The claim: The first bottle of Coca-Cola contained 3.5 grams of cocaine 

Claims that Coca-Cola consists of the illicit drug cocaine have actually existed due to the fact that the company"s founding. Now, they"re turn on social media. 

“The very first bottle of Coca-Cola from 1894 contained around 3.5 grams the cocaine,” the on facebook post, mutual by 3,000 people, reads. “Explains why our parental & grandparents might walk to & from school, uphill, both ways, in the snow, barefoot.”

The human being who post the meme did not respond come USA TODAY’s inquiry for comment. 

Early Coca-Cola included cocaine

Coca-Cola did, in fact, as soon as contain cocaine, follow to the nationwide Institute on medicine Abuse. When the famous drink was invented, that was first marketed together a “patent medicine”; cocaine was legal at the time and was a common ingredient in medicines, according to the institute. 


The cocaine in the drink – and later, its removed – gift a "delicate public relationships problem" because that the firm in its early on years, follow to the book "For God, Country and Coca-Cola." 

“If the company responded to strikes by telling the truth, they would be admitting the the drink did once have cocaine in it," writer Mark Pendergrast composed in “For God, Country and also Coca-Cola." "The implication would be that they had actually removed it due to the fact that it was harmful, which might even open up the door to lawsuits. Besides, it to be unthinkable to recognize that Coca-Cola had ever been anything however pure and wholesome.”


According to the book, man Candler, grandson of Coca-Cola founder Asa G. Candler, attempted come rewrite background by denying the drink ever before had cocaine in it. 

Company spokesmen said The new York times in 1988 that the original recipe, brewed in 1886, had cocaine, however the medicine was eliminated from the recipe just after the revolve of the century.

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In solution to USA TODAY"s inquiry for comment, Ann Moore, a spokesperson because that Coca-Cola, stated the drink "does no contain cocaine or any type of other harmful substance, and also cocaine has never been an added ingredient in Coca-Cola."


The cocaine in the drink was more specifically ecgonine, a precursor come cocaine, follow to Snopes. The was acquired from extract native the coca plant. 

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Although coca leaves space illegal in the joined States, the agency still uses them to do their famous drink after ~ they’ve been “de-cocainized” by Stepan chemical Co. In Maywood, new Jersey, according to scientific American. 

Cocaine previously in drink likely much much less than 3.5 grams

While yes sir no way to know for sure specifically how lot cocaine was once in the well-known soda, it’s unlikely the amount reached 3.5 grams. 

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According to Snopes, which examined the claim in 1999, there was just 1/400 of a grain of cocaine per oz of syrup by 1902 and also the drink was cocaine-free by 1929, once the de-cocainization procedure was perfected.

Our rating: lacking context

We price the insurance claim that the an initial bottle the Coca-Cola contained 3.5 grams that cocaine as missing CONTEXT due to the fact that without added information it might be misleading. While Coca-Cola did when contain some cocaine, it’s really unlikely the drink consisted of that much.

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