What Is Freebasing?

What Is Freebasing header image

You may have heard of people “freebasing” before, but maybe you didn’t quite understand what it meant.  Typically, freebasing refers to a process that gives a drug like cocaine a potency boost.  Though cocaine is usually what people are referring to, people “freebase” other substances too, such as heroine.

Cocaine is a stimulant drug that gives users a rush of euphoria and energy.  It comes in the form of a powder and users typically snort it or rub it on their gums. The “high” can begin withing a few minutes and lasts usually about 15 to 30 minutes. Because of the short timeframe, users have the tendency to keep using the drug to continue the experience of being “high”. This can lead to cocaine addiction quickly.

You may have heard of cocaine referred to as a party drug. This leads some people to think that it’s a rather safe drug to use. However, this is not the case. Cocaine use can lead to plenty of problems, including addiction, financial problems, heart problems, cardiac arrest, and more.

What Is Freebasing?

Cocaine is made from two chemicals: Alkaloid, which is the base, and hydrochloride, which is salt. What the freebase process does to cocaine is altar the structure so that it is easier to smoke and is more potent.

When someone “freebases” cocaine, they are using the solid form of cocaine in its base form. Essentially, to create “freebase” cocaine, the hydrochloride is removed from the cocaine, which leaves it as a solid, rather than powder.

While this is similar to smoking crack cocaine, freebase cocaine is more potent, as its in its purest form. To freebase cocaine, users may put the cocaine in a glass pipe and then heat it up. The vapor that forms is inhaled. Once the vapor hits the bloodstream through the lungs, the user will feel the “high”.

Why do people freebase cocaine? Many report that the “high” they experience is more intense than using cocaine in other ways. However, not as many people freebase cocaine anymore. There were far too many explosions that happened when the flame would touch ether, a flammable liquid that was added to the cocaine.

These days, more people smoke crack than freebase it, though the terms are used interchangeably.

What Are The Effects of Freebasing Cocaine?

As mentioned, the desired effects of freebasing cocaine don’t last that long. A user might experience the rush of euphoria and energy for about 30 minutes. After that, they will experience what many people call a “crash” or come down. It’s at this time that they will start to feel some withdrawal symptoms, such as fatigue, increased anxiety, restlessness, depression, and some people experience paranoia.

Because these effects are uncomfortable, it can be easy to reach for another dose of cocaine in an attempt to feel better. This can certainly lead to dependency and cocaine addiction.

Common effects of freebasing cocaine include:

  • Nausea
  • Headache
  • Increased Sweating
  • Inability To Sleep
  • Pinprick Pupils
  • Anxiety
  • Hyper-alertness

Long term effects of freebasing cocaine include experiencing

  • Depression
  • Agitation
  • Paranoia
  • Hallucinations
  • Delusions
  • Damaged nerves

Long-term cocaine use can certainly cause heart problems, as the drug impacts the heart intensely. It can even lead to heart failure if one takes too much.

Can You Overdose By Freebasing?

There’s actually a higher risk of overdosing if you freebase cocaine because it’s more potent than the powder form. It’s in its purest form. Signs of overdosing from freebasing cocaine include:

  • Increased heart rate
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Shaking
  • Hyperventilation
  • Seizures or convulsions
  • Stroke
  • Falling unconscious

If you or someone you know is displaying these symptoms after using cocaine, call 911 immediately and seek medical help.

Freebasing Heroin Bottom of Form

Freebasing heroin is not as common as cocaine. To freebase heroin, the user inhales the vapor that comes from heating the heroin, usually in a glass pipe or foil.

Treating Cocaine Addiction

Freebasing any drug is a serious sign of drug abuse. Whether it’s freebasing cocaine or heroin, it’s dangerous and can lead to overdose and/or death.  Good news is that there are effective treatments for drug addiction. You simply have to take that first step and reach out for help.

Recovery takes time and effort, but it’s well worth it. You can get free from addiction and get your life back.

If you believe that you or someone you know suffers from addiction, please contact one of our addiction specialists and call (866) 578-7471.

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22 comments
  1. This blog gave a good idea of freebasing and its effects. Here, in India these things are not too much and we should be away from all these things, as it ruins our life. The resources were good and worth it.

  2. When someone “freebases” cocaine, they are using the solid form of cocaine in its base form. Essentially, to create “freebase” cocaine, the hydrochloride is removed from the cocaine, which leaves it as a solid, rather than powder. Great explanation never knew about this. just learned a new thing

  3. I may not be an addict nor I plan to be one he he but this is very enlightening. The drug world is vast I am sure and this is barely scratching the surface still THANK YOU!!! A blog like this can really be big for awareness. People with awareness knows to stay away from this.

  4. Great help for those who suffer from addiction. You can get free from addiction and get your life back by contacting addiction specialists and call (866) 578-7471. Recovery takes time and effort, but it’s well worth it.

  5. Ahh, freebasing seems more dangerous than cracking or cocaine itself. We should try our best running away from all this drugs, please

  6. I now know what freebasing is and how dangerous it is. I will just wish all to run away from doing drugs, even this we talking about isn’t exempted.

  7. Very interesting I had no idea about what was freebasing before reading this article, I see why freebasing can take a person to addiction.

  8. Whaooo, this is a meaningful post for all to watch. I am so glad yo have come across this good post. This post has really added to my understanding on the said topic.

  9. freebase cocaine is more potent, as its in its purest form. To freebase cocaine, users may put the cocaine in a glass pipe and then heat it up. The vapor that forms is inhaled. Once the vapor hits the bloodstream through the lungs, the user will feel the high

  10. Indeed, I have heard the term ‘freebasing’ quite a few times without understanding what it was. What an informative piece this is.

  11. I appreciate you always sharing the rehab center contacts in each of your posts. I am sure it helps a lot of people struggling with addiction.

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