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Florida Medical Experts Urge Caution With New Effort To Legalize 'Charlotte's Web'

Michael Ciaglo
The Gazette
A group of brothers in Colorado grow and distribute Charlotte's Web, a strain of cannabis with low THC levels and high CBD levels. That strain is also the subject of recently filed Florida legislation.

Some are urging caution about a new effort to legalize Charlotte’s Web, a small strain of marijuana aimed at helping a rare form of epilepsy that children have called Dravet Syndrome. Jorge Viera is a biomedical engineering professor at Florida International University.

“Even though there could be a very positive effect with the type of cannabinoid, this is something that requires personalized medicine. So, it needs to be discussed for each individual, and on the basis of a medical doctor.” 

He says people should also be careful because researchers are still researching all the uses of the drug.

“People are still working to identify the mechanism…and it may be at least suitable for a type of low epilepsy,” he added.

Shalimar Republican Representative Matt Gaetz recently filed a bill legalizing the medical use of all forms of cannabis that contain a small amount of what’s known as THC, a psychoactive compound in pot that’s not supposed to get the user high.

For more news updates, follow Sascha Cordner on Twitter: @SaschaCordner.

Sascha Cordner has more than ten years of public radio experience. It includes working at NPR member station WUFT-FM in Gainesville for several years. She's worked in both radio and TV, serving in various capacities as a reporter, producer and anchor. She's also a graduate of the University of Florida with a bachelor's degree in telecommunications. She is the recipient of 15 awards from the Associated Press, Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ), and Edward R. Murrow. Her award-winning stories include her coverage on the infamous “Dozier School for Boys” and a feature titled "Male Breast Cancer: Lost in the Sea of Pink." Currently, Sascha serves as the host and producer of local and state news content for the afternoon news program "All Things Considered" at WFSU. Sascha primarily covers criminal justice and social services issues. When she's not reporting, Sascha likes catching up on her favorite TV shows, singing and reading. Follow Sascha Cordner on Twitter:@SaschaCordner.