Cocaine Vs Crack: Differences Worth Knowing

Cocaine and crack are two drugs created from the coca plant. However there are some differences between these two drugs which we will discuss in the following arrays of our article.

Cocaine Vs Crack

Cocaine Vs Crack: Differences worth Knowing

Cocaine Vs Crack: Basic Differences

Cocaine is a crystalline tropane alkaloid obtained from the leaves of the coca plant. The name Cocaine, comes from Coca”, in addition to the alkaloid suffix ‘-ine”. Cocaine is a stimulant of the CNS or Central Nervous System.

However, Crack or Crack Cocaine is a solid smokable form of the cocaine. This is a freebase form of cocaine which is made by using baking soda or sodium bicarbonate, in a process for converting cocaine hydrochloride (powder cocaine) in to freebase cocaine.

Cocaine Vs Crack: Differences Based on Purity

Though cocaine and crack are both drugs created from the coca plant, they both have a different level of refinement. Crack is known to be typically a purer substance than cocaine is.

Cocaine Vs Crack: Differences Based On Appearance and Characteristics

Cocaine is a white and pearly product in its purest form. Cocaine appearing in powder form is a salt, typically CAS 53-21-4 or Cocaine hydrochloride. Street market cocaine is frequently cut with various powdery fillers like baking soda; sugars like lactose, inositol, mannitol, dextrose etc; and local anesthetics like benzococaine, so as to increase its weight. Adulterated or “Cut” cocaine is usually a white, off-white or pinking powder.

Several factors are responsible for the color of the Crack, which include the origin of the crack cocaine used, the method of preparation-with ammonia or baking soda and the presence of impurities, but will generally be white, a yellowish cream or a light brown. The texture of crack cocaine can be a crumbly texture, or extremely oily, or a hard crystalline nature. The texture depends on the adulterants, origin and processing of the powdered cocaine and the method of converting the base. In pure forms; crack rock appears as off-white nuggets with jagged edges, with a slightly higher density than the candle wax. In crystalline form, it resembles a hard brittle plastic. Purer forms of crack, sink in water or melt at the edges when taken near a flame.

Cocaine Vs Crack: Differences Based On Administration

The common method of administrating cocaine is via inhalation. Cocaine is generally inhaled in powder form via the nose. This is known as snorting and may damage the mucus membranes. One more method of administrating cocaine is with IV or intravenous injection. Injection provides an instant and intense high but has inherent risks with it. It must be noted that cocaine can also be swallowed, smoked or taken as a suppository.

The most common method of administrating or ingesting crack is smoking. It is refined by removing hydrochloride salt present in the street form of cocaine. It is believed that a crackling sound is produced when crack is smoked.

Cocaine Vs Crack: Differences Based on Criminal Penalties

Criminal penalties for possession and sale of cocaine or crack are very severe. Possession of 500 grams of powder cocaine yields a 5-year mandatory sentence in minimum. Possession of 28 grams of crack yields a 5-year mandatory sentence in minimum for a first offence.

Cocaine Vs Crack: Differences Based on the Time Taken to Feel the Effect

It takes 10 to 15 minutes to feel the effects after snorting cocaine. However, it takes approximately 10 to 15 seconds to feel the effects after smoking crack.

Cocaine Vs Crack: Differences Based on Expense to Buy and Create

Cocaine is more expensive to create than crack.

Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:May 16, 2017

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