The juices are absorbed slowly by the mucous membrane of the inner cheek and by the gastrointestinal tract when swallowed.Alternatively, coca leaves can be infused in liquid and consumed like tea.The efficiency of absorption of orally administered cocaine is limited by two additional factors.
Because cocaine is hydrolyzed and rendered inactive in the acidic stomach, it is not readily absorbed when ingested alone.
Only when mixed with a highly alkaline substance (such as lime) can it be absorbed into the bloodstream through the stomach.
When inhaled or injected, it causes a numbing effect.
Crack cocaine is a smokeable form of cocaine made into small "rocks" by processing cocaine with sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) and water.
Cocaine has since been largely replaced in Western medicine by synthetic local anesthetics such as benzocaine, proparacaine, lidocaine, and tetracaine though it remains available for use if specified.