Sunday, July 20, 2014

Can You Donate Plasma if You Smoke Marijuana?

In college, I smoked a ton of pot. My absolute bare minimum was 20 J's a week, and at one point I smoked a baggie like this every month:

I couldn't get up in the morning without quick a pick-me-up joint. I couldn't go to bed at night without a puff of sweet, relaxing indicia sativa. By the way, don't let anyone tell you that you can't get addicted to bud - I'm walking proof that you totally can. You can get addicted to anything that makes you feel good.

But anyways, one day a friend told me about the wonders of plasma donation. He said that he only donated 2 hours a week, and scored an extra 60 bucks in spending money.

It sounded like a great gig - my job at TJ Max's only paid the federal minimum wage at the time, which was $4.50 an hour.

So I went to the plasma center per his directions, and got my finger pricked. I listened to the safety video via headphones, answered the health questions, proved my identity and SSN, and I was in.

But when I started donating plasma, that's things went horribly, disastrously wrong. My plasma was too thick, the phlebotemist told me, and my veins were rolling and on the small side.

I was dehydrated, malnourished, and lacking water in my blood. The plasma wouldn't flow, and the machine beeped several times for the assistants to come and restart my plasma. 

When they finally squeezed a few drops of plasma out of me, it looked like this:

Apparently Pepto-Bismol pink isn't a normal color for plasma. Who knew? They told me that blood plasma turns different colors based on what the donor eats, drinks, medicates with...or smokes. Oh crap, I thought. They know.

So my plasma donation finally ended, and I got my first $20 for donating, plus a $50 first-time plasma donor bonus.

They didn't come right out and say that the THC content in my veins turned the plasma pink, but they heavily implied I should stop smoking "my drug of choice," if I ever wanted to donate again.

I've since learned how to get around the weird plasma donation discoloration. I figured out that if I didn't toke up for at least 2 hours before donating plasma, my plasma would be only slightly off-color. If I didn't get high at all that day, the plasma remained a normal, healthy yellow hue.

So, I guess I have plasma to thank for helping me kick my marijuana addiction. I can only donate 2 times a week, but not smoking pot for those 2 days really uncloud clear my head, letting me think clearly for a change.

Plus, the $20+ an hour I get isn't bad, and it's way better than working at TJ Maxx's house of minimum wage.
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