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Can You Donate Plasma If You Smoke Weed?

closeup of hand holding a bag of plasma blood dripping

Recent cannabis use may disqualify you from donating plasma, but you will not be disqualified for possessing a medical marijuana card. Cannabis may be detectable on drug tests for up to 90 days, depending on the testing method. If the donation organization requires a cannabis-free drug test and the results are negative for marijuana and THC, you may qualify as a blood plasma donor.

Learn more about the factors that may disqualify you from donating plasma, whether you are a regular cannabis user or not.

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Marijuana Use and Plasma Donation

You can donate plasma if you use marijuana but not if you’ve consumed it recently enough to show up on a drug test—however, not all organizations test for the presence of cannabis and THC in the system. The American Red Cross, for example, does not test for the psychoactive cannabinoid tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). However, the organization asks that you adhere to an honor system and not present yourself for blood donation if you have recently consumed marijuana.  

In addition, the American Red Cross discourages people who have used synthetic marijuana from donating plasma. According to the American Red Cross, synthetic weed may contain anticoagulants that contaminate plasma and make it unsafe for recipients.

What About Blood?

Yes, you can donate blood but not while under marijuana, any other controlled substance, or alcohol. If there is no cannabis detectable in your system or the donation organization does not screen for THC, you may be able to donate blood.

What Can Disqualify You From Donating Plasma?

The following things may disqualify you from donating plasma:

  • Currently taking certain medications like Accutane, Heparin, and even penicillin. These medications may pose a health risk to the recipient of your plasma. At the plasma donation site, be prepared to submit a full list of the medications you are currently taking.
  • Have or have had tuberculosis.
  • Diagnosed with certain types of cancer.
  • Being anemic or having low blood iron levels for other reasons.
  • Having contracted malaria in the past three years.
  • Having high blood pressure or low blood pressure.
  • Weighing less than 110 pounds.
  • Being less than 18 years of age.
  • Recent surgery.

Note that the above is a partial list of reasons you may be disqualified from donating plasma. Check with the organization you wish to donate to for a complete list of their qualifications.

The Bottom Line

Marijuana users in good health may be qualified to donate plasma and blood if cannabis is not detectable on a drug test. Blood banks may disqualify you from plasma donation if you have certain medical conditions or have recently used cannabis. Potential donors should check with their local blood donation center to see if they qualify.

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