Can you donate blood if you smoke weed? With recreational and medicinal cannabis use on the rise, you may wonder if you can give blood if weed is in your system. It’s an important question—and we’ve got your answer.
Disclosures and Answers
Understandably, the subject of whether you can donate blood with THC in your system has come into the forefront in tandem with the process of cannabis legalization in select states.come along with the legalization process. Unfortunately, it’s still a bit murky. Forums on the internet and vague descriptions may leave you feeling confused. The first step is to remember to stick to the facts.
Facts and Considerations
The American Red Cross, one of the largest single suppliers of blood and related products in the United States, explicitly lists the main requirements for giving blood:
- Be in good general health and feeling well.
- Be at least 17-years-old in most states, or 16-years-old with parental consent if allowed by state law.
- Weigh at least 110 lbs. Additional weight requirements apply for donors 18-years-old and younger and all high school donors.
This is the basic rubric for most U.S. citizens willing to donate blood and/or plasma to a blood bank (though the rules slightly differ when it comes to the LGBTQ community—but that’s another article for another time). While there are other particular habits and practices that prohibit donation such as intravenous drug use, in no way, shape, or form is recreational cannabis consumption a disqualification.
So, even though it’s okay to donate blood if you smoke weed, is it okay to disclose that you do?
Final Hit: Can You Donate Blood If You Smoke Weed?
Smoking weed should not interfere with your ability to donate blood. When it boils down to it, you are the person providing your blood to help people and hospitals around the country. People often live in fear they will get in trouble if they let medical professionals know that they smoke weed. Here’s the thing: asking professionals general questions will not result in your arrest. Moreover, it cannot hurt to ask if you have doubts or concerns.
If it’s your first time giving blood—whether you smoke weed or not—the American Red Cross highlights some ways to prepare. Being hydrated is necessary. Wearing comfy clothing is optimal, as well as ensuring you have had some iron in your diet so you won’t pass out. And depending on your comfort level with weed, it might be better to toke up after you give blood. Giving blood literally takes it out of you, obviously.
There has been an increasing understanding of the medicinal value of cannabis. With that in mind, any stigmatization you feel is the real thing you should question. As the American Red Cross states as its ethical underpinning, the need for blood for life-saving medical emergency situations is constant, and no one should be questioned for their reasons.