What You Need to Know About Plasma Donation and Cannabis Use
According to the American Red Cross, there is a consistent need for nearly 10,000 units of plasma in the United States every day. Blood plasma donations are used in treatments designed to help cancer patients and also provide lifesaving plasma transfusions to individuals with blood clotting disorders. With so much at stake, there are reasons for strict rules and guidelines in place regarding plasma donation requirements, and some people may find themselves ineligible.
The short answer is—Yes, you can. Smoking weed does not immediately disqualify you from becoming a blood or plasma donor as long as you are otherwise healthy and meet all eligibility requirements. If you have questions about the plasma donation process, you might want to contact your local donation center for more information. Alternatively, you can get confidential answers to all your questions surrounding plasma donation and its requirements through the helpful services of DoNotPay.
What is Blood Plasma?
Blood plasma is the liquid component of blood that holds the following elements:
Its purpose is to maintain healthy blood volume and blood pressure while supporting the body's immune system. When separated from the body through the donation process, healthy blood plasma has a light yellow coloring.
Hospitals and blood banks rely on donors to supply plasma for the production of life-saving medicines and therapies. Through a process called plasmapheresis, a donor's blood is drawn and pulled into a high-tech machine that separates and collects the plasma. The red blood cells and platelets are then mixed with saline and returned to the donor's body. The process is relatively safe and takes about an hour from start to finish.
Universal Requirements for Donating Plasma
Want to know what to expect if you're still interested in donating blood plasma? To qualify as a plasma donor, you will have to meet the following plasma donation requirements:
- Plasma donors should be at least 18 years old.
- Provide valid photo ID and proof of permanent address.
- Plasma donors should weigh at least 110 pounds or 50 kilograms.
- Must pass a medical examination.
- Complete an extensive medical history screening.
- Test non-reactive for transmissible viruses including hepatitis and HIV.
What Can Disqualify Someone From Donating Blood Plasma?
Not everyone is eligible to donate blood plasma, so before you spend time and energy attempting to visit a donation center you should make sure you're not ineligible for the whole process. Here's a list of restrictions that may disqualify you from being a plasma donor, according to guidelines set by the Red Cross:
- A piercing or tattoo within the last year.
- Pregnancy or recent childbirth.
- Steroid use.
- Any illness presenting with fever.
- Low iron levels, which may signify anemia.
- HIV or hepatitis infection
- Traveling to a malaria-risk country within the past 3 years.
- Exhibiting obvious effects of marijuana abuse (cognitive impairment).
Although specifics may vary from location to location, be sure to contact your preferred plasma donation center directly if you have any concerns.
Do Plasma Donation Centers Test for THC?
Despite being classified as a Schedule 1 substance by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), cannabis is not targeted for drug testing before plasma donation. That's because eligibility to donate blood is regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and not the DEA. Currently, the FDA does not require blood collectors such as plasma donation centers to test for THC.
Can I Donate Plasma if I Smoke Synthetic Weed?
Synthetic marijuana goes by several names, including K2 and spice. It is a man-made psychoactive substance with a similar chemical make-up to the marijuana plant used for both medicinal and recreational purposes. Most experts agree that donors who smoke synthetic weed or are prescribed drugs like Marinol should not donate blood or plasma. The FDA leaves this decision up to the discretion of the donation center, so you will have to contact your local center regarding their regulations.
How to Donate Plasma on Your Own?
When you're ready to try donating plasma for the first time, make sure you prepare ahead of time by doing your research and ensuring your body is in its best possible condition. Here are some basic steps to follow:
|1. Locate||Take some time to research whether there are accredited plasma donation centers in your area. Try using an online resource like GivingPlasma.org to find a local donation center.|
|2. Schedule||Call your chosen donation location by phone or schedule a visit online. Your first appointment will take the longest as it requires you to provide identification, fill out several forms, complete questionnaires, and pass an extensive health screening.|
|3. Prepare||Before your visit, it's wise to prepare several things ahead of time. First, make sure you are carrying proper identification and any necessary documentation. Keep your body hydrated with plenty of water ahead of time, and avoid consuming caffeine as it can affect your heart rate.|
|4. Visit||Depending on the location you've selected, you may have to wait in line or a waiting room area before being called through the process. DO NOT show up to your appointment visibly intoxicated or impaired by marijuana, either after smoking or taking edibles. Although you won't be tested for THC, any obvious signs of cognitive impairment may disqualify you from donating plasma. It is recommended you avoid smoking weed any time immediately before you plan on donating.|
How to Donate Plasma With the Help of DoNotPay?
There's a lot to learn about blood plasma and the donation process. Got more questions? When you need answers fast about plasma donation—whether it's about how often you can donate or whether you can smoke weed and still donate—you can rely on DoNotPay for a helping hand. We can do the hard work for you like finding and contacting a clinic, and we'll even make sure you get the best possible payout. Follow these instructions to get started with DoNotPay today:
- Search "plasma donations" on DoNotPay and find the nearest donation clinic through our clinical trials product.
- Select the "Contact Now" button to learn more about eligibility criteria, contact the clinic with questions, or sign up for first-time donor bonuses.
- Verify your information and submit your inquiry! DoNotPay will contact the clinic on your behalf and make sure your questions get answered.
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