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Can I Donate Blood During Coronavirus If I Have Consumed or Smoked Marijuana?

Keep this in mind if you plan to donate blood during the coronavirus pandemic

 

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Due to the novel coronavirus, which has spread rapidly through multiple countries including the United States, the need for blood and platelet donations from healthy individuals is crucial. The Red Cross is encouraging blood and platelet donors to continue scheduling appointments throughout the crisis — but are people who smoke marijuana eligible to donate?

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As long as you meet the basic requirements — you’re in good health, 16 years or older and weigh at least 110 pounds — you are eligible to donate blood if you used non-synthetic marijuana. Marijuana is a plant that can be used naturally for medicinal and recreational purposes. But synthetic marijuana, also known as “Spice” or “K2,” is a man-made version of the plant that could make you ineligible to donate blood, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The FDA warns that the blood establishment’s responsible physician should decide how to address a donor who presents with a history of synthetic cannabinoid use.

Someone in the U.S. needs blood every two seconds, but less than 38% of the population is eligible to donate. The potential for the coronavirus to spread through blood is currently unknown, but there have been no reported cases of the virus spreading due to blood or platelet transfusions.

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The Red Cross has made it possible for people to donate even in areas that have shelter-in-place declarations. If you’re looking for more ways to give back to your community than just by donating blood, here’s how to send free meals to frontline coronavirus workers as well as other acts of kindness you can do from home.