Unfortunately, I'm no stranger to snortable sweets. I'll be the first to admit that one time in seventh grade I attempted to snort a Pixie Stix. Still, the concept of snortable chocolate makes me want to gag.
Coco Loko is the product in question — it's made with cocoa beans, a plant extract called gingko biloba, an amino acid called taurine that's believed to improve mental and physical performance and the caffeine-rich energy supplement guarana.
Coco Loko is being marketed as "raw cacao snuff." Ah, yes, how could we forget the cool and sexy snuff trend of the 1700s, when people would snort a bunch of finely ground tobacco up their noses in public and somehow feel above the commoners who smoked their tobacco like mere peasants? Yup, that's definitely a trend we want to bring back.
The product supposedly induces a feeling of euphoria, mental clarity and well-being while also energizing you for a night at the club (their suggestion, not mine!). But what's most alarming about Coko Loko is its added ingredients. Sure, cocoa has some caffeine in it, but not enough to be dangerous. But guarana and taurine are stimulants often used in energy drinks, and snorting those along with a source of caffeine is what has people worried that it could actually be dangerous.
U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer wants to investigate the product more closely, saying in a letter to the Food and Drug Administration, "This suspect product has no clear health value...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."
Since Coco Loko is technically a chocolate product, Schumer is understandably afraid that kids will take to it more easily than they should, thinking of it as candy rather than a stimulant. And since Coco Loko doesn't contain nicotine or tobacco like regular snuff, there aren't any age restrictions on who can buy it.
All that said, there's no hard evidence yet about the negative effects of snorting Coco Loko. But like Schumer, I agree that the FDA should fully investigate the product before it's allowed to be sold as a "safe" stimulant to kids and adults alike. Plus, can I just ask the obvious question here — namely, why would anyone snort chocolate when they could, I don't know, eat it?
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