Cocaine Cut With Coconut Is Now A Thing In LA – Is This Peak #Wellness?

Dealers see us downing Aquacoco all week, then partying all weekend, and now they're marketing their drugs to our new tastesPhoto by Lauren Hillebrandt

Cocaine Cut With Coconut Is Now A Thing In LA - Is This Peak #Wellness?

by Anonymous |
Published on

A few weeks ago I found myself breaking into a motel pool in Palm Springs. The details are blurry, but what I do know is that it was the middle of the night and I was with an awful hipster bro from LA. This guy was the embodiment of what Daily Mail commenters imagine all millennials to be like: an entitled, cleaning-eating, party boy who only talked about himself. He did have one redeeming quality though: a baggy of cocaine that was cut with actual coconut flakes. The coke he provided tasted of pina coladas rather than chemicals. It was so delicious and strong that I stuck with him for hours despite the fact he spent the evening describing his career history in LinkedIn level detail.

Our generation has gained a reputation for having a schizophrenic attitude to healthy living, which *The Debrief’s *Sophie Wilkinson dubbed as ‘generation offset’ last year. More of us are trying MDMA and cocaine than ever. In the past two years the use of ecstasy among young adults has spiked, with the number of people taking it up by 84 per cent, but we’re also more interested in wellness trends than our parents ever were - and coconut is one of wellness culture’s pin-up flavours. Bloggers swear by its health benefits, singing the praises of coconut oils, waters and milks.

After my night at the motel came to an end, I was still intrigued by the origins of the LA bro's game-changing coconut coke: was this a new thing? How is it made? How much of it is there out there? I was interested in finding out whether it was a trend and, if so, whether it could be an sign that our generation’s passion for ‘wellness’ had seeped into our drug habits. Pinterest’s full of boozy cocktails made with green juice, so if people were seeking a health kick with their high that didn’t seem like too much of a stretch. Could this coconut coke I had encountered in America be a sign we’ve reached peak clean living with actual wellness drugs? If it's happening in California is it only a matter of time before it's happening here?

It makes sense that dealers would try and cash in on Millenials' penchant for wellbeing. They see them downing Aquacoco all week, before partying all weekend, so it wouldn’t be surprising if they marketed their drugs to our new tastes – especially since a recent study showed that millennials are more willing to pay a premium for foods we see as healthy, and coconut is one of them. There are more coconut flavour food and drink products on the market than ever, from oils to milks. In fact, flavour specialists Firmenich named ’coconut’ the flavour of the year for 2016, saying its popularity is due to it evoking a feeling of ‘balance and well-being’. But this isn’t the first time there have been reports of flavoured cocaine in California.

Narcotics agents in Yolo County (I kid you not) confiscated three pounds of pink-coloured strawberry and coconut flavoured coke in 2007. There were also reports of lemon and cinnamon flavoured products on the market at the time. NBC reported in 2008: ‘Drug rings have occasionally sold cocaine mixed with candy powder, but investigators said the new product was significantly more sophisticated and lucrative.’

At the time this news came with a series of scare stories about how the flavoured drugs might be encouraging younger people to take drugs in the same way there were fears about alcopops luring us all into becoming binge drinkers as teenagers. There were also worries about the drug’s purity and whether the flavouring was being used to hide the taste of dangerous chemicals the coke had been cut with. News outlets warned: ‘stay away from the pink cocaine’.


It’s unsurprising then, that flavoured cocaine all but disappeared for years, until 2015 when mentions of ‘coconut scented’ powder started popping up on drugs forums. This time around the chat was less about synthetic candy flavours and more about ‘natural’ additions, reflecting our generation’s more general change in preferences towards whole foods. For example, a dark web seller was marketing their coke as being ‘washed’ with acetone and coconut milk. Plus, another user wrote on a forum about his friend making coconut coke by mixing it with a few drops of natural coconut extract. They even recommend a brand: McCormick.

While this forum chat isn’t widespread, and is usually met with disbelief from other commenters, those users who have posted about trying coconut coke have positive reviews of it. One wrote on Reddit: ‘I've had some recently and, while pricey, it was absolutely amazing. Double the price but little to no hangover.’ Another wrote: ‘A friend did some cocaine that smelled and even had a slight taste of coconut. They claimed it was very pleasing and it felt like a softball was in the back of their throat. The drip was a tad smoother, runnier, and nearly watery. ’

Their comments remind me a lot of the experience I had with Laura*, who also tried coconut scented coke in LA with me on our irresponsible adult holiday. ‘It went down smoothly,’ she said. ‘And the next day I definitely felt a lot less paranoid and jittery than I would have been if I’d been up doing normal coke half the night so it was probably cut with a lot less crap.’

Could it be that coconut coke is actually better for us? Is it the answer to balancing eating clean and getting high? Scientist Doris Payer PhD from drugs thinktank the Beckley Foundation says definitely not. ‘Cocaine is not a healthy thing, no matter what you do alongside,’ she says. ‘Processed powder cocaine may not necessarily ruin your health, but you can’t hack it to do it any favours, either. This isn’t like doing coke plus drinking coconut water.’

She explains that adding coconut flakes or any flavoured extracts or oils to cocaine can only ever decrease the drug’s purity, and could lead to sinus infections. However, she says the ‘hangover free’ experience that I experienced and other users of coconut cocaine have described is potentially because what we’ve taken is actually ‘washed’ cocaine, which is common in Mexico but hard to come by elsewhere – and is usually flavoured. She explains the drug is put through a number of processing steps to ‘wash off’ impurities before it is recrystallized for a purer end product. ‘People report a clean high and little to no comedown,’ she says, but warns: ‘This stuff is probably more likely to get you in trouble with compulsive use and addiction.’

But, while Payer says that coconut cocaine isn’t actually healthier for us, she does agree that dealers are probably doing it to appeal to appeal to market tastes. ‘I can only imagine it’s a branding thing, or a novelty thing,’ she says, agreeing that it’s similar to how alcopops were branded or maybe even to cover up evidence for other kinds of tampering with the product. ‘I think knowing why your cocaine smells of coconut would be the best risk mitigation strategy you’ve got here.’

Is this an example of millennials doing bad stuff but being health conscious and trying to offset it with something healthy? Maybe. But, it could also be because coconut is delicious. As Laura explained, when I asked her how she felt after taking it: ‘It didn’t necessarily feel healthier, just more of a treat I guess. I would definitely try it again.’ It’s hard to tell whether coconut coke will grow into a bigger trend, but if it does I think it will be more to do with users enjoying the flavour than us kidding ourselves that it actually gives the health benefits.

As for me and the wellness douchebag, eventually our drug supply dried up and so, inevitably, did my tolerance to his chat. At 6am I headed back to my hotel, at 1pm I headed out for a green juice with a side of avocado on toast and by 5pm I was feeling so well that I was ready to get back on the pina coladas again. Guess that makes me as much of a Daily Mail millennial as the jackass I was hanging out with.**

**names have been changed *

**Obviously, don't do drugs guys

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This article originally appeared on The Debrief.

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