This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Coca Leaves, Cocaine, And Crack Essay

1229 words - 5 pages

Cocaine can be traced back thousands of years, but its presence wasn’t widely known in North America until the late 1800’s and once it hit, there was an epidemic (Gootenberg 191-192). Cocaine was found to be highly addictive, forming a strong physiological and psychological dependence due to its direct effect on the brain’s central nervous system, specifically the reward pathway.
Cocaine comes from the leaves of two specific coca plants that are primarily grown in South America. The leaves contain the specific cocaine alkaloid that is needed to make cocaine hydrochloride (Rhodium). Alkaloids are a class of alkaline amines that are found in nature and amines are organic compounds containing a nitrogen atom bonded to one, two or three carbons (Suchocki 368). The process of going from a coca leaf to the cocaine hydrochloride (powdered cocaine) is done by converting the coca leaves to coca paste and the coca paste into cocaine base which is then moved into the hydrochloride stage (Rhodium). Each coca leaf contains roughly 1% of the desired cocaine (Claustre and Bresch-Rieu). The dried leaves are placed in a container and mixed with water, kerosene and an alkaline material such as sodium carbonate (Na2CO3) or sometimes baking soda. The solution made extracts cocaine alkaloids from the leaves (Rhodium). The kerosene, which is water immiscible, and the cocaine alkaloids become separated and the water and leaves are then discarded. The cocaine alkaloids are then extracted from the kerosene by using a sulfuric acid. The result is a putty like substance of cocaine sulfate or coca paste (“Cocaine”). It takes around 250 pounds of dried coca leaves to produce just 2.2 pounds of coca paste and out of the paste there contains 30 to 40% cocaine alkaloids (Rhodium).
After the paste is produced, it is sometimes dried and smoked which is more popular in South America. To get the paste to the next phase of a cocaine base, the paste is dissolved in a solution of hydrochloric acid and water (“CIA Contra-Crack”). In this case the paste, which is the solute (the substance being dissolved) is dissolved in the solvent of hydrochloric acid and water (Suchocki). Potassium permanganate, which is a strong oxide, is then added to the solution. The potassium permanganate begins to break apart the chemicals separating the impure substances from the mixture (“CIA Contra-Crack”). It takes several hours for the oxidization to be completed, successfully removing the impurities from the solution. Ammonia and water is added to the solution and the process is repeated, filtering out the solutions impurities. What remains is then dried, resulting in a powder. The powder is cocaine base. (Rhodium)
The cocaine base is gathered and dissolved with ether or acetone. This again filters out impurities from the desired substance. Hydrochloric acid (one of the main chemicals in toilet bowl cleaner) is now added, this forms a reaction of crystallizing the cocaine and...

Find Another Essay On Coca Leaves, Cocaine, and Crack

Cocaine verus Crack Cocaine Essay

2092 words - 9 pages Cocaine originated from South America, from coca leaves. Originally, the coca leaves were chewed by workers to decrease fatigue, improve endurance and have a greater resistance to the cold. This was to benefit the workers so they could work longer hours and be more productive. In 1855 the active ingredient in cocaine was isolated from the leaves, and in 1880 it was used as a local anesthetic (Nunes,2006). It was also used in coca cola. In 1855

Cocaine Facts Essay

822 words - 3 pages leaf and the finished cocaine hydrochloride crystal. Coca leaves are stripped from the plant. They are put into plastic pit with a solution of water and sulfuric acid. A bare-footed man will climb into the pit; step on the mess; and shove it around with his hands.  cocaine hydrochloride - an odorless, white crystalline powder. It has a bitter, numbing taste. Making cocaine hydrochloride is quite complicated. The pasta is first washed in

What are the effects of Cocaine?

1531 words - 6 pages Cocaine is a purified extract from the leaves of the Erythroxylum coca bush. The plant grows in the Andes region in South America. There are two forms in which cocaine comes in powdered cocaine, and crack cocaine. Powdered cocaine dissolves in water, and users can snort or inject it.(Goldberg) Crack cocaine is what is commonly known as “crack” or “rock” on the streets; It is made by a chemical process that leaves cocaine in its freebase form

Cocaine and the Nervous System

1117 words - 4 pages American natives chewing the cocoa leaf, from which cocaine is derived, when they arrived on the continent in 16th century. The South Americans chewed these cocoa leaves in order to stay awake for longer periods of time. Centuries after this initial discovery, Albert Neiman isolated cocaine from the cocoa leaf in 1860. Neiman used this extraction as an anesthetic. Over the ensuing years, cocaine use became increasingly common and was even

