Does Marijuana Cause Gynecomastia?
Can smoking weed really cause man boobs?Before we can dive into the topic of your smoking habits and if marijuana causes gynecomastia, we need to take a closer look at how excess male breast tissue develops.
What is Gynecomastia?Gynecomastia is better known by the slang terms "man boobs," "bitch tits" and "moobs." It can be a damper on social interactions and negatively effect your self-confidence. There are plenty of reasons that men of any age might be dealing with enlarged breasts, but one possible cause that has sparked a lot of interest and controversy recently is smoking weed.
The Main Cause of Man BoobsEnlarged breast tissue in men usually happens because of a hormonal imbalance. It can occasionally be inherited, but the most common cause is a decrease in testosterone levels. Both men and women have base levels of testosterone and estrogen in their bodies. Men have more testosterone, and women have more estrogen, and this accounts for many of their biological differences. Anything that causes testosterone levels in men to drop will have a cascading effect on the rest of their hormones. Less testosterone naturally leads to more estrogen activity, and this is often the cause of swollen breast tissue in men. If your testoterone levels have decreased, you might be experiencing embarrassing issues like puffy nipple appearance, defined boobs or abnormally large areola rings.
What Does This Have to Do With Marijuana?
Marijuana is a complicated topic even in places where it's completely legal to consume. There is a lot that we do know about it. However, there is also a lot that scientists and experts don't know for certain. There have been plenty of scientific studies on how the active compound in cannabis, tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, affects animals such as mice. In these studies, there are widespread effects on their bodies and hormone profiles. These effects included lower fertility levels, decreased testosterone, lowered sperm count, smaller testicles and lower libido. The studies that are focused on human participants don't show the same clear effects. However, they do show that there could be cause for concern. Across multiple studies, researchers have noticed that chronic pot smokers tend to have much lower testosterone levels as well as much lower levels of the hormone that triggers testosterone production. However, it is worth noting that there is some inconsistency in these findings. Some scientists think that users who develop a tolerance to THC are affected differently. However, according to others, gynecomastia could be linked to some of the non-active components of cannabis smoke.
Does this mean I have to stop smoking?Ultimately, there is not any solid evidence yet that smoking marijuana causes gynecomastia. Smoking is a personal choice, and there can be plenty of benefits to it. Like any drug, there are positives and negatives that you will have to take into consideration. If you're worried that there might be a link between your smoking habits and your appearance, consult your doctor. He or she can perform simple tests to let you know if your testosterone levels need to be increased. Additionally, they can give you other recommendations about how to fix your man boob problem.
What can I do about my appearance right now?Dealing with enlarged breast tissue can be hard, and it even leads some men to change their lifestyles because they don't want to be ridiculed for their "bitch tits." You should not feel like you need to change how you live your life. Most of the men who deal with this problem can take steps to resolve it over time. There are a few small things you can do that will make a big difference in how you look and feel. One of the easiest ways to regain your confidence is to invest in a couple of nipple cover sets. These can help to hide the appearance of puffy nipples underneath t-shirts or workout gear. If you have more defined boobs or a painful, swollen nipple problem, a compression shirt or gynecomastia specific t-shirt is usually the best way to go. These are designed to be worn as undershirts. Compression shirts are especially helpful for men who wear form-fitting dress shirts or who are used to wearing more fitted clothing.
The Final Verdict on if Marijuana Causes GynecomastiaIs smoking weed going to cause you to grow boobs? Right now, the best that scientists and doctors can say is "probably not." In spite of this answer, you should keep in mind that they don't know for sure how the compounds in marijuana can affect your body long-term. Make sure that you're always honest with your doctor about how much you smoke and any health issues that you're experiencing so that you can stay in the best possible health.