What is Crack? Differences Between Crack and Cocaine?

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Many people wonder what the major differences are when it comes to crack vs. coke, which are both forms of cocaine. Cocaine, also referred to as “coke”, is an illegal substance that comes from the coca plant.   Cocaine is a stimulant drug that comes in powder form, where those who use it either snort it, rub it on their gums or inject it to get “high”.

Crack is a crystalized form of cocaine that’s far more potent.  Crack is made from cocaine into solid chunks that is heated up and then smoked.  It’s called “crack” because of the cracking noise it makes when it’s heated.

The Differences Between Crack And Cocaine

Cocaine is made up the coca plant that is native to South America combined with different chemicals in labs. It’s typically powder form that is white.

It’s likely you’ve heard of cocaine, but perhaps you are wondering, “What is crack?”

Crack cocaine is formed by combining powder cocaine with substances like baking soda and water. Once the ingredients are mixed, it’s boiled and forms a solid “crack rock”. These tend to be larger pieces that will be broken apart to be sold. The color of crack cocaine rangers from light brown to tan.

Both cocaine and crack cocaine are quite addictive. If you wonder which is more addictive: crack vs. coke – crack is known for being more addictive due to being ultra-concentrated. In fact, just using crack cocaine one time can cause you to become addicted to it.

Crack Cocaine

Learn more about crack cocaine. Click here.


Learn more about cocaine. Click Here.

One other difference between crack and cocaine is the feelings produced as a result of using the drug. While both may produce the feelings of being overly alert, excited, confident, and energetic, crack produces a more intense high.

For example, if someone snorts cocaine, they may feel the “high” for between 15 and 30 minutes.

On the other hand, someone that smokes crack will feel an immediate, intense high, but it will only last maybe three to ten minutes. It’s a shorter “high”, but it’s much more intense.

Crack is also cheaper than cocaine, which is one reason it tends to have a higher rate of abuse.

Users of crack feel the rush of feelings within a minute, because the smoke reaches the lungs and is absorbed through the membranes as fast as ten to fifteen seconds. However, the feelings peak within three to five minutes and wear off within 45 minutes to an hour.

Injected cocaine has similar effects as crack.

Why Is Crack Abused More?

The reality is that cocaine costs more, so those that aren’t rolling in the dough are not able to keep buying it. Crack was created to be a cheaper alternative. This means that most anyone could get their hands on it, regardless of their financial situation.

In general, cocaine and crack increase the neurotransmitters norepinephrine and dopamine in the brain. These chemicals help boost feelings of euphoria and wellness.

What Are The Effects Of Cocaine?

  • Euphoria
  • Dilated pupils
  • Faster heart rate
  • Heightened senses

What Are The Effects Of Crack?

Crack produces a more intense rush of feelings, such as:

  • Heightened senses
  • Euphoria
  • Faster heart rate
  • Dilated pupils
  • Severe cravings as soon as the high wears off

Due to the severity of symptoms, the risk of overdose is quite large.  It can also lead to coma, convulsions, and death.

What are the symptoms of cocaine overdose?

Knowing the signs of cocaine overdose may save lives. The following are some cocaine overdose signs that are common. If you are with someone and you think they have overdosed, or if you think you have, call 911 or medical service professionals immediately.

Overdose symptoms include:

  • A difficult time breathing/hyperventilation
  • Erratic heart rhythm
  • Chest pain
  • Increased heart rate
  • Experiencing hallucinations
  • Seizures
  • Losing consciousness

What Are Cocaine & Crack Withdrawal Symptoms?

Withdrawal symptoms for both cocaine and crack are similar. The intensity and duration of symptoms can vary depending on factors like:

  • What type of drug was used
  • The dose of the drug
  • The frequency taken
  • Whether other drugs are being used or not
  • Overall health
  • History of addiction

Common cocaine or crack withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Increased anxiety
  • Restlessness
  • Cravings for more of the drug
  • Nausea
  • Body aches
  • Depression
  • Feeling tired
  • Thoughts of suicide (at the more severe level)
  • Chills
  • Trouble focusing
  • Increased appetite
  • Bizarre dreams or nightmares

Cocaine And Crack Addiction Treatment

If you believe that you or someone you know suffers from an addiction to crack, please contact one of our addiction specialists at (866) 578-7471. There are treatments and resources that can help you get free from the addiction. Additionally, we can address other emotional or mental health issues you may be struggling with.


  1. It was very well explained between the two harmful drugs in the post. The effects on the body were very hazardous and one should never consume it. People who use it to remove anxiety are more prone to consume it more, once they do.

  2. Good to be able to spot the difference now between the two. But I don’t recommend any though and they can be super addictive, which is why I don’t go for them.

  3. I always thought that these are ONE & THE SAME to be honest. That said this is very informative. In short Crack is solid while cocaine is powder? Never the less both are dangerous and it is always best to avoid them. People should be aware of it.

  4. Both cocaine and crack cocaine are quite addictive. For those who are addicted, better have a treatment before it’s too late.

  5. This is educative, my first time of hearing about crack, and you explained well, just like A B C. Thanks and I will take not of the signs

  6. None of this should be taken or encouraged by anyone. They are all deadly and bad for a living thing. Let run from drugs, life Is really seeet

  7. I had no idea that crack was made of cocaine, actually, when people talk about drugs I know there are different types but I’m not sure of how they are or what effect do they produce in the organism or how long does the effect last. This article was very informative

  8. Am hearing of the crack for the very first time. Cocaine usage is not something we encourage people to use. Thanks so much for this helpful post.

  9. It is good to be informed about its difference and to educate more about the varieties of drugs. I am hoping that the more people are well educated about it, the lesser will get abused by it.

  10. The article really puts things into perspective. I have always wondered what’s the difference between crack and cocaine.

  11. The government ought to step in to control the use of crack cocaine. Admittedly, that’s not an easy task though.

  12. I think you nailed it on the difference between crack and cocaine. Although at the basic level they are the same thing.

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