Attention Pot Smokers: You May Be Growing Man Boobs
K. Mathews on 21 Jun 2011 at 11:00am
It's a rumor that's spread wider than a D-cup: recreational pot smoking may lead to enlarged male breast tissue. But is it true? Do doobies really increase men's boobies?
According to the Mayo Clinic, as well as several RealSelf doctors, it's true. They hold marijuana responsible for some cases of male bosoms. The theory is that frequent marijuana usage cuts down on testosterone in the body, thus allowing breast tissue to develop. However, more recent studies have not replicated the findings of previous research in this area. Some allege that the reported association is misdirection from anti-drug propagandists. The jury is still out on whether their paranoia is justified or just the result of smoking weed.
Excessive male breast tissue, also known as gynecomastia, can be attributed to a number of factors. In addition to marijuana, Bay Area plastic surgeon Dr. Miguel Delgado, Jr. lists liver disease, medications, testicular tumors, thyroid issues, and lingering adolescent fat tissue among the causes of gynecomastia. While female breast reduction surgery is widely accepted, many might be surprised to learn that male breast reduction procedures are fairly common as well, particularly among men who want to attract breasts rather than have their own.
"It seems likely that marijuana smoking increases the chances to develop gynecomastia for those people that have an inclination to develop male breasts," said the gynecomastia expert, Dr. Mordcai Blau, via e-mail. "In other words, it is seen more commonly in [marijuana] smokers, but not every [marijunana] smoker develops Gynecomastia."
Considering the number of potential causes of gynecomastia, your best bet is to consult a doctor to identify the source of the problem. While the solution may be to lay off the marijuana, it could also be to diet, exercise, or switch prescribed medications. Even if the problem is deemed genetic, at least there is a surgical solution. It seems the majority of men are glad they opted for the surgery rather than purchasing braziers: two-thirds of RealSelf members declared male breast reduction "Worth It".
Photo credit: Torben Bjorn Hansen on flickr