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Does Marijuana Make Men Grow Breasts?

Q. I just read that smoking pot makes men’s breasts grow, and I’m skeptical. How was this effect discovered? Does it happen to users of Marinol, the drug derived from marijuana?

I’ve worked in the music industry for ten years and have probably met thousands of people who are daily users, but no men with boobs. I’m sure that if this were a real issue, the users themselves would be talking about it.

Once in grade school a teacher told me that I’d grow boobs and wouldn’t go through puberty well if I smoked pot. It didn’t stop me at all and I’ve managed to get this far in life with better than average health and no boobs.

A. Few researchers have examined the link between marijuana and hormone levels, and the results of their studies are inconsistent. The idea that smoking marijuana could be linked to breast enlargement in boys apparently originated with several anecdotes reported in the medical literature.

A number of prescription drugs can trigger breast enlargement in men, but Marinol does not appear to produce this side effect (called gynecomastia). Marinol is prescribed to control nausea associated with chemotherapy or to stimulate appetite in AIDS patients.

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About the Author
Joe Graedon is a pharmacologist who has dedicated his career to making drug information understandable to consumers. His best-selling book, The People’s Pharmacy, was published in 1976 and led to a syndicated newspaper column, syndicated public radio show and web site. In 2006, Long Island University awarded him an honorary doctorate as “one of the country's leading drug experts for the consumer.”.
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