It is totally legal, it is available in the market and is rapidly becoming a youthful fashion in the US: it is the pure cocoa powder that is inhaled, but that is already raising doubts about whether its consumption is convenient or healthy.
Following the fashion of energy drinks and in line with the tradition of sucking vegetable substances as a stimulant, the consumption of pure cocoa powder, marketed under the brand Coco Loko, aims to achieve what the manufacturer calls an infusion of “euphoric energy “And the young people call it a” rush. ”
The product, in addition to pure cocoa powder, carries ginkgo biloba, a plant stimulant that boosts blood circulation; Taurine, one of the usual components of energy drinks, and guarana seeds, rich in caffeine and traditionally used by indigenous people in the Amazon rainforest.
Despite the explosion of this cocktail, Nick Anderson, founder and president of “Legal Lean”, the company behind this new product, ensures that its cocoa powder is safe and does not include chemical components related to any illegal drugs.
“We charge our ingredients on highly reputed internet sites that provide toxicology and analysis reports,” ABC Anderson, 29, says he tests and consumes his own product.
“It’s designed to give you a boost of endorphins and a release of serotonin that gives you euphoric energy and vitality, something extra to enjoy the night and party,” said Anderson, whose company is headquartered in Orlando, Florida.
In addition, according to the businessman, the inhalation of this brown powder, which has been on the market only since last month, also provides a “quiet approach.”
The effects of inhaling cocoa last about half an hour, and are similar to those of an energy drink: “It makes you euphoric but also motivated to do things,” according to Anderson.
The entrepreneur began this adventure with an investment of $ 10,000 and after two months of trials with different mixes, always using raw cocoa as a base, reached the final formula that produces with a company of nutritional supplements.
This cocoa powder, which is presented as a vegetable supplement, is not regulated by the authorities because it is neither a food nor a drug, nor has it been banned because, according to the regulatory agency, the Food and Drug Administration has not There have been “consumer complaints or illnesses” associated with it.
But its consumption has raised skepticism among the medical community, with people who say that although it seems innocuous immediately, that does not mean that it is totally harmless.
“The issue is what its risks are … There are no data and as far as I know, no one has studied what happens if you breathe chocolate through your nose,” Andrew Lane, director of the Synovial Center Of Johns Hopkins Hospital.
He admitted that it may be because he is not “on the move,” but Lane was reluctant to have his synovial cavities filled with cocoa without knowing what effects it will have in the long run, but said he was not worried that this could be considered a drug. evasion.
“If you’re going to use drugs, you’re probably not going to start with chocolate.”
Although the fact that cocoa powder is sifted, such as cocaine, may be suspected, experts believe that the real concern is the increase in blood pressure caused by stimulants used in energy drinks, and whose Effects are enhanced when inhaled.
“Inhaling something through your nasal cavity is a faster way (to assimilate it in your body) than eating or drinking, which requires some digestion,” health professor Paul Arciero told Health magazine, who recalled that there have been cases Of caffeine overdose due to the consumption of energy drinks.
If the new product really becomes fashionable, it will soon be common to see young men emulating European aristocratic circles of the eighteenth century, in which snuff snuff was in vogue, a custom imported from certain Native American tribes for which to inhale tobacco And other pulverized plants had spiritual connotations.