CONWAY, S.C. (WBTW) — Several research institutions are looking into CBD as a way to treat the most deadly symptom of Coronavirus: Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS).

In the research abstract for this project at Augusta University in Georgia, the scientists suggest it’s “logical to explore whether CBD can reduce the cytokine storm and treat ARDS.”

This after stating CBD has “demonstrated potent anti-inflammatory effects in a variety of pathological conditions.”

Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome occurs when fluid builds up in the lungs, depriving organs of oxygen.

Janel Ralph is the owner of RE Botanicals, the company behind Palmetto Harmony, a USDA Organic CBD brand.

“CBD is derived from the hemp plant,” Ralph said. “It’s the predominant compound in the hemp plant. Where marijuana, the predominant compound is THC.”

She echoes the scientists claims of the anti-inflammatory properties of CBD.

“It’s been proven it works as a common anti-inflammatory and neuro-protectant,” Ralph said. “It works on multiple levels in your body. Because it’s one of the most powerful anti-inflammatories, of course it can help.”

Ralph says the booming CBD industry faces a challenge in the lack in FDA regulations.

“We’re very limited on what we can say, because we cannot make function claims unless the research supports it and since we haven’t been able to do research until recently, we haven’t been able to get research that supports it,” Ralph said. “So we can’t actually say, this may or may not help with COVID.” 

Ralph says she hasn’t noticed an increase in demand for CBD products in the wake of the pandemic, but she has noticed an increased interest in immune boosters. She tells News13 Palmetto Harmony is set to launch a CBD immune booster.

You can read more about similar research happening at one university in Canada here.