Is It Safe to Snort Chocolate?

Coco Loko, a brand-new energy product on the market, contains cacao powder, gingko biloba, taurine and guarana. But it’s not something you drink, like Red Bull. It’s a powder that you inhale – sort of like chocolate snuff.

I confess I am a chocoholic. I love dark and semi-sweet chocolate in solid and liquid forms. I’d probably consume much more of it if only it wasn’t loaded with those pesky calories. But snorting chocolate? I don’t think so.

Neither do some doctors, who say doing so could lead to serious and even fatal health problems.

Coco Loko is the brainchild of Nick Anderson, 29, who founded Legal Lean, the Florida-based company that manufactures it. He said he heard about a chocolate-snorting trend happening in Europe and ordered a sample of the stuff.

“At first, I was like, ‘Is this a hoax?,’” he told the Washington Post. “And then I tried it and it was like, ‘Okay, this is the future right here.’”

Anderson decided to invest $10,000 in that future. After a couple months of trial and error, a supplement company in Orlando created the mixture that is now being sold for about $25 per 10-serving tin in some gas stations, head shops and convenience stores.

Snorting Coco Loko gives you “almost like an energy-drink feeling, like you’re euphoric but also motivated to get things done,” Anderson told the Washington Post. The feeling lasts for up to an hour.

Not surprisingly, the product has not yet been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

“The question is, what are the risks of doing it?,” Dr. Andrew Lane, director of the Johns Hopkins Sinus Center, told the Washington Post. He said one big concern is the extent to which each Choco Loko ingredient would be absorbed by mucus membranes inside the nose.

As for the long-term effects, Lane doesn’t know of any studies done on inhaling chocolate — and no one he’s spoken to has even heard of it. “Maybe I’m not in the in crowd,” he added.

I’m not in that crowd either, because just as Anderson said, snorting chocolate really is a thing in Europe. Ten years ago, for a birthday party for Rolling Stones bandmates Charlie Watts and Ronnie Wood, a Belgian chocolatier named Dominique Persoone invented something called the Chocolate Shooter. This device is used to snort cocoa powder, which is processed at higher temperatures and thus contains fewer nutrients than the cacao powder used in Coco Loko.

Prior to 2016, about 25,0000 Chocolate Shooters were sold around the world. But sales started booming last year, U.S. News reported, thanks to a burgeoning European party scene where revelers snort and pop chocolate instead of drugs.

Spokespersons from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and the FDA told U.S. News last year that the agencies were not “statutorily empowered to regulate or restrict the marketing of cacao or cocoa powder for snorting, or devices crafted for that purpose.” The DEA “has no authority over things used to get high that aren’t controlled substances,” said spokeswoman Barbara Carreno.

Over the past week or so, more doctors have come forward to warn people about the dangers of snorting chocolate.

“Intuitively there’s going to be more pulmonary problems, more asthma, more bronchitis, and more other issues, maybe even cancers,” Dr. Jordan S. Josephson, a sinus specialist at Lennox Hill Hospital, told CBS New York.

Inhaling chocolate powder could block the sinuses, causing snoring and sleep apnea, which, Dr. Josephson said, “leads to heart attacks and strokes.”

What’s worse is if children snort it. Because their noses are smaller, it could create sinus blockages more quickly. (I’m guessing that it could also be dangerous if dogs were to ingest or inhale the powder, since chocolate can be deadly for them.)

Chocolate, particularly the dark variety, has plenty of health benefits – when it’s digested, that is. And, of course, it tastes amazingly good. Anyone who thinks that snorting it is a good idea should just be aware that death by chocolate may not be as appealing as it sounds.

Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons

183 comments

Lesa D
Lesa D9 months ago

omg! just eat it!

thank you, Laura...

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Marie W
Marie W10 months ago

Thanks for sharing.

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Kimberly W
Kimberly Wallace11 months ago

TY

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Sarah Hill
Sarah Hillabout a year ago

I love chocolate but I don't think so!

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Melania Padilla
Melania Padillaabout a year ago

This is so weird... I love chocolate, the normal way....

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Paulo Reeson
Paulo Rabout a year ago

no thanks, ty

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Christina S
Past Member about a year ago

What a bunch of idiots. And more so, the people that are inhaling it. I prefer to enjoy my chocolate one bite at a time!

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Beth M
Beth Mabout a year ago

I'll eat or drink my chocolate so I can enjoy it.

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Beth M
Beth Mabout a year ago

Why would I want to?

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Barbara D
Barbara Dabout a year ago

DUH!!! Need you ask??

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