Snorting chocolate is the latest way to get a buzz

By Doug Bennett • Published: October 26th, 2017
Category: Health in a Heartbeat

It’s legal, drug-free and provides a jolt of energy. Indeed, snorting chocolate is the newest “sugar high.”

Coco Loko, a chocolate powder mixed with other ingredients usually found in energy drinks, hit the shelves in mid-summer. It gives an energy boost that lasts 30 minutes to an hour. Think of it as an endorphin rush but without all the side effects that come with a sugar crash. The maker’s website also promises Coco Loko will induce a blast of the feel-good neurochemical serotonin — similar to the euphoria produced by the club drug ecstasy.

Fun fact: The fad started in Europe when a Belgian chocolatier who was catering a surprise party for The Rolling Stones devised a catapult-like device to fling his new cocoa powder concoction into nostrils.

But is it safe? The company’s website cautions users to consume it responsibly, and that it is not intended for children or pregnant women. The Food and Drug Administration hasn’t evaluated the company’s statements about the product, nor has the agency decided if it will regulate the use of Coco Loko.

It’s also unfamiliar territory for doctors. No one has studied what happens if cacao powder is inhaled through the nose, a physician at the Johns Hopkins Sinus Center told The Washington Post. The FDA said it is unaware of any consumer complaints or illnesses, but a physician at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York warned the powder could damage the microscopic hairs and membranes of the nose.

Chocolate is a delight enjoyed by millions around the world and it comes in many forms from candy bars to a warm, comforting beverage. You might want to think twice, however, before sniffing it up your nose.