This 1 Shocking Side Effect of Marijuana Every Man Should Know

Although marijuana is known to have plenty of positive impacts on health, one crazy and even embarrassing side effect may occur, typically in men.

So what is this elusive side effect? It’s gynecomastia, otherwise known as man boobs, or “moobs,” which may (or may not) be blamed for marijuana use. But is pot really to blame? Read on.

1. Gynecomastia symptoms

This can make a man’s chest swollen and tender. | iStock

Gynecomastia symptoms include swollen breast tissue and breast tenderness, according to Mayo Clinic. You may also find a lump behind the nipple, which are typically benign, according to Cancer.org.

Next: How common are man boobs? 

2. Is gynecomastia common?

Teenage boy looking over shoulder by building wall

Gynecomastia tends to affect teenagers. | luminis/iStock/Getty Images

Gynecomastia is commonly found in teenage males, especially during hormonal changes, according to Breast Link. The condition typically affects up to 41% of men between the ages of 25 and 45 and 60% of 14-year-old adolescent boys, CNN reports. Even men aged 50 and older can develop gynecomastia.

Next: How do you get rid of moobs?

3. Does gynecomastia resolve without surgery?

A growing number of men are seeking surgery to correct this. | iStock

Although the majority of gynecomastia cases resolve without surgery, a growing number of men are requesting plastic surgery to correct the condition. Surgery to treat the man boobs rose 36% between 2000 and 2016, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgery. Men in their 20’s report feeling embarrassed about the additional breast tissue and are opting for surgery.

Next: How does gynecomastia occur?

4. What causes gynecomastia?

Prescription medication can bring on these changes too. | Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Gynecomastia is a hormonal imbalance between estrogen and testosterone, according to Mayo Clinic. Causes can be natural changes in puberty and the use of certain medications. Medicines include steroids, some antidepressants, antibiotics, cancer treatment, heart and HIV medications. Alcohol, amphetamines and heroin can also be a culprit.

Next: Health problems that could cause moobs.

5. Health issues that can produce gynecomastia

close-up of a man struggling to button his pants

A number of health issues can cause a man’s breasts to enlarge. | Source: iStock

Certain health issues, which include kidney failure, hypogonadism, hyperthyroidism, liver failure and cirrhosis may cause a man’s breasts to enlarge. Also, starvation and even just normal aging, especially in overweight men, may create gynecomastia.

Next: The pot connection.

6. Connection between marijuana use and gynecomastia

Smoking Marijuana

There’s a potential link between gynecomastia and marijuana.| MrKornFlakes/iStock/Getty Images

Some researchers believe a connection between gynecomastia and marijuana is possible, The Huffington Post reports. But not entirely provable.

“Although the association between marijuana and gynecomastia hasn’t been conclusively proven, it appears very plausible. For this reason, the majority of plastic surgeons I’ve consulted with routinely inquire with their gynecomastia patients about cannabis use and recommend they stop smoking pot immediately,” Dr. Adrian Lo, a plastic surgeon at Pennsylvania Hospital who specializes in breast reduction for men told The Huffington Post.

Next: Call your doctor when …

7. When should you call your doctor

Soldier Being Assessed By Doctor

Call your doctor if you experience any pain of noticeable change. | iStock.com/Highwaystarz-Photography

If you experience swelling, pain, tenderness or nipple discharge, contact your doctor, according to The Mayo Clinic. Of course, not all lumps are benign, so if you experience skin dimpling, nipple retraction, and a lump that may or may not be painful, call your doctor.

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