Health

You Can Now Snort Chocolate, But That Doesn't Mean You Should

Chocolate is great.

Studies have shown the sweet treat to be an effective antioxidant and energy booster that can be all around good for you if consumed in moderation.

Given chocolate's popularity, it should come as no surprise that people are looking for new ways to consume it.

This brings us to the non-FDA approved novelty chocolate food item called "Coco Loko." This new literal nose candy was inspired by a trend in Europe that crossed over after some finessing of a nasal ready formula.

Coco Loko”’s creator — Nick Anderson of Orlando, Florida — has made a name creating confections whose likenesses imitate drugs; past products include the promethazine-mimicking Legal Lean. Anderson first thought the European chocolate-sniffing trend was a hoax until he tried it himself.

"I tried it and it was like, okay, this is the future right here," Anderson told “The Washington Post,” noting that the effect is, "almost like an energy-drink feeling, like you’re euphoric but also motivated to get things done.”

Unsurprisingly, Coco Loko has divided social media users.

So is snorting powdered chocolate actually advisable? Surprise: it probably isn’t.

Multiple reports over the years have signaled how snorting anything is probably a bad idea. "Snorting chocolate powder is not safe, because the powder is perceived by the nose as a foreign toxic substance," ear, nose, and throat specialist Dr. Jordan Josephson explained to “LiveScience” in 2015.

Snorting anything can damage one’s nasal integrity and, worse, can affect one’s respiratory system. “If one is too keen on sniffing any finely ground powder to the extent that you get it into your lungs you are asking for trouble,” Dr. Daniel Rutherford told “The Independent” in 2015.

Even though the dangers of snorting in general have been documented, there's less information about the specific dangers of snorting chocolate.

“Nobody’s ever heard of it,” Dr. Andrew Lane, the director of John Hopkins Sinus Center, told the “The Washington Post” this week.

However, there are documented cases of candy snorting producing gross results.

Anyone who has gone to middle school and been around Pixie Stix can attest to how powder sweets end up in noses.

In fact, the early 2010s saw a rash of powdered candy issues in children. The acts had spread via YouTube videos and led to some shocking conclusions: nasal maggots as the result of foreign materials entering the nose along with candy (and then subsequently feeding on the nose sugar).

Beyond candy, health fads—from snorting vitamin B12 in the 1980s to the neti pot in the 2000s—have raised questions about the validity of nasal ingestion.

In short, just because snortable chocolate is trending, doesn't mean you should try it.

Regardless of how much you like chocolate, no food trend should compromise your health. The matter is quite concerning when paired with how little studies have been done on these nosy sweets.

The best advice comes from a headline from the “Los Angeles Times” in 2014 regarding kids snorting the candy Smarties: “Eat. Don't snort. Unless you want nasal maggots.”