Oleoresin Capsicum
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What is Oleoresin Capsicum (OC)?
Oleoresin Capsicum (OC) is the oil taken from the placenta near the stem of a pepper. Although OC is the active ingredient used in most self-defense sprays, the percentage of OC within the formulation does NOT indicate pepper spray strength. The OC percentage only measures the amount of red pepper contained in the defense spray, not the pungency or effectiveness of the product.

What are Capsaicin & Capsaicinoids?
Oleoresin Capsicum is comprised of several different Capsaicinoids. There are five major Capsaicinoid responsible for providing the pungency or hotness of a pepper. Capsaicin is the strongest or most important of the five. Therefore, it is the percentage of the total capsaicinoids, not the OC percentage that is most important.

Civilian and Law Enforcement Pepper sprays range from 0.18% to 1.33% Major Capsaicinoids.

Bear Sprays range from 1.0% to 2.0% Major Capsaicinoids.

What are Scoville Heat Units (SHUs)?
Scoville Heat Units is NOT an inaccurate indicator used to measure the pungency of defense sprays. The Habanero is the hottest chili pepper, measuring 325,000 SHUs. The raw pepper used in SABRE and SABRE Red measures 2,000,000 SHUs which is over six times hotter than a habanero.

SHUs would be an accurate

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indicator if manufacturers presented the SHUs of their formulation. Instead, they present the SHUs of the raw pepper which is not the strength of the spray. Here are three examples confirming the lowest SHUs listed is actually the strongest of the three products:

Raw SHUOC PercentageDilutionNET SHU

The above chart confirms raw SHUs do not represent pepper spray strength. Ask for independent confirmation of capsaicinoids and NET SHUs when comparing two products.


Which is better CS or CN tear gas?
“Super CS Military Tear Gas” offers numerous advantages over CN “Mace” tear gas. Because of these advantages, the US Department of Defense switched from using CN tear gas to CS in the late 1950’s. CS offers the following advantages over CN/Mace.

  • CS takes effect quicker.
  • CS is more potent, but less toxic.
  • CS is extremely effective even in low concentrations.

If blended formulations are more effective, why do many law enforcement agencies carry OC only products?
Law enforcement officers have different objectives for carrying defense sprays than do civilians. For civilians, besides hand to hand combat, self defense-sprays are usually the first, and only means of defense available. For this reason, it is absolutely imperative that civilians carry the most effective products possible. Ideally, the spray will completely incapacitate the attacker and allow the victim to escape and call the police. If the victim is able to contact local law enforcement, there is a good chance that the law enforcement officers will be able to apprehend the attacker. If not, a description and an ultraviolet dye will help link the attacker to the scene of the crime.

Many law enforcement agencies carry pepper sprays which do not contain CS Tear Gas in order to reduce contamination of innocent bystanders and unwanted areas.

Are Law Enforcement Defense Sprays significantly more potent than civilian products?
There are significant differences in potency from one defense spray to the next. However, civilians have access to defense sprays with the same potency as carried by agencies using the strongest available formulations.

For how long do most units fire?
VEDOA canisters fire up to five (5) times longer than the industry average. For example, the average 1/2 oz. (key chain) canister fires for approximately 5 quick bursts. VEDOA 1/2 oz canisters fire approximately 25 quick bursts! A 1/2 oz. (15 gram) canister is the most popular size carried among civilians.

For how long will most products last?
All aerosol products will eventually lose pressure over time. Most defense sprays last for only two years from their manufacture date. Because all VEDOA products use only the best available components and formulation ingredients, all VEDOA civilian products have a four year shelf life!

How far do most products fire?
Depending upon the wind, most defense sprays using a stream spray pattern fire 8 to 12 feet (3 to 4 meters). Defense sprays using a cone/mist spray fire from 6 to 12 feet (2 to 4 meters).

What sort of testing has been done on your products?
Each of our defense sprays have been tested by independent laboratories for the following:

  • Dermal Irritation
  • Eye Irritation
  • OC Pungency (HPLC)
  • Flammability
  • Inhalation

In addition, numerous other tests are performed on every defense spray canister that we produce. For example, a crimp, weight, pressure, and temperature test is performed on every VEDOA canister.

How long should I fire the can at the attacker?
It is recommended that the canister be fired until the attacker is incapacitated. Once the attacker is stopped, escape immediately and call the police. If the canister is used, it is recommended that the unit be replaced.

Can I use my VEDOA Pepper Spray after the indicated expiration date?
Like any pressurized aerosol device, over time the unit may not spray as far as expected, if at all. We recommends replacing your spray at the expiration date shown on your VEDOA Pepper Spray. The manufacturer cannot be held responsible if the spray has its expiration date or if the expiration date is no longer visible.

At what temperature should I store my VEDOA Pepper Spray?
Do not leave your
VEDOA Pepper Spray in any area that may exceed 55 degrees C or drop below -20 degrees C. Excessive heat or cold may cause the can to leak or burst.

What do I do when my VEDOA Pepper Spray expires or is empty?
VEDOA Pepper Spray does contain chemicals and should be disposed of in accordance with all local, state and federal regulations. 

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