Snortable chocolate powder for energy buzz raises health questions

A new snortable cacao-based powder that claims to offer "euphoric energy" has been met with skepticism and concern from doctors.
3:56 | 07/06/17

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Transcript for Snortable chocolate powder for energy buzz raises health questions
We turn to that "Gma" parenting alert. Big trending article in "The Washington post" that definitely caught our attention. Could teens be snorting chocolate and the health risks. ABC's T.J. Holme looked into all of that. Good morning, T.J. Look at your faces. All right, everybody, let me be clear. Before you try to grind up your Hershey bar and do lines of it. We're talking about a new chocolate-based product that's events to give you a buzz when you minority snort. Does any parent want to see their child with a rolled up $100 even if the product is drug-free? A new way to get a buzz from something that's inexpensive, widely available, perfectly legal and teens already love it. Chocolate. A new chocolate based product, cocoa loco is a powder that users can snort. It's basically crazy chocolate because it's chocolate mixed with other things that creates a crazy effect. Reporter: The product is actually a blend, cacao powder mixed with other ingredients found in energy drinks. The makers claim it can produce an elevated mood and a state of euphoria similar to the feeling of ecstasy and give you a steady rush of motivation great for partygoers to dance the night away without a crash. Anybody that just wants to party, dance and have a little extra energy, that's mostly our market. Reporter: But chocolate snorting craze showed up in European nightclubs last year but Nick Anderson founder of legal lean is hoping to bring it to the forefrt of the U.S. Party scene. I didn't consult with any medical professionals. I basically just saw what Europe -- what was going on in Europe. No health issues. Out two, three years. Everybody seems fine. Very popular. No negative publicity so I felt we're good to go. Reporter: But many are now wondering. Is it safe? Well, nobody really knows. The fda isn't even sure if it falls under its jurisdiction yet. Telling ABC news, the fda will need to evaluate the product labeling, marketing information and/or any other information pertaining to the product's intended use. Again, they say they are marketing it to people over 18 years old and, robach, in some places it was so popular some clubs didn't even serve alcohol. They just served this snortable chocolate. We're joined by Dr. Jen Ashton for answers. Obviously the big question is whether or not this is safe. Do we even know? No, we don't. You know, in medicine and science we like decades ideally or many, many year, tens of thousands of patients. We just don't. That's the short answer but to be clear when there are stimulants involved we know that there can be physiologic effects on the body. It can increase the heart rate and increase blood pressure. Obviously it can give a jolt of energy and potentially if you're talking about high doses these can be significant. There were jaw-dropping moments in t.j.'s piece, among them when the CEO said that they did not consult any medical professionals. As a parent what are your main concerns? I mean as a parent of two teenagers, I think this is concerning. I think what's also concern something that teenagers will hear, oh, it's natural. It's chocolate. That means safe. There are a lot of drugs that are natural. You know, cocaine is natural. Marijuana is natural. Some medications we use in hospital settings come from plants. That doesn't mean it's safe. Why snorting it? Does that bring it to the bloodstream quicker. You know, we do give medications through an inhalational route and there is that blood/oxygen interface and some medications therapeutically can be safely and effectively administered that way. When you're inhaling a par particularity matter anything that's solid, there can be risks. It can worsen respiratory conditions and, again, your lungs are meant to take in air. I hope everyone heard that. All right. Thank you very much, Dr. Jeb Bush. We appreciate it.

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