What Does Cocaine Taste Like?

Cocaine is a highly powerful and addictive illicit drug that has serious effects on your brain and body. This strong stimulant can stress your heart and vascular system. Your blood vessels constrict and your heart beat faster after taking the drug. This can often lead to a stroke, heart attack or cardiac arrest. Regular users of cocaine are at a higher risk of having a damaged or enlarged heart. Many people who have never used it may ask "what does cocaine taste likeand why do people abuse it?" Keep reading to know your answers.

The Basics of Cocaine

What It Is

Made from the leaves of the Erythroxylumcoca plant in South America, cocaine is a highly addictive drug that produces short-term energy, euphoria, and talkativeness. People use it in different forms and ways.

Different Forms and Ways of Use

There are two basic forms of cocaine produced through different chemical processes.

  • Powdered cocaine: Also known as "blow" or "coke" and is water soluble. It can be injected or snorted.
  • Crack cocaine: It is commonly known as "rock" or "crack" and is produced through processes that leave its freebase form intact so it can be smoked.


What does cocaine taste like? It may taste sour and somewhat sweet or it may have notes of vinegar and salt. This usually depends on how it has been produced. However, it will most definitely numb your nose and tongue instantly on touch. The powder will feel quite "cakey" though. Many people say it has a medicinal taste but not like that of a pill. The smell is usually quite strong, but only felt when snorted. 

The Effects of Cocaine

Now that you know the answer to what does cocaine taste like, you should also learn a bit about the effects of the drug. This strong stimulant interferes with your brain function and prevents re-absorption of dopamine. The high people experience after the use of cocaine is due to the buildup of dopamine. Here is a bit more about the effects of cocaine on your body:

Immediate Effects

You usually experience the euphoric effects of cocaine immediately after taking it. For some people, the effects last for hours, but only a few minutes for others. How long it lasts depends on the way of administration. Cocaine taken through smoking is absorbed faster, therefore “the high” is also more intense, but lasts shorter (5-10 minutes on average) compared to snorting (15 to 30 minutes). The period of stimulation also decreases with repetitive usage.

Most people feel talkative, energetic, euphoric, and mentally alert with heightened sensations of sound, sight and sound when taking cocaine in amounts less than 100mg. It temporarily decreases the need for sleep and food. It is because such effects that people use it when they want some energy and alertness to perform intellectual and physical tasks.

Short-Term Effects

You may experience several short-term effects after the use of cocaine. The list includes dilated pupils, constricted blood vessels, increased heart rate, temperature and blood pressure. Large amounts may lead to erratic, bizarre and even violent behavior. Some people even experience vertigo, tremors, paranoia and muscle twitches. Repeated doses may make users feel irritable, restless, and anxious. Sudden death caused by cardiac arrest or seizures can also occur when using it for the first time.

Long-Term Effects

Once you experience the immediate high, it is hard to stop taking more and more of the drug. This often produces several long-term effects. The most common effects include irritability, addiction, paranoia psychosis, restlessness, mood disturbances and auditory hallucinations.

How Do I Know If Someone Is Using Cocaine?

First, you should have the answer to "what does cocaine taste like".However, you can also check for certain signs to confirm if someone is in fact involved in cocaine abuse.

For cocaine powder:

  • If someone you know disappears suddenly and is in a different mood when they return, this could be because they are abusing powdered cocaine. They may also seem confident, sexually excited, and talkative. They are more likely to have high energy but may not have appetite for food.
  • If someone is abusing powdered cocaine, you may find traces of white powder around their nose. Some people do not snort it but inject it. You may even check for a needle mark on their legs, arms, feet, hands or neck.
  • Someone abusing cocaine will have dilated pupils. Their eyes will be much more sensitive to light. They may have a runny nose that may even bleed if there has been some damage inside of the nose. It is also important to bear in mind that the effects of powdered cocaine usually last for an hour or so. It means that if someone leaves periodically, this could be a sign of abuse.

For crack cocaine:

  • Crack cocaine is smoked, so you may want to look for any tiny plastic bags or small glass pipes in areas where you think someone has smoked crack.
  • A crack high is usually shorter and sometimes does not last beyond 15 minutes. However, you may find burns on fingers and lips of a regular crack user.
  • In addition, you also need to know about certain symptoms of cocaine use. The list includes delusions, disorientation, aggressiveness, antisocial behavior and paranoia. If someone exhibits these signs, you should talk to them and take them to a professional for help.
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