We all know that donating blood saves lives, but is it okay to donate it if you use cannabis? The quick answer is, YES. However, the clinic is likely to turn you away if you show up to your appointment visibly high. Can you donate plasma if you’ve smoked weed recently? We’ll tell you all you need to know about blood donation and everyday cannabis use right here.
Can You Donate Plasma If You Smoke Weed?
It is common knowledge that blood donations can saves lives, but are you allowed to donate it if you use cannabis?
The quick answer is, YES.
Smoking cannabis does not disqualify you from giving blood.
However, the clinic will likely turn you away if you appear visibly high during your appointment.
Every two seconds, a resident of the United States needs blood. An estimated 4.5 million Americans require a blood transfusion every year.
Donating blood is a crucial deed that can save lives. Donating blood is easy to do and it only takes about 10-12 minutes. Many health experts also suggest that donating blood is healthy for the body.
The body replenishes lost blood which improves cardiovascular health, reduces your risk of obesity and cancer. The same applies to donating blood plasma.
Blood banks also need plasma donations. Blood plasma is important for treating trauma and severe bleeding.
What is blood plasma?
Blood plasma is a yellowish liquid component of blood that holds the blood cells, proteins, and other elements of whole blood. When donated blood is left standing, it separates from the plasma after only a short while.
Plasma is critical in helping those who are sick. Blood plasma regulates the body’s electrolytes and prevents infections from occurring as well as the development of blood disorders. Donated plasma encourages the balance of a patient’s protein count. Those proteins can help identify different diseases and treat them.
Thusly, it is crucial for blood banks and hospitals to have a significant supply of plasma as well as regular blood donations.
What is a plasma donation?
During a plasma donation, the liquid portion of the donor’s blood is separated from the cells. Blood is drawn from a person’s arm and is sent through a high-tech machine that collects the plasma. The red blood cells and platelets of the donor are then returned through the arm along with some saline. This process is perfectly safe and takes just a few minutes longer than donating whole blood.
Within 24 hours of being donated the plasma is frozen to preserve its valuable clotting abilities. It can safely be preserved for up to one year and thawed for transfusion to a patient when necessary.
Uses for plasma donations
Medical experts can use plasma to treat different kinds of serious health problems.
Certain elements found in plasma, including the antibodies and chemicals that help your blood to clot, can help treat some ailments like burns and trauma.
Other things that plasma donation can help with include:
- Developing treatments: The antibodies and proteins can be used to develop treatments for rare diseases, including certain immune system deficiencies.
- Cancer: Adults and adolescents with different forms of cancer, such as leukemia, may need plasma transfusions.
- Transplant surgery: Some patients that receive liver or bone marrow transplants need plasma.
- Hemophilia: A rare disorder in which a person’s blood does not have a sufficient number of clotting factors.
What are the guidelines for a blood/plasma donation?
Before you decide to donate blood and plasma, there are some considerations to be had. First and most importantly, only apply if you are generally in good health. In most states, the minimum age to donate is 17 years old. However, some states will allow 16-year-olds to donate assuming they have consent from a legal guardian. People donating must also weigh at least 110 pounds.
People are only allowed to donate as often as:
- Blood every 56 days or 8 weeks.
- Platelets every 7 days with a maximum of 24 times a year.
- Plasma every 28 days or 4 weeks with a maximum of 13 days in a year.
- Red blood cells every 112 days or 8 weeks and up to 3 times a year.
Some important precautions of weed use before donating plasma
You are allowed to donate blood even if you are a cannabis user except you must follow these preliminary mesures:
- Avoid smoking for 24 hours before you donate. This way you should not have any active THC in your plasma.
- Do not ingest any cannabis edibles. Edibles take much longer to exit your system and therefore THC will remain in your plasma for longer.
- If you are high or intoxicated while donating, you could have low blood pressure or hypotension. These sort of conditions will prevent you from being eligible to donate plasma.
Should I donate plasma even though I smoke weed?
Legally, it is perfectly acceptable to become a regular plasma donor as long as you avoid cannabis products 24 hours before the donation. Critics of cannabis may suggest that the blood of a cannabis user is unsuitable for a baby, infant, or toddler. However, there is no evidence to back this theory up. It is important to understand that THC (the psychoactive compound in cannabis) will no longer be in the plasma or blood by the time the blood is transferred to another person.
