There are so many delicious ways to ingest chocolate, which is why we were so surprised — and, admittedly, confused — by the latest bizarre craze: snorting it up your nose to get a buzz. Yes, seriously. Thanks to a new product on the market called Coco Loko, you can actually snort chocolate in powder form for an energy boost. But doctors are wary about the possible side effects.
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“The question is, what are the risks of doing it?” Dr. Andrew Lane, director of the Johns Hopkins Sinus Center, tells the Washington Post. “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. Maybe I’m not in the in crowd.”
Coco Loko was created by Nick Anderson, who previously made a name for himself after creating a drug-free version of “lean,” the infamous cocktail made from codeine-based prescription cough syrup cocktail also known as “purple drank” and “sizzurp.” His inspiration for Coco Loko? The “chocolate-snorting trend” in Europe, according to the Post.
“At first, I was like, ‘Is this a hoax?,’” Anderson recalls. “And then I tried it, and it was like, OK, this is the future right here.” Anderson subsequently put $10,000 of his own money into developing the powder, which in addition to cocoa powder also contains ingredients found in energy drinks, including ginkgo biloba, taurine and guarana.
According to the product’s website, Coco Loko triggers endorphins, provides a serotonin rush and offers a euphoric energy “that is great for partygoers to dance the night away without a crash.” It also promotes “a sense of calm focus” and reduces “the chatter and worry in your brain so you are able to accomplish many tasks at once and maximize your time and focus.” The buzz supposedly lasts anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour without the comedown side effects of sugar (or cocaine, for that matter).
Coco Loko is legal for the time being because the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (USDA) has not evaluated the product, and a spokesperson from the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) maintains that the agency currently does not have concerns related to chocolate inhalants.
Of course, that doesn’t mean you should go ahead and start snorting chocolate, especially because ingredients like taurine and guarana are known to have negative side effects (think low blood pressure and heart palpitations) that could be magnified by snorting it in powder form.
“There are a few obvious concerns,” says Dr. Lane. “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.”
For those curious (or silly) enough to try snorting chocolate powder, you can get 3.5 grams (because, of course, that’s the measuring unit of choice to market any cocaine-like product) for $19.99 on the brand’s website. It also retails for $24.99 at stores (mostly smoke shops and liquor stores).
While snorting chocolate likely won’t result in an overdose, maybe just stick to ingesting it in the old-fashioned way until we know more about the possible side effects.
What Do YOU Think?
Would you snort chocolate? Do you believe that snorting chocolate could result in an energy boost? What is the most bizarre way you have ingested food?