Cocaine in blood of coca chewers
Homstedt B, Lindgren JE, Rivier L, Plowman T
Department of Neurology,
Massachusetts General Hospital,
Boston 02114
J Ethnopharmacol 1979 Jan;1(1):69-78


Coca leaves (Erythroxylum coca Lamarck) and powder (5 - 10 g) were taken orally by human subjects in the same way as South American natives do. The cocaine, as measured by mass fragmentography, was immediately detected in the blood, reached peak concentrations from 10 - 150 ng/ml plasma at 0.38 - 1.95 hours, and persisted in the plasma for more than 7 hours. Half-lives of the elimination of cocaine were calculated and ranged from 1.0 to 1.9 hours. The absorption half-lives ranged from 0.2 to 0.6 hours. The shape of the curves fits with the subjective effects reported. There is no reason to believe that the stimulating effect achieved by the use of either coca leaves or powder is not due to cocaine.

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