How to test cocaine: reduce risk by using a cocaine test kit to check it for adulterants. Pure cocaine usually looks white and is a powder (or crystal, if it’s “crack” cocaine) and can’t be identified by appearence. To test cocaine use reagent tests Marquis, Mecke, Liebermann, Ehrlich and Scott in single-use or multiple-use test kits. Reagent tests are simple chemicals that indicate presence of a substance by reacting with different color change to different substances. To test you need just 1 drop of a reagent and a small sample, about this big -> ●. To detect all ingredients and estimate potency it’s required to use an additional TLC purity test kit. To detect fentanyl or test for fentanyl analogs use the fentanyl test strips.
Reagents presumptively indicate PRESENCE, but not PURITY or QUANTITY. Use different reagent tests to improve accuracy and to detect adulterants – 90% of adulterants will react with 1 out of 3 tests, and 95% with 1 out of 5. To detect all ingredients and estimate potency it’s required to use an additional purity test kit. A positive or negative test result does not indicate if the substance is safe. No substance is 100% safe.
How can I test cocaine?
BEFORE using a cocaine test kit
- it’s RECOMMENDED to record the reaction to compare later.
Cocaine testing instructions
- Take a (small) piece of your powder, about this big -> ●.
- Put it on a suitable testing plate, preferably a spot test plate or the bottom/underside of a ceramic mug (example). *If using single-use vials insert the sample and observe, as the reagent is already within.
- Add one (or two) drops of Scott reagent test (or other supplied) on the sample and wait for the results.
- Check reagent test results with instructions below.
- Consider using a TLC Cocaine Purity Test Kit to double check possible adulterants and estimate potency.
AFTER using a cocaine test kit
- OPTIONAL: Pour baking soda over a finished reaction to neutralize used reagents.
- Wash testing surface under running water.
For full instructions scroll further down below.
VIDEO & RESULTS Watch how to test cocaine
TL;DR: Below is an image with a quick cheat sheet how to use the Cocaine Test Kit, and further down you can check out more detailed guide how to test cocaine. Use the cocaine reagent test results chart to see how to use Scott reagent, Marquis, Mecke and Liebermann to test cocaine powder, and what are the expected results.
STEP ONE How to identify cocaine?
Reagents can be divided into primary and secondary. Primary reagents react with the expected substance while secondary produce a vibrant color change with an adulterant. Here are a few key notes:
- Scott – primary test for cocaine, can’t be used alone because all -caines produce false positives
- Liebermann – primary test for most powders, also a secondary test for cocaine (detects levamisole)
- Marquis – secondary test for cocaine, ketamine, mephedrone and blotters, primary test for most powders
- Mecke – secondary test for cocaine, ketamine, mephedrone; short shelf life, primary test for most powders
- Ehrlich – secondary test to detect inactive -caines, also primary test for all indoles, e.g. lysergamides
Scott reagent is the main test for cocaine and produces an instant blue color change with all -caines, such as cocaine, but also inactive pharmaceuticals benzocaine, lidocaine or tetracaine. Liebermann reagent is the follow up primary test to confirm the presence of cocaine, but also detect levamisole, amphetamine and more. Marquis, Mecke and Ehrlich are useful to confirm adulterants, both psychoactive as well as inactive bulking agents.
Adulterated cocaine - Scott test, Marquis, Mecke, Liebermann and Ehrlich
How to use the cocaine test kit?
- Check test results with Scott reagent: if testing cocaine the reagent liquid should instantly turn blue, not just the sample. Many substances turn blue with the Scott test, but almost only cocaine and other -caines change color of the reagent itself.
- Pinkish Marquis reagent color change might be caused by presence of naturaly occuring alkaloids.
- Test as small sample as possible and only try more if you are not getting a conclusive result.
STEP TWO How to test cocaine purity?
According to the EMCDDA and drugsdata.org the most common cocaine adulterants are levamisole (animal deworming agent), caffeine, other stimulants and different pharmacuticals like phenacetin or lidocaine.
Try secondary reagents. Secondary reagents produce a vibrant color change with an adulterant, but not with the expected substance.
