You eat chocolate, mix it into recipes, drink it, and sometimes even wear it as a mask. But would you snort it? Because that’s a thing now – snortable chocolate. And it’s supposed to be a drug-free way to get a buzz.

The product is being marketed as Coco Loko. The snortable chocolate is the brain-child of Legal Lean, an Orlando-based company. It allows you shove cacao powder up your schnoz, along with gingko biloba, taurine, and guarana – ingredients commonly found in energy drinks. [1]

Hence, the name Coco Loko.

Read: Buyer Beware: The Negative Effects of Energy Drinks

The founder of Legal Lean, 29-year-old Nick Anderson, says he heard that Europeans had started snorting chocolate, so he ordered a sample and took a big snoot full.

He recalled:

“At first I was like, ‘Is this a hoax?’ And then I tried it and it was like, okay, this is the future right here.” [1]

So Anderson invested $10,000 into creating his own “raw cacao snuff.” Over two months, he worked at perfecting the “recipe.” After about 10 tries, he believed he had a viable product.

Said Anderson:

“Some versions, they just burned too much. Other times they looked gray and dull, or didn’t have enough stimulants.” [1]

According to the entrepreneur, the buzz lasts about 30 minutes to an hour, and it is “almost like an energy-drink feeling, like you’re euphoric but also motivated to get things done.” [1]

One thing that isn’t a concern with snorting chocolate (it feels weird typing that) is sugar. Energy drinks are loaded with it, which is one of the primary health worries associated with the beverages. There’s debate as to whether raw cacao contains caffeine – an ingredient linked to heart attacks in young people that overdo it with energy drinks – and if so, how much.

The other ingredients in Coco Loko could pose a problem, too. For example, guarana has been linked to spikes in blood pressure and heart palpitations, and the effects could be amplified by snorting it. [2]

Read: Fresh Concerns Emerge over Energy Drinks’ Damage to the Heart

How does inhaled chocolate affect the body, though? Good question. These are uncharted waters.

Dr. Andrew Lane, director of the Johns Hopkins Sinus Center, said:

“The question is, what are the risks of doing it? There’s no data, and as far as I can tell, no one’s studied what happens if you inhale chocolate into your nose. When I mention it to people, nobody’s ever heard of it.” [1]

Lane admits that snorting chocolate is a better option than using illicit drugs, since there’s no chance of chocolate being a gateway drug.

He said:

“If you’re going to do drugs, you probably don’t start with chocolate.” [1]

However, snorting chocolate isn’t risk free. Lane explained:

“There are a few obvious concerns. First, it’s not clear how much of each ingredient would be absorbed into the nasal mucus membranes. And, well, putting solid material into your nose — you could imagine it getting stuck in there, or the chocolate mixing with your mucus to create a paste that could block your sinuses.” [2]

Like with anything that can get you high, the government will likely step in at some point; but there’s no saying how such an intervention might look.

A spokesperson for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said that the agency hadn’t reached a conclusion about whether and how it would regulate Coco Loko.

“In reaching that decision, FDA will need to evaluate the product labeling, marketing information, and/or any other information pertaining to the product’s intended use.” [1]

So far, a few smoke shops and liquor stores have started “cautiously” stocking Coco Loko. You can buy 1.5 oz. for $25, but the snortable chocolate has some pretty crappy online reviews. [3]

Why not just eat it?

Sources:

[1] The Washington Post

[2] New York Daily News

[3] Grub Street


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About Julie Fidler:
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Julie Fidler is a freelance writer, legal blogger, and the author of Adventures in Holy Matrimony: For Better or the Absolute Worst. She lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and two ridiculously spoiled cats. She occasionally pontificates on her blog.