If you’re taking CBD, you may want to know if that impacts your eligibility for giving blood. The verdict is in, and CBD is a-okay for donating blood! The Red Cross does not disqualify cannabis users from blood donation. Learn more about donation eligibility and how you can help.
Can You Donate Blood While Taking CBD?
Do you know your blood type? No matter whether you’ve got O, A, AB and have the positive marker or not, donating blood is an incredible thing you can do to help those around you. On average, approximately 36,000 units of blood are needed in the U.S. each day. So, if you’re someone who has incorporated CBD into your daily wellness routine, it may beg the question – can you give blood while taking CBD?
Short answer: Y-E-S! Taking CBD, or any cannabis product for that matter, does not preclude you from being eligible to give blood. Just make sure you’re clear-headed when you go into to submit your donation. Thankfully, with CBD, you’re always clear-headed (you can read more about that here).
Why Give Blood?
Did you know you can save up to three lives with a single donation, or about a pint, of blood? And eligible donors can safely donate blood up to 6 times per year, or every eight weeks.
And, according to Bloodworks Northwest, consuming CBD does not impact your blood donor eligibility:
“Cannabis use does not affect a person’s ability to be a blood donor unless they are assessed to be under the influence as determined during the donor screening process. We cannot accept blood from anyone who is intoxicated with alcohol, cannabis, or prescription drugs because of the possibility of an unreliable history and the inability to give consent for the draw. The FDA does not require testing for THC either at registration or during testing for bloodborne pathogens which all donated/collected blood receives. – Bloodworks Northwest
While taking CBD has been given the free and clear for those who want to give blood, the following criteria, unfortunately, can make you ineligible for donating:
Can You Donate Blood If You Use Cannabis?
Below you’ll find answers to the most commonly asked questions about cannabis use and blood donation.
Some key points:
- 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.
- The Red Cross does not test blood donations for the presence of tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, the principle psychoactive component of the cannabis plant.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Q: Does the Red Cross discourage cannabis consumers from donating blood?
A: No. The Red Cross encourages all eligible donors who feel well to make an appointment to give blood by using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS.
Q: Do I need to wait to donate after using cannabis, and if so why?
A: There is no data that specifies how long an individual should wait between cannabis use and blood donation. Please do not present to donate if your use of cannabis is impairing your memory or comprehension.
Q: Doesn’t the Red Cross have to follow guidelines put out by the Drug Enforcement Administration—the same agency that classifies cannabis as a Schedule One drug?
A: Eligibility to donate blood is regulated the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, not the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. The FDA does not require blood collectors to test for THC.
Q: Does the Red Cross ever test blood samples for THC?
Q: What if I consume high-THC-percentage products like waxes or dabs; does that disqualify me?
A: No. Again, we ask that you do not present to donate if your use of cannabis is impairing your memory or comprehension.
Q: I’m a heavy cannabis consumer. Can a transfusion recipient fail a drug test if they receive my blood?
Q: Can I donate blood to the Red Cross if I take prescribed synthetic marijuana (the FDA uses the term “synthetic cannabinoids”) or recreational varieties like K2 and Spice?
A: The FDA does not have universal guidelines regarding synthetic marijuana (a.k.a “synthetic cannabinoid”) and leaves decisions about the acceptability of donations from these users up to local blood centers. This is because they are in the best position to know if disqualifying contaminants have been turning up in their areas.
Whether the synthetic marijuana you take is a prescribed medication or a recreational variety, our best advice is to contact our Red Cross Donor and Client Support Center at 1-866-236-3276.
Q: Do different guidelines apply to cannabis or synthetic marijuana consumers who want to donate platelets or plasma specifically?
A: For a cannabis user donating platelets or plasma, the guidelines are the same as they are for donating whole blood.
For synthetic marijuana users, there are concerns that some varieties of non-prescription synthetic marijuana have been found to contain certain anticoagulants known to contaminate plasma.
Policies about accepting whole blood, platelets or plasma donations from recreational synthetic marijuana consumers are currently set by each local blood center. Those policies vary depending on whether or not contaminants have been turning up in their areas.
If you are a recreational synthetic marijuana consumer who wants to donate plasma, we strongly suggest you contact our Red Cross Donor and Client Support Center at 1-866-236-3276.