Pepper spray is a commonly-used self-defense tool. Many people find it easy to carry around, but they may not have any understanding of what the spray actually does and how its strength can be enhanced. In addition to learning about this spray's uses, you'll also learn about the important difference between Mace vs pepper spray and some of their best features.

The active substance that is used in these sprays – came about when someone observed that animals who had been bitten by black pepper-covered rattlesnakes shook off their attackers rather quickly. The substance found in natural black pepper that made this possible was called oleoresin capsicum (O.C.) When it comes to self-defense, there are two main types of sprays:1) the kind you carry on your self defense keychain or ring;2) and guns that shoot a cloud of substance at the attacker.

This spray is a liquid that contains the active chemical component called capsaicin, and it works by irritating and burning the eyes, lungs, and skin of predators. Capsaicin binds to a receptor on nerve cells in the body, causing pain receptors to be activated. This activates an automatic response inside the body that triggers the muscles to contract and raise a protective barrier around the body. The chemicals are so strong that they can cause temporary blindness and even lead to death in extreme cases.

What is Pepper Spray?

Pepper spray is an aerosol can of capsaicin (the active ingredient in chili peppers) that causes pain when it comes into contact with mucous membranes. It is more potent than mace and burns the skin, causing a feeling of warmth, itching, and stinging. This spray's effects range from instantaneous to delayed for up to 45 minutes. This spray or OC gas contains one or more of these chemical compounds: 

(1) oleoresin capsicum, (2) cayenne pepper extract, and (3) tear gas. The most common active ingredients currently used in this spray product are capsaicin and related compounds (called "oleoresins"); followed by cayenne pepper and/or related hot peppers. The most common active ingredient in the modern spray is 10%–18% of the OC chemical known as capsaicin and related capsaicinoids. 

These chemicals, deriving from plants of the nightshade family (Solanaceae), are called 'capsaicinoids' because they are associated with the pungent chemical in chili peppers, capsaicin. But natural sprays only contain capsaicinoids and not the capsaicin itself. The eyes, mouth, nose, skin, and lungs have the greatest sensitivity to the irritating and incapacitating effects of these sprays. 

This spray causes immediate closing of a person's eyes, difficulty breathing or feeling as though the person was coughing or choking; difficulty talking or screaming; pain (and a burning sensation) in the nose and throat; sensations of "pins and needles" or localized numbness where sprayed; sneezing; tears streaming from the eyes. Depending on how much is dispersed and whether there is wind or not, it can travel up to 20 meters (or yards).

Effects of Pepper Spray

How does pepper spray work? This spray is a liquid that is sprayed on the face and eyes of the attacker. Once this liquid gets into his/her eyes, it will make them extremely uncomfortable, and even if the attacker has a powerful will, they will not be able to continue the attack. 

There are different types of this spray that you can get from different manufacturers. The most common type in use today is CS spray, which is a combination of CS and oleoresin capsicum. The chemical compound used for this pepper spray type is orthochlorobenzalmalononitrile. It should be also noted that different types of sprays are being used by law enforcement and the military, with varying degrees of strength. 

Some sprays use a ten percent pepper spray formula and others use a much stronger formula that can result in extreme discomfort to the eyes and skin, which is an oleoresin capsicum (OC) also known as capsaicin. This product will burn on contact with your skin and eyes and has a burning sensation for up to five minutes after it gets into your body.

How to Use Pepper Spray?

Pepper spray works well on incapacitating predators, but carries an increased risk of harm to non-defending people. This guide will teach you how to protect yourself with the tool in a safe and natural manner.

This spray is one of the most common self defense weapons used by many to escape uncomfortable situations without committing any bodily harm. Unfortunately, the use of this spray can also be dangerous when it comes to using it against attackers who are not predators. In order to use this spray safely, students must know how the chemicals inside work in order to avoid inflicting injuries on innocent bystanders or themselves. 

So how do you use this spray? To use pepper spray safely, users must understand how it works in order to avoid inflicting injuries on themselves or other people nearby. According to the Better Health Channel, the two safety factors that you need to consider are the wind direction, and how close you are to the attacker. 

  • Wind Direction

The wind direction should be taken into consideration because pepper spray can blow back toward you if used in windy conditions. At times, wind is also used by predators as a diversionary tactic so it is important that you work out in advance how you will use pepper spray safely and effectively when confronted with a predator or abuser.

  • Closeness to the Attacker

For some people, close proximity to their attackers means that they can use pepper spray effectively without triggering an involuntary response within their bodies. If students are too close to their attacker, this spray will be released directly into their eyes and irritate them instantly. Students can use this fact to their advantage when they are too close to attackers.

For people who are further away from predators, they need to release the spray in an upward direction so that the pepper spray will not contact them or innocent bystanders who may be in its path. This is especially true if predator and prey are separated by a barrier such as glass or a metal fence. The two main ways that predators use to overpower victims during an abusive situation are by attacking them physically or verbally.

Pepper Spray For Self Defense - Absolutely Perfect 

The United States sprays pepper spray in its jails as a universal form of control and punishment. This is why this spray is so widely used in the prison system, which is not that surprising. However what may surprise you is that this type of "non-lethal" tool can be an effective weapon to stop a criminal attack, even on strong and big men like those who commit sexual assaults.

This spray is sprayed into the face of these prisoners to make them go down on their knees, making them easier to handle and prevent more severe harm like rape. This spray has been used for a long time by law enforcement and the military to disarm criminals in cases where they are about to kill or seriously injure an innocent person.

It has also been used on the streets, making attackers run away from victims and helping them initially clear their minds and take some distance from the place. If you want a really effective weapon that will cause attackers pain, you should be considering getting this product, however, many people do not know how effective it is until they try it themselves.

Safety Tips to Use Pepper Spray

If you ever find yourself in a situation where you need to use pepper spray, there are some important safety steps to consider before deploying your weapon. The first and most important thing is to know the law. The legal issues involving this spray are complex, but here are a few guidelines to keep in mind: 

  • Be sure that it is legal for you to carry and use this spray in your area. In many cities/states, pepper spray is technically not allowed if you don't have an explicit carrying license for it.
  • Do not point the canister at anyone other than the assailant. The spray will not help you if you end up accidentally injuring someone, and the canister itself is designed to be an effective weapon if pointed at a target.
  • Be careful when moving in close (within 6 feet) of the assailant. Even a mistake here could cause serious injury to both you and the assailant.
  • Do not use pepper spray in dense crowds or indoors. It is also important not to spray the canister directly overhead into people's faces due to the wide stream of pepper spray.