Is 'Snortable Chocolate' Addictive?

Coco Loko is sold online for $19.99 for a 1.25-ounce (3.5-gram) tin. Its label says the powder also contains stimulants commonly found in energy drinks.

By Shreesha Ghosh, International Business Times

Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-New York) has called for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to investigate the nutritional value and health effects of snortable chocolate powder, citing concerns if it is being marketed like a drug.

[post_ads]Schumer wrote a letter to the FDA on Saturday, asking them to investigate products like "Coco Loko," which uses caffeine in its ingredients and is inhalable. "This suspect product has no clear health value," he said in his letter. "I can’t think of a single parent who thinks it is a good idea for their children to be snorting over-the-counter stimulants up their noses."

Coco Loko is made with cacao powder, an ingredient consisting of caffeine that is used in chocolate. The product is marketed as "infused raw cacao snuff," and is manufactured by Legal Lean Co., also the founder of a drug-free version of codeine cough syrup mixture, commonly referred as "lean."

After snorting the powder, you get "almost like an energy-drink feeling, like you’re euphoric but also motivated to get things done," Nick Anderson, the founder of Legal Lean, told the Washington Post.
The product promises feelings of well-being, mental focus, ecstasy-like euphoria from a "sudden rush of serotonin," and a rush of "euphoric energy and motivation that is great for party goers to dance the night away without a crash," according to Legal Lean’s official website.  The agency, based in Orlando, Florida, said the mixture has not yet been approved by the FDA and the agency has not yet determined if it has the authority to regulate snortable chocolate.

Anderson told the Washington Post he believed his creation was safe for consumption, and he did not consult any medical professionals when he developed the product mainly from snortable chocolate, which is circulated in Europe. "There’s really no negative publicity, so I felt we’re good to go," he said Thursday, according to the Associated Press.

The product is sold online for $19.99 for a 1.25-ounce (3.5-gram) tin. Its label says the powder also contains B vitamins, ginkgo biloba, L-Arginine (an amino acid), plus guarana and taurine. These stimulants are believed to be commonly found in energy drinks.
As the product has not yet been approved by the FDA, doctors said they are not certain about the effects of inhaling the chocolate mixture. "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."

"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."

However, Lane mentioned he is not concerned about the product becoming a "gateway" drug. He also said people who resort to consumption of this product may have lesser chances to move 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."

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Daily News: Is 'Snortable Chocolate' Addictive?
Is 'Snortable Chocolate' Addictive?
Coco Loko is sold online for $19.99 for a 1.25-ounce (3.5-gram) tin. Its label says the powder also contains stimulants commonly found in energy drinks.
Daily News
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