Volume 36, Issue 1 (January 1991)
Coca Paste: Chemical Analysis and Smoking Experiments
Several samples of Colombian and a sample of Peruvian coca paste were subjected to chemical analysis to ascertain the complexity of these products. A neutral and acid fraction and a basic fraction were analyzed by gas chromatography/flame ionization detection (GC/FID) and gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS). The basic fraction was also analyzed as its trimethylsilyl (TMS) derivative. Several gasoline residue components were identified in the neutral fraction. In addition to cocaine (>60% in all cases), other alkaloids were identified. Lead and manganese analyses were carried out on these samples. While all the samples contained no lead (<45 ppm), most of the Colombian samples contained significant amounts of manganese (>5%). Preliminary smoking experiments with a Colombian coca paste sample indicated that it behaves more like free cocaine than like a cocaine sulfate salt.