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Soda vs Marijuana – Which Do You Think is Worse?

There’s a chart that has been floating around the Internet for a while comparing various health effects of soda and marijuana. The agenda doesn’t appear to be pro-pot as much as it is pointing out societal hypocrisy and the serious dangers associated with foods most of us have no moral issue with.

I would be the first to get in line with people who think the demonizing of marijuana in Western culture has always been taken to an extreme level. However, if you think it somehow comes without any serious health risks, you need to consider putting the bong down for a moment and read on. Let’s take a look at how soda and marijuana really compare:

Carcinogens - Let’s start with the biggest hole in the chart’s argument: that there are no carcinogens in marijuana. According to Donald Tashkin, MD, a researcher at UCLA’s David Geffen School of Medicine, there are as many or more carcinogens and co-carcinogens in marijuana smoke as in cigarettes. Inhaling carcinogens for a long period of time can’t be harmless, can it?

Health Risks – The chart probably does have a point here. As hard as it may be for some to believe, soda is probably worse for you than pot… with long-term consistent use, that is. Obesity, diabetes and all the health problems associated with it? It’s a ticket to an early grave. You may even have brittle bones to deal with. There is some debate over long-term health effects of marijuana use, but the fact that it’s even debatable means marijuana wins in this match up.

Consumption Recommendations – The chart says that doctors recommend “no” soda consumption, whereas there is medicinal use for marijuana. This may hold true for full-sugar soda, but moderate diet soda consumption is not quite as demonized. You should still minimize diet soda and it would be preferable to make other choices.

Addiction - The points in comparing addictiveness are pretty solid. Sugar and caffeine are addictive substances. There is a little more controversy over the health effects of high fructose corn syrup, but most studies only point towards bad news (like that it may feed cancer cells). Marijuana can be psychologically addictive as well, but long-term addiction evidence is a little, um, foggy.

None of the positives (or neutrals for that matter) associated with pot smoking should be considered an endorsement for rampant use. If you glean anything from this comparison, let it be that it shines a bright light on how bad soda really is for your health. Probably even worse than pot!

November 10th, 2011

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(Page 1 of 1, 23 total comments)

John Tucker

Sup ladies, just stopping by to say just how awesome the marijuana is for you. I'm john, graduated with a 3.9 GPA at Baylor University, received my M.S in Biomedical engineering. Currently working full-time, make more money than any of you will ever make in just 3 years, drive a souped up 750i, and live the life most guys dream of. Gals and guys always ask what my secret is but prefer to stay quiet as I wouldn't want to lose my career just for an illegal substance. My secret? I vaporize marijuana on a daily basis at the end of a long day. Seriously guys this stuff is AWESOME. It balances me out, improves my memory, gives me serious all day energy, helps me focus, helps me sleep, helps me think many steps ahead of everyone and with all this being said has molded me into the very successful person I am today. I am by no means tooting my own horn but seriously I feel like I could be more than what I am today even though I'm already much better than most brainwashed people walking around with that dead, empty, unsuccessful look in their eyes. If marijuana isn't legal in all 50 states then I see no faith left in humanity anymore. Legalize the marijuana! NOW!!!!

posted May 8th, 2015 2:22 am

Nikki Brown

Marijuana does not help to cure cancer, in fact, it is one of the number one causes of lung cancer and it fills your lungs with tar (as well as cigarettes). No addictive chemicals? Actually, the plant itself is addictive, not to mention processed marijuana has numerous chemicals combined to make it even more addictive than it without processes. And not all soda makes you obese, as well as those other things. CAFFIENE AND FAT FREE SODA. IT"S LEGAL AND EASY TO GET. Don't be stupid now.

posted Nov 4th, 2014 3:46 pm

Valerie Leeds

You have an interest in looking into the apoptosis (killing the cancer cells) effects of medical marijuana on cancer and do a follow up article with this comparison - since soda has carcinogenic ingredients vs. the benefits for cancer patients who have gone into remission using marijuana. There's been tons of research since the early 1900's substantiating the use of marijuana for many medical purposes through the CBD's, CBN's, etc. - certainly it's an anti-oxidant, basically anti-inflammatory. There are even a number of major drug companies, e.g. Eli Lilly that used to prescribe it to their patients like any other pharmaceutical back in the early 1900's, although they'd deny that now most likely, but there are archives with photos of their product labels. LOL, it's pretty wild. Check out our cannabinoid system and what this plant and also it's cousin hemp can do! ;-)

posted Jan 9th, 2014 7:12 pm

josh ruble

Overall, I like the piece. There were a few segments which I felt could have been expanded upon more efficiently, but type space and key point may have been to blame there. THE COMMENT SECTION HOWEVER,
1. Anyone who refused to accept the evidence/research as valid info, is clearly inept and/or incapable of having rational thought. You are the criminals among society. By the way, although it matters not, you all were the dolts that misspelled more words wrong, thus proving your ineptitude.
2. Let the record show that marijuana, while it does come with its own subset of medical side affects, does much more good than bad for everyone. Including the non-smoker.

open your eyes people, the only reason its illegal to begin with is because of rockefeller's direct interest in the petroleum industry (money). Hemp posed a threat to nearly every single good or service petro provided, so he paid for a glut of slam campaigns to be done, raising the "awareness" of the country's constituents of the negative affects of reefers. what a joke.

posted Nov 13th, 2013 12:35 am


You should do the same comparison between alcohol and marijuana.

posted Aug 18th, 2013 3:29 pm


Carcinogens are substances known or thought to be cancer causing. The substances identified in Marijuana SMOKE are not shown to be cancer causing statistically.