Regular vs. Occasional cannabis users
Does all of this information still pertain to chronic weed users? These guidelines for blood and plasma donation do not change regardless of how often a person uses cannabis. Both consistent and occasional users of cannabis can donate blood, as long as they meet all the other qualifications for blood and plasma donation.
While THC does take longer to break down and exit the system of a regular user, it is not possible for a donor-recipient to feel any effects from weed-infused blood. Therefore, the amount of THC in your system is irrelevant.
Forms of cannabis not allowed
You can donate plasma if you have consumed cannabis. However, you cannot donate if you have smoked or ingested a synthetic form of weed.
Synthetic marijuana, also known as K2 or Spice, is a human-made chemical with a similar make-up to the marijuana plant. It is an unregulated, psychoactive substance classified under the group called new psychoactive substances (NPS).
Another common synthetic marijuana product is an FDA-approved medication called Marinol. If you are taking Marinol for a medical condition, such as nausea from chemotherapy or loss of appetite from HIV infection, you are not eligible to donate plasma.
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Can You Donate Plasma If You Smoke Weed?
Are you a cannabis user who’d like to help your community by contributing blood? There are strict rules and regulations about giving this life-saving body fluid in the US. Many tokers wonder—can you donate plasma if you smoke weed?
Hospitals across the US are crying out for blood and plasma donations.
Even with so much desperate need for donations, there’s still some reluctance to give blood. Only 10% of the population regularly visits a donation center, so the supply doesn’t often meet demand.
Plenty of potential donors never use their opportunity to make a difference because they’re unaware of the laws surrounding plasma donation and marijuana use.
Keep reading because we’ll explain all the guidelines about giving blood while using cannabis.
Can you donate plasma if you smoke weed?
The short and simple answer to “can you donate blood if you smoke weed?” is yes.
No rules or regulations in the US state that marijuana users aren’t allowed to give plasma, which is good news.
Plasma is vital to keep our bodies functioning, and as many people as possible must have the option to donate it.
What is blood plasma?
One American needs blood every two seconds, with roughly 4.5 million citizens requiring a transfusion each year. National hospitals use about 6500 units of plasma a day.
Plasma makes up 55% of our blood. It’s a pale yellow liquid that carries cells, proteins, electrolytes, and immunoglobulins.
Along with transporting wastes around the body, it maintains blood pressure, fights off infections, and supplies the proteins needed for wound clotting.
Victims of severe trauma, shock, and burns must receive plasma to replenish their lost blood volumes. Cancer patients receive it as part of their treatment, and liver disease sufferers need it to help with healing.
Can you give blood if you’ve smoked weed recently?
If you’ve smoked weed, can you donate blood? Yes, because there aren’t any guidelines stating you should wait to give plasma after using marijuana. You can’t be disqualified as a donor, as blood banks don’t run any rapid tests for THC before drawing your contribution.
Make sure you’re well-rested and drink lots of water before your appointment.
However, if you show up while high or make it obvious you smoke marijuana, you won’t be allowed to give any plasma. The tell-tale skunky smell clouding you is an instant alert to technicians. They won’t take blood from anyone who’s visibly under the influence.
You should also avoid making any donations if your cannabis use impairs your memory or concentration levels.
What does THC do to your brain and body that makes people aware you’re intoxicated? Besides bloodshot eyes, high cannabinoid levels may cause a delayed reaction time and poor muscle coordination.
You won’t qualify as a donor if you’ve recently used a high THC variety like Amnesia Haze or Black Jack. The observable effects caused by these strong cannabinoids will get you shown the door.
Strains to use on donation day
If you wish to smoke on the day you plan to donate, choose a strain high in CBD. This cannabinoid won’t affect your functioning, and your behavior won’t be a red flag to the staff.
The potential medicinal uses of CBD may even benefit you on the day. As many users claim that cannabidiol helps ease pain and inflammation, it could ease any discomfort you experience after giving your blood.
Here are three CBD-high strains we recommend using before your appointment because you can donate blood if you’ve smoked weed:
Cannatonic is a sought-after strain for its incredible amounts of CBD. At levels of up to 17%, your perceptions remain unaffected while you feel a sense of calm.
