We thought vodka-soaked tampons were a sketchy trend. Now, apparently, snorting chocolate is the latest f—ed up thing kids are doing to get f—ed up.
Doing bumps of cacao has been a thing in Europe for some time, but now it’s a stateside high thanks to an Orlando, FL-based company called Legal Lean. Founder Nick Anderson told the Washington Post that he tried the stuff and saw a profitable future, so he created his own version called Coco Loko, an ”infused raw cacao snuff” also containing caffeine, taurine and guarana.
It seems curious/a bad business move that Anderson would choose to rhyme his product with the infamous Four Loko, the caffeinated alcoholic bev that was discontinued in 2014 after causing hospitalizations and even deaths. Then again, maybe he can attract old Four Loko fans who are nostalgic for its bad old days.
According to Anderson, snorting Coco Loko gives you a high that lasts 30 minutes to an hour and makes you feel like “you’re euphoric, but also motivated to get things done.” (Umm, so, exactly like cocaine?) He says he takes it as an alcohol-alternative when he goes out, and also during long car rides, at music festivals, and any social situation that makes him feel anxious. He says it’s popular in the hip-hop community and on college campuses in Atlanta and Houston.
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Legal Lean’s flagship product is called “Lean,” a drug-free version of “purple drank” that subs in herbal extracts for promethazine and codeine. It took off when Anderson’s brother, rapper Bezz Belize, began marketing it via Youtube music videos and now Lean sells more than 40,000 bottles a month.
Dr. Andrew Lane, director of Johns Hopkins Sinus Center, told the Post that there’s no known data informing the risks of inhaling chocolate and then some up your nose. He did note that caffeine, taurine and guarana, which have been shown to raise blood pressure and cause heart palpitations when consumed in energy drinks, could have even stronger effects when snorted. He added that the Loko could get stuck in your nose, and that the chocolate could mix with your mucus, forming a paste that could block your sinuses.
Maybe instead, just drink an iced mocha at your local coffee shop and hit the beach?