What is Nicotine Salt? The Beginners Guide to Vaping Salt Nic

*Disclaimer* Only use nicotine salt e-liquid with a low wattage device – due to the smoothness and almost immediate absorption rate of nicotine salt, nicotine overdose can be possible when ingested, vaped rapidly, or used in high wattage, sub-ohm devices. 

Summary: Nicotine salt e-liquid allow consumers to vape higher nicotine strengths without the rough throat hit that is found in traditional e-liquids when compared at the same nicotine level.

For example, if you were to vape a 24mg e-liquid made with freebase nicotine the throat hit would be akin to smoking a regular filterless cigarette, but if you were to vape 24mg e-liquid made with nicotine salt the throat hit would be much smoother. Continue reading to understand what we are talking about!

What is Freebase Nicotine?

Freebase nicotine been used in manufacturing tobacco since the 1960’s.

Freebase means that the nicotine is in the purest form compared to the other nicotine derivatives, which means the nicotine is much more potent when heated and it can be absorbed much faster.

Freebase nicotine when used to manufacture e-liquid is the closest analog to actually smoking. The feeling produced in the throat and chest closely replicates the “hit” of smoking.

The Chemistry Behind Freebase Nicotine:

– Nicotine in tobacco leaves has the chemical composition of a salt. A salt is made up of a chemical reaction that has a positive charge (Acid) and a negative charge (Base).

– Nicotine’s natural chemical nature is a weak base and is made up of negatively charged particles. As a base, it attempts to find positively charged particles (Protons) to find stability and become Ionized. In other words, the nicotine in tobacco leaves (ions) is not the most effective way of delivering nicotine into our bodies because ions have a harder time moving across organic membranes and are not easily vaporized.

– Removing the positive charge from nicotine, it goes back to its free state where it is much easier to travel across the membranes in our bodies. To sum it up, nicotine in its freebase form makes it more bioavailable to your lungs and to your brain, which makes it more potent.

What is Nicotine Salt?

Nicotine salt is the natural state that nicotine is in while in tobacco leaves.

Nicotine salt takes a higher temperature to vaporize and the ions don’t easily travel to the nicotine receptors in our bodies. It is not the most effective way to deliver nicotine to your body compared to the de-protonated freebase form.

Companies found a way to use nicotine salt as a means to make higher nicotine levels tolerable by reducing the throat and chest hit obtained from standard freebase nicotine. Freebase feels like a regular cigarette, Salt feels like an ultra-light.

The secret ingredient that makes this happen is benzoic acid. Benzoic acid serves two key purposes in salt nicotine:

1. It helps nicotine salt vaporize at lower temperatures as well as lowering the pH levels in the nicotine salt which results in a smoother throat hit.

2. A chemical reaction occurs that makes the nicotine more absorbable like free base nicotine.

This means that you can vape comfortably at high nicotine levels such as 24mg.

So What is the Difference?

From a vaping perspective, the difference between freebase nicotine and nicotine salt is simply how it affects your vaping experience.

A noticeable difference is the harshness caused by higher nicotine strengths. Freebase nicotine has a higher pH level that affects the alkalinity, which makes it harsher as you climb the nicotine ladder. Whereas, nicotine salt has a lower alkalinity due to the benzoic acid which gives you a reportedly smoother throat hit.

What Device do I use to Vape Nicotine Salt?

It is strongly recommended to avoid using high powered devices to vape nicotine salt.Always remember that nicotine salt operates in lower wattage devices due to the higher amount of nicotine absorbed as well as not requiring to vaporize at higher temperatures.The devices are low profile and sleek, most of them are autofire, meaning you only get vapor when you inhale it, making is a more user-friendly device.

Benefits to Salt Nicotine:

– User-Friendly Device — The low wattage devices recommended for vaping nicotine salts are easy to use and hassle-free. Pod systems or small vape pens are the recommended device.

– Higher Nicotine Levels — Reportedly, the higher nicotine levels and instant rush you get from nicotine salts helps immensely with quitting cigarettes. Some may argue that nicotine salts more effectively fight the craving.

– Smoothness — Something that keeps people from making the switch from cigarettes to vaping is the harshness of regular e-liquids at higher nicotine levels. Due to the nicotine salt consumption being almost entirely secluded to low wattage devices, the result is a smoother throat hit regardless of the nicotine level. 

-Use Less E-Liquid — Because of the high nicotine levels and better absorption, you will not need to consume as much e-liquid. Less vapor production is needed and can be a big plus for someone who is looking for a more low profile device that works arguably better for your nicotine satisfaction. 

-Satisfaction — Vapers that began their journey with freebase blends sometimes find that it is difficult to get the same satisfaction from their nicotine, nicotine salt blends solve that due to the chemical process behind the development. The result is a higher concentration of nicotine delivered in devices with a lower power output, allowing an extra “umpf” to a user’s vaping experience.