Can You Donate Blood If You Use Cannabis Or Smoke Weed Regularly?


Blood donations are one of the best and, frankly, the easiest ways to serve your community. A single blood donation can help save patients who need a blood transfusion during life-and-death situations like surgeries and blood loss from traumatic injuries. 

Cannabis use, whether legal or not, is controversial in many cases. As such, there is a common misconception that folks who do use cannabis can’t donate blood. That’s not true, and the American Red Cross has clarified that cannabis does not disqualify you from donating blood.  

Can Cannabis Users Be Blood Donors?

Yeah. You can donate blood if you smoke marijuana or other less potent forms of cannabis. It doesn’t matter if the cannabis you’re smoking or ingesting is legal. Blood banks are regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), not the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), so drug use isn’t that big a concern. 

Of course, that isn’t always a concern. The American Red Cross warns potential donors against giving blood if cannabis impairs their mental state. That means if you have noticed memory or cognitive issues after smoking hemp, you shouldn’t try to donate blood. 

Do Blood Banks Test Potential Donors?

They do, but not for THC. Blood banks don’t use any rapid tests to check THC levels in your bloodstream. So, while they don’t encourage you to smoke weed, they don’t check for legal or illegal use of the cannabis plant. 

However, if you show up intoxicated, they will turn you away. It doesn’t even have to be cannabis. You show up drunk or high with either licit or illicit drugs, and they’ll turn you away.  

What If I Use Synthetic Cannabis?

If you use prescribed marijuana or recreational varieties, they might have anti-coagulants. The American Red Cross hasn’t set a guideline in that case. Instead, they have delegated the matter to individual blood donation centers. 

Be sure to tell the people at the center if you’re using synthetic marijuana. They’ll decide whether you’re eligible or not after checking the exact medication. They might also ask for the reason you take the medication.

What To Do Before Donating Blood?

As we said, you can’t show up while high, so don’t use cannabis just before donating. We recommend switching to high CBD strains in the days leading up to the donation. That way, you can lower your blood THC levels, especially if you’re a regular cannabis user.

Can I Smoke Immediately After Making A Donation?

We don’t recommend using cannabis immediately after donating. Cannabis can cause low blood pressure, and so can blood donations. If you smoke weed directly after donating blood, you may end up fainting from low blood pressure. 

Can A Person Fail A Drug Test After Getting A Transfusion With My Donated Blood?

Even if you’re a heavy cannabis user, it is highly unlikely that anyone will fail a blood test after getting your blood. By the time you donate blood, the THC will likely have left your bloodstream. 

You can only have high blood THC levels if you donate just after you consume cannabis. However, in such cases, you’re gonna be high. Blood donation centers don’t accept donations from people under the influence, so they’ll ask you to return later. 

What Tests Will The Blood Bank Conduct On My Blood?

Cannabis users donate blood. However, they only do so after fulfilling all the other requirements. Even if the blood bank doesn’t test you for THC, they test your blood for other stuff before they clear it for transfusions.

They check blood types and the presence of RH factor. Knowing your blood type helps them classify the blood and transfuse it to folks who are compatible with it. Some blood types are harder to find, so the rarer the blood, the more precious it will be.

They also test the blood for infections like HIV, Hepatitis, and more. These diseases can transfer to other patients via transfusions and cause lifelong illnesses. The blood bank won’t clear your blood for transfusion if you have blood cancer.

If you test positive for any infection on the list, you likely won’t be able to donate blood. They’ll probably remove T cells from the donated blood because they can cause reactions during the blood transfusion. 

Are There Any Other Disqualification Factors?

Other reasons that blood banks may refuse your blood include but are not limited to:

  • Having made a prior donation within the year
  • Having a fever or other illnesses
  • Being below 16
  • Weighing less than 110 pounds/ 50 kilograms
  • Being on certain medications
  • Having low iron levels in your blood
  • Having traveled to a malaria-risk area within three years

There are different types of blood donations; Whole Blood Donation, Power Red Donation, Platelet Donation, and AB Elite Plasma Donation. You may have to meet other requirements depending on the blood donation type.

Is There Any Other Way I Can Help?

Even if you can’t be a blood donor, there are other ways for you to help. These include:

  • Hosting Blood Drives

If you donate blood, you’ll only be donating a bit. However, you can collect much more blood if you host a blood drive. As a host, you will provide a location for the drive, advertise the drive, recruit blood donors, and follow up with qualified blood donors.

  • Making A Financial Donation

Blood drives can require money. You can donate to medical foundations even if you don’t donate exclusively for blood drives. That way, you can help people get treatment even if they can’t afford it.

  • Volunteering In A Blood Drive

Volunteers use their time and efforts to save lives by helping out in disaster areas. Even if you can do something that hardcore, volunteer at a blood drive to help make arrangements to recruit qualified donors, deliver snacks, and more. 

  • Hosting Virtual Blood Drives

You can recruit qualified blood donors using the SleevesUp platform by the American Red Cross. All you have to do is create an online campaign and promote it. You can send blood donation invitations to your friends and family. People will use your campaign to pledge blood donations on your behalf. 

Conclusion: Can You Donate Blood If You Smoke Weed? 

Cannabis consumers are as eligible for making blood donations as other people. Of course, they must fulfill the other blood donor requirements first. That being said, no health organization will encourage you to smoke weed, try portable dry herb vaporizer for vaping or  take cannabis for simple recreational purposes.

The only reason you would be asked to refrain from blood donation is if cannabis use is causing cognitive impairment. Alternatively, don’t donate blood if you use other injectable drugs like heroin. 

You should have no trouble donating blood if you’re healthy and over sixteen. Your blood can help save lives. Donate blood today by visiting your nearest blood donation center and playing your part in saving lives.  


Share this Article