Difference between Cocaine and Crack

Cocaine and crack are both drugs but cocaine is an abused drug that is dervied out of the cocoa plant, it can be found in both rock and powder forms. The rock form of it is referred to crack cocaine or crack and the powder form of it is known as coke or cocaine.

What is Cocaine?

The white powder that comes out of the dried leaves if a cocoa plant which is usually found in South America us known as cocaine. It is a form of drug that gives a very quick and intense high to an individual. It is also used by healthcare professionals in certain situations as local anaesthesia to perform some surgeries but other than that recreational cocaine use is considered to be illegal.

As cocaine looks like a white fine, crystal powder, many street dealers to increase their profits scam the customers by mixing talcum powder, flour or cornstarch with it. Mixing of opioids to cocaine is especially considered to be risky because people don’t realise the risk this dangerous additive causes.

Cocaine powder is usually snorted or rubbed into their gums and some of them dissolve the powder in a liquid and inject it into their bloodstream. People also inject a mixture of heroin and cocaine, this is known as speedball.

Consuming cocaine increases levels of the natural chemical messenger called dopamine in the brain, this is related to control of the movement or reward. Some short term effects that cocaine has on an individual are −

  • Mental alertness

  • Extreme euphoria and energy

  • High sensitivity to sound, touch or sight

  • Paranoia

Most people also find that cocaine helps perform everyday physical and mental tasks more quickly, but some of them experience the opposite of that. Consuming large amounts of cocaine can lead to violent, unpredictable and bizarre behaviour in an individual.

What is Crack?

Crack cocaine also known as crack or rock is a free base form of cocaine that is in a rock form that can be smoked. It offers a short an intense high to people who consume it. It is a highly additive and powerful stimulant that is made out of powdered cocaine using a simple conversion process.

Crack is made by dissolving powdered cocaine in a mixture of ammonium or sodium bicarbonate and water and this mixture is boiled until there is a solid substance formed. This substance is then removed out of the liquid, dried and then broken into chunks that look like rocks that are white in colour with different shapes and sizes, these are sold as crack cocaine. It is generally smoked and smoking it sends through a large amount of quantity of drugs to the lungs that immediately produces an intense euphoric effect on an individual.

Consumption of crack is illegal as it is a highly additive and powerful substance. Some of the health risks caused due to crack are −

  • Shortness of breath

  • Acute respiratory problems

  • Aggressive and paranoid behaviour in an individual.

  • Bleeding and lung trauma

  • Coughing

Difference between Cocaine and Crack

The following table highlights the major differences between Cocaine and Crack −

Cocaine / Crack




Cocaine is made out of cocoa plant that is dried, it is made in the form of both rock and powder.

The rock for of cocaine is known as crack cocaine or crack.


Cocaine is found to be more frequently used and popular.

Even though crack is cheaper to produce and buy, it is not as popular as cocaine.


The use of cocoa plant to produce cocaine first became popular in the late 19th century

Crack is considered to he a newer invention and its use became widespread in the beginning of the 1980s.


Cocaine is generally expensive compared to crack.

As crack contains cocaine which mixture of other substances as well, it does not have pure cocaine in it, thus it sells for much lesser than cocaine.

Effect time

It takes about 3-5min roughly when cocaine is snorted through the nose and around 15-30min when it is injected into the bloodstream.

Crack is faster than cocaine because the smoke is inhaled and the effect is immediate.


Cocaine is less addictive and dangerous when compared to crack as it tajes time to show its effect.

Crack is very dangerous and addictive as its effect is seen immediately after the smoke id inhaled.

One of the main differences between cocaine and crack is that crack is usually a more pure substance than cocaine. And crack comes in a white crystal rock form, whereas cocaine comes in the form of a white powder.


In conclusion, cocaine and crack are very life-threatening and there are multiple signs that may show the need for help for cocaine and crack addiction. And one of the main signs is unable to stop using the drug of your choice.

Updated on: 20-Jan-2023


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