You may be sprinkling Cacao in your breakfast smoothie, but in Berlin, people are snorting it, all over the world, people are hosting ceremonies, and you might just find it at your next rave.
Cacao, what you mean….chocolate? Yup, we may have been smashing dark chocolate like smack addicts for its antioxidant-rich properties and undeniable more-ish-ness, but who knew there was method in the madness?
First things first, know the difference between that dark chocolate bar you munch on your lunch break and Grade A Ceremonial Cacao. Like any old-school high, its effect is highly dependent on the quality and purity of the product.
Ceremonial-Grade Cacao is the highest form of cacao in its natural state. It is cultivated and produced as a plant medicine, protecting and supporting the medicinal qualities of the cacao by processing it in low-temperature conditions from the purest small-batch sources.
Ceremonial-Grade Cacao is the highest form of cacao in its natural state
Plant medicine you say?!
You heard us right! If Ayahuasca is known as the Grandmother of Plant Medicines and Cannabis (including CBD) is considered the Mother, then Cacao is the Maiden. Soft, sweet, gentle… a total babe… just don’t underestimate her. A dose of ceremonial Cacao can keep you up all night. And what’s more? She’s the only one in this tribe that’s legal.
So, let’s cut to the chase…can you get high on cacao? Yes and no. While cacao isn’t as psychoactive as ayahuasca or acid, it does contain a concoction of ‘bliss chemicals’ that stimulate the heart-rate while increasing your good vibes. These include salsolinol which trigger the release of dopamine, as well as tyrosine which is a precursor for dopamine so that dopamine can be made in the body easily and fast.
Also, anandamide is present which binds to cannabinoid receptors and cacao stimulates the release of endorphins. What’s more, cacao’s cognitive enhancing properties can unlock those hidden stores of creativity you just knew lay hidden somewhere inside, while its main stimulant ingredient theobromine (similar to caffeine) stimulates your central nervous system so you will have stamina for disco-stomping.
Finally, it’s heart-opening ability can dig up old emotions to set them free (so be prepared for tears, laughter and everything in between) while most of the time, it will just leave you feeling kind of awesome and without a crash the next day.
This ain’t some new trend either, cacao goes back, way back. It was the Mayans who first prized it above all else, using it to connect with their Gods and as their most prized trading commodity. Not for nothing was it nicknamed ‘Black Gold”.
What now? You don’t have to become a shaman to start using Cacao; yogis meditate with it (yup, cacao yoga is a THING!),DJs dance to it, musicians jam with it, writers write with it and even Silicon Valley moguls have been known to credit Cacao as the key to their most productive brainstorms.
So how can you tap in?
The Spiritual Side
Shamans and Cacao alchemists use Cacao in specific ceremonies that tend to involve a combination of guided meditation, dance and sound. A ceremonial dose of cacao measures up as 44 grams melted slowly in warm water and muddled with prayers, mantras, elixirs and a healthy dose of cayenne pepper to kick-start its absorption into the bloodstream. For first-timers, our tip is to start with the experts (London’s buzzing with ceremonies right now) so you get a taste of what you are working with before going rogue.
So now you’re hooked, but how can you get hooked you up at home? We love British brand Boca for its bite-sized cubes for ultimate everyday ease, while if you want the best of the best, head for Keith’s Cacao, sourced straight from the virgin jungles of Guatemala and cultivated by one of the modern-day cacao masters, Keith Wilson, a long-haired Californian who’s one of the fire-starters of the current global expansion (more on him later). You can order it per pound here, and then follow our special recipe from in-house Cacao Alchemist Lauren Holmes.
You heard it here first
… In Bali this year, it was ceremonial Cacao shots mixed with the chinese herb Krakom that powered the late-night dance-floor at Bali Spirit Festival, and our bet is that it won’t be long before the trend catches on in Europe.
Above all, Cacao is a heart-opener that expands your awareness, so choose wisely. You can take it on a manic monday, but do you really want to be more connected with your boss’s mood swings? We think not. We like to save it the good times; adventures in nature, festivals, in fact why not break the mould and whip some out at this years office Christmas party?