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Is The Coca Plant Illegal? Everything You Need To Know

As Coca plant is a source of the destructive drug Cocaine, there are huge controversies about making this plant illegal despite its traditional benefits.

Generally, the Coca plant is a perennial shrub that is illegal in many countries, including the US, due to potential abuse of Cocaine found in the leaves. Cocaine is an addictive drug that causes different health problems and encourages crime.

People do not use Coca seeds, fruits, or flowers as they are not as strong as leaves.

So, if you are curious about why and where Coca plant is illegal and the interesting facts about Coca plant, go through this complete article.

What Does Coca Plant Look Like?

Coca plant (Erythroxylum coca) is a perennial shrub native to the Andes Mountains of South America. This plant grows about 6-9 feet tall.

Moreover, the plant bears delicate, elongated leaves with reticulate venation. The leaves are darker at the tip and lighter at the bottom.

Furthermore, the flowers are small and white with pink hues that grow in clusters.

Coca plant with red fruits
Fruits of Coca do not have as much Cocaine as leaves.

These clumps of blossoms are somewhat like coffee flowers, giving small red berries, just like coffee fruit. These fruits are edible and taste mildly sweet but do not have much flavor.

All part of the Coca plant is edible, but people use Coca leaves after drying for chewing and making tea.

Is Coca Plant Illegal?

Leaves of the Coca plant contain cocaine, which is one of the most addictive drugs. As Cocaine is not legal, Coca plant is also illegal in most of the countries and states.

Growing and using Coca plants is banned in most countries like the US, Canada, and other European unions despite some traditional uses.

However, you can still use this plant for scientific research.

Moreover, this plant is also legal in countries like Columbia, Peru, Bolivia, etc., for traditional uses. You can use this plant for making tea or chewing the leaves, but you cannot sell them.

Similarly, in Asian countries like India, you can only grow, sell, or use this plant if you have a specific license.

Why Is Coca Plant Illegal?

Basically, Coca plant is illegal because of the high potential abuse of Cocaine from the leaves of this plant.

Moreover, the US has listed this drug under Schedule I due to the high abuse but no proven medicinal benefits.

The leaves of this plant contain a high amount of Cocaine, which is very addictive and can cause heart problems, mental health issues, etc.

Furthermore, people use the leaves to make other dangerous drugs like Crack Cocaine, methamphetamine, etc.

Such negative effects can lead to theft, looting, dacoit, and other illegal activities for money. This may also encourage terrorism and other crimes.

Once people start to grow this for such purposes, it can be addictive and difficult to maintain harmony. 

Despite encouraging criminal activities due to overuse, this plant also has some traditional benefits like muscle relaxation, stress relieving, and treatment of wounds.

However, there is no scientific evidence of such benefits. So it’s better not to use it.

From Editorial Team

Coca Cola Is From Coca Plant!

Do you know your favorite drink Coca-Cola, is Made from Coca leaves?

Don’t panic! They use decocanized extract after removing all the cocaine from the leaves. That extract provides Coca-Cola with a unique flavor.