In recent years the vaping industry has begun using nicotine salts instead of “freebase” nicotine in some of its products. What is the difference?
Nicotine salts (a.k.a. nic salts) are the form of nicotine naturally found in tobacco leaves. They have nothing to do with table salt nor do they produce a salty taste
Salts are a more stable molecular form of nicotine with some different properties depending on what chemical the nicotine is bonding with. Benzoic acid is the bonding chemical of choice in the vaping industry.
The vaping industry traditionally used freebase nicotine, because it is easier to vaporize than nicotine salts. However, newer hardware (pods) has made vaporizing nicotine salts just as easy.
E-liquids made with nicotine salts tend to have a lower pH and be less harsh on the throat. In part because of this, the nicotine level in e-juice with nicotine salts is usually higher than for freebase e-liquid, giving the consumer more nicotine more quickly.
You will typically find e-juice with nic salts has a higher level of nicotine than e-liquids made with freebase nicotine. For many vapers, this means needing to vape less frequently to get the nicotine buzz they want.
Nicotine salts also allow the nicotine to enter the vaper's body more quickly, a drawback of freebase nicotine that has led some users to go back to cigarettes.
Another benefit is that e-liquids with nicotine salts don’t need to be consumed using a high-power device, avoiding the cost of more powerful gear designed for freebase e-juice. Low powered devices work just fine with nic salts.
One further advantage for manufacturers and consumers is that nicotine salt-based e-liquid has a longer shelf life than e-juice made using the more volatile freebase nicotine.
The most significant drawback of nic salt e-liquids is that because of their higher nicotine concentration, it is even more important to keep the liquid out of reach of children. At high levels, nicotine can be toxic, and the smaller the person consuming it, the greater the impact. Keep the kids safe.
Because of the higher concentration of e-liquids with nicotine salts, you don’t need a high wattage device to vaporize the solution. Pods are the hardware of choice with nic salts. Some popular ones are Suorin Air, Suorin Drop, Aspire Breeze, and eLeaf iCare 2.
Some popular high nicotine e-liquids are Vapejoose High Nic, LemonDrips High Nic, and Naked 100 High Nic.
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May 15, 2018
The big drawback with nic salts is the smoothness. I sooo miss the throat hit. Im sub-ohming 24mg now.