Donating blood has never been more important than it is right now, in the undreamed-of time of Covid-19. People may be less inclined to give blood due to social distancing or concerns about acquiring the virus, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), but blood donations are still essential in saving millions of lives each year.
Dr. Melanie Bone, a board-certified OB-GYN and cannabis specialist in West Palm Beach, Florida, stressed the value of donating blood during the pandemic, stating, “During this time of Covid, donating blood and plasma is an excellent, free way to give back to your community.”
The plasma donation process is not only beneficial to the individual who receives it; it may also be used by others. Plasma donations, in particular, may help individuals who have recovered from Covid-19 assist others. Individuals with previously positive Covid-19 virus convalescent plasma might aid in the treatment of people presently battling the novel coronavirus.
Are cannabis users prohibited from giving blood?
While some cannabis users may believe they are unable to give blood, Dr. Bone stated, “According to the Red Cross, using marijuana does not immediately disqualify a person as a blood donor.”
High amounts of THC, the primary psychoactive cannabinoid in cannabis, may temporarily affect your cognitive processes. If you’ve smoked a high-THC strain like The Toad or Amnesia Haze recently, you might not be able to give blood due to these effects.
On the other hand, If you smoked a high-CBD strain like Ringo’s Gift or Cannatonic recently, THC levels are likely to be lower and won’t cause cognitive impairment.
Do blood banks test for THC?
Blood banks do not generally test for THC, regardless of the amounts in your desired strains. As Dr. Bone said, “It goes without saying that you cannot be high while you donate. Currently there is no rapid THC test done to be certain that you have nothing in your system.”
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not ask blood donation centers to test for THC, as stated by the Red Cross. As long as you are not high at the time of your blood donation appointment, THC in your body should not automatically disqualify you. THC’s psychoactive effects, on the other hand, could be a deal-breaker.
Factors that prevent someone from donating blood
Synthetic marijuana users, for example, are not allowed to give blood because the drug is thought to reduce the risk of infection. “If you use synthetic marijuana, either as K2 or Spice, or as a prescription medication such as Marinol, you cannot donate blood,” Dr. Bone emphasized.
Other restrictions for blood donors, according to Red Cross standards, include:
- Steroid use
- Any illness presenting with fever
- Traveling to a malaria-risk country within the past 3 years
- A piercing or tattoo within the last year
- HIV or hepatitis infection
- Pregnancy or recent childbirth
- Weighing less than 110 pounds
- Low iron levels, which may signify anemia
Other requirements for donating blood
Whole blood donors must wait at least 56 days between donations. Whole blood donors must be at least 16 years old and in excellent general health. Convalescent plasma donators must be at least 17 years old and completely recovered from Covid-19 before signing up to give.
How you can help if you’re unable to donate blood?
If you can’t give blood or plasma for any cause, it doesn’t mean you can’t make a difference during Covid-19. Blood drives are more important than ever before, so take advantage of the opportunity to organize a blood drive if you have access to a big open area and the ability to enlist competent donors.
You may also run an online campaign for virtual blood drive through the American Red Cross’s SleevesUp program. You can reach out to family and friends across the nation by leveraging the power of social media. Choose whether to dedicate your campaign to someone else’s memory or ask for blood donations instead of birthday or wedding presents.
Donating blood is not prohibited to cannabis users, but you should be aware of blood donor criteria before making an appointment. Before deciding to give blood, contact your local blood donation center and talk with your doctor about any questions you may have.