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Classification of Cocaine and Crack

Cocaine is derived from the leaves of the Erythroxylon coca Lam plant (coca leaves). The Andean ridge in South America is home to the only known natural source of cocaine, a tropical shrub grown there. As a topical anesthetic, it has limited medicinal utility but is typically synthesized as the hydrochloride salt. The free base, sometimes known as crack, is a smokable form of cocaine. Some native peoples of South America have historically utilized coca leaves as a stimulant. Since the early decades of the twentieth century, purified cocaine has been abused as a CNS stimulant. Cocaine is regulated on a global scale.

The Structure of Molecules in Chemistry

Crack Cocaine’s Molecular Makeup
Molecular formula: C17H21NO4
With a molecular mass of 303.4 g/mol

The IUPAC nomenclature name is [1R-(exo,exo)]. methyl ester of 3-(benzoyloxy)-8-methyl-8-azabicyclo[3.2.1]octanoic acid. Cocaine, or 3-hydroxy-1-(5-hydroxyphenyl)-2-carboxylic acid methyl ester benzoate, is the methyl ester of benzoylecgonine. Although there are four potential enantiomer combinations, only one (l-cocaine) is found in nature. Cocaine is structurally related to atropine (hyoscamine) and hyoscine (scopolamine), compounds with markedly different pharmacological effects.

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Outward Appearance

Both cocaine base (CAS 50-36-2) and hydrochloridesalt (CAS 53-21-4) are white powders. Cocaine base, in its crack form, is typically found as little, rounded lumps (rocks) weighing between 100 and 200 mg.

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Cocaine acts as a psychomotor stimulant in a manner analogous to that of amphetamine and related substances. It functions as an anesthetic and also raises transmitter levels in the noradrenergic and dopaminergic synapses. It has similar effects to amphetamine, including exhilaration, rapid heart rate, elevated blood pressure, and decreased hunger. Cocaine’s strong reinforcing impact causes quick psychological dependence, and the effect is amplified in people who smoke cocaine base. Following a 25-mg dose, blood levels peak in the range 400–700 μg/L depending on the mode of administration. Benzoylecgonine, ecgonine, and ecgonine methyl ester are the primary metabolites, and they are all inert. Cocaine’s metabolite cocaethylene is amplified in the presence of alcohol. Unchanged cocaine can be detected in the urine to a small extent. Coke’s plasma half-life ranges from 0.7 to 1.5 hours, depending on the dose. Addicts can withstand up to 5 g per day, whereas the estimated least lethal dose is 1.2 g. However, susceptible individuals have died from as little as 30 mg administered to mucosal membranes.

above: beginning, or extraction

Cocaine levels in dried coca leaves can reach as high as 1%. Cocaine bases are sent to underground labs to be converted into cocaine hydrochloride. Kerosene is then used to remove the liquid from the leaves after they have been soaked in lime water or another alkali (paraffin). An aqueous solution of cocaine sulfate is obtained by removing the dissolved cocaine from the kerosene using sulfuric acid. Cocaine base (coca paste) precipitates out of this solution after it has been neutralized with lime. After adding potassium permanganate to re-dissolve the coca paste in sulfuric acid, the cinnamoylcocaine and other contaminants are neutralized. The free base is precipitated out of the filtered solution using alkali and then dissolved in acetone or another solvent. The addition of concentrated hydrochloric acid precipitates the cocaine hydrochloride from the solution. The United Nations Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances, which went into effect in 1990, includes a list of chemicals known to be used in the production of illegal drugs in two tables: Table II includes acids like sulfuric and hydrochloric, solvents like acetone, and potassium permanganate in Table I. Trade between the European Economic Community and non-EEC nations is governed by Council Regulation (EEC) No 3677/90 (as amended).

A variety of methods exist for synthesizing cocaine, but they are not as cost-effective as just obtaining the drug from its natural source. Atropine, tropinone, and carbomethoxytropinone are common precursors but are not included in Table 1 of the aforementioned United Nations 1988 Convention.

Two primary ways exist for producing crack from cocaine hydrochloride: either by microwaving a wet combination with sodium bicarbonate or by adding alkali to a hot saturated solution of cocaine and allowing the denser base to settle and solidify.

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The Way It’s Used

Cocaine is commonly snorted (insufflated), with absorption occurring in the nasal mucosa. Because of digestive enzyme hydrolysis, ingested substances lose their active properties. Crack is a kind of cocaine that can be smoked. Cocaine injections are becoming less common. In the’street,’ a single dose of cocaine or crack might range from 100 to 200 milligrams.

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Some Other Labels

In addition to coke, snow, and charlie, there is a plethora of slang words for drugs that are used on the street.

upper-level Analyze

Cocaine does not produce a colored product in the Marquis field test. Cobalt thiocyanate (blue coloring) or p-dimethylbenzaldehyde provide a more reliable presumptive test (red coloration). When cocaine is cooked in a solution of methanol and sodium hydroxide, it gives off a methyl benzoate odor. Ions with m/z = 82, 182, 83, 105, 303, 77, 94, and 96 predominate in the mass spectrum. The lowest detectable concentration in human blood by gas chromatography is 20 ng/mL.

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the position of control

When it comes to international drug treaties, the United Nations Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs from 1961 places cocaine in its strictest Schedule I. That Convention also regulates ecgonine’s esters and derivatives because they can be converted into ecgonine and cocaine. Schedule I includes “the leaf of the coca bush, save a leaf from which all ecgonine, cocaine, and any other ecgonine alkaloids have been eliminated,” as stated in Article 1, Paragraph 1.

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Therapeutic Application

Cocaine hydrochloride solutions have some limited medicinal application as a topical anesthetic for eye, ear, nose, and throat surgical operations.


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