Because eating chocolate and doing drugs normally apparently wasn’t enough for some people, there’s a new kind of legal, but potentially dangerous, chocolate on the market that people are using to get high. Coco Loko—a powdery mixture of cacao and ginkgo biloba, taurine, and guarana, which are ingredients typically found in energy drinks—is meant to be snorted and promises a drug-free high.
Legal Lean is the Orlando-based company responsible for this strange invention that no one asked for, and its 29-year-old founder Nick Anderson recently said he was inspired to make it after learning about a European trend. It's unclear which chocolate-snorting trend he is referring to, unless he’s just trying to make regular old cocaine sound like some little-known, fancy foreign trend. But Anderson told the Washington Post that he prefers Coco Loko to alcohol when going out to "those types of social situations when you feel anxious," which are usually situations where people turn to actual drugs. Anderson described Coco Loko’s high as "almost like an energy-drink feeling, like you’re euphoric but also motivated to get things done."
Coco Loko has not been approved by the FDA, but it's already available to purchase in stores and online via Amazon. A 1.25-ounce container will set you back $24.99. Reviews are mixed, with one happy customer claiming he got "sooooo freaking high" he saw "President Lincoln and stuff" and another calling it a "waste of money."
Dr. Andrew Lane, director of the John Hopkins Sinus Center and snorting chocolate killjoy, has already alerted everyone to the potential risks of snorting a solid material like chocolate up your nose. He pointed out that "you could imagine it getting stuck in there, or the chocolate mixing with your mucus to create a paste that could block your sinuses." Dr. Lane also said that "as far as I can tell, no one’s studied what happens if you inhale chocolate into your nose," pointing out yet another massive failure of our nation’s scientists to focus on the truly important issues.
But Dr. Lane said he believes the biggest risks associated with Coco Loko are more like those of energy drinks than hard drugs. He also said he doesn’t believe the new product will encourage people to snort other things. "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."
Legal Lean’s first foray into the food supplement market was an eponymous drug-free, grape-flavored version of lean made with herbal extracts, which Anderson’s brother, who is a rapper named Bezz Believe, helped market in YouTube videos and at trade shows. They now sell 40,000 to 50,000 bottles of Legal Lean every year.
Anderson told the Post that his chocolate powder is already popular in the hip hop community, perhaps thanks to his brother’s help. Coco Loko is also reportedly popular among college students in Houston and Atlanta.