Cannabis Science

Can You Donate Plasma if You Smoke Weed?

plasma donation

You may have heard that donating blood is really important but did you know donating plasma is important too? It’s true, donating plasma can save people’s lives. Plasma refers to the liquid portion of your blood and it accounts for most of it. Plasma can be given to people with burns, trauma, shock, and other life-threatening conditions. Unfortunately, only a small amount of people who can donate plasma actually do. Many people who are adults over 110 pounds are eligible to donate plasma but can you donate plasma if you smoke weed?

Photo: Unsplash

Can you Donate Plasma if You Smoke Weed?


According to the Red Cross, cannabis users can donate blood, plasma, and other blood products like platelets. The donation centers do not test for THC. In addition to that, whoever gets your blood or plasma won’t fail their test if you use weed. That includes weed products with a lot of THC so if you smoked a few dabs from your recycler rig the night before donating, that’s A-ok!

There is just one scenario where a stoner may be turned away from a donation center. That is, if weed is affecting your concentration or memory at the time of giving blood.

Can I Donate Plasma If I Use Synthetic Marijuana?

Maybe. Red Cross made it clear that your ability to donate plasma is dependent on the individual blood center. The organization said, “The FDA does not have universal guidelines regarding synthetic marijuana” and leaves decisions about the acceptability of donations from these users up to local blood centers. The reason for this is that the blood center would know if certain contaminants are present.

You may be wondering why synthetic marijuana could pose a problem.

According to the Red Cross, synthetic marijuana can have anticoagulants that would contaminate the plasma. An anticoagulant is a substance that slows down blood clotting time. Blood thinners are an example of an anticoagulant. This is a problem because plasma is sometimes given to people who have clotting deficiencies. 

According to AABB, there have been reports of synthetic marijuana users ingesting brodifacoum. Brodifacoum is a lethal anticoagulant in rat poison. The users who ingested this chemical had severe cases of bleeding. 

How Long After Smoking Weed Can I Donate Plasma?

The Red Cross said there is no specified period of time to wait between using cannabis and donating blood or plasma. Its only recommendation is that you don’t show up to the blood donation center if weed is impairing your memory or concentration. 

What Can Disqualify You From Donating Plasma?

Now that you know that rolling a blunt won’t disqualify you from donating plasma, what can? According to Healthline, there are a couple of disqualifications you should think about. 

  • Medication If you’re receiving treatment for a medical procedure it’s best to speak to your doctor about whether or not your can donate plasma. This applies to blood transfusions and surgeries too. 
  • Illness – If you’re feeling unwell, have a cough or are using antibiotics you should skip out on donating plasma. In addition to that, certain conditions such as HIV and hepatitis will disqualify you from donating plasma.
  • Travel – Depending on where you’ve gone, you may have picked up on a disease that disqualifies you. For example, Zika virus, a mosquito borne disease, is one of the disqualifying diseases.

For the full list of guidance, check out the Red Cross eligibility requirements. 

Plasma Donations and Tattooos

Tattoos won’t prevent you from giving plasma. According to the Red Cross, if your tattoo parlor is a state-regulated entity using sterile needles and ink that is not reused, you can give blood. The Red Cross says the same stipulations go for both blood and plasma. 

If you’re in one of the states that do not regulate tattoo parlors then wait three months before you donate blood or plasma. 

The states that don’t regulate tattoo parlors are:

  • District of Columbia
  • Georgia
  • Idaho
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • New Hampshire
  • New York
  • Pennsylvania
  • Utah
  • Wyoming

Plasma Donations and Piercings 

If your piercer uses single-use and disposable equipment then you have the green light to donate plasma. However, if your piercing was done with a reusable instrument or if you’re not sure, wait three months. This is to minimize the hepatitis risk. 


If you’re a healthy adult who uses weed and is over 110 pounds, you can donate plasma. If you use synthetic marijuana, it’s best to find out from the individual blood donation center if they’ll accept your plasma. In addition to that, don’t go donate your plasma if weed is impairing your concentration or memory. There is a long list of eligibility requirements so check it out before going. If in doubt, you can contact your doctor and the blood donation center that you plan to go to.


About Trevann

Trevann is Stoner Rotation’s Jamaica-based lead writer for the Science section of our cannabis blog. She graduated with honors receiving her Bachelor of Science degree in Molecular Biology from the University of West Indies, Mona. For the last three years, she has covered some of the biggest questions around cannabis and health underpinned with research from supporting studies, medical journals and scholarly articles. Got something on your mind? You can reach her at [email protected].