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When and Why Was Cocaine Removed From Coca-Cola?

Published by sri harsha in History
August 11th, 2008

The reasons for the removal of cocaine from Coca-Cola are given.

Coca-Cola is a carbonated soft drink sold in over 200 countries all over the world. It’s recipe was invented in 1885. Though it is now available in different forms like diet coke, cherry coke, and more, earlier there used to be only one type of Coke. It was named Coca-cola because of the ingredients in it which are coca leaves and kola nuts.

Earlier they used to make only concentrates and they used to supply to different retailers who used to make drinks out of it. But with the technology improving and transportation becoming more flexible, they have plants in every country now. Earlier it was meant as patent medicine but it slowly became one of the famous soft drinks throughout the world in the twentieth century.

Earlier, Coca-Cola used to contain traces of cocaine but they stopped adding cocaine from the early years of the 20th century.

As said, Coca-cola used to contain approximately nine milligrams of cocaine per a glass. But in 1903 they stopped adding cocaine to Coca-cola.

The main reason that can be attributed for this is that initially Coca-cola was intended for medicinal purpose but it later got popular as soft drink. Because of this, they might have removed cocaine from it as cocaine was intended to cure some minor problems like tooth ache, and head aches. Cocaine is not a prescribed drug for anyone. This reason might have provoked them from removing Cocaine from Coca-cola.

Prior to 20th century there were no laws to regulate drugs and their usage. So, they are made available easy and even Coke used to contain traces of it. Not only cocaine but there were evidences that morphine, and heroin were also found in few other drinks in that time and it was no crime at that time. But with the new laws developing, public usage of drugs is prohibited. This might also have resulted in removal of cocaine from Coca-cola.

At that time, no one had a knowledge that cocaine could be harmful to health, though only if taken in higher quantities. When people came to know that cocaine is harmful to health, obviously questions rise about the credibility of the drink. This made them try to remove every trace of cocaine from Coca-cola.

But still one can find minute traces of cocaine in Coca-cola. Coca-cola gets it’s flavour from one of it’s major ingredients, the coca plant. Coca plant contains traces of cocaine. When it is added, the drink obviously contains cocaine. The only difference is in earlier times, cocaine is an ingredient of Coca-cola but now it is an inevitable ingredient, though not added willingly.

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  1. Posted July 13, 2009 at 9:43 pm

    So very small amounts of Cocaine are still in the drink? Huh. I never knew that. This was an interesting read. ^^

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