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I Smoke Hella Weed. Can I Still Donate Blood?

Feeling charitable but also really high? Here's why you need to know about giving blood after smoking

In a moment of unadulterated righteousness, you’ve decided to donate blood because 4.5 million Americans need a transfusion each and every year. On your way to the local blood drive, a stop into 7-Eleven (and a mouthful of Cheetos) reminds you of the smoldering joint that was hanging from your lips just a few hours earlier. Your lingering high is immediately replaced with concern, and a question crosses your mind: “Can you donate blood if you smoke weed?”

You’ll be relieved to find out that the answer is, yes, by all means. On their website, the Red Cross, which generates a considerable percentage of blood donations in the U.S., says, “The use of cannabis does not disqualify an individual from blood donation, but potential donors cannot give if their use of cannabis impairs their memory or comprehension.”

In other words, just don’t light up another one when you walk out of 7-Eleven, or else the blood drive staff will turn you away because you’re noticeably zonked. (Being stoned can also increase your blood pressure, which could disqualify you from donating that day.) It’s not only stoners, either — they’d deny anyone who’s visibly under the influence of any substance.

The Red Cross says there’s “no data that specifies how long an individual should wait between cannabis use and blood donation,” but if you want to go in with the cleanest blood possible, you’ll probably have to wait a while: Weed can stay in your system for several months if you’re a regular toker, and even weeks if you don’t smoke all that often. But, again, that doesn’t really matter — you’re still welcome to donate with a little bong juice in your blood. 

Plus, the fact that you can donate blood if you’ve smoked weed is good news for collectors and recipients alike: Nearly half of Americans have tried marijuana, and somewhere around 12 percent smoke regularly, so denying them would be bad news.

If you’re worried about being busted or giving away blood that will sow the seeds of a failed drug test, rest assured: The FDA doesn’t require blood collectors to test donations for THC, which means nobody there will know that you smoke weed, and the Red Cross adamantly claims that recipients of donated stoner blood won’t fail a drug test.
Instead, they’ll just be glad to live another day because a stoner with a mouthful of Cheetos chose to lend them some blood.

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