Secondary reagent tests for cocaine:
- Marquis reagent produces a reddish-orange color change with amphetamine, but not levamisole.
- Liebermann reagent will produce a reddish color change with both amphetamine and levamisole.
- Liebermann reagent produces a brown or dark brown color change when indicating phenacetin.
- Mandelin reagent can also tell apart amphetamine (green color change) and levamisole (brown).
- Ehrlich reagent turns yellow in the presence of benzocaine, procaine and tetracaine.
- Robadope reagent can confirm primary amines (2C-x, amphetamine, MDA or PMA).
- Simon’s reagent can confirm secondary amines (meth, MDMA, mephedrone and derrivatives or PMMA).
- Zimmermann reagent can detect secondary (4-MMC derrivatives) and tertiary (a-PVP analogs) cathinones.
How to detect levamisole with Marquis reagent and Liebermann
How to detect amphetamine in cocaine
Next choose a purity testing kit. It enables you to separate sample into different substances and estimate quantity, however still requires reagent tests to identify detected substances. To discover all adulterants and quantity pair reagents with a TLC (Thin Layer Chromatography) Purity Test Kit. Purity tests alone don’t identify substances and are best paired with 1-2 reagent tests.
TLC Purity Tests:
- Qualitative: One spot indicates a pure substance. TLC test works by separating substances present in a sample in order to reagent test them individually. You can also use an already confirmed sample for reference – if both compounds show up at the same height on the TLC “card” that indicates they are the same substance.
- Semi-quantitative: TLC also helps estimate quantity (potency). The bigger the size of the detected spot, the bigger the amount of measured substance. Note that different substances need different calibrated rulers.
TLC Purity Test potency scale
- To estimate cocaine purity (number of ingredients and their concentration) use the Substance Purity Test Kit.
- To precisly estimate MDMA purity use the MDMA Purity Test Kit, which in addition includes a calibrated plastic ruler.
For full TLC (Thin Layer Chromatography) instructions read our guide how to test drugs purity.
FENTANYL How to identify fentanyl?
What is fentanyl?
Fentanyl is an extremely potent and dangerous synthetic opioid, often mixed in street drugs and deadly.
BEFORE using a fentanyl test strip
- It’s RECOMMENDED to test each and every dose. Because of extreme potency (microgram range) fentanyl is never evenly mixed in. One part of a baggie can be fentanyl free, and another lethal.
How to test fentanyl powder / pills / spice with a fentanyl test strip?
- Dissolve 100-200 mg in at least 125 ml of water (half a cup).
- Grab a test strip by blue end and insert it into the liquid, no higher than the blue line.
- Wait until liquid starts visibly moving up the test strip (up to 15 seconds).
- Put the test strip away on a flat dry surface and read the result in 2 minutes.
- Check test strip results: a single line confirms the presence of fentanyl, while two lines (even faint) rule it out.
Looking where to buy a test kit for fentanyl?
FAQ Frequently Asked Questions
Looking where to buy a kit for testing cocaine?
- Single-use cocaine test kit – 3,9 EUR per test, FREE SHIPPING
- Multiple-use cocaine test kit – just cents per test, set of 4 reagents
- Fentanyl test strips – learn how to test any sample for fentanyl
- Cocaine Purity Test Kit – required to use in combination with reagent tests
- …or check out the guide “What is the best test kit?” and choose from all available PRO Test kits.
List of all PRO Test guides how to test drugs:
How to test 2C-B?
How to test MDA?
How to test MDMA?
How to test LSD?
How to test DMT?
How to test FENTANTYL?
How to test COCAINE?
How to test KETAMINE?
How to test MEPHEDRONE?
How to test AMPHETAMINE?
How to test METHAMPHETAMINE?
How to test HEROIN (opioids)?
How to test THC and CBD?
How to detect LEVAMISOLE?
How to detect PMA/PMMA?
How to detect FENTANYL?
How to detect NBOMes?
Due to abundance of cocaine on the market, the average purity is rapidly increasing. Remember to not mix with alcohol, not overheat and take breaks. Cocaine is both habit forming and one of the most adulterated substances available, therefore regular use can be particularly dangerous. Learn more at erowid.org.