As many users claim this cultivar eases anxiety, it may go a long way in helping you if you’re scared of needles.
CBD Super Silver Haze
An iconic cultivar since its appearance, CBD Super Silver Haze has cannabidiol levels of up to 14%. Its low THC levels cause a manageable high that’s perfect for using on donation day.
This strain is also reported to be excellent at easing pain and could help with any aches occurring in the area blood was drawn from.
CBD Cream and Cheese
CBD Cream and Cheese is a jewel in the medicinal cannabis world. The strain is ultra-calming and perfect for daily use due to its non-psychoactive properties. It keeps you mellow and should soothe any nerves about being poked.
These buds could also help to keep you calm and still during the duration of your blood donation.
How is donating plasma different from donating blood?
Donating plasma is very similar to donating blood—the process just takes a little longer.
An automated process known as plasmapheresis removes blood from the arm, then separates and collects the plasma. The machine mixes the cells and proteins left behind with saline and returns this fluid to the donor.
If you’re wondering: “Can I donate plasma if I smoke weed?” The answer is yes. As just one donation provides enough plasma to treat three patients, you should consider it.
What are the rules for blood plasma donation?
Before being allowed to give plasma, you must pass an eligibility screening. Technicians only draw blood if you fulfill these requirements:
- Are at least 18 years old.
- Provide photo ID and proof of address.
- Weigh at least 110 pounds.
- Complete an extensive medical history.
- Pass a medical test that includes screening for HIV and hepatitis.
You’re allowed to donate plasma every 28 days, but only 13 times in one year.
Can you donate blood if you smoke medical weed?
You can give plasma if you use cannabis, but can you donate blood if you smoke medical weed?
It depends on the kind of marijuana your doctor has prescribed.
If you’re using recreational cannabis to treat a health condition, giving plasma is fine.
Synthetic cannabinoids, like Marinol, contain anticoagulants that could contaminate any blood drawn. They treat nausea and vomiting induced by chemotherapy.
When using this medication, the rules about giving plasma depend on the blood bank you visit. Each center makes its own decision on whether or not to accept blood from a donor using manufactured marijuana.
Can I donate plasma if I smoke weed every day?
Have you ever wondered: how long does weed stay in your system? After your most recent smoke, THC remains in your body for several weeks. There’ll always be cannabinoids in your body if you’re a daily user.
Don’t let this stress you and make you worry, “can I donate plasma if I’ve smoked weed every day?” You can still safely volunteer to donate blood.
THC quickly falls to low levels in your circulation. As long as you’re not visibly intoxicated, nobody at the donation center will even know you’re a marijuana user.
The trace amounts of cannabinoids in the body fluid you donate won’t affect the recipient or pose any health risks. Should they undergo drug testing, no cannabinoids will be detected.
Who isn’t allowed to donate blood?
A few factors can disqualify you from becoming a plasma donor. Luckily for us, cannabis use isn’t one of them!
You aren’t allowed to give blood if you:
- Have recently been pregnant or given birth.
- Take certain medications, such as blood thinners.
- Have received a tattoo or piercing in the last year.
- Suffer from low iron levels.
- Have traveled to a malaria-risk country within the past three years.
- Use steroids.
Should you fall into any of these categories, you’ll have to find another way to help your community.
Can you smoke weed after donating plasma?
Donating plasma causes an electrolyte imbalance in your blood, resulting in some discomfort. It’s normal to suffer from bruising and feel light-headed, tired, or experience periods of dizziness.
There’s no rule dictating when it’s safe to use cannabis after giving blood. It’s best to wait for any sensations you’re experiencing to subside. Smoking marijuana may heighten these side effects and make you feel more intoxicated than usual.
The best way to recover and feel like yourself again is to rest and stay hydrated. Fluids are essential to replace the plasma you’ve donated.
Safely give back to your community
If you use marijuana, blood donation is possible. As long as you’re a healthy adult, giving blood is a simple and free way to volunteer and give back to your community. Don’t show up to the donation center while high, and they won’t even know you’re a regular smoker.
We hope we’ve answered all of your questions about plasma donation and marijuana. For more information about cannabis and wellness, check out the Homegrown Cannabis Co blogs.