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Crack cocaine and powder cocaine are sometimes referred to in research and other outlets simply as cocaine, but there is a big difference between the two. While they are both different chemical forms of cocaine, they differ in how they are made, how they are abused, their cost, dangers, effects, and more.
Cocaine and crack cocaine are so different, in fact, that the criminal punishments associated to their use and possession are very different. For example, according to New York University possessing 500 grams of powder cocaine carries the same penalty as possessing 28 grams of crack.
Cocaine is derived from the leaves of the erythroxylon plant, which is indigenous to South America. According to the United States Department of Justice, the cocaine alkaloid is available in many forms: coca leaves, coca paste, powder cocaine and cocaine base. The two commonly abused forms of the drug are powder cocaine, which is more commonly referred to solely as cocaine, and cocaine base, which is more commonly referred to as crack. Cocaine is a stimulant, and is categorized as such because of the euphoric, energetic, and mentally alert feelings it produces.
Powder cocaine is a white powdery substance that is abused by snorting, or by dissolving in water and injecting into a vein. This form of cocaine cannot be smoked. It is produced by combining coca paste and hydrochloric acid. Powder cocaine is much more expensive than crack cocaine.
The slowest onset of cocaine’s effects occurs when it is snorted, and this can take up to 20 minutes. The effects last up to 60 minutes. When injected, cocaine reaches the brain within one minute and the effects last for up to 30 minutes.
The US Drug Enforcement Agency reports that all of the cocaine coming into the United States arrives as powder cocaine and some is modified and made into crack in the country.
Crack cocaine is cocaine mixed with water and baking powder that is cooked and dried, then smoked. It is highly addictive and dangerous.
According to the US Department of Justice, crack cocaine is more psychologically addicting than powder cocaine, and is thus more likely to result in chronic and heavy use. In addition, the drug is more commonly associated with systemic violence than its counterpart.
Crack cocaine is one of the forms of cocaine base, which is produced from powder cocaine and is smoked. Crack is essentially powder cocaine mixed with water and baking soda which is dried into a solid mass. This mass is ‘cracked’ into rocks that are smoked.
Smoked cocaine, or crack cocaine, takes about 20 seconds to reach the brain, and its effects last for about 30 minutes. According to a study published in the US National Library of Medicine, there is a greater propensity for dependence when cocaine is smoked rather than snorted. The immediacy, duration, and magnitude of the effects of crack contribute to this fact.
All in all, despite the fact that powder cocaine and crack cocaine both derive from cocaine, the two are different substances. They both produce similar effects and have similar dangers (i.e. addiction, brain damage, harm to the body), they certainly warrant a distinction.
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So named due to the break up (crack, cracking) of crystals of cocaine during its manufacture.
- A mixture of baking soda and cocaine in solid form that is smoked in a pipe as a narcotic.
- A mixture of salt substitute, ether, and cocaine in a semi-liquid form, which is far more potent than if made with baking soda alone.
Still have a question? Ask your own!
Cocaine, water, a pinch of baking soda.
Put them all in a spoon and heat the bottom of the spoon with a lighter or any open flame. The mixture will sizzle and an oily mass of slightly different color, will start forming in the liquid. It should all clump together. Clump or not, once you see the oily mass form, remove the flame and as you do so take a metal poker type object to swirl around the oily mass in the spoon, to grab any stray oils that didn’t clump into the main puddle. As you’re swirling the oily parts should all grab on and clump together as its hardening. Keep swirling the poker stick around, until all of it hardens up and is attached to the poker. You’re going to want to swirl it around kind of quickly so the stuff doesn’t harden unattached to your poker stick. It will still be good wherever it hardens up, but you don’t want to have to fish it out of the water, it’s easier if you scoop it all onto the poker.
The mixture in the spoon can (and should) be tossed out. Remember after you smoke your rock, the stuff on the spoon is history, it is not crack, you did not miss any on there. It’s time to go buy more, because you will anyways. And no you’ll never match how the first hit felt, no matter how hard you try.
Welcome to the wonderful world of jonsing. Just saying.
Pati Baumberger’s answer demonstrates a practical knowledge that I just don’t have. But I’d like to add that the potency of crack cocaine comes from only a small change in cocaine’s chemistry. By changing cocaine from a salt to a base, it becomes easily vaporised and can be smoked without it burning. This new route of ingestion gives, apparently, a stronger hit than even injection could do; more of it hits your brain faster and your brain has less time to dispose of it than it would do if taken via any other route.
Hi, well it’s not something I am proud to say I know, but in my second life, I was a seriously sick and a high functioning addict, but I am very thankful for all those lessons and passing that test, so I could evolve to a higher self.
First things first, street crack has very little if any cocaine in it, they use numbing agents so it numbs, making the user think it’s the real McCoy, as if the user has been using that day they will have no idea if it’s good, or bad, the users chase the initial high, never attaining it, usually only felt once a day.
What you need : test tube, coke, boiling water, baking soda.
You put your dope in the tube, you put in a pinch of soda, a tbl. Spoon of the boiling water, swirl it around in one direction quickly, then when you see that the swirling is creating a funnel, you back swirl it, (reverse direction ) it should instantly clump the oil together, if not swirl more, if no oil present add a little more boiling water, and repeat above, or instead you can add cold water, just a touch, as the oil forms into a rock as it cools, if none of the above works, you got ripped off and need to reconsider your source.
I am happy to say that I am truly blessed, I went to the NA Program, when the using was no longer fun, in the end I didn’t stop, for nearly 2 years, the NA Program saved my life, I love my brothers and sisters there and owe them more than I could ever possibly repay, so I always practice the 12th step and extend my help and support to the still sick and suffering addict.
When you are ready to get clean, you also can turn to the program for help, to regain a happy, productive life, keep it simple and go to meetings with the same drive you had to use and obtain, be honest and keep going back, I can promise you, if you do those 3 things that God will completely remove the desire to use, I know because that’s what I did and that’s what I was told, and I’m here today because that’s what happened.
No matter what happens in my new life of recovery, good, bad, indifferent, using never comes to mind.