How Does Pepper Spray Work?

Posted by JL Defense Products on Jan 30th 2017

When you think about personal protection devices, we’re sure the same few products come to mind: stun guns, knives, and pepper spray. While many of our clients choose to use pepper spray, not many of them fully understand how pepper spray works, nor how effective it can be in stopping an attacker right in his tracks. We would like to explain today how pepper spray is used and how it may be able to help you in a stressful and dangerous situation.

What is Pepper Spray Made From?

Pepper spray is typically made using an extract of chili peppers; specifically, it is made using oleoresin capsicum (OC), which is an oil naturally found in many different types of peppers. OC contains capsaicin, which is what causes the spicy and hot sensation you feel when you eat a particularly spicy pepper. Capsaicin is odorless, colorless, and flavorless—but just one milligram of pure capsaicin can blister your skin. Pepper spray usually comes in an aerosol canister so you can quickly and easily spray anyone who is threatening you and your personal safety. It’s mixed with an oil or water-based solution and a propellant to make the solution easy to shoot out when needed.

How Does Pepper Spray Effect the Body?

Capsaicin in peppers creates heat when it comes into contact with the mucous membranes in your mouth. That’s why you can feel like your mouth is burning! You can actually measure the strength and potency of capsaicin through Scoville heat units, or SHU. A jalapeno pepper is rated at an 8,000 SHU, and a habanero is rated at 350,000 SHU. The reason pepper spray burns attackers so much is because of the SHU level: your typical pepper spray will be somewhere between 500,000 SHU and 5,000,000 SHU. With such a high concentration of capsaicin in just one bit of pepper spray, it’s easy to see how this could slow down an attacker!

A burst of pepper spray to the face would leave a burning sensation in the eyes, nose, mouth, and possibly the skin and throat. Anyone hit by a blast of pepper spray is typically blinded for 15 to 30 minutes and suffer from a coughing fit. What’s good about pepper spray is that, even when left untreated, the effects of pepper spray usually wear off after about an hour—plenty of time for you to call the police and get out of the dangerous situation.

Protect Yourself

If you believe that pepper spray should be your main choice of your personal protection devices, be sure to shop JL Defense Products today! We offer pepper spray that comes in a variety of concealed devices, such as keychains and even rings. Find the perfect choice for you, and please stay safe! If you would like more personal protection devices in case of an emergency, be sure to shop our collection of self defense items, including stun guns, knives, and anything else you feel you might need in an emergency. Take a look at our shop today!