Did Coca-Cola have cocaine in it? History explored as Elon Musk's tweet sparks hilarious meme fest online

Elon Musk claims he wants to buy Coca Cola (Image via Getty Images)
Elon Musk claims he wants to buy Coca Cola (Image via Getty Images)

After shocking the world by buying Twitter for $44 billion, Elon Musk jokingly decided that his next target was Coca-Cola.

On April 28, the CEO of Tesla revealed that he wanted to buy the fizzy drink company “to put the cocaine back in.” The tweet did not surprise many, as the businessman is known for his eccentric tweets. Netizens joined the internet chatter as well.

Soon after sharing that he wanted to buy the soft drink company, he said that the beverage “kicks Red Bull’s a*s.”

The Twitter rant seemed to be unending. Just an hour later, Elon Musk revealed that he would also buy McDonald’s to "fix all of their ice cream." He jokingly responded to the messages by saying:

Talk of the beverage containing cocaine in the past spread like wildfire after Twitter user @PPathole shared an image of a 1984 Coca-Cola bottle. The netizen claimed that the fizzy drink had 3.5 grams of cocaine.

Did Coca-Cola ever contain cocaine?

Cocaine was never part of the original drink recipe. The drug is incredibly concentrated. The soda gets its first name ‘Coca’ from the coca leaf, from which cocaine is derived.

People may have assumed that the drink contained cocaine, as the fizzy beverage once contained the coca leaf extract. The same extract was called ecgonine, a substance that resembled cocaine but was less processed.

Cocaine is derived from coca leaves (Image via iStock)
Cocaine is derived from coca leaves (Image via iStock)

The other claim is that the soft drink has reportedly been coca free since 1929. However, Coca-Cola executives told the New York Times that:

“Ingredients from the coca leaf are used, but there is no cocaine in it and it is all tightly overseen by regulatory authorities.”

Coca leaves grow in western South America. The ingredients were precious to native Andean people. The plant is traditionally consumed as a wad, which can be stuck between one’s lips and gums. It is known for its recreational and ceremonial usage.

Paleo ethnobotanist Matthew Biwer claims a “negligible” amount of cocaine in a dose of coca. Coca has been used as an anesthetic while operating. Pharmaceutical companies used to prescribe the same until patients began overdosing on it.

Coca is still used for medicinal purposes. Andes tourists are also advised to consume coca tea to reduce altitude sickness. It is also traditionally used to soothe the stomach and suppress one’s appetite.


The other part of Coca-Cola refers to the kola nut, which contains caffeine. It is prominently growing in West Africa.

Internet reacts to Elon Musk's tweet

Though the new Twitter owner claimed to buy Coca-Cola next, netizens endlessly created memes out of his tweet. Internet users joked about Coke consumers getting intoxicated from a fizzy drink.

Others have repeatedly asked Musk to buy off third-world countries to end world hunger. A few occasionally asked the billionaire to pay off their debt as well.

A few hilarious tweets read:

Even if Musk plans to buy the drink company, consumers can be assured that the fizzy drink will not contain any cocaine despite speculations.

Quick Links

Edited by Srijan Sen
App download animated image Get the free App now