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Good day, and welcome back to another blog post. This week we will be looking at Nic Salts, what they are, how they’re different to freebase nicotine and if they are right for you.
What Is Freebase?
Before looking at Nic Salts, we need to first understand what the ‘normal’ nicotine is in normal E-Liquid. The nicotine used in E-Liquid since the vaping industry began is called ‘Freebase’ Nicotine.
Freebase Nicotine is considered a traditional form of nicotine as it has in fact been used since the 60’s. A method was discovered by Phillip Morris (the owner of Marlboro) whereby nicotine could be made more potent by removing its protons (using ammonia) to make it more bioavailable in the body (be absorbed easily). The chemical nature of nicotine is a weak base with negatively charged particles that seek positively charged particles (protons) to become stable and ionised. Ions are not easily vapourised and do not absorb into the body easily. The removal of the protons takes away the positive charge to reduce the nicotine down to a free state/base (hence ‘freebase’) which is absorbed into the body much more efficiently. Freebase nicotine has a high pH level, which means it has a strong throat hit; something a lot of new vapers like as it emulates cigarettes.
So, with Freebased covered, we will look at how Salt Nicotine is created and what advantages it has over Freebase.
The word ‘Salt’ comes from nicotine’s chemical composition, which is as you’ve probably guessed, a salt. Don’t worry you’re not going to be putting physical salt into your tank, it’s the same nicotine as above but it’s not de-protonised, instead it undergoes a different process before making its way into your E-Liquid.
If the natural nicotine salt was to be added to an E-Liquid and vapourised, it would need to be vaped at extremely high temperatures to be effective. The secret ingredient for nic salts is benzoic acid. Adding this acid to the nicotine salt significantly reduces the temperature needed to effectively vapourise the nicotine, and increases its bioavailability so it is absorbed into the body more efficiently. That’s not all, perhaps the most recognised change is that the acid lowers the pH level of the nicotine which massively lessens the throat hit. This nicotine gives a smooth throat hit instead of the harsh throat hit that comes with freebase. The main advantage of this is that some users need a high nicotine strength for nicotine satisfaction but cannot always tolerate the harsh throat hit of freebase nicotine. Nicotine Salts allow the user to vape the high nicotine strengths with a smooth throat hit.
What Devices Should I Use?
When it boils down to it, Nic Salts are better in the mouth-to-lung (MTL) kits because they are very potent and could delivery more nicotine than needed in a high powered direct-lung (DL) setup. Additionally, a lot of Nic Salt e-liquids are made at a 50/50 ratio which works best in MTL.
However, if you want to use salts in a DL device, all is not lost because you can use Nic Salt shots with your short fills. Just add them in as you would usually do when adding freebase nic shots to your favourite short fill. This way, you are still getting quicker nicotine absorption compared to freebase and you aren’t getting as much throat hit either.
To round this up, if you are looking for something to satisfy your cravings better, check out Nic Salts.
In my personal use, I have found them to be strong and more effective at calming the nicotine cravings over freebase.
We have a good selection of flavours on our website, check out all the Nic Salt ranges here.
Thanks again for reading.
Written by Cal