Learn | 10.03.2022

Does Marijuana Cause Gynecomastia?

A rundown on the relationship between cannabis and gynecomastia. Does smoking weed cause man boobs?

For many of us, puberty was a write-off. From embarrassing school photos to experiencing hormonal and bodily changes, it’s a rollercoaster we all must endure.

In terms of puberty in males, one common condition boys develop is called gynecomastia. It’s most prevalent among teenage boys but also happens to newborns and older males. But what is gynecomastia? Simply put, it’s man boobs.

Oddly enough, recent statements and information have led to a question that many males are wondering, does marijuana cause gynecomastia?

It might seem like a weird correlation, but there’s enough research to bring us to a conclusion on whether or not smoking weed gives you man boobs. Read on for more information about cannabis and gynecomastia.

What Is Gynecomastia?

As mentioned above, gynecomastia (pronounced guy-nuh-koh-MAS-tee-uh) is the development of man boobs.

In scientific terms, it’s the development of breast gland tissue in males brought on by hormonal imbalances between estrogen and testosterone. It’s most common in boys going through puberty but can also happen to newborns and older males depending on their health and various other factors.

Although it’s not a severe health condition, it’s common for men with gynecomastia to feel insecure about their breast tissue growth. Sometimes, the condition only targets one breast, making both sides uneven.

As noted, the condition is mostly caused by a hormonal imbalance. More specifically, a decrease in testosterone and perhaps an increase in estrogen. The great thing about gynecomastia is most cases go away on their own, especially if the individual incorporates habits into their lifestyle that naturally increases testosterone levels, including:

  • Exercise
  • Eating a balanced diet
  • Increasing vitamin D intake
  • Limiting alcohol use
  • Getting good quality sleep

Does Marijuana Cause Gynecomastia?

The short answer is no. In fact, cannabis has nothing to do with it.

It might be interesting to check out this short article on how a Toronto police officer misinformed a group of 100 Catholic school students when he explained how “doobies grow boobies” on boys.

Where did he get that information? Who knows. However, the officer did state true statistics, like how 60% of teenage boys develop gynecomastia. Although that’s true, no evidence proves how cannabis causes gynecomastia in males.

That said, there are some correlations. Ample research has suggested that the active compound in cannabis, THC, can lower testosterone levels. This statement is 100% true, which might explain why some men experience a reduced sex drive or have trouble maintaining an erection after using cannabis.

Because a hormonal imbalance causes gynecomastia, some animal studies have stated a correlation between THC’s ability to lower testosterone and an increased risk of gynecomastia. However, studies on humans fail to make the same correlation.

Simply put, cannabis does not lower your testosterone enough to cause gynecomastia. While it might increase your risk if you already have low testosterone, THC does not have that much of an impact on breast tissue growth.

If you think you may have gynecomastia, we suggest reducing your THC intake until you speak with a doctor about treating the condition. As mentioned, gynecomastia can go away on its own, but medication or surgery is also available.

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Rachel Abela


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Rachel Abela

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