At the time of writing, an estimated 48% of American adults admit to having used marijuana at least once. Approximately two-thirds of the population believe America should legalize medical cannabis. It is a multi-billion-dollar industry with millions using the herb for medical reasons. Thirty-three states allow medicinal use of weed, with eleven states plus D.C permitting recreational use.
We wouldn’t have come so far were it not for the hundreds of scientific studies backing the benefits of bud. However, before states started investing in research, we only had anecdotes. Millions of these reports circulate the internet. Some make big news, while others are confined to obscure cannabis forums. However, each story about weed has helped to shape the industry.
In celebration of marijuana’s journey, we look at three of the most mind-blowing medical marijuana tales out there!
#1 Charlotte Figi – Charlotte’s Web
The story of Charlotte Figi is one of the best-known, and most ground-breaking, instances of medical marijuana success. There aren’t many stories quite as incredible as this one. There is now a best-selling globally-recognized cannabis strain in her name: Charlotte’s Web.
Charlotte Figi was born as a twin. Along with her brother, she had a healthy and happy birth. However, despite her promising start in life, Charlotte suffered her first seizure at just three months old. It marked the beginning of a long and painful journey. Her first seizure lasted approximately 30 minutes. From that point on, Charlotte began suffering from regular seizures. They lasted anywhere from two to four hours at a time and occurred hundreds of times a week.
She endured regular hospital visits, rigorous tests, and many medication trials. However, doctors remained at a loss as to the issue behind the symptoms. By the age of five, Charlotte lost the ability to eat, walk or talk. She was suffering more severe seizures than ever before.
A Web of Joy
In November 2000, their home state of Colorado approved Amendment 20. It changed the state’s constitution to permit the use of medical marijuana for patients with recommended conditions. Charlotte’s parents tried cannabis oil as a last-ditch attempt to help their daughter. Despite reservations, they applied for marijuana through the program. Charlotte became the youngest patient in the state to apply. She was only five years old!
After one small dose of cannabis oil, Charlotte’s seizures disappeared for seven days! Astounded, and desperate to continue this treatment, Charlotte’s parents got in touch with the Stanley brothers. They were working on a high CBD, low THC cannabis product, but had no idea where to go with it.
Charlotte began having oil every day in her food and started thriving. Her ability to walk, talk and eat returned. From up to 300 seizures per week at one stage, Charlotte had just 2-3 each month.
We should note the generosity of the Stanley brothers in this instance. Initially, the Figis paid approximately $800 for two ounces of high-CBD, low-THC marijuana. The Stanleys practically ‘gave away’ their herb by charging a small fraction of its real worth. By all accounts, Charlotte is doing well and recently appeared on the cover of High Times.
#2 Rick Simpson – RSO
Rick Simpson is a legend throughout the marijuana industry. If you haven’t heard of him, we bet you have heard of his product – Rick Simpson Oil, or RSO! Simpson is a Canadian medical marijuana activist who apparently cured his skin cancer with topical cannabis. He has helped thousands of other patients ever since. Simpson is also heavily involved in the fight for the legalization of medical marijuana.
Working in a hospital in 1997, Rick was exposed to toxic fumes from asbestos. He collapsed one day and banged his head. Symptoms such as dizziness and tinnitus plagued him for years following his fall. Rick used cannabis to relieve these issues and found that he could reduce all of his problems significantly.
Fast forward a few years, and Simpson was sadly diagnosed with basal cell carcinoma, a type of skin cancer. Determined not to let cancer win, Rick turned to cannabis again, knowing it had served him well in the past. He had also read a study that showed marijuana could kill cancer cells in mice.
Unusually, Rick opted to treat his cancer topically. He did so by soaking a bandage in cannabis concentrate and left it over the site of his skin cancer. At this stage, it had formed in lumps. Simpson left these bandages for days at a time. After a four-day stint, he removed the bandage to find that the cancerous lumps had disappeared entirely!
Taken aback by the dramatic change, Rick was stunned by the power of cannabis. It didn’t take long for him to become a massive advocate for the plant. Despite arrests, raids, and persecution, he went on to cultivate and harvest his unique cannabis oil. You can discover how to make this product, known as Rick Simpson Oil (RSO), below.
How to Make Rick Simpson Oil (RSO)
You need approximately one ounce of dried marijuana. This amount typically makes about 3-4 grams of RSO. You also need a solvent such as 99% isopropyl alcohol, butane, or ether. As a general rule, you require 500ml of solution per ounce of dry plant matter.
- Place the dry herb in a plastic bucket. Dampen it with your solvent of choice.
- Use a clean stick to crush the mixture. Continue adding solvent until you completely cover the herb. Stir for approximately three minutes. During this process, the THC is dissolved into the solution.
- Pour the THC-laden solvent into a different bucket, and keep the plant matter in bucket #1. You should have stripped the herb of up to 80% of its THC content. Add more solvent to the weed in bucket #2 for a ‘second wash.’ Once again, stir for three minutes.
- Pour the second mix into bucket #1. Get rid of the twice-washed herb.
- Pour your THC solvent mixture through a filter; a coffee filter works well. Boil the solvent off using a device such as a rice cooker. Add the solution to the cooker until it is 75% full and turn the heat to its highest setting.
- Add the mixture to the cooker gradually as the solvent evaporates. Include a few drops of water as the solvent level decreases for the final time. This process protects the oil from excess heat.
- Swirl the contents of the cooker until there is no more solvent remaining. Turn the heat down, so the oil is no longer exposed to temperatures above 290 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Pour your oil into a suitable container. You can put it on a coffee warmer until the water and terpenes evaporate. Congratulations! You have created RSO!
#3 Doctor William Courtney – Raw Cannabis Juice
At the age of 16, Kristen Peskuski received a diagnosis of juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. The condition quickly developed into an autoimmune disorder, leaving her bedridden for four years.
Kristen suffered multiple additional health conditions, including lupus, interstitial cystitis, and cervical dysplasia. She also had various allergies to pharmaceuticals and underwent fourteen operations. At this point, there was no glimpse of hope for a healthy future.
In a bid to get some independence and health back, Kristen considered raw cannabis. Initially, her gynaecologist was entirely against the idea. After a detailed medical evaluation, however, he believed that Kristen was likely to die soon. Therefore, he got in touch with Doctor William Courtney. At first, he prescribed dry cannabis capsules but later switched to raw marijuana juice.
After one month, she felt the benefits, which included dramatically reduced pain! Physicians once told Kristen that she would never have a baby. With the aid of raw cannabis, she gave birth to a healthy girl. She also married Doctor Courtney!
Kristen and her husband co-founded Cannabis International. Today, they continue to spread the word about raw marijuana juicing. Doctor Courtney claims the process has saved many lives.
Final Thoughts: Is Marijuana a Miracle Worker?
These three stories of recovery are incredible. Tales such as these have propelled cannabis into the mainstream. However, is cannabis a miracle cure? The likely answer is ‘no.’ If medical marijuana has benefits, they are firmly based on science. Further research is necessary into the possible therapeutic effects of the herb. Until it becomes fully legalized, however, patients in states without MMJ programs must find relief in the shadows.