Difference Between Coke and Crack (With Table)

Cocaine is a stimulant that has highly addictive properties. Coke and crack and the two most common forms of cocaine. Even though they have no pharmacological difference, they both differ in various parameters even though they are derived from the same plant, the coca plant.

Coke vs Crack

The difference between coke and crack is that coke is a powder form of cocaine that is derived from the coca plant. Crack, however, is formed when you combine cocaine with water and sodium bicarbonate (often baking soda). Both of these forms of the drug send dopamine highs to your brain to increase feelings of energy and alertness.

Coke is cocaine in its powder form. It can be snorted, swallowed, or injected. It is a highly addictive stimulant. It causes a sudden rush of energy and feelings of euphoria, happiness, and pleasure, which can be addictive. People started using it on a larger scale in the 1960s.

On the other hand, crack is cocaine in its rock form derived by using the powder. It is usually smoked. It causes shorter but still intense highs, which include feelings of euphoria and pleasure. Crack caused an epidemic in the 1980s when it suddenly became widely popular among poor urban communities.

Comparison Table Between Coke and Crack

Parameters of ComparisonCokeCrack
FormMost commonly found in powdered form.In a rock formation.
IntakeIt is snorted.It is smoked.
Effect timeIt takes longer comparatively but the high lasts for a longer period of time.It takes effect immediately.
PopularityVery popular in the general population.It is more popular in socio-economic groups.
AgePopularity began in the 1960s.Popularity began in the 1980s.
AddictiveIt is less addictive.It is more addictive and dangerous.

What is Coke?

Coke is derived from the coca plant, which is indigenous to certain areas of South America. Natives used to chew this plant for relief and pleasurable feelings. In the 20th century, researchers found out about how they could extract the main chemical from the plant, which later became cocaine.

Coke is a white, fine crystalline powder. It is a hydrochloride salt. It is a section 2 drug that can be used by doctors for surgeries and as anesthesia. But it is widely used as an addictive party drug.

There are various ways of administrating coke. The most common way is snorting. Some other ways are swallowing it, dissolving it in water, and then injecting it into a vein, rubbing it on your gums, etc.

If snorted, coke has an effect in 1 to 5 minutes approximately, peaking within 20 to 30 minutes, and its effects wear down in about 1 to 2 hours. If injected, it can take around 15 to 30 minutes for the high to take place.

Coke has highly addictive properties, which is why the government has labeled it as an illegal substance. It became widely popular in the 1960s. It also is a popular recreational drug. In 2002, the average price of coke was around $50 to $100.

Cocaine produces excessive amounts of dopamine which stimulates feelings of pleasure. These effects last for a fairly long period of time.

Some physiological effects of coke are restlessness, anxiety, an overdose that may lead to death, an increase in blood pressure, decreased appetite, dilated pupils, etc.

Long-term and prolonged use of coke can have various negative effects, including convulsions, seizures, stroke, hallucinations, respiratory failure and death caused by overdose, etc.

What is Crack?

Cocaine can be usually found in the form of a powder. When you mix this powder, sodium bicarbonate, or hydrochloride, to form ‘crack.’ Crack is found in a rock crystal form. It is a purer form of cocaine.

The name “crack” is derived from the sound that cocaine makes during the process of formation of crack. The intense, high feelings stimulated by crack last for a shorter amount of time if compared to other forms of cocaine. The average price of crack is around $5 to $20.

The most common way to ingest crack is by heating it in a pipe or some other device and then smoking it. After smoking it, crack takes effect almost immediately, in under a minute, then it peaks at the 3-to-5-minute mark, and the high lasts for about 30 to 60 minutes.

People develop crack dependency very easily. This is because the crack can induce the high very quickly, and people may not realize the addictive properties it has until they have experienced the high completely.

Some physiological effects of crack are depression, showcasing aggressive behavior, hyperstimulation, increase in the rate of breath, sudden death caused by an overdose. Etc.

Long-term and prolonged use of crack can cause psychosis, mood disturbances and disorders, heart attacks, brain seizures, death, and substance use disorder.

Main Differences Between Coke and Crack

  1. The difference between coke and crack is that cocaine is found in the powdered form of the drug, whereas crack is found in the form of a rock that has been derived from the coke powder.
  2. Coke is mostly snorted and sometimes, rarely, injected. On the other hand, crack is smoked.
  3. If snorted, coke can take up to 3 to 5 minutes to take effect and 15 to 30 minutes if it has been injected. You can feel the effects of crack almost immediately after smoking.
  4. Cocaine in the form of ‘coke’ can be very expensive, whereas crack is more affordable and cheaper, which makes it more accessible to a larger population.
  5. Even though it’s expensive, coke is more popular, whereas crack is more popular in the lower socio-economic groups.
  6. Cocaine in the form of coke became popular in the 1960s, and crack became popular in the 1980s, which makes it fairly new.
  7. There isn’t a huge difference between their addictive levels, but crack is more addictive than coke because it takes effect very quickly and lasts for a shorter period of time.


Coke and crack are both different forms of cocaine. They both produce dopamine and feelings of excess euphoria leading to an addiction. Cocaine is used by doctors as anesthesia and during surgeries, but since nowadays, it is more commonly used as a party drug, it is important to know its drawbacks.

Both have very different effects, coke lasting longer and taking a while to have an effect, whereas crack takes effect instantly but lasts for shorter periods of time. Since they are both addictive, the government has declared both of them illegal drugs. If people were to use them in any quantity, they get sentenced to prison according to the amount they use.


  1. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/8918856/
  2. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1186/1471-2458-6-10
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