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Coca, Cola, and Cannabis: Psychoactive Drugs as Beverages

4 things to know about the past, present, and future of marijuana-infused drinks. Will America soon be chugging marijuana-infused beverages as part of our daily routine?

Recent news headlines revealing that the mega-beverage company Coca-Cola has been in “serious talks” with Aurora Cannabis Inc., one of the biggest cannabis producers in Canada, about partnering to bring cannabis-infused beverages to the mass market suggest that it’s possible. Indeed, from the perspectives of both herb aficionados and financial investors, such a partnership portends a future that looks increasingly green.

But let’s put this in context by considering 4 things to know about how cannabis-infused beverages fit into America’s longstanding affinity for legal, liquid drugs:

1. Coca-Cola is already, and has always been, a drug in a can.

You may have already heard the urban legend that the original Coca-Cola product, introduced in 1886, contained cocaine. Turns out that’s 100% true. So-named because it contained extracts from coca and cola plants, the early version of the beverage included small amounts of both cocaine and caffeine.

This isn’t as radical as it sounds, even for its time. In the late 1880s, other cocaine-containing beverages were already available outside the US, such as Vin Mariani, a coca wine, and Kola Coca, a distilled liquor still sold in Spain under the name Nuez de Kola Coca. Here in the US, cocaine was already being manufactured and sold in 1885 by the pharmaceutical company Parke-Davis as a kind of cure-all tonic, marketed as a medicine that could “make the coward brave, the silent eloquent, free the victims of alcohol and opium habit from their bondage, and… render the sufferer insensitive to pain.”  [Read More @ Psychology Today]

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