Both crack cocaine and freebase cocaine are smokable forms of cocaine, but there is a difference, and it should be distinguished. Crack cocaine is made by mixing powdered cocaine with baking soda and cooking it down until it forms a solid or little smokable rock.
Freebase cocaine is made by adding ammonia to powdered cocaine and water to form a milky white precipitate. Then ethyl ether, which is highly flammable, is added. The precipitate dissolves in the ether, separating the mixture, the ether then dissolved off and white crystals are formed.
How Pure is Crack Cocaine

Which Type of Cocaine is Purest?

Freebase cocaine, which was widely popular back in the 1970s, is the much purer form of smoking cocaine. However freebasing cocaine is rarely done in this day in age because it is so dangerous. Adding the compound known as ether to it makes the mixture very flammable, so a lot of explosions were caused in past years.
Crack cocaine is less pure than freebase cocaine because, in the final stages of heating, there is typically lots of baking soda left in the mixture. The impurities are locked in as opposed to being washed out.

How Pure is Crack Cocaine?

Crack cocaine is the riskiest and most potent form of cocaine. It is far more addictive, stronger, and more potent than regular cocaine. It is said to be between 75% and 100% pure, however, the purity often varies significantly depending on where it comes from. A report in England and Wales showed the purity of crack being as low as 26% in 2011 to a record of 77% in 2018. Reports show the drug has been over 70% pure since 2016.

The National Library of Medicine reported the following findings in a study:


Cocaine represents a serious problem to society. Smoked cocaine is very addictive and it is frequently associated with violence and health issues. Knowledge of the purity and adulterants present in seized cocaine, as well as variations in drug characteristics are useful to identify drug sources and estimate health impact. No data are available regarding smoked cocaine composition in most countries, and the smoked form is increasing in the Brazilian market. The purpose of the present study is to contribute to the current knowledge on the status of crack cocaine seized samples on the illicit market by the police of São Paulo. Thus, 404 samples obtained from street seizures conducted by the police were examined. The specimens were macroscopically characterized by color, form, odor, purity, and adulterant type, as well as smoke composition. Samples were screened for cocaine using the modified Scott test and thin-layer chromatographic (TLC) technique. Analyses of purity and adulterants were performed with gas chromatography equipped with a flame ionization detector (GC-FID). Samples free of adulterants represented 76.3% of the total. The mean purity of the analyzed drug was 71.3%. Crack cocaine presented no correlations between macroscopic characteristics and purity. Smoke analysis showed compounds found also in the degradation of diesel and gasoline. Therefore, the drug marketed as crack cocaine in São Paulo has similar characteristics to coca paste. High purity can represent a greater risk of dependency and smoke compounds are possibly worsening drug health impact. (NLM)


It appears that the majority of crack cocaine on the streets is around 70% pure. Some people who smoke crack cocaine purchase powdered cocaine and “cook” it themselves to create a smokable form.

A lot of times this is going to give one a purer form of the drug than purchasing it already “cooked” or as crack. When a person purchases the solid form to be smoked it can have other adulterants added to it to increase its potency and mess with the purity of the drug. Recently fentanyl is being added to a lot of drugs because it’s cheap to make.

Truthfully you really don’t know what you are getting when buying street drugs these days. It’s a harsh reality, but it’s where we are as a country in the war on drugs.

Treatment for Crack Cocaine Addiction is a valuable resource for anyone struggling with a crack cocaine or cocaine addiction. Our website provides helpful information and resources to get you started in your recovery. Crack cocaine is a tough addiction to recover from, but with the right treatment and resources, you can discover a brighter tomorrow.

If you are struggling to beat an addiction to cocaine or crack cocaine, contact us and let our specialists guide you through the treatment process. We want to help you get started on the road to recovery.

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