the first time in 21 years, he was smiling and playing with his mother’s hair.
Denver Westword has the full story.