Cannabis Use and Donating Blood

Cannabis Use and Donating Blood | Stoner Blog

Recent tragedies have called for the community to rise up and donate blood. The shooting in Orlando, Florida specifically required a large amount of blood and many people rose to help the people who lived through this horrible event. But, as some know, there are conditions for donating blood. Such as the fact that if you have gotten a tattoo or piercing in the last six months, you can’t donate blood. So what about stoners? People who smoke tend to be very generous but could being a pothead prevent you from helping your fellow humans?

The answer seems to be no. The American Red Cross, the largest single supplier of blood and blood products in the US, collects and processed 40% of the blood supply. They distribute it to about 2600 hospitals and transfusion centers around the country. In their Common Questions pamphlet for those new to donating blood, the Red Cross states that while they do not encourage the use of controlled substances, “marijuana or alcohol use does not necessarily disqualify you from giving blood as long as you are feeling well. If you have EVER injected any illegal drugs, you can never give blood.”

When the American Red Cross was asked directly about cannabis users giving blood. They stated that they do not test for THC but they will not accept someone who is under the influence at the time of the donation. They suggest that people who are donating are well rested, well fed, and “feeling well”, which basically translates into “not high”. If the Red Cross staff believe you’re stoned when you show up to donate blood, they will turn you down. If you smoked the night before, you’re good to go.

Since your body breaks THC down in to 11-OH-THC and 11-nor-Carboxy-THC, which is non-psychoactive. Enzymes in the liver break the 11-OH-THC down even further in to the 11-nor-Carboxy-THC. The process takes a few hours but when it’s done, you’re no longer high.

Cannabis will not prevent you from donating blood. If you just take a night off from smoking and wake up, eat breakfast, and give blood, you could save a life. Being a stoner doesn’t mean you don’t have to get involved and now you have no excuse to (unless you a have gotten a new piercing or tattoo). It’s important to remember that the summer months are the hardest for blood drives, as people partying on vacation are less able to donate. Get out there and donate blood!

Cannabis Use and Donating Blood | Stoner Blog