Does Marijuana Use Prevent You From Giving Blood?
Society’s opinion on cannabis and its users has changed dramatically in recent years, forcing policy makers to take the subject seriously and pass legislation advocating for medical marijuana programs.
There has been tremendous progress in the last decade alone toward the legalization of marijuana all together. However, since cannabis is still considered a schedule I substance under law, it’s completely valid to wonder if marijuana use–medical or recreational–would prevent someone from donating blood.
The good news is cannabis use for any reason will not interfere if you would like to donate blood. The only thing cannabis-related that could prevent blood donation is if you are noticeably impaired at the time of your donation.
According to the American Red Cross, “While the Red Cross does not encourage the use of controlled substances, marijuana or alcohol use does not necessarily disqualify you from giving blood as long as you are feeling well.”
What Would Disqualify You From Giving Blood?
Although marijuana-use does not automatically disqualify you from blood donation, there are other things that will. The American Red Cross has set clear guidelines and requirements for blood donation.
Here is a list of things that will disqualify you from blood donation:
-If you have ever injected an illegal drug, you may not ever give blood
-You cannot have any type of blood-borne virus
-Certain cancers or history of cancers may disqualify you
-If you have had a blood transfusion in the last 3 months, you cannot donate
-You cannot be pregnant or nursing
-You cannot be ill or have low iron
-You cannot be on antibiotics
Tobacco and Nicotine Use
Tobacco or nicotine product use do not necessarily disqualify you from donating blood, but you should refrain from using these products in the hours leading up to your donation appointment.
The Bottom Line
Marijuana users can donate blood with no problem as long as they are not impaired in any way at the time of their donation. It is a good idea to refrain from any drug use for a few hours before your donation appointment.
Some things will get in the way of your donation including blood borne illness, being pregnant or nursing, and certain cancers.
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