Can You Donate Blood or Plasma If You Smoke Weed?
Can you donate plasma if you smoke weed? What about “Can you donate blood if you smoke weed?”
Donating blood or plasma is a selfless act that has the potential to save somebody’s life. An estimated five million Americans receive blood transfusions annually for various reasons. Yet there is consistently a shortage of available blood and plasma, especially for rarer blood groups.
If you’re thinking about donating blood or plasma, you may be worried about your cannabis use. This guide will discuss whether smoking your favorite herb can disqualify you from donating.
Photo by Nguyễn Hiệp
Can You Donate Plasma if You Smoke Weed?
Donating plasma can be done with the intent to save a life or be compensated for your time and energy. Over time, the restrictions on who can donate have been loosened to replenish the nation’s plasma stocks.
An estimated 53 million plasma donations occur annually, but as more states move to legalize marijuana, where does this leave you if you’re looking to donate? There’s much confusion, with people asking, “Can you donate plasma if you smoke at all?”
In short, marijuana use doesn’t disqualify you from donating. The only rule is that you cannot show signs of intoxication while donating. The reasoning is that you can’t consent to the donation.
In this section, we answer questions like “Can you smoke weed and donate plasma?” and “Do they drug test when donating plasma?”
Do They Drug Test You Before Donating Plasma?
Do plasma centers test for drugs? In short, no, they don’t.
You’ll be asked about any drug use, legal or otherwise, and you’ll be expected to answer honestly. Admitting to drug use won’t disqualify you or result in you taking a drug test unless you admit to taking intravenous drugs.
Your arms will be visually inspected for track marks due to the risk of infectious diseases, such as HIV, resulting from needle use.
Many people are surprised at the answer to “Do plasma centers drug test?” but why they don’t is two-fold. They want to encourage more donations, and most drugs don’t compromise the quality of the blood extracted, so smoking weed or holding an MMJ card isn’t an issue.
Can You Donate Plasma if You Smoke Cigarettes?
Approximately 30 million Americans smoke cigarettes, and while it puts them firmly in the minority, no rules state that you cannot donate plasma if you smoke cigarettes.
Since smoking has no potential to pass diseases to a potential blood recipient, tobacco use won’t impact your eligibility.
On the other hand, you are asked not to smoke for at least 30 minutes before your donation to avoid accelerating your heart rate and blood pressure. So, can you smoke after giving blood? Of course, you can, but it’s recommended that you wait at least 30-60 minutes before lighting up.
Beware that some conditions caused by smoking cigarettes could disqualify you from donating. Some of these disqualifiers include:
- Cancer – You can’t donate if you’re being treated for cancer or have had certain types of cancers, such as leukemia. If you have previously had cancer and are now in remission, you’ll need to wait one year after your final treatment to become eligible to donate.
- High Blood Pressure – The center will measure your blood pressure during your appointment. Your appointment must be deferred if your blood pressure is too high while donating. This is for your own safety.
- Heart and Lung Disease – If you have symptoms of any heart or lung condition, you cannot donate. Moreover, if you have experienced a stroke or a heart attack, you must wait at least six months before becoming eligible to donate again.
If you’re unsure whether you are an ideal candidate for blood or plasma donation as a cigarette smoker, speak to your local donation center over the phone or contact your doctor.
Can You Donate Plasma if You Smoke Delta-8?
Experts may have expressed some worry regarding the effects of Delta-8 THC. However, the substance falls under the same category as smoking ordinary marijuana.
Since THC passes through your bloodstream and into your brain, nothing will be passed to any blood recipient.
As with conventional marijuana, you cannot be high while donating, as you are not considered in the right frame of mind to consent adequately.
Can You Donate Bone Marrow If You Smoke?
Every year, 18,000 Americans are diagnosed with life-threatening illnesses that require a bone marrow transplant.
Sadly, these types of donations are lacking, which is why the medical community is calling for suitable donors. Due to a lack of eligible donors, this is often a challenge.
Luckily, smokers can donate bone marrow regardless of their smoking status. Typically, the only requirement is that you are aged between 18 and 44 and are in good health.
Again, you cannot be under the influence of cannabis while donating.
Can You Drink Alcohol After Donating Plasma?
It’s strongly recommended that you avoid drinking alcohol for eight hours after giving plasma. While there’s no risk to your health by drinking anyway, the effects of alcohol become amplified because there’s less blood in your system to dilute the alcohol.
Many donors are shocked that one or two beers can cause them to become blindly drunk after a plasma donation. For this reason alone, stay away from alcohol after a blood donation for the rest of the day.
