Cocoa - PsychonautWiki

Cocoa is yummy! However, some cocoa strains have high caffeine content, and stimulants combined with psychedelics should be used with caution.

The Forastero strain contains virtually no caffeine, while the Criollo contains a lot of caffeine.

To make chocolate, it's safer to mix cocoa solids with specified strain and white chocolate, or just using white chocolate, rather than using baking chocolate without any strain declared in the ingredients.

For the cocoa plant, see Theobroma cacao (botany).
Summary sheet: Cocoa


Cocoa pods growing on the plant.

Cocoa, or cocoa powder is a naturally occurring product from the cocoa beans of the cacao tree Theobroma cacao, known for being a main ingredient in chocolate. It is found usually in the form of cocoa beans, which are taken from the cocoa plant, or cocoa powder. Cocoa beans and bean powder contain psychoactive compounds that when ingested or insufflated act as mild to moderate stimulants. Businesses as well as companies and their subsidiaries sell cocoa powder for baking because cocoa powder is used to add chocolate flavor to baked items or doughs.

The generic name for Theobroma cacao is derived from the Greek for "food of the gods"; from θεός (theos), meaning 'god', and βρῶμα (broma), meaning 'food'.


See dark chocolate milk for preparation.

Dosages based on cocoa strain

The caffeine content in the table is base on the calculation from various cocoa varieties.[1]

Level Cocoa bean strain
Criollo Trinitario Nacional Forastero
Threshold: 20-50 mg caffeine 2-4 g 3-9 g 8-21 g 15-38 g
Light: 50-100 mg caffeine 4-9 g 9-16 g 21-42 g 38-77 g
Common: 100-200 mg caffeine 9-18 g 16-32 42-83 g 77-154 g
Strong: 200-300 mg caffeine 18-27 g 32-48 g 83-125 g 154-231 g
Heavy: 300-400 mg caffeine 27-35 g 48-63 g 125-167 g 231-308 g

History and culture

Several mixtures of cacao are described in ancient texts, for ceremonial or medicinal, as well as culinary, purposes. Some mixtures included maize, chili, vanilla (Vanilla planifolia), and honey. Archaeological evidence for use of cacao, while relatively sparse, has come from the recovery of whole cacao beans at Uaxactun, Guatemala.[2]

Ceremonial cacao, along with retreats centered around its use, has been experiencing a surge in popularity in recent years.


Cocoa varieties

Caffeine content mg/g (sorted by lowest caffeine content):[1]

  • Forastero (defatted): 1.3 mg/g
  • Nacional (defatted): 2.4 mg/g
  • Trinitario (defatted): 6.3/g
  • Criollo (defatted): 11.3 mg/g



This pharmacology section is incomplete.

You can help by adding to it.

The compounds theobromine, caffeine, and phenethylamine are the main psychoactive constituents of cocoa. Caffeine and theobromine are metabolized by xanthine oxidase and phenethylamine is metabolized mainly by monoamine oxidase B.

Theobromine has a half-life of 10 hours but over 16% may be unmodified 48 h after a single dose of 10 mg/Kg.[10]

It may take 4-8 weeks of caffeine abstinence to reset tolerance in regular users.[11]

Subjective effects

This subjective effects section is a stub.

As such, it is still in progress and may contain incomplete or wrong information.

You can help by expanding or correcting it.

Disclaimer: The effects listed below cite the Subjective Effect Index (SEI), an open research literature based on anecdotal user reports and the personal analyses of PsychonautWiki contributors. As a result, they should be viewed with a healthy degree of skepticism.

It is also worth noting that these effects will not necessarily occur in a predictable or reliable manner, although higher doses are more liable to induce the full spectrum of effects. Likewise, adverse effects become increasingly likely with higher doses and may include addiction, severe injury, or death ☠.

Physical effects

After effects

Toxicity and harm potential

It is recommended that one use harm reduction practices when using this drug. Although cocoa is relatively safe when ingested orally, snorting cocoa is very damaging to nasal passages and therefore it is not recommended to snort cocoa powder often, in large amounts, or potentially even at all.

Snorted cocoa has been used as a "party drug" in Europe, usually as a legal and subtle replacement for MDMA or cocaine.[12][13] Cocoa solids is a very bulky substance. Insufflation of cocoa solids in the respiratory tract can cause inflammation.[14]


The LD50 of cocoa powder in humans is estimated to be around 25-100(This information has a large range of numbers (ex. 25-100) that is unjustified or unsourced and/or it is a very vague statement.) grams per kilogram of body weight.[citation needed]

Dependence and abuse potential

Because cocoa can act as a powerful (compared to other weaker stimulants on their own) stimulant, it can be considered addictive, but less so than compounds such as amphetamine and DOx compounds. Caffeine dependence and withdrawals have been documented. [15]

Dangerous interactions

monoamine oxidase inhibitors or reversible inhibitors of monoamine oxidase could potentially boost the actions of phenethylamine[citation needed] or, more dangerously, raise levels of monoamines to very high amounts which could cause high blood pressure or less potentially, serotonin syndrome.



This legality section is a stub.

As such, it may contain incomplete or wrong information. You can help by expanding it.

Cocoa powder can be legally obtained likely in every country, although some countries have restrictions on the sale of caffeine.

See also

External links


  1. 1.0 1.1
  2. Kidder (1947).
  3. 3.00 3.01 3.02 3.03 3.04 3.05 3.06 3.07 3.08 3.09 3.10 3.11 3.12
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 "FoodData Central". 
  5. Irsfeld, M; Spadafore, M; Prüß, BM (30 September 2013). "β-phenylethylamine, a small molecule with a large impact". WebmedCentral. 4 (9). PMID 24482732. 
  6. Restuccia, D; Spizzirri, UG; Puoci, F; Picci, N (2015). "Determination of biogenic amine profiles in conventional and organic cocoa-based products". Food additives & contaminants. Part A, Chemistry, analysis, control, exposure & risk assessment. 32 (7): 1156–63. doi:10.1080/19440049.2015.1036322. PMID 25833003. 
  7. Franco, R; Oñatibia-Astibia, A; Martínez-Pinilla, E (18 October 2013). "Health benefits of methylxanthines in cacao and chocolate". Nutrients. 5 (10): 4159–73. doi:10.3390/nu5104159. PMID 24145871. 
  8. van Wensem, J (January 2015). "Overview of scientific evidence for chocolate health benefits". Integrated environmental assessment and management. 11 (1): 176–7. doi:10.1002/ieam.1594. PMID 25545257. 
  9. 9.0 9.1
  10. Martínez-Pinilla, E; Oñatibia-Astibia, A; Franco, R (2015). "The relevance of theobromine for the beneficial effects of cocoa consumption". Frontiers in pharmacology. 6: 30. doi:10.3389/fphar.2015.00030. PMC 4335269 . PMID 25750625. 
  11. Cappelletti, S; Piacentino, D; Sani, G; Aromatario, M (January 2015). "Caffeine: cognitive and physical performance enhancer or psychoactive drug?". Current neuropharmacology. 13 (1): 71–88. doi:10.2174/1570159X13666141210215655. PMC 4462044 . PMID 26074744. 
  12. "I tried sniffing cocoa to get high on a night out and it was surprisingly good". UK. 20 June 2016. 
  14. "The Different Effects in Your Body When You Snort Cacao Powder". Verywell Mind (in English). 
  15. Sajadi-Ernazarova, K., & Hamilton, R. (2017, May 11). Caffeine, Withdrawal - PubMed - NCBI. Retrieved from

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