‘Coco Loko’ Snortable Chocolate: Cocaine on Training Wheels?
Nick Anderson, founder of the company that sells Coco Loko, claims that Europeans have been snorting this chocolate energy powder for years without any negative side effects. But without proper research, do we really know the risks?
Dubbed ‘cocaine on training wheels’ by New York Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer, a new product called Coco Loko is making headlines across the U.S.
This new ‘snortable chocolate’ claims to produce natural effects similar to that of taking ecstasy, but officials are concerned about the potential health risks it may impose.
Should you be concerned about Coco Loko – or is it as benign as the chocolate bar in your cupboard?
What is Coco Loko?
The company Legal Lean – which now sells Coco Loko – originally sold a ‘natural’ alternative to the popular street drug lean (AKA sizzurp), a mixture of cough syrup with codeine and soda. According to the website, Legal Lean contains no codeine, but produces similar effects.
Coco Loko is marketed as ‘infused raw cacao with a special energy blend’. The website claims that the product can create a rush of endorphins (similar to a ‘runner’s high’), serotonin (a mood-elevating chemical in your body) and euphoric energy (to ‘dance the night away without a crash’). It also claims to create a sense of calm focus, reducing anxiety and stress.
The ingredients of Coco Loko include raw cacao powder, along with taurine and guarana – two common ingredients found in energy drinks. The ‘cocoa snuff’, however, has not been approved by the FDA – and it doesn’t have to be, since it is considered a dietary supplement.
This lack of regulation leaves many wondering about the negative side effects this ‘drug’ may cause.
How Dangerous is it to Snort Chocolate?
Unsurprisingly, there have been no long-term studies conducted on the effects of snorting chocolate powder.
However, some medical professionals have been quick to point out that snorting a powder of any kind can have negative effects on a person’s respiratory system, leading to coughing, worsened asthma and acute respiratory distress.
But perhaps even more worrying than people snorting cacao powder, is the fact that Coco Loko also contains stimulants which have proven to be dangerous – causing death in some situations. Cacao powder itself contains some caffeine, and when combined with taurine and guarana, Coco Loko packs a serious energetic punch.
Consuming stimulants through an energy drink may make it easier to control the amount consumed than if it is snorted as part of a powder. The exact dosage is harder to discern, and the very powerful stimulant may build up and cause danger to the user. Side effects of these stimulants can include increased or irregular heartbeat, heightened blood pressure and risk of cardiac arrest.
Is it a Gateway Drug?
Not just a catchy phrase, Charles Schumer may be onto something when he coined Coco Loko as ‘cocaine on training wheels’.
One of the major concerns posed by government and health officials is that snorting chocolate would be appealing to kids and teens. Seemingly harmless ‘chocolate’ could very well grab the attention of youth, and once the apparent 30-minute high wears off or loses its novelty, users may look for something a bit stronger to get the job done, and graduate their drug use to actual cocaine or even MDMA.
Using any type of stimulant, natural or not, can lead to further drug use down the road – which is why there is such concern that Coco Loko may be a gateway drug to more severe stimulants, and should be taken off the market.
Why isn’t the FDA Regulating Legal Lean and Coco Loko?
As it stands, Legal Lean’s products have found their way into the market as dietary supplements, which the FDA has no control over.
Unfortunately, many products in the past have made their way into the market this way and ended up causing serious damage to the health of thousands of Americans. Take Ephedra, for example. Ephedra was a powerful stimulant used by people wishing to lose weight as well as cut muscle – and it worked really well! But in 2002, there were 10,326 cases of Ephedra poisoning across the country, along with several deaths.
It took 8 years before the stimulant was taken off the shelves for good, considered too dangerous for consumption without medical supervision.
Of course, according to the Legal Lean Co. founder Nick Anderson, the snortable chocolate has been used in Europe for years now without any negative publicity or health hazards that he is aware of. Unfortunately, as was the case with Ephedra, it could be years before any negative side effects are brought to the public eye (if there are any).
Is Coco Loko Safe?
The safety of snorting this cacao powder mixed with stimulants is not known, and likely won’t be for a while. But we suggest you steer clear of it.
Whether it’s chocolate or cocaine, snorting any particulate matter is terrible for your respiratory system and should be avoided. On top of that, stimulants of all types can be highly addictive – causing not only respiratory problems, but cardiac problems as well.
If you or a loved one are struggling with the effects of addiction to any type of stimulant, including cocaine, it is important that you seek help as soon as possible.
Speak to one of our addiction specialists today to get on the path to a better future.