Crack is actually a less pure sort of free-base cocaine. Unlike old-fashioned free-base, however, its production doesn't involve any flammable solvents.
Crack is usually made by mixing two parts of cocaine hydrochloride with one part baking soda in about 20 ml of water. The solution is then heated gently until white precipitate form. Heating is halted when precipitation stops. The precipitate is filtered and retained. The precipitate may then be washed with water; this procedure is usually omitted in the street product. The product may then be dried for 24 hours under a heat-lamp. Crack is then cut or broken into small 'rocks' weighing a few tenths of a gram.
There are four basic routes to coca intoxication:
chewing the leaves. Coca consumption was originally the prerogative of the Inca elite. Today, most of the natives indulge as well. Coca is also consumed as the highly esteemed coca de maté. Drinking coca-tea tends to soothe the stomach; so it's good for digestive problems. Coca de maté is less likely to induce jitteriness than coffee. It is a rather more effective mood-brightener too.
cocaine sulfate - pasta, basuco, basa, pitillo, paste. This is the low-grade stuff that reaches the urban slums of South America. The sulfate is the intermediate stage between the coca 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 kerosene. It is then chilled. The kerosene is removed. Gas crystals of crude cocaine are left at the bottom of the tank. Typically, the crystals are dissolved in methyl alcohol. They are then recrystallised and dissolved once more in sulfuric acid. Further washing, oxidation and separation procedures involve potassium permanganate, benzole, and sodium carbonate.
freebase/crack cocaine. Freebase/crack is derived from cocaine hydrochloride, which has been chemically treated with ammonia or baking powder to free the potent base material from the salt. Free-base was originally produced by a dangerous four-or-five step process in which the hydrochloride salt was heated with water and a volatile liquid such as ether. Base cocaine in the form of 'crack' is safer to produce; but it is no less addictive. Crack/free-base itself is indissoluble in water, so it can't easily be...