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Learn | 08.31.2022

Can You Donate Plasma If You Smoke Weed?

What you need to know about THC and donating plasma.

You might be familiar with giving blood and its many uses. But what’s equally needed are healthy individuals willing to donate blood plasma.

Blood plasma is a yellowish liquid that’s responsible for holding;

  • Blood cells
  • Proteins
  • Other vital components

It’s crucial that individuals have enough plasma to regulate the body’s electrolytes and prevent further ailments like blood conditions.

So when thinking about donating blood and wanting to help individuals in need, consider donating plasma as well. This process is slightly different, as plasma donation calls for an added machine to separate blood cells from the plasma.

What Are Plasma Donations Used For?

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Different health issues require plasma donations to help the blood clot or treat other concerns like the following:

  • Different Cancers: plasma is especially needed in patients with leukemia
  • Post Transplant: patients who receive organs like a liver or kidneys might require plasma
  • Hemophilia: a blood condition that prevents needed clotting and requires plasma
  • Other Treatments: blood plasma contains antibodies and proteins that could aid in treating different immune disorders and deficiencies

Can You Donate Plasma If You Smoke Weed?

Every cannabis user needs to know that they are, in fact, eligible to donate plasma for patients in need.

Besides plasma, the American Red Cross clarifies that frequent weed smokers can also donate blood itself and blood products like platelets.

The only way you might be turned away from donating plasma or blood is if you’re impaired upon arrival or if you show signs of memory loss or difficulty concentrating.

In most cases, weed smokers can donate blood and won’t have to worry about donation centers testing for THC.

The Red Cross also states that cannabis users don’t have to wait a certain amount of time after they smoke to donate blood, as long as they’re not high during the process.

Is Donated Blood Tested For THC?

The blood you donate will be tested for conditions like;

  • HIV
  • Hepatitis B
  • Hepatitis C

Considering they’re testing blood for different diseases, do blood donation centers test blood for THC?

While THC will be present in your blood, donation centers do not test for THC levels once you’ve donated. They don’t even check for THC levels before you donate.

It’s worth noting that any method of ingestion or use of cannabis will not affect your ability to donate blood. That means you can smoke, eat, vape, or use a topical as much as you want; you’ll still be in the clear.

As mentioned above, the only thing that will prevent you from giving blood and plasma is if you’re visibly high at the appointment.

What Isn't Accepted When Giving Blood/Plasma?

There are a few reasons why an individual, not just a cannabis user, would be turned away from donating plasma and blood, which include the following;

  • If You’re Already Sick: Certain conditions and illnesses can keep you donating plasma, like HIV, cancer, and hepatitis. Even if you’re using antibiotics for the average cold, it’s not recommended.
  • If You’re Taking Medication: Similar to taking antibiotics, taking certain medications that interact with the blood can keep you from donating plasma, especially if you’re receiving medication to recover from a recent procedure.
  • If You’ve Travelled: Donation centers will ask if you’ve been out of the country and depending on where you’ve been, you may have contracted a disease that keeps you from donating plasma.

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