Coca

Domestic Coca Plant on Plantation in Peru.

Erythroxylum coca

Coca (Wikipedia)
Coca
Erythroxylum novogranatense var. Novogranatense (retouched).jpg
Erythroxylum novogranatense var. novogranatense leaves and berries
Product nameCoca
Source plant(s)Erythroxylum coca var. coca, Erythroxylum coca var. ipadu, Erythroxylum novogranatense var. novogranatense, Erythroxylum novogranatense var. truxillense
Part(s) of plantLeaf
Geographic originAndes
Active ingredientsCocaine, benzoylecgonine, ecgonine, others
Legal status

Coca is any of the four cultivated plants in the family Erythroxylaceae, native to western South America. Coca is known for its psychoactive alkaloid, cocaine.

The plant is grown as a cash crop in Argentine Northwest, Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru, even in areas where its cultivation is unlawful. There are some reports that the plant is being cultivated in the south of Mexico as an alternative to smuggling its recreational product cocaine. It also plays a role in many traditional Andean cultures as well as the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta (see Traditional uses).

The cocaine alkaloid content of dry Erythroxylum coca var. coca leaves was measured ranging from 0.23 % to 0.96 %. The Coca tribe of Jalisco and Nayarit, Mexico, use it as a stimulant. Coca-Cola used coca leaf extract in its products from 1885 until about 1903. Extraction of cocaine from coca requires several solvents and a chemical process known as an acid-base extraction, which can fairly easily extract the alkaloids from the plant.

Coca (Wiktionary)

English

Etymology 1

Borrowed from Spanish coca, from Quechua kuka, perhaps from Aymara.

Pronunciation

  • (Received Pronunciation) IPA(key): /ˈkəʊkə/
  • (General American) IPA(key): /ˈkoʊkə/

Noun

coca (usually uncountable, plural cocas)

  1. Any of the four cultivated plants which belong to the family Erythroxylaceae, native to western South America.
  2. The dried leaf of one of these plants, the South American shrub (Erythroxylum coca), widely cultivated in Andean countries, which is the source of cocaine.
Derived terms
  • cocaine
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