Few things bring out the creativity of mankind more than our insatiable desire to get fucked up. Any stoner engineer, MacGyvering a smoking apparatus out of dorm room odds and ends, can attest to that. When tried and true inebriants, themselves, are unavailable through the traditional channels, we fabricate close proximities like toilet wine or bath salts. And when all else fails, we explore new horizons.
More than two years ago, Belgian chocolatier Dominique Persoone made internet waves when his 2007 chocolate snuff shooter invention and accompanying cocoa blends went viral. No news outlets could resist covering this wacky new “legal high” being peddled by an eccentric Willy Wonka sort. Simply load Persoone’s little contraption with a pinch of cocoa snuff infused with flavors like mint or ginger, hold it beneath the nose, and hit the trigger button while inhaling deeply to be taken to flavortown.
Persoone’s invention is being discussed again today, thanks to a new product that’s entered the market that takes his relatively elegant idea to its seediest conclusion. Coco Loko, the brainchild of Nick Anderson, who also gave us Legal Lean, tried out the more refined iteration of chocolate sniffing on a recent European trip and decided he’d try his hand at bringing the bougie brown bumps to the masses.
Coco Loko, which infused its cocoa base with B vitamins, ginkgo biloba, guarana and taurine, is obviously not FDA approved. And, as one might predict, it’s already resulted in political pearl clutching from the likes of Senator Chuck Schumer. Though Schumer’s calls for regulation may be a bit hasty, they’re coming from a good place. We simply don’t know what damaging effects snorting this souped-up choco cocktail might have on the human body.
Some of us might have an idea, though.
Back in 2015, in the wake of the Persoone snuff story, I set out to try the gimmick myself. Not willing to fork over around $100 to have a glorified spoon on a spring shipped over to me from Europe, I busted out some Yankee ingenuity and snorted a bunch of chocolate products on my own, with varying degrees of failure.
This past experiment puts me in a relatively unique position to test out Coco Loko and compare it to the pure stuff. So, for the good of America’s children, and to put Senator Schumer’s mind at ease, I placed an expedited order and prepared to, once again, put my nostrils through hell.
A few days later, 1.25 ounces of Loko arrived in my mailbox in a little cylindrical prism. The packaging promised 10 servings, whichseemed insanely or extremely conservative as I keyed up my first bump from what looked like a massive pile.
I’ll spare you the suspense: Sniffing this stuff is not an enjoyable experience. It doesn’t have the sugary burn of a Pixie Stick snort that you might imagine. (Shout out to all my elementary school class clowns.) Instead, the powder hits your lungs, giving you a lasting “wrong pipe” feeling before the sinuses start to react. Once they kicked in, I got to enjoy the stuffy feeling that comes after nasally inhaling chlorinated pool water.
Before I tapped out and threw the rest of this nonsense in the trash, I chopped up a line. I’m a completionist, if nothing else, and dozens of stupid children out there were clearly going to be taking back rails of this shit, so I might as well, too.
“This one’s for you, Chuck,” I said, before vacuuming up the tan powder.
In the end, I got no “high” from this product, legal or otherwise. But of course there wasn’t going to be any kind of upper effect happening. It doesn’t even have caffeine in it. What I did get was about five minutes of coughing and 10 tissues full of brown snot as my body dealt with my foolishness over the remainder of the night.
Whether homemade or store bought, an artisanal labor of love or a gimmicky cash grab, snorting chocolate is as silly and unpleasant today as it was two years ago. And should another iteration enter the arena two years from now, I imagine it will be just as dumb then, too.
That said, I urge restraint for Chuck and all the other Helen Lovejoys of politics out there thinking of clamping down on thesale of Coco Loko. Let’s avoid bringing government into this and adding unearned prohibition cool points to a product that doesn’t deserve them.
If the ultimate goal is to keep children and stupid Americans from harming themselves, why not allow them to embark on this frivolous lark? They’ll have a not-so-fun time, realize they wasted $20 and potentially be turned off of insufflation before they discover the harder stuff that actually works… as in the stuff we know for a fact can do damage.
Main photo credit: Youtube. Inline photos by Justin Caffier.