“Do Doobies Make Boobies?” The Mainstream Media Wants You To Think So

AlterNet – by Paul Armentano

The mainstream media is in a frenzy over claims that marijuana smoking is causing an epidemic of ‘man boobs’ (a relatively common condition known scientifically as gynecomastia).

The incredulous claim first got legs in late November when Philadelphia Inquirer reporter Melissa Dribben posed the question, “Do doobies make boobies?” Responding to her inquiry, area plastic surgeon Adrian Lo admitted that data on the subject is scarce. But he nonetheless argued, “[I]n my experience, it’s very simple. If you’re a guy and you’re worried about gynecomastia, you shouldn’t smoke pot because there’s a link.” To which Robert X. Murphy Jr., president of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, added, “That is the prevailing opinion.”  

Their unsubstantiated opinions were enough to get the conventional media in a tizzy. Time.com quickly repeated the claims on their website under the headline ‘Smoking Weed Can Give You Man Boobs.’ The piece largely regurgitated the original philly.com story, closing with the warning, “So if you’re worried about growing man boobs, you might want to put the bong down. You know, for science.” Other markets also picked up the story, which ran the following days under dire headlines such as ‘Male breast growth, marijuana use connection,’ and ‘Evidence mounts for marijuana-man boob connection.’

CNN later upped the ante by posting an op/ed by Detroit plastic surgeon Dr. Anthony Youn on December 5, titled ‘Does smoking pot cause man boobs?’ Never mind that this was the same Dr. Youn who had previously taken to the airwaves to warn against the make-believe plight of so-called “bitchy resting face” – an altogether nonexistent condition for which he neverthelessrecommended people seek surgery (a “grin lift,” he suggested) and botox injections to resolve. And never mind that even Dr. Youn admitted, “[F]ew studies have examined a direct causative effect between marijuana smoking and gynecomastia.” For the mainstream media, it was of to the races.

Of course, debunking claims regarding a supposed link between male cannabis use and gynecomastia would hardly have been difficult. That is, if any media staffers aside from the Seattle Post-Intelligencer’s Jake Ellison had actually taken the time to do so.

A key word search on pubmed, the US government search engine for all peer-reviewed literature published worldwide, using the terms ‘marijuana’ and ‘gynecomastia’ yields 13 total references. To be clear, that is 13 references out of more than 19,000 published papers on marijuana available in the pubmed archive. The most recent citation is from 2010 and comes not from a scientific study but from a Q&A published in the journal Canadian Family Physician, which lists cannabis, along with the use of anabolic steroids, amphetamines, and alcohol as potential gynecomastia risk factors. Notably, however, the citation used by the author to substantiate this claim links back to a 1993 review article which concedes that the data implying a supposed causal link between cannabis smoking and the condition are, at best, “contradictory.”

Other references are more blunt, including a 1977 observation trial thatconcluded, “Our epidemiologic evidence does not support the previously reported relationship between chronic cannabis use and gynecomastia.” That study appears to have been the final word on the subject, in the scientific literature world at least, as no additional trials of the alleged phenomenon appear to have been conducted since.

But this truth isn’t stopping the mainstream media from providing this myth new life. Like most pot propaganda, the preposterous ‘doobies causes boobies’ lie lives on largely because of the flames stoked by a sensationalist and lapdog media who never met a cannabis scare story they didn’t like – or were willing to fact-check.


Paul Armentano is the deputy director of NORML (National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws), and is the co-author of Marijuana Is Safer: So Why Are We Driving People to Drink (2009, Chelsea Green).


16 thoughts on ““Do Doobies Make Boobies?” The Mainstream Media Wants You To Think So

  1. If true, I should look like Dolly Parton by now. In stead I gained 5 pounds while on chemo and didn’t need any anti nausea meds.

  2. This is the same slanderous BS that they said about herb back in the sixties. Yea, back then they said that it will make ya go sterile, women would grow hair on their back. Yea, the govt. said all kinds of lying crap like that back in the sixties.

    1. Ha LOL, I think that the reaserchers involved in this study/research are a bunch of gay faggots that sit around on their drunken asses fantasizing about man boob.

      1. Hey digger, I’m sorry, but the last time I had the pleasure of smoking pot, I had a real good time and my boobs didn’t grow one bit.

        1. That is good because you would have to do some explaining why all of a sudden you would be wearing a bra. LOL.

  3. Quite poor research and some papering over the cracks by the medical lot, totally ignoring that the real cause could be that some users become extremely sedentary and with that comes sloth, lack of exercise, slowing of metabolisms, fat beginning to accumulate which does accrue in the belly and pectoral regions producing…. man boobs!

    If the best of the scientific community after 40 years of hammer and tong research still cannot prove or provide a definite causal link between cigarettes and all those horrible diseases smoking is blamed for then how can they come along and throw some mumbo jumbo into the air and hope it all comes down the way they want it? I think these people should start putting their money where their mouths are, if they have a claim, then back that claim up with hard indisputable facts, the world is far too full of pseudo science and whackjob claims that is costing us money and giving them power over us based on what?

    Does no one remember all the trouble over leaded petrol? It was the cause of all our ills, it caused all the pollution, global cooling (yes at that time car pollution was being blamed for making the world a colder place), these bastard scientists have learned to play us and play on our fears because in 20 years time it will be claimed cannabis causes terrorism or impotency or the urge to rob banks and because they know how to play us, they will bloody get away with it too Grrr

  4. Well I guess the Zionist media outlets have discovered that only complete idiots are still paying any attention to them, so they can say anything now.

    Since they haven’t spoken the truth about anything in decades, I don’t know why people still pay any mind to what they say.

    They’ll never find a connection between man-boobs and plastic food containers, canned foods, and soy, all of which have been shown to chemically feminize men, but instead they dig up some BS about pot to help their Jew buddies in the booze business.

  5. Really? Marijuana causes man boobs? Seriously?


    Oh man what will they think of next? And I’m sure eating natural growing foods are the cause of having dry lips in the wintertime, instead of eating high class GMO foods. Man, do we really have to listen to this absurd shit?

    By the way, I sometimes have man boobs and I’ve never smoked marijuana in my life. Don’t even know what it smells like. Maybe I’ll get arrested someday if an officer insists I have marijuana because my chest is too big. Hell, they arrest people just for taking their dog to the dog park, so anything’s possible with these dumbasses.

    I’m surprised they even passed Kindergarten. Makes me wonder if they can even say “Momma” without the government’s help. Not a single functioning brain cell in their head.

  6. Pay a Doktor enough, he’ll say anything & have a study to back it, then have a magic pill to fix it. And just think, these turds are supposed to be licensed by a medical board.

  7. Right up there with “masturbating will make you go blind”.


    Can’t see a damn thing!

    Heh, heh, heh……….

        1. I should follow your lead #1. I lost my sense of humor when I had to do all those years in prison and rehab and the guilty parties never stood up and my so called good freinds let me take the fall for them bastards. Yep, they kinda stole the little sense of humor that I had. Yes #1 I should follow your lead as well as many of the others on this site. 🙂 .

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