It really is nose candy.
Coco Loko — a “snortable” blend of cacao powder, plants and organic compounds like ginkgo biloba, taurine and guarana — is getting buzz as a drug-free high.
Legal Lean, the maker of Willy Wonka-style snuff, was inspired by a European trend.
“At first, I was like, ‘Is this a hoax?,’” Legal Lean founder Nick Anderson, 29, told the Washington Post. “And then I tried it and it was like, OK, this is the future right here.”
The product became available in U.S. stores in June but is not actually approved by the Food and Drug Administration.
On Amazon.com, tins of Coco Loko are available starting July 10 and a 1.25 ounce container (about 10 snorts) goes for about $25.
Doctors are already concerned about the potentially harmful costs to people’s schnozzes.
“The question is, what are the risks of doing it?” Dr. Andrew Lane, director of the Johns Hopkins Sinus Center, told 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.”
Especially if you do it on a regular basis.
“It’s not clear how much of each ingredient would be absorbed into the nasal mucous membranes,” Lane added. “And 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.”
And that’s just gross.
Some of the ingredients in Coco Loko are also found in energy drinks. Guarana has been linked to spikes in blood pressure and heart palpitations — effects that could potentially be exaggerated if inhaled.
Coco Loko’s effects last about 30 to 60 minutes, according to Anderson. He added that it gives users a “euphoric but also motivated” feeling like what you’d expect from an energy drink.
The buzz-inessman said he uses Coco Loko when he goes out as an alternative to drinking and also during long car rides and at music festivals.
Despite the potential for nasal passage issues, Lane acknowledged that he isn’t worried about the chocolate powder becoming a “gateway” drug. He doesn’t believe that users who might experiment with it will then move on to harder substances.
“If you’re going to do drugs, you probably don’t start with chocolate,” he said. “Certainly this is better than using an illicit drug.”