At first glance I thought this would be an easy one to find. There are many sites looking at changes in the density of certain receptors in response to cocaine. I cannot find the density of cocaine, although I could find coke (both the drink and the fuel).
Hmmm. I think I read somewhere that a kilo of cocaine would just barely fill Barbara Streisand’s nostrils, though that may have been in jest. Let this serve as a bump, I guess.
Any doper have a kg of cocaine around that they could measure displacement of water with? N.B.–Keep it dry!
Not terribly accurate, but I can tell you that a 2 key brick is just smaller than the average phone book. Doesn’t make sense for a mule to swallow cocaine if that’s what you’re thinking, but you can fit two bricks under the back seat of a drive-away car. So I’ve heard…
If you just want a reasonable estimate, go to your cupboard, get out a box of baking soda and read the label. Physically, the stuff resembles powder cocaine, and I expect that the densities are pretty close, too. That little yellow box you buy in the supermarket is a pound, so think of a kilo of cocaine as something on the order of a couple boxes of baking soda. Note - by “reasonable”, I’m suggesting within 30% or so - I’m just WAGing. Just in case somebody DOES dig up the actual density of cocaine.
If you wanted to go even simpler, you could just assume it has the same density of water. For most organic substances, this is a pretty good approximation, to within 10% or so. Using this, one kilogram of cocaine would be about 1 liter, or a cube 10 cm on a side (or alternatively, a brick 5cm x 10 cm x 20 cm, or 1 cm x 20 cm x 50 cm, or whatever).
The Merck Index, which is usually the first place one turns for this sort of information, doesn’t list the density of cocaine, although if you want any other property (such as the specific rotation or how soluble it is in olive oil), it’s in there. There are entries for both cocaine HCl (which is what you’re asking about) and cocaine base (i.e. crack). I tried a couple other things, and I might be able to get an estimate from software if I could get the program to work properly. It’s possible that the CRC Handbook of Chemistry & Physics lists the density – if the Merck Index doesn’t list density, CRC often does – but I don’t have a copy. Remember that the compound won’t be pure, though it’s probably more pure at the drug mule stage of distribution than it is on the street. You can probably get a reasonable estimate just by finding the volume of 1 kg of powdered sugar. Or you could look for news articles about drug mules who were arrested to get some idea of how much they typically carry.
It hadn’t occured to me to check my CRC (admittedly an old edition, 1975-1976), but on checking now, there’s no mention of cocaine in the index. Looking in the tables for “Physical constants of organic compounds”, though, there is a listing for cocaine, but with no density listed. Would you like to know its molecular mass, or its melting point?
Thanks for looking it up, I can’t believe the density of cocaine is seemingly blacklisted!
If I end up having to compare it to another powdery substance (which I really don’t want, I’d love to be as accurate as possible) which would be the best substance to use? Flour, baking soda, sugar, water? What is the most cocaine-like? Hehe.
Thanks, but I’ve already found the molecular mass. What I need is either density to figure out the volume of a kg of cocaine, or just the volume of a kg itself. I’d like it to be as accurate as possible, since I am comparing the carrying capacity of drug muleing to less…traditional methods of trafficking.
My better half happens to work for a federal agency that deals with exactly this item.
I’ve requested she ask around to people who may have access to get a measurement.
I’ll let you know if I find out anything concrete (I have handled 1 kilo, though it was about 2 years ago. As I recall it was about the size of a medium paperback and small enough to fit in the headrest of an import car seat).
Like I said, I’ll keep you posted if she gets a more concrete answer.
It depends on how it has been processed. I’ve seen the legal stuff in a pharmacy. It isn’t very dense, just small flakes of cocaine and lots of air. It’s often used as a topical anaesthetic. I used to have some eye drops that contained cocaine when I was severely allergic to various types of pollen. They worked very well.
There are a number of varieties of cocaine listed; I assume from other comments that the one of interest is cocaine hydrochloride(dl), which melts at 187 Celsius, or cocaine hydrochloride(l), at 197. These are the highest temperatures listed for the various types of cocaine, with the lowest being cocaine(dl) at 79-80. I’m not a chemist, so don’t ask me why it melts more easily when on the Disabled List.