Coca-Cola is as wholesome and American as apple pie, in that it was mainly popular in the '50s and is now associated with being needlessly sugary and unhealthy. To counter that, the Coca-Cola Company is considering taking a backward step into the health-obsessed future by launching a new line of healthy, medicinal drinks ... laced with cannabis.
The business rumor mill is abuzz with the news that Coca-Cola, ruiner of calm children's birthday parties, might be partnering up with Aurora Cannabis, the biggest provider of relaxed shoulders in Canada. Together, they might start producing a line of marijuana-infused beverages just in time for weed to become legal in Canada on October 17. But Coca-Cola wouldn't want its drinks to get you nice and high; it only has its customers' well-being in mind.
Marijuana's (awesome) qualities boil down to two components: THC and CBD. THC is what gets you, as the 40-year-old stoners call it, tripping balls, while CBD contains all of its medicinal qualities that can alter your body's pain and mood levels. And since governments are getting a bit more chill with the whole 420 thing, CBD oil is a becoming a big hit in the snake oil 2.0 "wellness beverage" industry. Cannabis-infused drinks are being marketed as not only "promoting sleep, boosting appetite and reducing stress, depression and anxiety," but also as helping people quit bad habits like smoking. So with the simultaneous decline in unhealthy soft drinks going on, Coca-Cola is eyeing CBD-infused health drinks as the biggest money-making scheme in the carbonated beverage industry since they figured they could add a seventh bag of sugar.
But while the move to cannabis pop might seem very progressive for a soft drink maker, Coke is actually returning to its old-timey roots of mixing sugary drinks with narcotics. After Prohibition banned his county's favorite cocktail of straight up cocaine and wine, Dr. John Pemberton created Coca-Cola, a "soft" drink that replaced the dangerous and illegal alcohol with syrup and kept the perfectly legal and safe cocaine.
Coca-Cola kept selling this stuff from 1886 until 1903, at which point social stigma (i.e. they started selling to black people) made cocaine drinks highly unpopular among middle-class whites. The company then replaced the cocaine with a buttload of extra sugar and caffeine to keep customers comfortably jumpy. In fact, during its coke days, Coca-Cola was sold specifically as a "health tonic," claiming it could wean people off that dangerous booze and even cure various minor ailments. Sound familiar? Guess we are just doomed to repeat history, even the parts that read like they were written on cocaine.
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