What is in Cocaine? What is Cocaine cut with?

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Since the 1980’s, the drug scene has changed dramatically. With high competition in the black market for Class A substances such as cocaine, it’s a hustle for dealers. Many are driven  to use cutting agents, chemicals used to dilute (cut) the drug they are selling. This helps the substance go further equalling more money in their pockets.

The downside is, buyers often don’t know what they are getting in their cut. This leads us to ask the questions ‘what do suppliers use in the cutting process?’ and how to cut cocaine?’

As the cutting agent is usually something cheaper than cocaine itself it’s come to no surprise that over the past 15 years, cocaine along with heroin have been found to have a 50% purity level. However, with the release of the darknet, cocaine with the purity of 30% is becoming commonplace and more are being found to have 50% or more.

How is cocaine cut?

Now we have established dealers combine substances to make smaller amounts of pure cocaine go further, it leaves us asking what else is added to the mix? Cocaine can be cut with several other substances some of which put people’s health at risk.

Here are some of the ingredients often used to dilute cocaine –

  • Added food coloring or powdered milk to give cocaine its shade
  • Lower cost stimulants such as speed or caffeine to promote a similar buzz to cocaine
  • Pain killers to create a numbing effect however various anesthetics such as phenacetin can be carcinogenic
  • Inactive powders like baking soda are often added or other white powders such as laxatives that may cause negative side effects
  • Boric acid which is often found in insecticides
  • Body building supplement ingredients are often traced in some cuts of cocaine
  • Mannitol from food flavoring acts as a diuretic and anti-caking agent.
  • Paracetamol and phenacetin are painkillers often used.

Hidden dangers: When cocaine is cut with caffeine

When wondering how to cut cocaine, few know the ingredients actually mixed with the substance to create certain effects that mimic the real thing. Caffeine is one of the most addictive and potent combinations when cutting cocaine.

There are reports that this combination is gaining popularity in the streets of South America. With the jitters from the caffeine and the buzz from the cocaine, it’s unclear if suppliers understand the powerful potential of the combination.

A research study discussed at the Society for Neuroscience Conference saw researchers talking about caffeine’s ‘reinforcing effects’. This increases the potential for users to cling to the drug and develop addictive habits quicker than if it was simply pure coke.

Did you know? Even though caffeine is one of the most common additives, there’s an extensive list of chemicals and cutting agents used to dilute cocaine ready for market.


More additives added to cocaine cuts:

AdditiveWhy is it usedPotential health risks
LidocaineLegally used as an anaesthetic.

It promotes similar but stronger effects to anaesthetic giving the illusion of a purer cocaine batch.

• CNS problems • Nausea • Vomiting • Dizziness • Tremors • Convulsions
HydroxyzineUsually used as a sedative.

It’s assumed this additive is used in the final processing stage.

Dizziness • Drowsiness • Digestive issues • Tinnitus • Headaches
PhenacetinLegally an Analgesic substance.

Numbs pain as well as embodying similar elements to cocaine.

• Analgesic nephropathy • Haemolytic anaemia • Kidney cancer • Bladder cancer
LevamisoleUsually used to kill and excrete parasitic worms. Highly toxic so no longer used on humans and mainly kept for vetinary surgeries.

Unknown reasons for being an adulterant, however, it is assumed to promote a more intense high.

One source reveals it’s a popular impurity and in some police raids, around 70% of the batches have been found to posses Levamisole.

Used as a dangerous drug on farm animals, this cutting agent binds to the receptors creating effects similar to amphetamine. This is what helps make the drug more enjoyable and enticing on the market.

• Fever • Agranulocytosis

Cocaine’s addictive pleasurable sensations and surge of euphoria cause people to gravitate towards the drug. With it being more readily available than ever before among the general population instead of just the elite, more and more individuals are putting themselves at risks.

Cocaine and crack alone have a high and dangerous addictive potential. When it’s distributed in large quantities and cut with hazardous and poisoning additives, the risk increases dramatically.

Is the cutting process used on all kinds of cocaine?

The simple answer is yes. Despite it being injected, smoked, or dissolved cocaine cutting still occurs.

