Ingredients in Cocaine
The ingredients in powdered cocaine follow a production method that has been used since the early 1900s.
First the leaves of the coca plant are dried for half a day. Next, the coca farmers chop the leaves into small pieces, using a strimmer. They put a small amount of powdered cement on top of the leaves, and then soak them in gasoline for a day. The gasoline's then taken out, and the leaves are pressed to remove the remaining gas. The leaves can then be thrown away.
Next, battery acid is added to the cocaine-gasoline liquid. This acidifies the cocaine in the gasoline, and lets the free base be extracted. The cocaine free base liquid is poured into buckets. The farmers add powdered caustic soda to it, which lets the cocaine precipitate. This can then be strained through a cloth to form a paste. This paste will contain 40% to 60% cocaine.
Refinement and Cutting
The cocaine is refined into smaller crystals in specialized labs once it leaves the coca farm.
The ingredients in crack cocaine are powdered cocaine and baking soda or sodium hydroxide. The two substances are cooked together; the cocaine alkaloid separates into an oil and rises to the top of the mixture. It's then dried and made into rocks.
Powdered cocaine also contains cutting agents. These are other substances that the cocaine is mixed with to dilute its potency. Cutting agents include cornstarch, talcum powder, sugar, Vitamin C powder, and powdered milk. Some cocaine is cut with local anesthetic to enhance its numbing feeling.
Recently, the news media was abuzz with reports of cocaine being cut with levamisole, a veterinary deworming drug. This mixture can cause flesh-eating disease in humans. It creates rotting patches of skin by cutting off the blood supply to various areas of the body.