The goal for most people who smoke pot is to get high. Even medical marijuana patients consume the plant for its naturally-occuring buzz. Then there are the ones who need the medical benefits without the debilitating, euphoric side effects. Now, those patients have an option.
David Lampach, of Oakland's Steep Hill medical cannabis-testing lab, identified the strain. It contains higher levels cannabinoids (CBD), which provide the medical effects, and less THC, the ingredient that creates the notorious high in pot.
Lampach says it's like striking gold.
"We thought 'wow!' here's a whole new angle on cannabis we never knew existed," Lampach told NBC Bay Area. "I think there are a lot of people who need cannabis and don't want to get high and for those people, it's a good thing."
Steve DeAngelo, the executive director of Oakland's Harborside Health Center, calls the discovery a major breakthrough.
"One of the great benefits of CBD-rich medicine" DeAngelo said, "is that we're able to deliver the medical effects of cannabis to patients without the psychoactive effects which many patients see as undesirable side effects."
DeAngelo's center, which also provides acupuncture and yoga, offers a limited supply of the CBD strain. They hope to be carrying much more in near future.
Medical marijuana advocates say although the CBD-rich strain reduces the euphoric side effects, making daily activities easier, it's not for all patients. Depending their medical conditions, some medical cannabis patients need the high levels of THC.