Snorting guaraná

We received the following e-mail some time ago:

A friend of mine regularly snorts guaraná and swears it is the best and safest way of taking the powder. Is this really safe? We are concerned about his health, lately it seems he has periods where he is sort of spaced out. Could this be the guaraná? He takes it three times a day.

Guaraná is reputed to increase mental alertness and fight fatigue and also to increase stamina and physical endurance. Presently guaraná is taken daily as a health tonic by millions of Brazilians who believe is helps overcome heat fatigue, combats premature aging, detoxifies the blood and useful for flatulence, obesity, dyspepsia, fatigue and for arteriosclerosis.1

Guaraná is normally taken orally in some form. The powder is usually mixed into a drink. As far as known, there are no negative side-effects when taken in this way. On the contrary, scientific research indicates several beneficial effects. See: Raintree Group Database.

I am not sure on what the claim based that the safest and best way to take guaraná is snorting, I can only say that snorting guaraná powder seems very strange to me.
In certain circles, e.g. the rave scene, guaraná is marketed in soft-drinks as an 'alternative' or 'smart' drug. That might have lead your friend to try and snort guaraná. As far as I know, guaraná has no 'mind-altering' effects. It is a mild stimulant, having the same effect as caffeine.

It is hard to say what the effect of snorting guaraná is. As the guaranine in guaraná has a similar effect as caffeine, the direct take in might stimulate the brain more, causing a different state of mind, but I find that highly unlikely.

If you would ask me, I would not recommend snorting guaraná as it could damage the respiratoy system. Better safe than sorry.

Disclaimer: Please note that I do not have any medical training and cannot give any medical advice. Any comments made above on the subject must be seen in this context. M.M.

(1) Data derived from: Raintree Group Database