Can You Smoke Weed After Donating Plasma?
Yes, you can. Like alcohol, nothing stops you from smoking cannabis after donating plasma. However, be prepared for the effects to be amplified.
With less blood in your system, you will become more susceptible to the effects of inhaled THC, meaning you may get high faster and experience a more potent high than you’re used to.
Avoid smoking for at least eight hours if you’re worried about the effects.
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Can You Donate Blood If You Smoke Weed?
Weed smoking is not an obstacle to donating blood, either. So, why can you donate blood if you smoke? The reasoning is that THC doesn’t remain in the bloodstream longer than your high’s duration.
THC from smoking will be removed from the bloodstream within two to three hours. Edibles may take up to four hours. This is why donating blood as a weed smoker requires you not to be intoxicated at the time.
As with donating blood plasma, you cannot give adequate consent while high.
Do Regular Blood Tests Show Drugs?
Routine blood tests do not commonly screen for drugs and alcohol. Even though a workplace drug test may involve giving a blood sample, these are specialized tests designed to find evidence of drugs and alcohol.
So, is donated blood tested for drugs? The blood will be before it’s delivered to a donor, but the screening doesn’t measure for drugs or alcohol because it doesn’t impact the integrity of the blood.
You will be screened for drug use, but this is merely a questionnaire. As long as you are not doing intravenous drugs, you are eligible to donate blood.
Do Hospitals Test for Drugs When Drawing Blood?
Every donor receives a questionnaire about common transmissible diseases that could make them ineligible to become a blood donor. But can you donate blood if you smoked weed? Absolutely. You will not be tested for the presence of cannabis.
After you give blood, hospitals will take a sample of each donation. However, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), each unit of blood will be screened for infectious disease pathogens.
Can You Drink After Donating Blood?
Blood is responsible for diluting the liquids you consume. For this reason, it’s recommended that you avoid drinking alcohol for at least eight hours.
With a temporarily reduced blood volume, the effects of the alcohol will be more significant, meaning that even small amounts of alcohol could intoxicate you.
Generally, veteran donors recommend avoiding alcohol for the rest of the day after giving blood.
Can You Smoke Weed After Donating Blood?
If you’re asking, “Can I donate blood if I smoke?” you may also wonder whether you can smoke after donating blood.
Again, the answer is yes, but it’s not recommended. As with alcohol, smoking weed after donating blood will amplify the effects of your weed, leading to a more potent high and further intoxication.
If this doesn’t bother you, feel free to smoke. No health risks exist from smoking after donating blood.
Photo by Nguyễn Hiệp
What Should You Do Before Donating Blood and Plasma if You Smoke?
Can you donate plasma if you do drugs? Can you donate blood if you smoke weed? You can, but there are specific steps you should take in the run-up to your donation day.
Firstly, you should detox from cannabis use. You don’t need to opt for a complete detox. A day or two will be enough to remove any active THC from your bloodstream. Even though the donation center may not ask you when you last used cannabis, this is more of a courtesy to the person who will eventually receive your donation.
Beyond a detox in the beginning, the same rules for everyone else also apply to cannabis users, namely:
- Eat well before you donate. Iron-rich foods, such as leafy greens, will help you to be energized for your donation. You should also consider foods rich in vitamin C since they’re sound iron absorbers, including citrus fruits and tomatoes.
- Ensure you’re well-hydrated before you donate. You should also ensure you stay well-hydrated afterward.
- Try to calm down. You may be nervous about the process if this is your first time. Nerves will only lead to stress, leading to problems during your donation.
However, whether you’re donating blood, plasma, or both, your local donation center or hospital will walk you through the process to make it as convenient as possible.
Regardless of how much cannabis you consume, donating blood, plasma, or bone marrow is simple and quick.
Get Legal Protection – Apply for a Medical Marijuana Card Today!
Can you donate plasma if you smoke marijuana? Yes, you can. But whether you are smoking weed legally or illegally, getting the legal protection you require with a medical card always pays.
Become a state-legal patient to access high-potency weed, lower costs, and greater possession limits. Your medical condition could qualify, so find out whether you’re entitled to an MMJ card online from the comfort of your own home.
Schedule your appointment with Green Health Docs for the simplest way to check your eligibility and apply for your medical card in your state today.
This article has been reviewed by Dr. Anand Dugar, an anesthesiologist, pain medicine physician and the founder of Green Health Docs. Graduating from medical school in 2004 and residency in 2008, Dr. Dugar has been a licensed physician for almost 20 years and has been leading the push for medical cannabis nationwide.