• If you can't find a "Hot" category that fits, post it here!

Capsaicin vs. pain neurotransmitters - Calling all chile alchemists

I use spreadsheets to track and analyze many business and personal records. One of these spreadsheets gives me a more empirical way to quantify the effectiveness of these capsaicin treatments by looking back at records I've been keeping for a great many years. This spreadsheet correlates closely with pain levels because it tracks use of pain medication.
For the purpose of this analysis, I have a convenient data point that's exactly 13 months before my first capsaicin treatment. Over the span of these 13 months, my average use was 26.075 hours per pill.
After the initial treatment, this started dropping and dropping fast. As of a month ago, this average has fallen to 0 (zero) pills. This particular pain treatment has simply become unnecessary. I largely attribute this change to the capsaicin treatments and this is huge for me.
To do a complete recap of the regimen so far, the first treatment was 8% with coconut oil carrier. Two weeks later we did the first treatment with emu oil at 8%. After six weeks we did another coconut treatment just to use a botched batch. This was something less than 8%.
Now followed by the second emu oil treatment at five weeks later. This one is definitely the best. A week after the treatment I'm enjoying a comfortably relaxing day of smoking a brisket, watching the Monaco GP and the Indy 500. I have absolutely no pain at all..
SL, earlier i got up off the sofa, lifted my shirt and had my wife take some shots with an IR temp gun. They were all around 96° in the target area while my uncovered parts were several degrees lower.
I hope someone more fluent in alky chemistry can offer insight on how quickly it can flash off. Maybe it's limited since after pouring, spreading and a bit of rubbing in, the area is covered with plastic wrap fairly quickly. Not sure exactly how this affects volatility.


Business Member
fantastic to hear you are off the pills!  WOW! 
It sounds like evaporation rate is a non-issue.  If the mixture rubs in well and is effective, then it works. 
Wow, great to hear it worked so well! Haven't checked in for a while, so it's awesome to see you've booked so much progress! The reason I checked back was actually to post this video from NileRed. It's a YouTube channel about chemistry, and I found this video about extracting capsaicinoids from peppers. I thought it might be helpful to you, but it seems you're all good!  :dance:
For those interested anyway: How to extract Capsaicinoids from Peppers at Home
He uses acetone in the video, which shouldn't be a problem in the end. But to be safe he mentions in the description that it's better to use high concentration ethanol instead.
Thanks Bernd. I started making some pepper extract in the beginning with my superhot powder and 190 proof ethanol. I still have a test tube of beautiful and tasty tincture. Eventually I'll filter it and use it as such.
Our friend Salsa Lady offers 100% pure and natural capsaicin crystals for a very reasonable (dirt cheap) cost. Anyone who wants to do some work with high capsaicin pain relief would be well advised to get their active ingredient from her. There really can't be a better product to use as a reliable starting point. It just doesn't get any better than pure and natural 16 million SHU capsaicin.
salsalady said:
It sounds like evaporation rate is a non-issue.  If the mixture rubs in well and is effective, then it works. 

It works and that's all that really matters. This will be a work in progress for quite a while and I have good control on the range if not the exact percentage and SHU.
When working with a baseline of 1.6 million, it probably doesn't matter if it's 2,182,400 without the alcohol. I can certainly do it without the alcohol but I confirm using alcohol puts the mixing into quick and easy mode. It's automatic.
Learning more all the time. It seems like I get good effect for around five weeks and then it starts diminishing. This time, it started giving up before the six week point so we did another treatment yesterday, at seven weeks. All good but I'm always wondering why I'm not getting twelve weeks of pain relief as represented by the prescription patch I'm trying to mimic. With a  little help from my doctor, maybe the light turned on.
I went to see my back doctor today for the first time since I started barking up this tree. I compiled some info to show him and asked him if he knew anything about nuclear strength capsaicin treatments. He knows all about the usual ways capsaicin is used and says it's been effective for centuries but knew nothing about using capsaicin in this strength or for my use. He said he'll read the study and the other information I directed him to see and let me know.
He also immediately picked up on the fact that prescription use for me would be strictly off-label since the indicated purpose of the patch is management of neuropathic pain associated with postherpetic neuralgia. Duh! That's a whole different animal than I'm chasing and probably explains why my effective duration is much shorter. It may also mean the prescription patch itself may not be all that effective for me since the source of my pain is deep. I reckon it explains why the emu oil is more effective than the coconut oil as a carrier.
Still happy and feeling very fortunate.
So you keep your entire mouth and throat on fire and a decent amount of skin as well because of this pain?

