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Are Cacao and Chocolate Addictive?

Short answer, no. The long answer is just another question. That's, "Are you sensitive to caffeine?" If you are, cacao may keep you up at night but that is actually just the effect of theobromine. It's not a side-effect. Theobromine is a non-addictive stimulant found in its highest amounts in cacao. Readers who are not sensitive to caffeine, will have no problem digesting and processing the stimulant in cacao.

Cacao Pods, Beans and Paste
Hawai'i Cacao Pods, Beans and Paste

Cacao has no known side-effects at all and is contraindicated for people with heart conditions and pregnant people in their third trimester, migraine sufferers and thats it! Its not addictive. Cacao, the raw ingredient in chocolate, does not contain caffeine in amounts over 1/50th of a cup of coffee, or sometimes none at all. Some chocolate has added caffeine though. Whats up with that?! Naturally, the caffeine amount in cacao is so low it has no effect on you or your central nervous system! Cacao is a stimulant though. That chemical again is called theobromine and it is a sister to caffeine.

Theobromine is amazing! It stimulates the pineal gland. Factually. This gland mitigates pleasure hormones and functions like our eyeballs. It has rods and cones in it that respond to light. Sure. It's our third eye. Sure... Theobromine also aids in;

reducing symptoms of lung conditions like asthma through bronchodialation

improving tooth-surface-hardness more effectively than flouride

relieving sore throats more effectively than cough syrup increases mental calmness anti-inflammation longer lasting stimulation than caffeine Theobromine is psychoactive. Any chemicals that stimulate the pineal gland are considered psychoactive like nicotine, caffeine and THC. Note, alcohol does none of this -- its not psychoactive and is a depressant. Alcohol, like caffeine has no positive long-term (or arguably short term) advantage on health.

Effects of Alcoholism
Effects of Alcoholism

Cacao and chocolate are both psychoactive but luckily our body takes a while to break down the responsible chemicals. In fact, it takes so long, our nervous system can reach homeostasis. That half-life is twice as long as caffeine so all of our body systems, including even smooth muscle tissue, has time to adjust to the absence of theobromine. This is why cacao is not considered addictive. We all know sugar is addictive and therefore, warps the reward mechanisms in our brain. With any luck, sugar won't block too many of the psychoactive or nutritional benefits. Milk chocolate will do that, and is not psychoactive. Sugar and milk can prevent homeostasis, ruining the medicinal qualities of the cacao.

The opposite is true of foods containing the methylxanthine caffeine. Like coffee and tea. Our bodies cannot adjust to the swift digestion and processing of caffeine fast enough. It leaves our nervous system in shock. Even our muscles will shake and jitter. Lastly, our bodies will begin to crave and get addicted to, lets be honest -- caffeine, in your blood stream. That is how our bodies cope when they are in short supply of the stimulant. It seeks more in order to find a false homeostasis.

World Class Hawaii Coffee Beans
World-Class Hawaii Coffee

That's simply caffeine addiction. Cacao contains approximately 1/50th the caffeine of a cup of coffee. One would need 49 more cups of Cacao to feel its effects. Oddly, Montezuma, is recorded to have drank 50 cups of cacao a day. He was one of the God-Kings of the Aztec Empire. This is just one reason the botanist, Linneaus, named cacao, "The Food of the Gods".

Baby Cacao Pods
Rare Hawaii Cacao Cherelles

Recently research has shown dopamine and its connection to addiction. Psychology today says dopamine and its release in the body are non-addictive. This is because things like ASMR, massage, memories, rhetoric and even PTSD can all cause dopamine to be released within our brains. If we get addicted to dopamine, wouldn't that mean we are addicted to ourselves? Both make you go to the bathroom but caffeine, way more! They also share dehydrating and warming qualities however caffeine doubles the impact. Western medicine will refer only to coffee as a diuretic. Not cacao. Daily use of cacao is not even known to be habit-forming. We recommend having a brew of our holistic Cacao Tea as a permanent substitute for coffee.

This is a great beverage for folks who want to distance addiction and live in tune with their third eye and their breathe. The vasodialting qualities of cacao, which come from nitric oxide, will help you connect strongly to your heart instead of your head. Cacao shows us the way to live in tune with ourselves. If you want to keep eating our semi-sweet chocolate for truly indulgent and rewarding experiences, start with our caffeine-free Hawaiian 4 - Pack.

Cacao is medicine, of course we cannot legally say that, but drinking it will help you feel more at home with yourself. Connecting to this inner energy can set one's life on a separate path than just being a caffeine-junkie. Speaking for Island Sharks Chocolate, "We would never turn our gracious, smart and wonderful customers into addicts! We use as little sugar as possible in our chocolate to balance the acids in the bean. Thats it!". Island Sharks wouldn't sell anything they wouldn't consume themselves. Being the maker at Island Sharks, this author commits to making as healthful cacao and chocolate as possible. Do I need to say anything more about cacao and addiction? Well, if you would like know anything more about cacao, please visit the "Complete Cacao Master List" or leave a comment below. Special thanks to Farm Like a Goddess, Cacao Farm Tours!



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