Sunday, May 26, 2024

Can Marijuana Consumers Donate Blood

Blood donations are down, but the need is up. More people are needed to “open up” – but can you if you consume marijuana?

Every five seconds, at least two hospital residents need blood transfusions, Charles Richard Drew, an African-American surgeon and medical researcher helped create them, developing improved techniques for blood storage, and applied his expert knowledge to developing large-scale blood banks early in World War II. Tens of millions of lives have been saved thanks to him. But recently, donations have plunged and lives have been put in jeopardy.  More need to give, but can marijuana consumes donate blood?

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“In the last 20 years, we’ve seen about a 40% decrease in donors overall to the Red Cross,” shared Eric Gehrie, MD, the executive medical director of the American Red Cross. “The earlier that we can connect with someone, and they donate in high school, they typically will become lifelong donors.”

But the percentage of teens and young adults who have donated blood has steadily fallen since 2013, according to the federal National Blood Collection and Utilization Survey.

donate blood
Photo by Nguyễn Hiệp via Unsplash

Eligibility to donate blood is regulated the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This is the same agency considering reclassifying marijuana and acknowledge the cannabis plant has medical benefits.  The FDA is clear cannabis does not disqualify an individual from blood donation, but potential donors cannot give if their use of cannabis impairs their memory or comprehension. It is the same rule for alcohol. Some regional blood centers require you not to be under the influence of alcohol, cannabis, or prescription drugs. Most also require you don’t use aspirin for 2 days prior to giving.

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Consumers of synthetic cannabis are placed on another pedestal. You can not donating blood if you regularly consume synthetic cannabinoids like Spice, also called K2. K2 is an artificial laboratory-discovered marijuana product that has been flagged as being unfit for human consumption.

Donating blood is good deed and worth considering.

 

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