Conversion to Crack
“Crack” is the term used on the street and even in some courtrooms to describe the form of cocaine base which has been converted from the cocaine
hydrochloride and can be smoked in a pipe. This procedure of conversion from the acid to the base is usually carried out in the U.S. Cocaine base usually appears in the form of a rock-like material, and is sometimes sold in plastic packets, glass vials, or other suitable packaging. Cocaine hydrochloride is normally ingested by inhalation through a tube or straw, or by injection. Cocaine base is ingested by smoking in an improvised glass pipe. Ingestion in this manner results in the cocaine entering the blood stream through the lungs and rushes to the brain very quickly.
Cocaine hydrochloride is converted to cocaine base in one of two ways. The first method involves dissolving the cocaine hydrochloride in water and adding sodium bicarbonate or household ammonia. The water is then boiled for a short period until all of the precipitated cocaine base melts to an oil, and ice is added to the reaction vessel. This vessel will usually be a metal cooking pan or a deep glass bowl. As the water cools, chunks of cocaine base oil will solidify at the bottom of the cooking vessel. After all the cocaine base has formed, the water can be cooled and then poured off leaving the solid cocaine base which
is easily removed from the collection vessel. The cocaine base can be cut with a knife or broken into “rocks” which can then be dried either under a heat lamp or in a microwave oven. It is not unusual when analyzing cocaine base produced from this method to identify sodium bicarbonate mixed with the rock-like material. This cocaine base sometimes has a high moisture content due to incomplete drying.
A second method of producing cocaine base from cocaine hydrochloride involves dissolving the salt (usually cocaine hydrochloride) in water. Sodium bicarbonate or household ammonia is added to the water and mixed well. Diethyl ether is then added to the solution and stirred. The mixture then separates into two layers with the ether layer on top of the aqueous layer. The ether is decanted leaving the water behind. The ether is then allowed to evaporate and high quality cocaine base remains. If any of the adulterants mentioned previously (excluding sugars, which are diluents) are mixed with the cocaine hydrochloride prior to conversion, then they will also be converted to the base and will be a part of the rock-like material that results from this process. The term “free base” is used to describe this form of cocaine.
Cocaine base in this form is also smoked in a glass pipe. However, residual (and sometimes substantial) amounts of ether remaining in these samples from the extraction process make ignition in a glass pipe very dangerous.
About the Author: Serkan OZTURK is the owner of Drug Rehab. You can find more information at www.drug-rehab.mobi/.