A couple of us here at UtahMarijuana.org recently ran across an interesting initiative designed to encourage cannabis users to donate blood. The initiative is known as Bud for Blood, and it is being spearheaded by Kristen Yoder, a well-known figure in the cannabis community. We are only sorry we didn’t learn about it earlier. It only runs through July 10, 2022.
Bud for Blood’s message is pretty straightforward: consuming cannabis does not automatically disqualify a person from donating blood. So even as a medical cannabis patient, your blood could prove invaluable to someone else who desperately needs a transfusion.
To incentivize cannabis users to give blood, Bud for Blood is giving away free hemp t-shirts to participants. To get your t-shirt, you need to fill out a form, actually donate blood, and provide a picture showing you doing just that. You can find all the details on the Bud for Blood website.
Yoder launched Bud for Blood when she realized that the U.S. was in the midst of a profound blood shortage. Blood donations have been down since the start of the COVID pandemic. And even though the pandemic is largely over, people are still hesitant about donating.
Apparently, cannabis users are sometimes under the false impression that they are automatically disqualified. Perhaps this is due to the intense demonization of cannabis over the last century. But the people behind Bud for Blood assure cannabis users they have nothing to worry about.
As for the blood donations themselves, interested cannabis users can donate anywhere in their local areas. The American Red Cross usually collects blood at their local facilities five days a week. They are also known to do mobile blood drives. Interested parties can also call their local hospitals to inquire.
It goes without saying that the need for blood donations is great. COVID notwithstanding, blood is something that cannot be stored forever. It has a limited shelf life. Moreover, there are different blood types. At any given time, the national blood supply could be short on a particular type.
The other thing to remember is that synthetic blood is off the table – it doesn’t exist. Ongoing efforts to solve that problem haven’t produced a lot of favorable results over the years. Blood is one of those biological components that can only be produced by human bodies.
Spoilage and a lack of synthetic alternatives create an ongoing need for donated blood. Blood donations make surgical procedures possible. They save lives in the emergency department. When there isn’t a large enough supply of blood available, medical providers need to make difficult decisions about who gets blood and who doesn’t.
As a Medical Cannabis patient, perhaps you can empathize with someone in desperate need of a blood transfusion. A successful transfusion could make the difference between life and death. Would you be willing to donate blood in order to save a life or facilitate a necessary surgery?
Convincing people to donate blood has always been hard. Local blood drives are held because people need to be made aware of the need to remind them to donate. Bud for Blood aims to do much the same thing. The initiative is designed to remind cannabis users that the need for blood is real.
Being a cannabis user does not automatically disqualify you from donating blood. If you are inclined to donate, do so before July 10 in order to get your Bud for Blood t-shirt. Then keep on donating even after the initiative has ended.