Dr. David Pompei, PharmD, MS
Thinking about donating blood as a cannabis user? Safe blood is needed to save lives in many situations: children with severe anemia, complications during childbirth, accident victims, surgeries. Blood can only be stored for a short period of time before it must be used, so there is a constant need for blood donations by healthy people.
A single blood donation may save multiple lives as the blood can be separated into its components (platelets, red blood cells, and plasma) and given to individuals with specific conditions. According to the World Health Organization, donating blood “is the most precious gift that anyone can give to another person—the gift of life.” But can you donate blood if you smoke weed?
The Red Cross has some restrictions regarding cannabis and blood donation, which we will discuss momentarily, but, in general, you can donate blood as a cannabis user.
Before you head to the blood bank, make sure you know the answer to, “Can you donate blood if you smoke weed?” Or you might be interested in whether you can donate plasma as a cannabis user. In that case, you need to know the answer to, “Can you donate plasma if you smoke weed?” This article will answer both questions.
If you use cannabis to improve your health or wellbeing, you might wonder if there are any rules or restrictions regarding giving blood as a cannabis user. For example, can you give blood if you smoke weed every night? What about if you regularly use weed edibles or tinctures? Can you donate blood if you take CBD oil every morning?
The answer to all these questions is: yes. You can donate blood if you smoke weed, consume cannabis as an edible, or take CBD oil every morning.
The Red Cross does not discourage people from using cannabis and donating blood. In fact, there is no legal restriction regarding donating blood as a cannabis user. That might seem strange given that cannabis is federally illegal. However, according to the Red Cross, “eligibility to donate blood is regulated by the Food and Drug Administration, not the U.S Drug Enforcement Agency. The FDA does not require blood testers to test for THC.”
What if you consume high doses of THC through edibles or dabs, can you still donate blood? Could someone who received your blood fail a drug test? According to the Red Cross, you can still donate blood even if you regularly ingest large quantities of THC. And an individual who receives that blood cannot fail a drug test.
Plasma makes up about 55% of your total blood volume. Blood plasma is an amber colored liquid without blood cells, composed mostly of water, important dissolved proteins, glucose, clotting factors, and electrolytes, as well as other parts of whole blood.
Plasma plays an important role in your immune system and plays a critical role in blood clotting. Plasma donations are used to help treat clotting disorders, liver disease, several types of cancers, and immune deficiencies. But can you donate plasma if you smoke weed?
Like blood donations, being a cannabis user does not disqualify you from donating plasma. While there are various restrictions that will prevent you from donating plasma, such as a recent tattoo or piercing (typically within the last 12 months), or if you underwent recent medical procedures such as surgery, you can donate plasma if you smoke weed.
There is not a specific time period that you have to wait to donate blood or plasma after using cannabis.
The only restriction regarding smoking weed and giving blood or plasma is that you are not permitted to donate blood if your use of cannabis is impairing your memory or your comprehension. In other words, if you are a cannabis user in good health who is not experiencing any cognitive impairment related to your cannabis use, you can donate blood. Curious if cannabis can help you reach your health and wellness goals?
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