Alkaloid C17H21NO4 extracted from the leaves of the coca tree. It has limited medical application, mainly as a local anesthetic agent that is readily absorbed by mucous membranes (lining tissues) of the nose and throat. It is both toxic and addictive. Its use as a stimulant is illegal. Crack is a derivative of cocaine.
Cocaine was first extracted from the coca plant in Germany in the 19th century. Most of the world's cocaine is produced from coca grown in Peru, Bolivia, Colombia, and Ecuador. Estimated annual production totals 215,000 metric tons, with most of the processing done in Colombia. Long-term use may cause mental and physical deterioration.
A narcotic (alkaloid) extracted from coca leaves; used as a surface anesthetic or taken for pleasure; can become addictive; SYN. cocain, coke, snow.