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Donating blood is a gift, many times synonymous with saving lives. But wait, we know there are many clinical requirements for those looking to donate blood. For example, factors like your health, age, weight, are taken into consideration for obvious reasons. And factors that will disqualify you from being a blood donor are:
- In women, not breastfeeding and not being pregnant
- Not having been vaccinated in the last 30 days
- Not suffering from disease or taking medication 7 days before donating
- Have not consumed alcoholic beverages in 3 days
- Have not used drugs in the last two weeks
- Have not had any type of surgery in the last six months
- Tattoos or piercings must be more than one year old
- Having HIV
- Using certain medications, including acitretin, blood thinners such as warfarin and heparin, dutasteride, isotretinoin or teriflunomide.
Of course, we do not overlook the drug’s use, but it can be more subjective than it seems. Here's the dilemma, if you consume cannabis, there will be THC in your system, so will you be rejected? It may surprise you to learn that the answer to the question “Can cannabis users donate blood?” Is a resounding “Yes!”. Cannabis use does not automatically exclude you from being able to donate blood. However, there are some specifications regarding cannabis use and blood donation, and we tell you what those are.
Donating blood if you consume marijuana
First, let's find out what marijuana users must know about blood donation. As we told you earlier, consuming marijuana does not exclude you from donating blood. And you don’t even have to lie about your marijuana consumption when you are looking to donate blood. In fact, that is irresponsible, you must take in consideration the donor recipient.
But it is totally safe to donate blood if you smoke marijuana. The American Red Cross itself says that using cannabis is not a contraindication to donating blood. This is what the Red Cross recently had to say about cannabis users donating blood:
“The Red Cross does not encourage the use of controlled substances, the use of marijuana, cigarettes, or alcohol does not necessarily disqualify a person from giving blood. Potential donors may not donate under the influence of legal or illegal drugs or alcohol. The legal or illegal use of marijuana is not cause for postponement.” Many other blood donation organizations have a similar policy. However, you cannot donate blood while you are actively under the influence of marijuana or any other substance as we saw on the upper list. So, if you know you want to donate blood on a certain day, it's best to wait until after you donate to get high.
On the other hand, in an emergency, don't be disappointed if you can't donate blood. It has happened to me that a friend uploaded an Instagram story looking for blood donors. I see it's my blood type, but they won't wait a few days until I get clean.
Does anything change if I use cannabis often or occasionally?
Marijuana is one of the drugs that remains in your system the longest, and its permanence depends on the level of consumption, physiological qualities and consumers habits. The evidence of THC in the body can last from one or few days to more than 100 days. The liver metabolizes THC and metabolites break down over days, weeks and even months until no trace remains
So, taking this into consideration. Frequent marijuana users can donate blood? Because for occasional users THC leaves the body in a few days. Regular users will not have problems donating blood as they meet all other blood donation requirements and are not visibly high when donating.
There's no danger that a donor recipient could get a “high” with marijuana-infused blood, whether you are a regular or occasional cannabis user. I believe now common sense and intuition will be your best allies.
Blood donation is extremely important, being an element that cannot be created synthetically, it only means of obtaining are willing and healthy humans, doesn’t matter if they smoke weed. Each donor is estimated to save at least three lives.
So now you know it, there are no excuses, I hope someday you will be encouraged to donate blood. You can check which blood bank is closest to you and find out more.