US company makes snortable chocolate powder for drug-free intoxication

05 July 2017

Coko Loko, a snortable chocolate powder that mixes cacao with ingredients found in energy drinks, made its debut offering - a legal, drug-free way to get a quick feeling of mild intoxication.

But, doctors have voiced concerns over the risk of snorting the concoction.

The product is the creation of Nick Anderson, the 29-year-old entrepreneur behind the company Legal Lean. The company markets Legal Lean as a safer, legal version of codeine cough syrup (otherwise known as ''lean'' or ''purple drank'').  Legal Lean aims to work as a stress reliever to ''relax the mind.''

Coko Loko, which contains cacao powder, gingko bilboa, taurine and guarana serves an entirely different function, giving a sharp energy kick that lasts 30 minutes to an hour. It triggers a rush of endorphin sans the side effects of a sugar crash.

''It's almost like an energy-drink feeling, like you're euphoric but also motivated to get things done,'' Anderson told the Denver Post.

Snortable chocolate is not new, raw cacao had been used by Europeans as an alternative to harder stimulants. Belgian chocolatier Dominique Persoone invented the Chocolate Shooter device for snorting cocoa powder in 2007.

Cacao, which is used in Coko Loko is processed at a lower heat than cocoa and retains more valuable nutrients. But medical professionals had long been concerned about the negative health effects from other ingredients of the powder.

Anderson had heard of a trend in Europe where people sniffed a mixture of powdered chocolate and other legal substances for a feeling of light intoxication.

''At first, I was like, 'Is this a hoax?,''' the 29-year-old told the Denver Post on Tuesday.

''And then I tried it,'' Anderson continued, ''and it was like, OK, this is the future right here.''

He then invested $10,000 of his own money into concocting his own version of the European snuff solution from ''raw cacao powder,'' which he claimed to have created from scratch over a two-month period.

''Some versions, they just burned [the sinuses] too much,'' Anderson explained of some of the failed attempts, ''[while others] looked gray and dull, or didn't have enough stimulants.''

After numerous attempts, he said, he was able to finally work out the perfect mixture.

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