Does smoking pot cause man boobs?
Gynecomastia, otherwise known as man boobs, is a condition that affects approximately 33% to 41% of men between the ages of 25 and 45. It’s even more common during puberty, affecting 60% of 14-year-old boys.
Interestingly, it also affects 55% to 60% of men aged 50 and older.
Although most cases of gynecomastia resolve spontaneously within a few months to a few years, in 2012 nearly 23,000 people underwent surgery to correct the condition. According to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS), it was the fifth-most common cosmetic surgery in men.
Gynecomastia is caused by a hormone imbalance between testosterone and estrogen. When the ratio between testosterone and estrogen tips in favor of estrogen, the body responds by creating excessive breast tissue. Hence, man boobs.
The legalization of marijuana in some state could make it easier for researchers to determine the exact effects of cannabis use on hormone levels, gynecomastia and other bodily functions.
If a true link between smoking pot and gynecomastia does exist, then we should expect to see a spike in gynecomastia treatments in those states which have legalized marijuana.
Interestingly, according to ASAPS, the number of men undergoing surgery for gynecomastia nationwide rose nearly 30% from 2011 to 2012.
So can smoking pot really give you man boobs?
Probably. Although the association between marijuana and gynecomastia hasn’t been conclusively proven, it appears very plausible.