Smoke a joint.
I thought he was doing both since he's trying to keep the capsaicin high. You can get that feeling from rubbing it in? Didn't think that would release endorphins.
Mystere said:
So you keep your entire mouth and throat on fire and a decent amount of skin as well because of this pain?

Smoke a joint.
Mystere said:
I thought he was doing both since he's trying to keep the capsaicin high. You can get that feeling from rubbing it in? Didn't think that would release endorphins.
Wow. Not sure any of this merits a response but what the hey?
No, I don't keep my mouth and throat on fire but I do eat very spicy things every day as a means of keeping my endorphin system as healthy as possible. I have been doing this for a very long time and for a great many years before I was bothered by chronic pain.
No, I don't keep a decent amount or any amount on my skin. We do a very high SHU topical treatment that requires about an hour before clean up. I don't suggest you wander around with a 1.3 million SHU capsaicin/oil mixture on your skin either. I think the contamination you'd leave all about your environment would make you a very unpopular person.
No, I won't smoke a joint. Medical cannabis for pain management is not available in my state. But thank you for your "well-reasoned" advice.
No, topical capsaicin/oil mixtures applied to the skin do not influence endorphins. If you want to know what effect topical capsaicin does have, go to the first page and read the very educational links posted by Bernd.
I love reading updates on your progress DWB! Cool to see that you've talked with an actual doctor about it. I wonder what he'll find of it all, as I think it's pretty unexplored territory (at least using it in this specific way, for your kind of pain). Keep us updated!
  • Like
Reactions: DWB
Two more treatments done for a total of eight. Since beginning treatments in February, I'm very well pleased. Results are consistent with strong relief in the beginning that tapers off slowly through week 5 and done by the end of week 6. And way done by week 7. The treatment today was near the end of week 7 and it sure feels good to have zero pain and a nicely toasted back. I think we would do well to play with a shorter treatment intervals.
The recent treatments are all emu oil with the capsaicin initially dissolved in ethanol. For the next batches I'll lose the alcohol because it seems to greatly increase the volatility of the capsaicin causing more powerful fumes. Not comfortable for my wife doing the application.
I think before long I'll try DMSO to learn if it may carry the capsaicin deeper. That's probably the key for best mileage.
I won't have any updated info or opinions from my doctor until January.
I got me a bottle of 99.995% pure DMSO a bit over a month ago. I played around with it on a less painful problem than my back and found it to be very useful in relieving effects of several month old ankle injury. It really does seem to have strong antiflam properties on its own.
Last week I mixed up a half gram of capsaicin with 5 ml DMSO in a 10 ml roller bottle. The very first observation was interesting in itself. When I dumped the DMSO from the pipette onto the capsaicin, it dissolved immediately. It happened in less time than it took for me to shift my focus from squeezing the bulb on the pipette to the capsaicin pile in the bottom of the bottle. This seems to indicate a great affinity between substances and made me hopeful it would pull the capsaicin in deeper than the emu oil.

I did some stripe testing on my arms to feel the heat and it was significant and long-lasting. I painted stripes down veins in my inner forearm to see it I could feel it enter the bloodstream and go systemic. I wanted to know if there was anything like a full-on niacin flush. Nope, never happened.

Today my wife painted a small area of my back closely surrounding the damaged vertebrae. This was a much smaller area than the pain patch mimic and a much less tedious procedure since the DMSO goes through the skin like grease through a goose and dries in no time flat. I felt free to walk around without a shirt while ensuring nothing touched my back. I had her soak the area twice again with plain DMSO to help ensure the capsaicin was driven in as deeply as possible. This may have been overkill.

