What Does Cocaine Taste Like?

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When cocaine is eaten or rubbed on the gums, it has a distinctive taste depending on the type of cocaine, as well as a few other factors. Tasting cocaine is usually only done to test its purity, but can still result in experiencing a cocaine high.

What Cocaine Tastes Like

As a stimulant drug, cocaine has the ability to produce a strong rush of dopamine and the related euphoria. It can also produce mild to severe side effects on a person’s physical and mental health.

Because of the dangers associated with cocaine abuse, it can be helpful to understand how to identify cocaine.

Cocaine is often identified by a combination of its appearance, scent, and taste. Its taste, in particular, is known to be bitter and strong and to resemble that of certain chemicals.

How To Identify Cocaine By Its Taste

Knowing how to identify cocaine by its taste can be helpful if someone is concerned about one of their loved ones being addicted to the drug.

The taste of cocaine, like the smell of cocaine, is often described as pungent and strong.

The Taste Of Powder Cocaine

The taste of cocaine powder (cocaine hydrochloride) can vary a bit but is generally said to be acidic and bitter.

Common street names for powder cocaine are blanca, snow white, gold dust, icing, and stardust.

The Taste Of Pure Cocaine

Pure white powder cocaine should have a bitter taste. In fact, the more pure the cocaine is, the more bitter it is said to taste.

It is very rare to find pure cocaine outside of South America, where the coca plants that it is made from are grown and its coca leaves are harvested.

The Taste Of Crack Cocaine

The solid rock form of cocaine is not known for having a taste, but can be identified by smell. The smell of burning and smoking crack cocaine is that of burnt plastic or rubber.

Crack cocaine, sometimes referred to as freebase cocaine, is also often described as smelling like bleach and other cleaning solvents.

What Can Affect The Taste Of Cocaine?

The taste of cocaine is affected by a couple of different factors, particularly the cutting agents it contains or the chemicals that were used in its production.

The Cocaine Purity Level

The purity level of cocaine is affected by a couple of factors, and most especially by any additives or cutting agents that it contains.

Common cutting agents for cocaine include talcum powder, fentanyl or other opioids, flour, corn starch, and laundry detergent.

Substances Added To Cocaine During Production

Cocaine can also be affected by substances or chemicals that were used during the manufacturing process.

For example, if either kerosene or cement were involved in the production, the cocaine will then have more of a petroleum taste.

Other substances used in cocaine production include sulfuric acid, ammonia, and baking soda.

Do People Take Cocaine By Mouth?

Cocaine use by mouth or any type of oral ingestion is not common. The closest thing to this is when people rub cocaine along their gum line.

Rubbing cocaine along the gum lines is typically done as a purity test of the cocaine, not as a way to experience the drug’s effects.

It is much more common to take cocaine by snorting it or injecting it.

Is Tasting Cocaine Dangerous?

Tasting powdery cocaine is potentially dangerous because there is no way to taste cocaine without feeling its effects.

Immediately upon tasting cocaine by placing it on the gums or tongue, a person will feel a numbing and tingling sensation throughout their mouth.

Over time, and depending on how much cocaine was ingested in the process of tasting it, a person will start to feel the euphoric high associated with stimulants.

The person may also feel additional side effects of cocaine use, such as a fast heart rate, high blood pressure, and high body temperature.

Treatment Programs For Cocaine Addiction

Cocaine is highly addictive, and the longer a person abuses cocaine or crack cocaine, the more their risk increases for serious side effects such as heart attack, stroke, or sudden death.

Professional addiction treatment can make the process of recovery much smoother and greatly reduce a person’s risks for relapse or overdose.

Services at a cocaine addiction treatment center may include:

  • medically monitored detox
  • inpatient treatment
  • outpatient treatment
  • behavioral therapy
  • aftercare
  • life skills workshops
  • wellness education
  • 12-step meetings

Find Substance Abuse Treatment For Cocaine Abuse

There is no shame in asking for help with an alcohol or drug use disorder, and you (or your loved one) can get started almost immediately when you are ready.

Reach out to us with any questions that you have about alcohol and drug addiction treatment. Recovery is just a phone call to our helpline away.


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