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Cocaine to cocoa – Snorting chocolate is the latest club trend

Posted on 08-12-16 in Mental Health, Substance Abuse

Cocaine cocoa

“From the dinner table to the dance floor,” patrons seeking a sweet rush are increasingly finding the world’s oldest endorphin-packed aphrodisiac to be a literal breath of fresh air – well, chocolate-dusted air to be precise.

The chef who started it all insists snorting cocoa powder is safe, and affirms, “I’m not the bad boy promoting drugs, not at all … Life is boring. Let’s have fun.” But health experts strongly caution otherwise.

The buzz

According to LiveScience, when people taste something on the tongue, they typically can perceive only a few flavors, but the human nose is capable of detecting more than a trillion different scents.

It’s for this Belgian chocolatier Dominique Persoone was inspired by a vintage apparatus his grandfather used to launch tobacco snuff up his nose. Persoone invented the Chocolate Shooter to inhale a hit of Latin American cocoa powder.

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The chocolate is mixed with mint and either raspberry or ginger, to prevent caking within the nostrils; and the substance stays in the nose for around 15 minutes.

Since Persoone debuted his Chocolate Shooter and cocoa powder for snorting at a 2007 Rolling Stone party, the confectionary huffs are permeating club and rave circles—and in different forms.

Morning Gloryville is a rave company that hosts dance parties from New York to London. It stocks Lucid, a Berlin underground club, with cacao drinks and pills and reports partygoers are keen to “healthy and legal ways of getting a euphoric rush when they go out partying,” according to the DailyMail UK.

Persoone’s Chocolate Shooter – a “tiny catapult, with two small, spring-loaded spoons that fling cocoa powder into the nostrils” – has sold more than 25,000 device and powder combo packages.

The science

Cocoa powder, when snorted, bypasses the digestive system and goes straight to the brain and bloodstream. Therein begin the effects:

  • Endorphins rush the bloodstream, which produces feelings of euphoria
  • Concentrated chocolate also contains high levels of magnesium which relaxes your muscles when absorbed  into the system on an empty stomach, topically, or in this case, straight into the bloodstream
  • London’s Kingston University did a 2015 study on cyclists supplementing with dark chocolate bars and found chocolate boosted participants oxygen efficiency and intensity

This last effect is hypothesized to be due to plant chemical epicatechin, found abundantly in cocoa beans. Epicatechin apparently widens the blood vessels, prepping for maximum oxygen intake, thereby giving the muscle’s energy system a wide-open freeway to drive speedily on.

The danger

Jordan Josephson, M.D., is an internationally renowned ear, nose, throat and sinus specialist out of New York City. He emphasizes, “Snorting chocolate powder is not safe, because the powder is perceived by the nose as a foreign toxic substance.”

He adds that any snorted powder can damage the microscopic hairs that serve as a primary filter for the sensitive membranes of the nose, which can become inflamed and even scarred as a result of snorting. “Putting any foreign bodies – including smoke, cocaine and/or chocolate powder – is not safe and is not advised,” Josephson said.

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About the author

Sovereign Health staff writer Kristin Currin-Sheehan is a mindful spirit swimming in metaphysical pools with faith as her compass. Her cover: a 30s-something Cinderella breadwinner of an all-sport blended family. Her repertoire includes writing poetry, lifestyle articles and TV news; editing, radio production and on-camera reporting. For more information and other inquiries about this media, contact the author at news@sovhealth.com.