Overview of Crack Cocaine

1229 words - 5 pages Behind Crack Cocaine Cocaine is a widely known drug derived from the leaves of coca plants which acts as a psychostimulant. Julien, Advokat, and Comaty (2011) explain how when processed, cocaine can be made into cocaine hydrochloride, known as powdered cocaine, or into crack cocaine, another form of cocaine created by mixing powder cocaine with a weak base. Its composition changes into rock form with a lower melting point than that of regular

Crack Cocaine - usage symptoms, general information

768 words - 3 pages is more profitable for the dealer. The smaller dosage units also mean it is cheaper for the user to purchase a small amount and get high. The cheaper price per unit also makes it available to broader market. But there is a greater asset crack provides for the dealer. Crack cocaine can be instantly addictive.Cocaine base (including coca paste, freebase cocaine, and crack cocaine) typically is smoked in pipes constructed of glass bowls fitted with


395 words - 2 pages There are lots of kinds of drugs in the world. One of the most popular is Cocaine.Indians have been chewing coca leaves for over five thousand years. The most popular drink in the world Coca Cola was introduced in America in 1885 and it contained Caffeine and Cocaine. The Cocaine was removed only in 1906.Cocaine is a most powerful natural stimulant (usually as a white powder). There are many names for cocaine and it's derivatives like crack


760 words - 3 pages Cocaine is a highly addictive and dangerous stimulant drug derived from the leaves of the coca bush, a plant that grows mainly in Peru and Boliva. Because it's a stimulant in the drug, when in the bloodstream, it heightens alertness, increases appetite, and causes insomnia and a feeling of pleasure. Although cocaine is mostly referred to as crack, it's also called coke, base or freebase.The native people of the Andes Mountains first used the


1511 words - 6 pages , and even death. "Even the most in shape athlete could die from one use (Bayer 26)." The history of coca leaves began hundreds of years ago in South America. The Indians of Peru and Bolivia "chewed" coca leaves so that they could work hard in high altitudes and need little food. It was not until the late 1700's that the coca plant was brought to Europe, and cocaine was not actually created until 1855 when a German chemist named Albert

Addiction project. Cocaine. Interview with ex cocaine addict included!!!

1447 words - 6 pages contemporaries. Groping for adequate words, crack-takers sometimes speak of the rush in terms of a "whole-body orgasm".Cocaine is made of the leaves of the coca plant. Coca plant is originally coming from South America. During 2000, the majority (approximately 75%) of the coca was grown in Colombia, then Peru and then Bolivia.Cocaine is a powerfully addictive drug of abuse. . "Crack" is the street name given to cocaine. Once having tried cocaine, an

Facts On Cocaine

2688 words - 11 pages few hundred meters higher. Coca-cola was introduced in 1886 as as "a valuable brain-tonic and cure for all nervous afflictions". It was promoted as a temperance drink "offering the virtues of coca without the vices of alcohol". The new beverage was invigorating and popular. Until 1903, a typical serving contained around 60mg of cocaine. Sold today, it still contains an extract of coca-leaves. Coca Cola imports eight tons from

Similar Essays

Crack And Cocaine Essay

816 words - 4 pages The crack and cocaine epidemic of the United States has shaped America’s basis on the war against drugs. In the early 1980s, the majority of cocaine began to be shipped to the United States, landing in Miami originally coming through the Bahamas and Dominican Republic (UDOJ)”. The foreign origin from the drug made it easier for dealer to quietly return to the United States with the drug and also its receipt. “Soon there was a huge amount of

Facts About Cocaine And Crack Essay

648 words - 3 pages Big C, Blow, Coke, Flake, Freebase, Lady, Nose Candy, Rock, Snow, Snowbirds. These are the street names referring to the potentially dangerous, and highly popular drug called Cocaine. Cocaine is not a new drug by any means. It originates from the Andes Mountains and the Incan people revered the coca leaf as early as 500 BC. Cocaine itself was first isolated and purified from the coca plant in the mid 1800's and was popular in the late 1800's. In

How Cocaine And Crack Is Effecting Lives

1253 words - 6 pages intoxication, or cocaine birth defects. Most people will also be healthier and happier. I believe that is something everyone should want. Outline How is crack and cocaine effecting people today. We can prevent the use of the drug in many ways, for example getting help from family members, considering the consequences that come from the drug, and by going to counseling. I. Background Information A. Extracted from the coca plant B

Adolescent Black Males And Their Entanglement With Crack Cocaine

2056 words - 8 pages Adolescent Black Males and Their Entanglement With Crack Cocaine This research proposal will explore the dependent factors that determine why impoverished adolescent Black Males turn to crack cocaine as a means of survival. Survival is defined as, the act of or facts of surviving, especially under adverse or unusual circumstances. Generally, Black Adolescent males engage themselves in crack cocaine by way of dealing or trafficking. This