Does smoking pot cause man boobs?

Many plastic surgeons tell men with gynecomastia, or "man boobs," to stop smoking pot.

Story highlights

  • "Man boobs" result from a hormone imbalance between estrogen and testosterone
  • Animal studies have shown marijuana ingredients can affect testosterone
  • A link between the condition and marijuana use appears plausible
A young man in his 20s -- let's call him George -- sits across from me in the exam room.
"Dr. Youn," he says, "I have man boobs."
I notice a not-so-unfamiliar smell wafting from his body. It's the same odor that floated my way during a rock concert I recently attended.
"How long have you had a problem with this, George?"
"Hard to say. But it seems to have gotten worse over the past year or so."
"George, the first thing you need to do is stop smoking pot. Marijuana could be causing your man boobs."
Gynecomastia, otherwise known as man boobs (or moobs for short), 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.
Dr. Anthony Youn