AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF)– COVID-19 can severely damage the lungs. Researchers at the Dental and Medical Colleges of Georgia are working toward a possible solution.

Dr. Jack Yu is a physician, scientist, and chief of pediatric plastic surgery at the Medical College of Georgia.

He’s one of the researchers looking to prevent lung damage in COVID patients.

“This is the Achilles tendon. You cannot regenerate the lung. You cannot set a lung aside to let it rest,” Dr. Yu said.

COVID-19 causes adult respiratory distress syndrome in some patients. That means it’s difficult and painful to breathe. Many patients end up on ventilators and ECMO machines, or worse– with permanent lung damage.

So researchers are looking for a potential solution. In one study on mice, they’re looking at how CBD can help.

“When we give CBD through an inhaler, the mice inhales it down to the lungs, it reduces the amount of inflammatory infiltrate,” Dr. Yu said.

The study not only showed reduced inflammation in the lungs, it prevented lung damage.

But this would not be a cure for COVID-19.

“This will probably be a minor supplemental role,” Dr. Yu said.

Human clinical trials are ongoing in other countries, but the treatment is not ready for large scale human use.

“While this is interesting and it should be followed up, this is by no means at the same level as Paxlovid, for example,” Dr. Yu said.

But with more time and research, Dr. Yu says it’s something that could eventually hit the market and help COVID patients heal.

“Because of the commercial implications, the companies that make these things, the inhalers, the more purified cannibioldial, they have a tremendous amount of interest to push this along,” Dr. Yu said.