Can You Donate Plasma If You Smoke Weed?

Donating plasma is an individual choice that is often made out of one of these two reasons: a desire to help others by providing vital and under-sourced medical fluids, or a desire to be compensated for this donation. In either case, the recipients of plasma can continue their medical therapy. A common question we hear is, can you donate plasma if you smoke weed? Let's take a closer look together.

Who Qualifies To Donate Plasma

In Canada, all individuals 17 years of age and older are able to donate plasma. If you are between the ages of 17-23 there are specific height and weight requirements for first-time donors. Many profile factors can disqualify you from donating plasma, such as having an infection (antibiotics), certain medical diagnoses (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Hepatitis B), and geographic deferrals (disqualified based on living in a certain location). These rules are changing to allow more individuals to participate in plasma donation.

Cannabis Users

Cannabis does not disqualify individuals from donating plasma in Canada. However, cannabis intoxication (like alcohol intoxication) will disqualify an individual from donating as they are considered to lack the capacity to consent. The previous 12-hour waiting period after use has been scrapped in favour of in-person screening. Therefore, using any form of cannabis in your past does not disqualify you.

Why Is Cannabis Use Not Disqualified?

The THC in cannabis is the substance that provides the “high”. THC quickly binds to fats and is moved to the brain, thus does not pass on to the recipient of the plasma. Also, a potential added benefit for the donor is that with less blood, the same amount of marijuana can get you higher post extraction. Of course, it is best to take it slow to avoid smoking too much and experiencing adverse effects.

Benefits Of Donating Plasma

Moreover, one of the benefits that most overlook in donating plasma is testing. All blood products are vigorously tested, and donors will be informed of their status if any infectious agents are found. Most collection sites also provide an average payment of $50 per extraction. Collection sites have limits on how much and how often a donor can donate plasma. This relates to both the donor's health, as well as the increased extraction time that compounds the more often extractions are performed.  

Side Effects of Donating Plasma

Overall, donating plasma is a safe experience for most individuals. Professional extraction sites will use sterile instruments and environments. According to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, “for most people, donating plasma does not cause any side effects, but some donors can experience fatigue, bruising, bleeding, or dehydration.” Nevertherless, they do note that serious infections or reactions can occur after donating, but are rare. For these minor side effects, food, water and rest are indicated. If more serious complications arise, seek medical attention.

Time to Get Informed

In Canada, you can donate plasma as a cannabis user as long as you are sober at the time of donation. For plasma donation, the side effects are generally minor overall. Compensation is available for plasma donation; however, due to the amount of time necessary between extractions, it should not be considered a reliable revenue stream. If you are looking for more information about the connection between cannabis and health, head to the Parkdale Brass blog! For more cannabis education, hop on over to our Instagram! Remember to visit The Parkdale Brass shop to peruse our current offerings.



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