Josh Stanley: The Surprising Story of Medical Marijuana and Pediatric Epilepsy (Transcript)

Well, I come from a very, very large family. OK, I’m the oldest of 11 kids and nope, we are not Mormon. We are not Catholic, nope. Apparently we are just incredibly fertile. Me and my five younger brothers, amazing brothers – Joel, Jesse, Jonathon, Jordon and Jarred — and our honorary brother, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, we set out on a mission, a very unique mission to breed a special strain of cannabis plant — one that was essentially free of the psychoactive compound that you all know as tetrahydrocannabinol or THC and one that was very, very high in the little known, non-psychoactive compound called CBD or cannabidiol.

Well, we succeeded in this effort in January of 2012. And this was right around the time that the Figgys were signing the “do not resuscitate” order. And as luck would have it Paige Figgy found us in February 2012.

Now my brothers and I have been reading a lot of studies, a lot of research that had been coming out of Israel from the ‘80s and ‘90s and up to today. On this research although, strangely enough, seems like America knew about this 65 years ago but that’s a talk for another day.

My brothers and I thought that this little known compound might just be the missing link to provide some validity in the realm of cannabis research. And as it turns out we were correct.

Now the plant that we had created while it may have immense medical benefits – completely non-psychoactive, OK? Completely useless to Ben, so we named the plant “The Hippy’s Disappointment”. While it didn’t prove useful to Ben it proved incredibly useful to little Charlotte. And so when Paige called us that February and told us of Charlotte’s condition we were ready to jump in. We were ready to help. In fact, we couldn’t wait until Paige dropped the bomb on us that Charlotte was 5-years-old.

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Think about it for a minute. We’re going to give a 5-year-old cannabis?! Literally visions of these were popping in my head. But we got over this. Pretty quickly we began to extract and formulate in ratio a non-psychoactive, lab-tested pediatric tincture for Charlotte. And I’m happy to tell you that within the first administration Charlotte went from having a seizure every 20 to 25 minutes, that’s 400 a week, guys, down to 0 to 1 per week. Thank you.

And Charlotte was off 100% of her pharmaceuticals, no more pharmaceuticals. Charlotte is now awake. She is alive. And guys, real special treat for you tonight.

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Isn’t she amazing? So we changed the name of the plant from “The Hippy’s Disappointment” and now it is affectionately called “Charlotte’s Web” in honor of Charlotte and it always will be “Charlotte’s Web.”

Now Charlotte is not an isolated incident here. We currently treat over 40 pediatric patients here in Colorado with the same, similar and, believe it or not, even better results than what Charlotte experienced. And currently there are over 200 families coming from all over the world to Colorado to take part in our treatment program. We are soon moving to California, as well, where we literally have over 1,000 children with pediatric epilepsy and their families waiting for us. We are going to be moving to other states as soon as laws will allow us.

We have a very special young man here in the audience tonight. Where are you at, buddy? Zakai Jackson? There’s my man, buddy?

Zakia Jackson, our number 2 patient, right after Charlotte, a great friend of ours. Zakia unfortunately suffers from a syndrome known as Doose Syndrome. Before this treatment Zakia was experiencing over 200 seizures a day. I’m happy to tell you guys now on October 4, in two weeks, we’re all going to get together to celebrate Zakia’s one year seizure free anniversary. It’s very, very difficult for me, as an outsider, to relate what this means to families. And I wanted Zakia’s mother, Heather Jackson, to tell you guys what this has meant to her.

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Heather Jackson: And I get to say after almost a decade for the first time without all this seizure activity, we had drugs that you couldn’t imagine.

Josh Stanley: So, you see, this has a positive impact on a lot of families. In light of that my brothers and I started a non-profit organization called The Realm of Caring. The Realm helps to provide support, resources, education, physician-backed medical studies as well as safe and affordable access to our treatment program.

And currently the Realm is in the middle of setting up study protocols with some of the country’s top epileptologists in order to start getting down to the bottom of the science and even further as to why this plant is working so well for these children.

So why is this plant working so well? Well, Cannabidiol (CBD) has the highest anti-inflammatory and neuro-protectant properties found in nature. CBD actually interacts with structures on the surface of brain cells known as receptors and acting as the neuro-protectant and anti-inflammatory helps to decrease and, as you’ve seen, even eliminate seizure activity.

Now, what we don’t know — it seems as though CBD is actually playing a role in the repair of brain function. Research scientists and our doctors believe that this is why Charlotte, Zakai and other children in this program are actually experiencing an ongoing progression of motor, social and developmental skills – meaning that they are actually coming back to cognition more and more every day. They are getting better, guys. I mean it’s phenomenal.

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