The American Red Cross stated that every person who donates their blood at least once can save up to three people. So if you want to do a good deed, donating your blood is a great way! However, recently I just got an interesting question from a friend: can you donate blood if you smoke weed?
With the legalization of marijuana or weed in some states, there are more and more people that start to smoke this substance. However, this raises concern because many people still associate marijuana with a horrible substance, similar to meth etc.
Can You Give Blood if You’ve Smoked Weed Recently
Fortunately, the American Red Cross has posted an official guide about this. In their official website, the American Red Cross states that “marijuana or alcohol use does not necessarily disqualify you from giving blood as long as you are feeling well.” What does this mean? It basically means that people who smoke weed are allowed to donate, as long as they are in a perfectly sober state while they do.
The Controversy, the Myth, and the Fact
Some might argue that it’s not ethical to donate blood if you are a weed smoker. The basis of this opinion is the fact that smoking weed will result in the presence of THC –a psychoactive substance– in your bloodstream, which is basically the main active ingredient in a marijuana that makes you high. Almost all of the blood-donating centers do not check for this substance, hence there’s a chance that a recipient will get a blood with THC and then get high (which in some cases might result in a worse condition). Or, if the Red Cross staff reject, you can simply argue that a person with high cholesterol is actually worse than a person with THC.
However, we need to understand how our body handles this THC substance. Your liver metabolizes the THC in the bloodstream by changing it into a non-psychoactive substance. One can make a conclusion that the body will eventually filter the THC. Once the THC is removed from the bloodstream, a person will get sober up. Therefore, the donated blood from somebody who had been smoking weed is still acceptable because it doesn’t harm the recipient. In other words, it can be concluded that you should be fine donating blood AFTER you are sober.
How Long Do I Have to Wait before I can Donate Blood?
We’ve said earlier that you should wait until you’re sober before you donate blood. The question is: how long? There are several opinions on this matter. Some physician says that you should wait one day after you smoke weed, while some other are saying that you can donate in just after four hours after sipping that marijuana.
Everyone’s different, so it really depends on how your body handles the weed and how much weed you consume. However, just for a safety reason, I tend to agree with the first opinion, which means you should wait for at least 24 hours before you donate your blood.
It is also important to remember that even though the Red Cross has released an official statement about this, each of the blood donation centers might have a slightly different approach. Some might be more tolerable than others, while some other might say that your donation will not be qualified because you still reek of marijuana.
My suggestion is to not to be offended and understand that the staff that rejects your donation simply want the best for the recipient. Please come back after you’re completely sober up (perhaps the next day?) and donate your blood. Trust me, many fellow human beings need these donated blood.
So the short answer to the question: can you donate blood after smoking weed? YES, you can! In some cases, even those who smoke weed three times a week can donate!