There’s a whole new meaning to the term “nose candy”.
Where cocaine used to rule supreme, raw cacao has entered the scene.
It’s common in clubs in Western Europe, so common that partygoers regularly substitute cacao for alcohol and illegal drugs like ecstasy and ketamine. Many individuals are dedicated to getting a chocolatey high. And snorting chocolate has entered the American markets.
Chocolate has always been treasured, at times it has even been used as currency. Mayan and Aztec cultures believed it held “magical, or even divine, properties”, the latter of which also believed it to have mood-enhancing qualities. By the 17th century, chocolate was touted as having both medicinal and aphrodisiac potentials.
When ingested, cacao releases a flood of serotonin and endorphins in your brain, making you feel energetic, even euphoric, while the magnesium it contains relaxes your muscles and relieves tension, for an entire-body “high.”
According to a recent study from the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, “Raw cacao is also chock-full of flavanols that increase blood circulation and stimulate brain power.”
Is it safe?
That seems to be the question we’re all wondering; and experts can’t provide answers.
The FDA is not sure if snorting chocolate products like “Coco Loko”, a new-to-the-market blend of cocoa powder, taurine, guarana and other ingredients found in energy drinks, are even under its jurisdiction yet, and said it needs to evaluate the product labeling and marketing information.
“Coco Loko’s” maker, Legal Lean, claims the product can produce a state of euphoria similar to ecstasy and give you a steady rush of energy and motivation.
Owner of Legal Lean, Nick Anderson said, “Anyone who wants to party, dance and have a little extra energy…that’s mostly our market.”
The new product is cheap (On Amazon, a 1.25-ounce container costs $24.99), easy to get, completely legal and causing great concern among parents.
Not much is known about the effects of snorting cacoa, or cocoa. Studies are in progress, but very little has been reported.
Users claim that the powder gives anywhere from an “energy-drink feeling”, to “complete and total euphoria”.
Physicians are not quick to condone the drug alternative either. Dr. Andrew Lane, director of the Johns Hopkins Sinus Center, told the 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.”
Dr. Steven Gold, an ear, nose and throat specialist in Hackensack, N.J., said “The lining of the nose is a moist mucus membrane, I don’t know what the effect of chocolate on it would be. Intuitively, we eat chocolate and it doesn’t damage our mouth, but without studying it, how do you know what the effect is?”
The FDA has not approved “Coko Loko”, nor has it said whether or not it will regulate the product.