Classified as a Schedule II drug, cocaine has very few medicinal uses and a high potential for abuse. It is an illegal and highly addictive stimulant drug. Cocaine is often mixed with “cutting agents” to make the drug stretch out further for the dealer.

These cutting agents, usually a white powdery substance, can be very dangerous. In fact, cocaine is now also being “cut” with fentanyl, and many have experienced overdose death due to not knowing this.

What Does Freebasing Cocaine Mean

Freebasing Cocaine to Get High

Freebasing is a process that increases the potency of a drug. It’s usually in reference to cocaine, but morphine and nicotine can also be freebased.

Cocaine is made up of alkaloids and hydrochloride; this is called the base of the drug. Due to this chemical structure, it is impossible to heat and smoke. In order to be able to smoke cocaine, the base must be “freed” from the drug hence the name freebase. This also makes it more potent.

Back in the 70s, ether was commonly used to remove any additives and impurities from cocaine, and then heat was applied to the substance or freebase so the vapors could be inhaled.

How Cocaine is Freebased

This process was too dangerous because either is highly flammable. Now a chemical compound that includes ammonia is typically used to free the sodium base from cocaine. This produces a reaction that draws out a purer form of the drug so it can be smoked.

Pure cocaine has a rather low melting point, which makes it easier to heat, boil and inhale the vapors. Freebasing cocaine is essentially the same thing as crack cocaine, but crack is made by mixing baking soda or sodium bicarbonate with cocaine to produce little smokable rocks.

Both are typically smoked using a glass pipe with a small piece of copper in it. The copper is used as a reduction base so the cocaine can be melted and boiled to a vapor making it ready to be smoked.

What Does It Feel Like to Freebase Cocaine?

The effects of freebase cocaine are a quick, intense euphoric rush. The initial effects are typically felt within 10 to 15 seconds of inhaling the drug, but this usually dissipates after about 30 minutes. The high from freebasing comes on fast but is very short-lived which is why it is so addictive.

Some of the other effects of freebasing cocaine can include:


  • Increased energy
  • Mental alertness
  • Euphoria
  • Hypersensitivity to touch, sounds, and sight


Once the effects start to wear off, the user starts experiencing some withdrawal symptoms such as strong cravings, depression, anxiety, fatigue, irritability, and sometimes even paranoia. This is what causes them to want to use more and more of the drug and can even cause binge use; it’s a constant cycle.

The effects of freebasing cocaine are nearly the same effects as snorting cocaine, except the high comes on much quicker.

Side Effects of Freebase Cocaine

Freebasing cocaine can cause various short- and long-term physical effects. Some of the short-term effects can include insomnia, headaches, restlessness, nausea, dilated pupils, intense sweating, increased heart rate, blood pressure, body temperature, and decreased sexual function.

The long-term effects of freebase cocaine can lead to severe mood changes, restlessness, hallucinations, paranoia, depression, and anxiety.

Freebasing can also have several negative effects on one’s health including respiratory issues such as chronic coughing, asthma, trouble breathing, and increased risk of infections such as pneumonia. Other long-term effects can include seizures, stroke, heart attack, heart failure, and heart palpitations.

Recovery For Cocaine Addiction

If you or someone you love has an addiction to cocaine, our addiction specialists at are available around the clock to assist you. Our specialists have years of experience helping individuals with cocaine addiction.

Cocaine addiction is a tough one to beat, but it is possible and you can achieve freedom from it. We offer professional support and guidance and are here to help you find resources to get on the road to long-lasting recovery.

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Cocaine Addiction Help and Recovery Resources

Whether you’re smoking cocaine, snorting cocaine, or even injecting cocaine, it does not have to destroy your life any longer. There is real, compassionate, and professional help available. Don’t be afraid, we are always just a quick phone call away.

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