So, to call these substances carcinogens isnt really accurate but in reality very deliberately misleading, at the very least, over simplifying.

posted Aug 18th, 2013 8:25 am

wanda rogers

it always seems that anyone that has a vested interest in keeping it illegal has some financial gain or maybe they know mean people that are just plain snot head MAYBE PAYED BY SOME ONE some way to discrit maybe a cop

posted Aug 3rd, 2013 5:44 am


Marijuanaisbad: You're a moron. Try looking up how they went about doing the test that says marijuana kills brain cells. They put gas masks on monkeys and pumped 63 joints each into the faces of these monkeys and when brain cells died(due to lack of oxygen) they said it was because of the weed. Not to mention all of the lives that have been ruined due to this probition that doesn't even work. I could get weed right now in like 10 minutes. But if I didn't have my ID on me, a pack of cigeretts would take me a while. You don't know so how about you go do some research before making yourself sound like a idiot you idiot face.

posted Apr 5th, 2013 11:22 pm


This is Obscure propaganda... Smoking Marijuana is proven to kill brain cells unlike drink soda.. I am not arguing soda is good for you, it isn't. although you are leading a really messed up chart. In terms of your information regarding marijuana, it does kill brain cells. Your also giving a one side of the story point. Your a terrible pot head.

posted Mar 4th, 2013 2:00 pm


My brother-in-law smoked Meth for along time, he would also smoke pot during this time. When he got off the drugs (pot as well) he seen a doctor that said he was lucky he was smoking pot or the meth would have destroyed his lungs. I never heard a doctor say it was a good thing you were drinking that soda.

posted Apr 26th, 2012 12:31 am


Even though there are potential health benefits that come with it, the information on the chart about marijuana is so inaccurate it isn't even funny. Show your sources before you make this bs.

posted Apr 25th, 2012 10:53 pm

nick janik

the only thing weed does is it makes boredom alot less boring

posted Apr 8th, 2012 7:57 pm

big D

ill b strait up with every one there has been no pot related deaths. the only side effects are HUNGERY! HAPPY! and for all of you that have sleep apnia this will help u at the end of the day the only other side effect is SLEEPY! SO FU

posted Jan 31st, 2012 4:59 am


I would have needed way more sources for this to seem reliable. A major reason as to why research doesn't show negative health implications from use of marijuana is because major research is non-existant. Human testing on quantitative level is deemed unethical thus the claim that pot has no detrimental affect lacks evidence.
Friends of mine who have smoked a lot commonly show the same characteristics. Slow reaction time, apathetic mood, sleepy and un motivated. If this is not a negative affect I dont know what is.
I dont agree with the autor because I think its careless to say "pot should be legal because soda is". I dont drink soda, nor do I smoke pot. I understand the negative health impact of soda, as do I think pot is dangerous. The discussion should not regard the legalization of one, but the banning of the other.

posted Dec 29th, 2011 9:58 am


I didn't start drinking soda until I had graduated high school, and then I drank a lot of it. I lost all of the enamel off of my teeth, got ulcers, and gained 30 lbs. It took me as many years to quit drinking soda as I had been without it, about 18 years. The habit wasn't the problem, but the caffeine and other ingredients were. I have studied the healing effects of marijuana, and there is nothing addictive about it unless you already have an addictive personality. That is a problem with the mind, not the pot! Marijuana growing could really help out this country, if we learned how to use the plant properly. It is a clean fuel, the hemp has many uses, they are beautiful plants, medically relevant, and can create many jobs. The seeds are already placed in our wild bird seed, so it must be good for our animals too. Pot needs to be declassified and put to its proper uses.Soda is far worse for our bodies, minds, and future generations!

posted Nov 16th, 2011 9:11 pm


The author implies that there must be a link between cannabis use and cancer because of the presence of carcinogens. This claim is specious as, after funding millions of tax dollars worth of studies on cannabis, the preponderance of evidence seems to indicate that THC has direct anti-tumor effects. This has been acknowledged by the National Institute on Cancer, a department of the National Institute on Health.

posted Nov 15th, 2011 5:31 pm

all smiles

The author never said that marijuana wasn't addictive. He said, "Marijuana can be psychologically addictive as well, but long-term addiction evidence is a little, um, foggy." Perhaps you should re-read this and pay closer attention the second time around. This article is not only interesting but it's also well written. Attacking the author because you happen to disagree with the research presented is petty.

posted Nov 11th, 2011 10:53 pm


Marijuana is extremely addictive, you can ask any recovering addict really, or pretty much any psychiatrist working with addicts, and they will tell you the same thing.

Sorry, but this is a very bad article written by someone who clearly doesn't know what he is talking about.

posted Nov 11th, 2011 8:35 am


were so worried about oil but it can be grown with hemp an extracting the oils an create thousands of jobs an is cleaner burning then fossil fuel not to mention the money it can generate. Wake up american

posted Nov 10th, 2011 9:49 pm


I dont drink soda... that is not implying that I smoke wacky tobacy but i dont drink soda :)

posted Nov 10th, 2011 3:43 pm


Interesting! No doubt soda should be pulled from school. Serving addictive and harmful products in schools is so CRAY. Although, I'm not suggesting we should put marijuana vending machines in either.

posted Nov 10th, 2011 3:36 pm


Pop vs Pot! I gave up Pop, maybe I should try some Pot.

posted Nov 10th, 2011 3:33 pm


I agree that the most interesting thing about this discussion it that soda is basically an addictive substance, and has as much of an impact on your body as a controlled drug.

posted Nov 10th, 2011 3:27 pm


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