Donating blood is something that many people like to participate in. It’s a great feeling knowing that you could literally save someone's life with just a simple donation. But did you know you can also donate plasma?
While plasma is different than blood, you can still donate it and maybe even get some cash for your good deed. This sounds great but you might want to keep reading before heading down to your local blood drive if you’ve been smoking some bud. Let's talk about whether you can donate blood plasma if you smoke weed.
Before we get into who is able to donate, let's talk about what plasma is and why it's important to have donors. According to Wikipedia, blood plasma is a component of blood that is yellowish in color. It is the liquid part of the blood that sends all the cells and proteins to different parts of the body.
Blood plasma is highly important when it comes to keeping us from getting sick. This is because it helps keep our electrolytes in check which reduces the chances for infections or blood disorders. Okay so its really important, but what is it used for when it's donated?
Typically blood plasma is used during blood transfusions to keep a healthy balance of all cells and proteins. These proteins can help detect diseases and help to treat them. This means that it's important for all centers to have a steady flow of donors that are healthy for those who need it.
But donating is a bit more complicated than donating a vial of blood.
While the process is similar to donating blood, it is definitely more complicated and time-consuming.
According to Donating Plasma,
A needle is placed into a vein in your arm. Plasma is collected through a process call plasmapheresis and is conducted in cycles that may take up to an hour. Whole blood is drawn. The plasma is separated from the red blood cells and other cellular components. These are returned to your body with sterile saline solution to help the body replace the plasma removed from the whole blood. Your first donation will take approximately 2 hours. Return visits on average take about 90 minutes.
Because blood plasma is an important commodity, donation facilities want to make sure that you are completely healthy before letting you donate. While each state is different, there are some requirements that have to be followed.
First off, you must be at least 18 years old and weigh at least 110 pounds to donate. You will also need to pass an extensive medical history screening, a medical exam, and test negative for transmissible viruses including hepatitis and HIV.
This also means that those who have used Intravenous drugs will not be allowed to donate. The American Red Cross says, “Those who have ever used IV drugs that were not prescribed by a physician are not eligible to donate. This requirement is related to concerns about hepatitis and HIV.”
But this still doesn’t answer if you can donate if you smoke weed.
This is an interesting question to answer, mainly due to the complicated legality of marijuana in the United States. Obviously, if marijuana is not legal in your state, it's not smart to walk into a donation center lighting a joint. But does that mean you can donate?
Surprisingly, it seems that you can donate plasma even if you smoke marijuana. This seems to be due to the fact that intravenous, as well as street drugs, are more on their radar than cannabis. Street drugs can taint your plasma and make it dangerous for those who receive it so its important to not go if you have used anything along those lines.
Out of curiosity, I decided to call a plasma donation center in my area in Florida about marijuana use. Since recreational use is not legal here, I asked if it's okay to donate plasma while having a medical marijuana prescription. The women answered with a laugh that its completely fine and that if it were not, most people in Florida couldn’t donate.
But I think it's important to note that you should not roll a joint in the parking lot. In fact, it's best to not have anything in your system the day of because you will get turned away if they can tell you are high or intoxicated. It's great to know you can help others while enjoying some bud on a regular basis.
Remember to stay hydrated, eat a decent meal beforehand, and make your fellow cannabis users proud by helping those in need! For more articles similar to this one, check out Slyng’s Cannabis Blog section to keep up with the news and stay informed!
1. What is Blood?. Retrieved June 28, 2019 from https://www.oneblood.org/about-donating/blood-donor-basics/what-is-blood/
2. Blood plasma. Retrieved June 28, 2019 from https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blood_plasma
3. Plasma Centers Profit Off of the Working Poor. Retrieved June 28, 2019 from https://uswlocals.org/local-9460/blog/plasma-centers-profit-working-poor
4. Donor Frequently Asked Questions. Retrieved June 28, 2019 from https://www.donatingplasma.org/donation/donor-faq