I tried sniffing cocoa to get high on a night out and it was surprisingly good

European clubbers can’t get enough of it

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Health-conscious clubbers across Europe are ditching cocaine for cocoa, in order to get high.

The cocoa craze, which apparently originated in Berlin, has spread across the continent with health rave organisers such as Morning Gloryville selling cocoa pills at their parties. Belgian chocolatier Dominique Persoone has even invented a chocolate shooter, specifically designed for shooting chocolate up your nostrils.

Cocoa it seems is the new, cheaper and healthier drug of choice. But is it better? I spent my Saturday night snorting cocoa in club toilets to find out.


Experts like Persoone recommend using Peruvian or Dominican cocoa mixed with mint and ginger for the perfect blend of intensity and texture. Unfortunately, my local supermarket had a limited range of cocoa powder and I only had a choice between Bournville cocoa powder and Green and Black’s Organic version. I chose the medium sized tub of Bournville cocoa for just under £3. If it genuinely does get you high, it’s by the far the cheapest and most easily obtainable drug available.

Unable to justify the €45 price tag of one of Persoone’s chocolate shooters, I opted for more traditional methods of admission: keys, rolled up bank notes and a baggie. Unsure of how much I would need, but estimating that it probably takes more cocoa than cocaine to give you a buzz, I filled the baggie to the top. So far the cocoa aromas were only making me want to sit in with a mug of hot chocolate in front of Netflix, which wasn’t exactly the intended outcome.


I got dressed and was ready to leave and meet my friends. It was the ideal moment to have my first sniff. According to regular users of cocoa, you should feel a rush of euphoria, similar to that given by cocaine as the cocoa release endorphins into the bloodstream. I rolled up a bank note and snorted a small pile of powder. It was underwhelming. Apart from the tingling in my nose, I felt no different. However, my nostrils were now caked in damp brown powder and my top was stained with cocoa dust. I was not impressed.


I went to meet my friends at the bar. When they started ordering drinks, I shadily excused myself and snuck off to the toilets with my bag of cocoa and key. Disappointed by my initial earlier experience, this time I decided to snort three lines. When the burning in my nostril subsided, I felt a distinct change. The bathroom walls were pulsating with energy. As I stepped back into the bar, the music seemed louder and the lights were brighter. I was seized by the irresistible urge to join strangers’ conversations.

As it got later, we left the bar and headed to the club. I snorted a few more lines before we left and found myself behaving completely out of character: organising and directing everyone to the club. I could feel an intense, weirdly nice throbbing behind my eyes like a heartbeat. Once inside the club I did two more lines, and spluttering cocoa everywhere I told my friends what was behind my peculiar behaviour and avoidance of alcohol tonight. My friend who studies dance thought it was hilarious that I kept trying to imitate her dance moves and at one point I joined a dance off between two strangers. It didn’t seem strange. I felt invincible.

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I felt this good

At near 2am, the intense throbbing behind my eyes had developed into a dull headache and I briefly lost my friends. I decided it was time to head home. I left the club and thought nothing of making the two-hour long walk home by myself. The only problem was that I couldn’t stop sneezing lumps of cocoa, which was kind of gross for passers-by.

The next day I felt surprisingly well. I woke up early and unlike my friends who were sat in bed craving sausage rolls I was able to go to work feeling relatively normal, if not a bit spaced out. Even better, I could still remember and relive the buzz from the previous night. Also, there was no regret that my few hours of fun last night were potentially going to cause heart complications in a decade’s time.


The only downside was the messiness. My nostrils were blocked with clumps of cocoa and my pockets were filled with brown dust. I would definitely use cocoa again in the future but more likely as a stimulant rather than as a party drug, by which it is making a name for itself. The powerful concentration and energy it seemed to give me made it more comparable to caffeine or study drug Modafinil.

Potential Placebo effect aside, at less than £3 for a year’s supply, cocoa is definitely worth the hype.