Blood plasma donation is vital for procedures and therapies. The process involves donation of blood from which the plasma is extracted. This makes plasma donation similar to blood donation for all practical purposes. In the US, a total of 10,000 units of plasma are required every single day. Statistics reveal that 37% of all Americans are eligible to donate, while effectively less than 10% come forward to donate blood. If you happen to smoke weed, and intend to donate blood, you are most likely to ask yourself this question – can you donate plasma if you smoke weed? Well, here is the full answer to help you make the right decision.

What is blood plasma and can you donate plasma if you smoke weed?

Before we look at answering the question – can you donate plasma if you smoke weed? – It is necessary to understand a little about blood plasma. To put it in as few words as possible – plasma is a component of the blood after removal of WBC, RBC and platelets. It comprises 90% water and is considered as the transporting medium which helps the body fight disease.

This brings us to the subject of discussion – can you donate plasma if you smoke weed? If you are a smoker of weed and are inspired to donate plasma, you’ve got good news. You can donate plasma. That is the straight answer to the question. However, there are various factors that need to be considered, which makes it necessary to give a detailed explanation about the answer.

Are there any separate tests conducted to check if the donor smokes weed?

No separate tests are conducted to check if the donor smokes weed. However, if necessary tests are conducted, it is possible to determine if a person smokes weed, even upto 3 months from the last time he/she has smoked weed. The answer to the question – can you donate plasma if you smoke weed – is best answered by the fact that no separate tests are conducted to determine if the individual smokes weed.

What are the routine tests conducted before/after a person has donat4ed blood?

During or after the donation of blood certain tests are carried out to determine the suitability. For instance, an individual who is fully intoxicated is not permitted to donate blood. Which means that if you are a smoker of weed, you are permitted to donate blood, but you will not be permitted if you are not in control of your senses. The routine tests that are conducted include – testing for HIV, hepatitis, syphilis, HTLV (human T-cell lymphotropic virus) etc.

Various conditions under which an individual is not permitted to donate blood/plasma

There are various conditions under which an individual is not permitted to donate blood or plasma. For instance, individuals who have just returned from certain locations in the world are not permitted to donate blood. Similarly, individuals with diseases that are result of smoking are not permitted to donate. Individuals with a history of heart disease, lung disease, high blood pressure or diagnosed as having cancer are not eligible. Therefore, while you are permitted to donate blood plasma even if you smoke weed, you cannot donate if your smoking has caused any of these conditions.

In other words, it means that wherever smoking has been the cause of certain conditions, it automatically disqualifies the individual from donating blood. Therefore, while a weed smoker can technically donate blood, conditions as a result of smoking preclude him/her from donating.

The common conditions that make an individual ineligible for donating blood plasma includes – pregnancy/recent childbirth, Ebola virus, use/abuse of steroids, injection drugs, recent organ/blood transfusion, blood cancer, and haemophilia (blood clotting disease) among others. In certain locations, individuals who have received anti-rabies vaccine after a dog bite are also not permitted to donate blood/plasma.

What weed smokers need to do if blood donation is intended?

As mentioned above, if you are a weed smoker, the answer to the question – can you donate plasma if you smoke weed – is Yes. However, there are a few precautions that you need to take to ensure that your blood donation is an act of responsibility. Do not smoke weed for one full day before you donate blood plasma. Smoking increases blood pressure and this may not permit you to donate. Similarly, you need to be prepared to stay away from weed smoking for some time after you donate blood plasma. This is necessary because after you have donated plasma, there is a possibility of experiencing fatigue or dehydration.

Simple side effects of blood plasma donation

While side effects are not serious in nature, it may aggravate if your blood pressure increases as a result of smoking. Loss of some of the important nutrients in the body during plasma donation can cause donors to experience weaknesses. It is therefore important to reduce side effects as far as possible, by not smoking or involving in actions that may aggravate the condition. The intensity of side effects differ from person to person – some may not experience any side effects at all, while others may experience some side effects.

Best practices to be followed before blood plasma donation

It is advised to consume as much water as is possible before donating blood plasma. As plasma is 90% water, you are likely to feel dehydrated and tired. Consuming a lot of water will help you to prevent feeling tired or dehydrated. Stay away from alcohol and do not smoke. This includes the need to stay away from weed for one day prior to donation. This is a responsible way of ensuring that the blood donation goes on smoothly. Imagine turning up at the blood bank in a condition that makes you ineligible. The purpose of donating blood to help an individual will get ruined. It is therefore important to practice some self discipline before you donate blood plasma. Coming back to the question – can you donate plasma if you smoke weed – yes, you can, but only if you prepare yourself accordingly.

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