Pepper X Is Officially the Hottest Pepper in the World — Is It Safe to Eat?

Pepper X is officially the hottest chili pepper in the world, and contrary to rumors spreading online, it's safe for humans to consume.

Allison DeGrushe - Author

Oct. 17 2023, Published 3:54 p.m. ET

The Gist:

  • On Oct. 16, 2023, Guinness World Records announced that Pepper X is the world's hottest pepper.
  • The new pepper measures at 2.69 million Scoville Heat Units (SHU).
  • Despite speculation, Pepper X is fit for human consumption.
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After a decade, the Carolina Reaper has been dethroned as the hottest chili pepper in the world! On Oct. 16, 2023, the Guinness World Records officially crowned Pepper X as the new world's hottest pepper. For those unaware, it's three times hotter than its predecessor, rating at an average of 2.69 million Scoville Heat Units (SHU).

Now, if you're looking to burn (or completely destroy) your taste buds to a crisp, you're in luck because there is a way for the public to enjoy the super hot pepper. With that said, keep scrolling to learn where you can buy Pepper X. Plus, stick around to find out if Pepper X is even safe for humans to eat.

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So, can Pepper X kill you?

Contrary to popular opinion, Pepper X is safe for human consumption — but it will leave you in pure agony. That's not to say it will kill you, but eating the new world's hottest pepper will result in a lot of pain.

At the time of writing, creator Ed Currie (who also created the Carolina Reaper) is one of only five people who's eaten an entire Pepper X. Of the experience, he told the Associated Press it did "more than warm his heart."

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"I was feeling the heat for three-and-a-half hours. Then the cramps came," Ed explained. "Those cramps are horrible. I was laid out flat on a marble wall for approximately an hour in the rain, groaning in pain."

Ed previously spoke about Pepper X with Today in September 2017, confirming to the outlet that it's safe for people to eat— that is, if someone were up for the challenge (we're most definitely not).

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"Unlike the Internet, nothing physically permanent can happen to you from eating a pepper," he claimed, joking about social media, "unless you have a preexisting condition, like an allergy. Your mind says, 'it's hot,' but people can't get a hole burned in them, that stuff is nonsense."

"Think of it this way," Ed explained. "Police would not use it if it caused permanent damage. [Capsinoids are] a poison to your body, essentially, but you would have to eat your body weight to kill yourself. It also helps release endorphins, though, akin to a runner's high."

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Where can spice lovers buy Pepper X?

According to a press release, Pepper X is a proprietary pepper, so pods and seeds won't be sold or released. The only way for spice lovers to get a taste is through hot sauces, including the Hot Ones The Last Dab. But if you're looking for more heat, the newest edition — Hot Ones The Last Dab Xperience — is made with over 91 percent Pepper X.

We hope you enjoy the Pepper X sauce, but please remember to be safe! If you're feeling unwell or nervous, we highly recommend you tap out before it's too late.


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