Can You Donate Plasma If You Smoke Marijuana? 2023 Guide to Cannabis Use & Donating Blood
According to the American Red Cross, someone in the United States needs blood or platelets every two seconds. Every day, the United States requires an average of 29,000 units of red blood cells; one vehicle accident victim may need as many as 100 units of blood.
You may be interested in contributing to this important cause but are unsure if, as a marijuana smoker, you are eligible to give plasma. Because of marijuana's illegality and physiological effects, blood donations are met with skepticism. The short answer to whether or not a current cannabis user can give blood is "yes." Regular cannabis users who are not under the influence can safely donate blood. Let's look into everything that's going on.
What Is Blood Plasma?
Plasma is the liquid component of blood. Red blood cells and platelets make up the rest of our blood.
Blood plasma contains proteins essential for blood clotting and immune system function, transporting red blood cells and platelets around the body. Electrolytes such as potassium and sodium are transported by plasma to the muscles, and the plasma's pH equilibrium ensures that cells can operate normally.
Blood and plasma donations are essential for treating patients with severe burns, severe blood loss, and anemia.
Donating Plasma After Using Marijuana
If you test positive for THC or cannabis, you cannot give plasma to most organizations; however, some of these facilities do not conduct such tests. The American Red Cross does not conduct tests for tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive cannabinoid. The charity relies on an "honor system," so if you've recently used marijuana, they ask that you not come forward to donate blood.
The American Red Cross advises against donating plasma if you've recently taken synthetic marijuana. The American Red Cross reports that anticoagulants included in synthetic marijuana could potentially taint plasma and put its recipients at risk.
What Are the Requirements for Donating Plasma?
Despite having a medicinal marijuana license, cannabis consumers still question whether or not they meet the minimal requirements for giving plasma.
It's advisable to look at the worldwide norms for donors before tackling the cannabis issue.
Most governments have a minimum age of 17, while others allow donors as young as 16. The Red Cross requires parental permission in those areas. The donor must weigh 110 pounds or more. Finally, you should be in good health to contribute. The Red Cross specifies that you should be in good health and able to carry on your usual routine. Patients with chronic diseases, such as diabetes, are not automatically disqualified by the Red Cross if they receive treatment and their condition is under control.
According to the Red Cross, there are various ways to donate blood. In addition, you can donate platelets, plasma, or even AB Elite plasma. There are particulars for each of these.
Donors can now provide twice as much lifesaving blood by participating in Power Red Donation. Donors must have blood types O, A-, or B-negative. Like regular donors, they need to be healthy and in good spirits. Male donors must be at least 17 years old, have a BMI (body mass index) between 25 and 35, and measure at least 5 feet 1 inch tall and 130 pounds. Donating women must be at least 19 years old, 5' 5" or taller, and weigh 150 pounds.
Blood platelets are the exclusive focus of platelet donation because they are responsible for clotting. Donors might be as young as 16 or 17, depending on the law in their state. Donors must wait at least two days after taking aspirin before giving blood. Platelet donations are not accepted from women who have just given birth since the recipient's immune system may react negatively to the platelets due to the donor's elevated antibody levels. Otherwise, all the usual guidelines for donating Whole blood apply.
Finally, only those with blood type AB can donate AB Elite Plasma because it is the only type accepted worldwide. Other than blood type AB, all other requirements for donating whole blood are the same.
Disqualification From Donating Blood Plasma
There are a variety of reasons why someone could not be eligible to donate blood, but using cannabis is not one of them.
Other than not meeting the conditions above, blood-borne infections like hepatitis B and C or HIV are the most common reasons someone cannot donate plasma. The Red Cross maintains an exhaustive list of situations and ailments that would preclude a person from volunteering. Most entail some sickness, while some prescription drugs could be a problem. Many potential donors probably don't consider some reasons for disqualification, such as a recent tattoo. These restrictions are almost always put in place to stop the spread of disease.
However, if you show up to give plasma while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, you will not be accepted.
Advice on Donating Plasma if You Smoke Marijuana
It would be best if you refrained from using cannabis for a little while before making your donation. Detoxing for only a day or two is generally sufficient. The objective is to eliminate all traces of THC from your body. This is more of a kindness for the person receiving your contribution than a requirement from the donation center, which may or may not question when your last cannabis use was.
Beyond that, cannabis users are no different from everyone else regarding the most effective methods of giving.
Eat a hearty meal before you head out to the donation center. Consume meals high in iron. Iron is abundant in dark green, leafy plants. Beans and sweet potatoes are, too. Vitamin C. Vitamin C-rich foods enhance iron absorption, including citrus fruits, watermelon, berries, and even tomatoes.
Remember to stay hydrated before, during, and after giving blood.
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