Blood transfusions are more common than you might believe. Therefore, the demand for blood is way too high. According to the American Red Cross, nearly 10,000 units of plasma are required in the United States every day. Moreover, a survey revealed that a US citizen requires a blood transfusion every two seconds. Thus, on average, 4.5 million US citizens need blood every year.
This is an alarming situation, and it is our responsibility as humans to donate to the cause as much as possible. If you are a cannabis user, you must be thinking, “Can you donate plasma if you smoke marijuana?” the short answer to the question is Yes. Legally you are allowed to donate plasma even if you smoke marijuana.
Can You Donate Blood if You Smoke Marijuana?
Whether you decide to donate blood or just plasma, smoking marijuana does not contribute to disqualification.
As long as you are a healthy individual who falls into the eligibility criteria, cannabis does not interfere with donating blood and plasma.
There are, however, some specifications that you need to consider before donation.
Before we get into the specifications of donating blood for cannabis users, let us look at what plasma is and why we need it.
This will help you understand why even a small amount of blood donation is crucial to saving lives.
What Is Blood Plasma?
Blood Plasma is the yellowish liquid part of the blood. It comprises salt, water, antibodies, and proteins. The primary function of blood plasma is to regulate healthy blood volume in the body. It also plays a vital role in supporting the immune system since it is packed with antibodies. It also distributes nutrients and hormones throughout the body.
The beneficial thing about donating blood plasma is that it is way easier than donating blood. Rather than taking an entire unit, plasma donation centers can extract a portion of plasma from your blood. This not only helps the person in need but saves you the hassle.
The procedure for drawing blood plasma is pretty quick and straightforward. A high-technology machine is connected to the arm of the donor. The device collects blood, separates the plasma, and returns the rest of the blood and its components to the arm. Normal Saline is also injected into the body through this apparatus.
After the collection, the donation centers freeze the plasma to preserve its components. This way, you can preserve frozen plasma for up to a year. The plasma is thawed and used per the patient’s need whenever needed.
Why Is Plasma Donation Important?
Plasma extracted from the blood of a healthy individual is of immense medical importance. The specialists use it to treat immunodeficiencies and hemophilia. Plasma is also helpful for treating certain genetic disorders and numerous other medical conditions. Although blood plasma is not a complete cure for diseases, it helps manage the symptoms and lessen the intensity of the disease.
Additionally, medical specialists use plasma components to treat patients with burns and trauma. It also helps in clotting the blood. Individuals with fatal ailments such as cancer need plasms transfusions to manage the severity of the disease. Moreover, patients undergoing surgeries or transplants such as bone marrow or liver require plasma transfusion to counter sepsis.
The most crucial use of plasma is for hemophilia. It is a rare blood disorder in which an individual’s blood does not have enough clotting factors. When a person sustains an injury, it becomes challenging to stop the bleeding.
Universal Eligibility Criteria for Blood Donation
As we mentioned before, there are some requirements that you need to fulfil to be eligible to donate plasma. The requirements can differ depending on the area you live in. However, some universal conditions apply everywhere. You must be 18+ years of age and weigh more than 50 kgs (110 lbs.) for plasma donation.
Moreover, you need to pass an extensive examination that requires medical history. Additionally, you must be non-reactive to viruses such as Hepatitis and HIV. Since these viruses are highly transmissible and detrimental, they can be fatal for a person facing immune deficiencies.
Precaution for Cannabis Users
The information mentioned above establishes that it is safe for cannabis users to donate plasma. However, there are specific precautionary measures that you must keep in mind before donating plasma. You should refrain from smoking cannabis at least 24 hours before donating the plasma. This will remove leftover active THC from your body.
In addition to that, it is better if you avoid edible cannabis. The reason is that edibles take much longer to exit your system. Therefore, THC takes more time to leave blood plasma. More importantly, you must not smoke cannabis before you donate plasma. You will immediately be disqualified if you are high. This is because donating plasma in such a state can lower your blood pressure, creating complications.
What Disqualifies You From Donating Plasma?
Donating the plasma is not the only important step in the process. If you genuinely care about people and want to donate blood and plasma, you must qualify for the eligibility criteria.
Following are some restrictions that may prevent you from donating blood or plasma.
If you got a piercing or a tattoo within a year, you should not go to the center to donate plasma.
Additionally, pregnant and recent mothers and steroid users are ineligible to donate plasma.
Moreover, steroid use or infections such as HIV and hepatitis deem a person ineligible for donating plasma. Even if you have an illness with fever, you can not donate plasma.
Low levels of iron in the blood indicate anemia. Therefore, people who might have anemia should refrain from donating plasma.
Last but not least, if you have travelled to a country at risk of malaria in three years, you cannot donate plasma. These are just some of the restrictions that prevent you from donating plasma. You can always reach out to professionals for more information.
The number of people in need of plasma is uncountable. Therefore, if you are a healthy adult, you should not shy away from donating plasma. It helps people in need and gives you a sense of accomplishment. There is no more incredible feeling than being able to help people.
However, plasma donation is something you should not take lightly. It is a sensitive matter that can result in fatalities if not treated lightly. Therefore, you should always do thorough research about the process before going in. This will help prevent you and the donor from uncalled-for inconveniences.