The more often we come across appeals on TV and in magazines to donate blood, the more irresponsible it feels not to do so.
There is always a handful of people at work that keep donating blood as often as they can make you feel almost like a goose for not doing it yourself.
The need for blood is obvious and it is a great way to help others in desperate need and many of us would be happy to do it, but we smoke weed. Is that a problem, can you give blood if you use cannabis regularly?
It is an important question not only for the safety of the receiver of the blood but also for you considering donating it.
The use of medical marijuana is now allowed in 29 states including in Washington, D.C. Meanwhile, the adult use, as well as the sale of products with cannabis components, is legal in eight states including Washington D.C.
If it wasn’t possible to donate blood for cannabis users, there would be a whole lot of people that would not be able to help to boost the blood reserves simply due to the use of a therapeutic substance.
The American Red Cross, also known as the American National Red Cross, is an organization that provides emergency assistance and it’s one of the most well-known and largest blood banks in the U.S. They explicitly specified these main requirements for blood donation:
1) The individual who will donate should be healthy and must feel well during the day of blood donation.
2) In most states, they require the donor to be at least seventeen years old. Those who are still sixteen can do so if they have parental consent and if it is allowed in their state.
3) They must weigh at least 110 lbs. or approximately 50 kgs on the donation date.
These are the most basic conditions a U.S. citizen must pass to be able to donate plasma and/or blood for the American Red Cross. Rules slightly differ for members of the LGBTQ+ communities.
There are also notable instances where some activities and habits prohibit blood donation.
These include the intravenous use of illegal drugs. In no way, shape, or form is adult cannabis consumption a disqualification.
Now that it’s clear that blood donation is acceptable even if you use marijuana, is it alright for you to disclose it to the medical professional that’s interviewing you?
Smoking marijuana is not a hindrance for you to be able to donate blood. Marijuana smokers most often than not still fear that they might get reported and get in trouble if they admit that they use cannabis in their interview before donating.
They won’t. These medical practitioners have an oath of silence between them and their patients especially in states where cannabis is legal. Moreover, it is better if you voice out concerns and general questions you have regarding your health and your cannabis use.
If donating blood is a first for you- whether or not you smoke marijuana, the American National Red Cross has some quick tips for you to have a successful blood donation:
1) Keep yourself dehydrated.
2) It is recommended that you wear comfortable clothes.
3) Make sure that you had a good meal before that is rich in iron for you to not pass out.
4) And for those who smoke cannabis, especially for the first-time blood donator, it is better if
you smoke one before you donate to ease up a bit.
As Red Cross states as its ethical underpinning: blood is necessary and can be the sliver of hope in life-or-death situations, the need for it is constant and no one should be discriminated or questioned for their intentions of wanting to save a life.