Many in the cannabis community have shown a formidable dedication to social causes. From previous cannabis conviction expungements to compassionate cannabis donations to patients in need, when there is a social issue that needs support, we show up. The first-of-its-kind national blood shortage 2022 crisis is no different.
Earlier this year The American Red Cross declared a crisis-level blood shortage that has forced physicians to delay critical blood transfusions to those in need. You’re probably wondering what that has to do with cannabis. Let us introduce you to Bud for Blood, an awareness initiative and social media campaign created to address the 2022 national blood shortage.
What is Bud for Blood?
Bud for Blood is a cannabis industry awareness initiative addressing the critical blood shortage in the U.S. Created by entrepreneur Kristen Yoder, this online education campaign is rallying those in the cannabis industry to encourage customers and stakeholders throughout the community to donate blood.
Partnering with cannabis businesses and media outlets to spread awareness about the impact giving blood can have on saving lives, Bud for Blood is giving the first 100 people who submit a donor selfie or other proof of blood donation a free “Team #BudforBlood” hemp t-shirt via the initiative’s website.
Who is the Brain Behind Bud for Blood?
Kristen Yoder is a cannabis industry veteran, host of Cynical Stoner podcast and was named as one of the 40 under 40 Rising Stars in Cannabis by Marijuana Venture magazine. Known as the “BS Detector” in cannabis, Kristen Yoder has fused her cynicism with advocacy.
Beginning her cannabis career back in 2005 as a buyer for a medical marijuana dispensary, Kristen went on to learn cultivation, supply chain and product development. Kristen has been around long enough to know that from patients to industry folks, there is a unique and unmatched dedication of cannabis people.
“Once I learned that cannabis has no impact on blood donor eligibility it struck me: stoners would make excellent donors for several reasons! Studies show the majority of cannabis consumers are younger, more health conscious than non consumers and more diverse. Essentially, cannabis consumers are the ideal donor pool, and we are EVERYWHERE,” Kristen shared with CannaCon.
Why Blood Matters Now More Than Ever
Since COVID-19 changed the health of the world, there has been a jarring decline in blood donations. This shortage has caused an avalanche throughout the medical community. For many patients with life-threatening illnesses like cancer, kidney disease, liver disease, severe infection and more, having access to blood is critical to their survival.
“Honestly, I feel like I discovered a life raft in a turbulent sea of chaos, and I’m trying to save as many people as I can from feeling depressed and like they have no control, because donating blood has given me a new lease on life, and I never thought it was possible”, Kristen shared.
She went on to share: “There are two major issues at hand: due to the pandemic, tens of thousands of blood drives were canceled; the other issue is we have an aging donor population that is aging out or passing away, and younger generations don’t donate blood like boomers do, due to their learning to donate during war times.”
How Often Can You Donate Blood
It’s common to wonder how you can help, and, in this case, how often can you donate blood? According to UCLA MEdical Center, you can donate blood every 56 days (or two months). This means that you can donate blood roughly six times per year.
Donating blood has so many benefits. You feel great knowing you’re helping save lives, you get free snacks, you can feel good knowing you’re being proactive in your community. Kristen has so much love for every one that participates.
“It’s like I found a magnet to attract the best of the best people in cannabis.”
For more information on the national blood shortage 2022, or where you can give blood today, check out the Red Cross.
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Photos courtesy of Kristen Yoder & Bud for Blood.