Why? Cocaine cutting is done to either:

1- Alter the texture or colour of the drug

2- Increase the weight of the drug

3 – Increase the pleasurable feelings of euphoria whilst consuming cocaine

Cocaine in its original form starts off as dried leaves from the coca plant usually grown in South America.  When it comes down to business however, profits needs to be lucrative and manufacturing difficulties often arise.

This means dealers have to cut in order to make a substantial amount of turnover and raise the amount they produce. Therefore, the toxicity and potential damage done from overdose is increased due to these added adulterants.

The cutting of cocaine and process of mixing in other ingredients increases weight so it can be distributed into hundreds of tiny packets. This increases the amount and means the buyer cannot distinguish the difference as their brain is still experiencing the stimulating effects of a small portion of cocaine plus the adulterant.

Usually the more expensive it is, the less additivities will be present and the cleaner the cut will be.

3 cuts of cocaine knowingly available on the black market

Now we’ve established the profit-driving motives behind drug dealers always searching for better answers to the question ‘how to cut cocaine profitably?’, let’s discuss which types are already sold.

  1. Freebase cocaine is cocaine in its purest form. This cut mixes ammonia with ether during the production process which creates a powder that can be inhaled and snorted. Due to the inhalation consumption method, it has a potent impact on the brains chemistry as it easily crosses the blood brain barrier.
  2. Crack coke cut is termed crack as the heating and smoking process creates a crackling noise. This form has the most impurities added so buyers never truly know what they are getting therefore cannot anticipate side-effects whilst consuming. Impurities are mixed before hydrochloride combines with ammonia/baking soda. This then evaporates the hydrochloride leaving a hard crystalized form of coke behind.
  3. Hydrochloride salt is made when cocaine reacts with an acid solvent creating a powdery, dissolvable salt. This can be injected into the veins or snorted as the powder itself.

What’s the dangers of abusing cocaine?

Cocaine can have extremely damaging effects, even just a few occasional uses can impact the organs and system never mind long-term use. The substance is designed to activate the brain unnaturally and keep it stimulated for abnormal lengths of time damaging the nerves.

With its high potential for addiction, the psychical and mental dependence becomes most worrying for cocaine users. This is not to mention the additives used in varying batches of the drug.

Some toxic ingredients used in the production process can damage the respiratory tract leading to future strokes or heart attacks. This means becoming aware of how a batch of cocaine is cut becomes crucial.

The short term and long term effects of abusing cocaine can be varied.

Short-term consequences: 

  • Distinctive mood swings
  • Hallucinating
  • Diminished clarity
  • Insomnia
  • Involuntary spasms
  • Heart attack, stroke, seizure may occur in worst case scenarios
  • Unexpected death from overdose

Long-term consequences from abusing cocaine:

  • Reoccurring cognitive damage
  • Increased danger of developing an infection
  • Unstable mental disposition. This may be experienced through paranoia, depression or exhibiting suicidal tendencies.
  • Irreversible harm done to organs and system.
  • Skin and tissues becoming infected from prolonged needle use. This is usually around the injected area which may contribute to arteries becoming blocked, septic emboli and lung contamination.

Struggling with cocaine addiction?

If you or someone you care about are suffering from cocaine abuse, it’s crucial you get the help needed to safely withdraw from this highly toxic drug. It could mean the difference between life and death when an addict visits a high quality rehabilitation center.

There you will have access to qualified and dedicated teams who are on-call alongside a solid support network helping individuals quit completely.

Even though cocaine is a hard habit to kick, it’s more than possible with commitment and sustained effort.

With the right centre, you or your loved one can gain access residential and outpatient services tailored to fit your specific needs.

When opting for the residential rehab option, you can take advantage of the following services:

  • Individualized Detox Treatments
  • Chef-Prepared Gourmet Meals
  • Medically-Assisted Detox
  • A Comprehensive Aftercare Plan
  • Convenient Transport Services

You’ll get the help and support you need at one of our BLVD centers located in: Hollywood, Portland, Orange County, San Diego, West Los Angeles, Give our team a call to see how we can help on 8885376671.



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