An online campaign launched this year called Bud For Blood is partnering with the cannabis industry to raise awareness of the national blood shortage.
The COVID-19 pandemic created a blood shortage, according to the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, in part because people were delaying medical care during the pandemic “and now have more advanced disease.”
Cannabis industry insider Kristen Yoder started Bud for Blood in May and continues his summer campaign until August 15th, his birthday, when he will host a LinkedIn Live here at 2pm PT. Yoder has also set up a GoFundMe page to fund administrative, legal and event costs and is expanding Bud For Blood beyond the summer.
Yoder noted that cannabis use does no disqualify people from donating blood. “I think stoners would be great donors because I don’t have faith in anything, but I do have faith in cannabis users showing up when there’s a need,” he said.
After working in segments of the cannabis industry that touch plants and as an advisor to 12 years, Yoder has most recently called himself “Cynical Stoner,” which he’s turned into a clothing company, and “CannaBS Detector,” which is the name of his podcast. (She is still an advisor in the space, 17 years ago.)
The website for Yoder’s podcast The CannaBS Detector says, “The best decisions are informed decisions, and in an industry as new and hyped up in the media as the cannabis industry, there’s plenty of opportunity for BS to happen, and it’s happening on a significant scale”.
But Yoder said this new campaign has helped curb some of his cynicism. It has up to 54 sponsors, including 12 media partners, in the Bud for Blood project. Forty-three people have donated blood and submitted donation information to Bud for Blood.
“Just being able to call out to people and people seeing what I see and being totally down and down to support me wanting to do this has been really good, really emotional,” Yoder said.
In addition to feeling good about donating blood, Yoder said anyone who donates blood and is interested can take a donation selfie, fill out a donor form to receive a free hemp-made T-shirt. People who donate, take a selfie and fill out the T-shirt form should submit a screenshot of their appointment information (which covers everything but the location, donor name and date of appointment) and a photo of your ID or driver’s license (covering everything except your name and face). She invites donors who participate in LinkedIn Live on August 15 to wear their shirts.
Three Pillars of Sprout for Blood
Yoder says the three pillars of Bud for Blood are to support three groups: veterans, sickle cell disease patients and cancer patients.
veterans US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) medical centers announced a “blood crisis” earlier
2022. The VA encourages people to donate blood, claiming that one donation can save up to three lives.
Bud for Blood is targeting veterans organizations to get more blood donations to the VA, Yoder said. “I see this as a way to bridge the gap between medical cannabis patients who are veterans, to show that medical cannabis allows veterans to come forward in their communities, not the other way around, and maybe that would help them be more calm with medicine. cannabis.”
Patients with sickle cell anemia. Another pillar is sickle cell disease, which disproportionately affects black people, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
“Sickle cell disease … is particularly common among those whose ancestors came from sub-Saharan Africa; Spanish-speaking regions of the Western Hemisphere (South America, the Caribbean and Central America); Saudi Arabia; India; and Mediterranean countries such as Turkey, Greece and Italy,” according to CDC.
The American Red Cross website states about black people with sickle cell disease, in particular, that “It is essential that the blood they receive be as compatible as possible, usually from someone of the same race or similar ethnicity.
Addressing the demographics of cannabis users, Yoder said there are opportunities for black cannabis users to donate blood to address sickle cell disease. “We’re literally the ideal donor pool, we’re younger, more health conscious, more diverse.”
Cancer patients. According to the American Cancer Society website, “whole blood is normally divided into red blood cells, platelets, and plasma.”
“Plasma is usually given to patients who are bleeding because their blood is not clotting as it should, according to cancer.org. “Cancer patients can also receive fresh frozen plasma if they have a problem called (disseminated) DIC. intravascular coagulation).
Addressing platelets, the site states: “Cancer patients may need platelet transfusions if their bone marrow does not make enough. This happens when the bone marrow cells that produce platelets are damaged by chemotherapy or radiation therapy or when cancer cells expel them from the bone marrow.”
Yoder notes that platelets have a shelf life of five days.
“I think a lot of people who get a cancer diagnosis, if they’re not using cannabis before, that’s usually when they’re introduced to cannabis,” Yoder said. “But how cool would it be if cannabis users started donating platelets and plasma to help cancer patients too…?”
Notes from a friend and sponsor
Eric Nomura is a friend of Yoder and a partner in the West Los Angeles-based cannabis delivery service Push, which serves West LA neighborhoods as well as the nearby cities of Beverly Hills and Malibu. The company is a shirt sponsor of the Bud for Blood campaign.
Nomura said he met Yoder in 2015 when he ordered cannabis from the former iteration of Push that began operating in 2012.
“He’s an amazing person … and he has an incredible experience and history in the [cannabis] business, so she’s fun to talk to,” Nomura said. “So we became very fast friends.”
This is Push’s latest philanthropic endeavor. The company, which Nomura says changed its name in late 2019 and carries 30 to 40 cannabis brands, donated to the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank and Heal the Bay in late 2021 and early 2022 The food bank estimated that Push fed 10,000 homeless people through its donations.
Regarding Yoder’s sponsorship of the Bud for Blood campaign, Nomura said, “I’m glad that it brought this opportunity to my table and allowed me to do the things that we want to do. I wish there were more people out there…talking about more positive, philanthropic ideas.”