A friend of mine shared this little tidbit with me while talking via Zoom because of that whole virus thing. Just in case you are reading this in the post apocalypse this was written in the year of our lord, 2021 and we are awaiting the other three horsemen. Anyway, while conversing over the internets he claimed that marijuana can give you a man rack.
At first I thought this was an old wives tale and something your mother would use to scare you into saying no to pot. Similar to that other belief that you can get hairy palms for giving into temptation. I’d like to point out that both of these claims are a little sexist as you never hear about such consequences for females. “Don’t smoke weed or your boobs might get bigger” doesn’t have the same deterrent tone for girls as it does for boys. It all sounds like God’s little joke doesn’t it? Why can’t another body part get bigger for smoking weed?
After a very intellectual discussion about moobs and how they are created I decided to do a little research and find out if there’s anything to this claim.
Are You Sure It’s The Pot?
When one thinks about a man rack there’s two things that come to mind. Meatloaf’s stellar performance in Fight Club and fat guys just being…fat. We all know one of the crazy side effects of marijuana is the munchies. Someone who doesn’t have any self control and goes to the Bulk Barn while blazing will undoubtedly consume a large amount of calories.
That’s not to say that all potheads are fat but there are those who have a different metabolism. If I even think of a cheeseburger I gain 5 pounds while one of my best friends could have a poutine followed by half a carton of ice cream for breakfast and still be a skinny little shit. That’s just genetics. That’s just life.
So are MAN-mories the result of an uncontrollable urge to eat while stoned? Or is there something else going on?
Feelings Don’t Care About Your Facts
Science has stepped in with all its books and school learnings to lend its opinion on whether or not this is fact of fiction. The condition of developing male hooters is called gynecomastia. Every male has the ability to develop this condition based on his hormone levels. Males typically develop testosterone and estrogen but their testosterone levels far outweigh estrogen. When estrogen levels increase a male can start developing breast tissue.
As a male gets older his testosterone levels dip which can give way to estrogen levels being higher. In this case it has been claimed that marijuana is doing that to younger males 18-35. THC blocks the GnRH hormone which is responsible for the other hormones in your body. This is what throws your levels out of whack.
Therefore the only scientific conclusion one can make is if you smoke dope you get man boobs.
Or Is it?
We’ve gone over marijuana myths before and this is starting to sound like one. I may be a captain traveling the high seas of the inter-web but I also equip a bs detector along with a compass…yarrgh.
This whole thing started from a study in 1972 that claimed marijuana use caused gynecomastia. According to Dr. Yuan from CNN the first question a plastic surgeon would ask a patient looking for a breast reduction is if they smoke refer. If you suffer from a hormone imbalance and smoke weed you have to quit the weed. I mean isn’t spotting a male pothead so obvious when they’re walking around with giant knockers?
If I were a plastic surgeon I would be refuting this claim. Imagine a young woman in Los Angeles who has money to burn dropping a few bills for marijuana instead of thousands of dollars for a boob job. Why would any woman get surgery if all they have to do is spark a J and let their girls grow naturally? The answer is, this is all malarkey. We can look at that 1972 study or we can look at another 1977 study that concluded marijuana did not cause gynecomastia in US solders. Why were solders the subject of this experiment? Probably because marijuana was so illegal and scary that only the military could be trusted with such a substance.
Marijuana can affect your testosterone levels. That doesn’t mean you grow boobs. It’s not a foregone conclusion and more studies should of been done for marijuana and if it causes gynecomastia. Unfortunately Richard Nixon declared a war on
minorities drugs and scientific experiments regarding marijuana have been set back decades. We are now just discovering the power of CBD. We are just realizing that it can fight cancer and it could replace anti-biotics which can stop the generation of super bugs. Imagine what we would know now if our parents were not subjected to propaganda against cannabis?
Fact or Fiction?
Nothing is black and white. What’s not true is that it’s a foregone conclusion that marijuana causes it. There are more studies that should be done to answer this query once and for all but we’re not there yet.
It’s similar to the idea that marijuana can cause psychosis. If you are a healthy person who has not been diagnosed with psychosis you will not get psychosis by smoking a joint. If you do suffer from psychosis, marijuana use can trigger an episode. These are two completely different scenarios but you can see how easily the truth is blurred to demonize marijuana and label you as a psycho drug user. This misinformation has been going on for decades and we still have a long way to go before we can stop the myths. Weed has not been legal for one decade yet in North America therefore we have a lot of catching up to do.
If you suffer from this ailment and you do smoke marijuana you’re most likely going to be told to stop if you see a doctor regarding gynecomastia. Listen to your doctor. If they conclude it’s a hormone imbalance stopping marijuana use can only help. But like psychosis perhaps it is exasperating an pre-existing condition?
It’s human nature to be so quick to conclusions that we can miss the solution. Hormone imbalance does happen especially in older men and it can happen pre-maturely. Is that marijuana’s fault? I’m not trying to prove otherwise I’m just posing a question that hasn’t been definitively answered by science yet. Don’t be fooled into thinking the question of whether or not marijuana causes gynecomastia has been answered. It hasn’t.
But it sure sounds like bullshit doesn’t it?