Donating blood is an extremely selfless act. Millions of Americans are regular donors because they want to help others. But there’s a considerable amount of confusion regarding whether you can donate blood at all.
So, can you donate blood if you smoke weed?
Weed smoking is not an obstacle to donating blood. So, why can you donate blood if you smoke? The reasoning is that THC doesn’t remain in the bloodstream longer than your high’s duration.
THC from smoking will be removed from the bloodstream within two to three hours. Edibles may take up to four hours. This is why donating blood as a weed smoker requires you not to be intoxicated at the time.
As with donating blood plasma, you cannot give adequate consent while high.
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Do Regular Blood Tests Show Drugs?
Routine blood tests do not commonly screen for drugs and alcohol. Even though a workplace drug test may involve giving a blood sample, these are specialized tests designed to find evidence of drugs and alcohol.
So, is donated blood tested for drugs? The blood will be before it’s delivered to a donor, but the screening doesn’t measure for drugs or alcohol because it doesn’t impact the integrity of the blood.
You will be screened for drug use, but this is merely a questionnaire. As long as you are not doing intravenous drugs, you are eligible to donate blood.
Do Hospitals Test for Drugs When Drawing Blood?
Every donor receives a questionnaire about common transmissible diseases that could make them ineligible to become a blood donor. But can you donate blood if you smoked weed? Absolutely. You will not be tested for the presence of cannabis.
After you give blood, hospitals will take a sample of each donation. However, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), each unit of blood will be screened for infectious disease pathogens.
Photo by Frank Meriño
Can You Drink After Donating Blood?
Blood is responsible for diluting the liquids you consume. For this reason, it’s recommended that you avoid drinking alcohol for at least eight hours.
With a temporarily reduced blood volume, the effects of the alcohol will be more significant, meaning that even small amounts of alcohol could intoxicate you.
Generally, veteran donors recommend avoiding alcohol for the rest of the day after giving blood.
Can You Smoke Weed After Donating Blood?
If you’re asking, “Can I donate blood if I smoke?” you may also wonder whether you can smoke after donating blood.
Again, the answer is yes, but it’s not recommended. As with alcohol, smoking weed after donating blood will amplify the effects of your weed, leading to a more potent high and further intoxication.
If this doesn’t bother you, feel free to smoke. No health risks exist from smoking after donating blood.
What Should You Do Before Donating Blood If You Smoke?
Cigarettes contain carbon monoxide, which degrades the ability of red blood cells to carry oxygen. This can cause problems when giving up a liter of this precious fluid.
Instead, ensure that you don’t smoke anything three hours before your donation. Likewise, this rule applies to the three-hour window after giving blood.
Although some experts say that you should avoid smoking at all on the day of your donation, opting for a three-hour window is typically acceptable.
What Precautions Should You Take When Smoking Weed After Donating Blood?
Use the same rules as you would when refraining from smoking cigarettes. Avoid smoking weed for at least three hours after donating blood.
However, since giving blood narrows the blood vessels, you may find that smoking that day will lead to a much greater hit than usual. If possible, try to avoid smoking weed at all on the day of your donation.
On the other hand, if you absolutely must smoke after your donation, opt for a low-THC weed strain. You may also want to consider switching to CBD products to enjoy the benefits of marijuana without getting high.
Get Legal Protection – Apply for a Medical Marijuana Card Today!
Can you donate blood if you smoke marijuana? Yes, you can. But whether you are smoking weed legally or illegally, getting the legal protection you require with a medical card always pays.
Become a state-legal patient to access high-potency weed, lower costs, and greater possession limits. Your medical condition could qualify, so find out whether you’re entitled to an MMJ card online from the comfort of your own home.
Schedule your appointment with Green Health Docs for the simplest way to check your eligibility and apply for your medical card in your state today.
This article has been reviewed by Dr. Anand Dugar, an anesthesiologist, pain medicine physician and the founder of Green Health Docs. Graduating from medical school in 2004 and residency in 2008, Dr. Dugar has been a licensed physician for almost 20 years and has been leading the push for medical cannabis nationwide.