After 1½  hours I got into the shower without the usual alcohol scrub. A nice thing about this method is there never was any pepper gas effect during the treatment period or during the shower cleanup. The unexpected effect from this treatment was going from a mild warmth and tingle during treatment to full on heart of the sun heat as soon as the hot water hit my back. Right now, 4 hours later, it still feels rather like lying bareback on a car hood on a clear August afternoon.

It appears the DMSO does a masterful job of driving the capsaicin very deep. Much deeper than the emu oil and with a much simpler and much cleaner procedure. Once the intense burn mellows out, I think it's gonna feel very good for a much longer time than usual.
Now that this review is written, I think I'm gonna cozy up with a nice glass of sipping whiskey and a large ice pack :hell:
Edit: The burn lasted about 8 hours and was intense. Today it feels great. Not a trace of pain in my back.
DWB said:
After a week and a half, I know the treatment is most certainly working. I'm pain free in the mornings, every morning. For the first time since April 17, 2004.
It holds up fairly well throughout the day but the pain will begin to come in later in the day. Nothing like usual but it's there. I reckon it's probably like going from 0 to 60 rather than starting at 60 and going to 240.
It doesn't hold up all that well if I work too hard like I did Saturday tending and feeding this 800 ft² fire pile all day. By dark, the pain level was up pretty good. For this day, my fitbit activity tracker gave me credit for 21,222 steps (10.6 miles), 371 active minutes and 290 minutes in the cardio zone. I'm thinking this job probably would have made me hurt 30 years ago too.
Interesting. After the fact and 20 months later I remembered one of my first after-treatment posts in this thread was the above description of a very similar task and how it effected me so I had a look back.
I burned another fire pile yesterday. It had a smaller footprint but caused me much more work because of many Virginia pines I had cut and dragged to the area but hadn't yet diced up to throw on the pile so I did a lot more work and a lot more fire feeding.
My fitbit confirmed I did a more work on this pile than previous pile with a similar 21,817 step (10.93 miles) workday total but with higher active minutes (410 vs 371) and more minutes in the cardio zone (418 vs 290).
Once again I was totally whooped when I finished work for the day and I hurt like hell. The big difference is there wasn't any notable pain in my back because the pain in my elbows, shoulders and feet was so much more impressive.
I suppose what this means 19 treatments later is the effect is cumulative and most definitely works. My back simply doesn't hurt like it used to before the capsaicin treatments.


Extreme Member
Hey DW, how ya doing now?
Doing great DR. Maybe I can post an update now.
The high SHU DMSO/capsaicin roll-on is confirmed wonderful stuff. I've settled into a 4 week treatment interval and happy as can be with it. If I go too much over 4 weeks, the old deep down chronic pain I lived with since 2004 starts filling in.
These DMSO treatments are dirt simple. It takes about a minute for my wife to roll it on the damaged area of my back and a few minutes for it to soak in and completely dry. I put my shirt back on and it's done. A huge, monumental improvement over the coconut and emu oil treatments I began with.
It's a very inexpensive treatment too. The ½ gram/5 ml batch I made December of 2017 is finally beginning run low. 19 treatments and maybe two more before I have to make up another batch.
Now that the Feds forced the holy roller state of Alabammy to comply with the law earlier this year and remove CBD products from a high grade felony status to legal for possession and sale, I suppose I'm safe to say I started puffing CBD crystal isolate in a smoky treat in March of 2017 and shortly after beginning to develop this capsaicin pain treatment. Although CBD was equally illegal as heroin in my bassackwards state, I imported it from Colorado in the US Mail where it was legally shipped to all 50 states.
I blend the pure CBD isolate with high strength indica terpenes into PG at 50 mg/ml and call it e-liquid. I puff it in an advanced personal vaporizer at 420°F. 10 puffs puts out any fire (overexertion pain) that flares up in my back and does so very quickly.
Anyone who suffers from chronic injury pain really needs to look closely at these capsaicin treatments. It's a life changer and it's so inexpensive. Read through this thread and learn all the things not to do.