So, what exactly are freebase nicotine and nicotine salts? These are terms that get thrown around all the time in the vaping industry and it is important to know the difference between the two, what device to use them in, and which one is best for your vaping needs.
Freebase Nicotine, what is it?
Freebase nicotine is what has been the most widely used nicotine in e-liquid, that is until 2015 when a pod device using nicotine salts came to market and everything changed.
In its natural state, nicotine takes the form of a salt, ammonia is then used to remove protons from the nicotine salts in order to increase the Ph level, thus putting it in a deprotonated or freebase state. After that, the nicotine is dissolved in a liquid to create freebase nicotine as we know it within the vaping industry.
While freebase is the most popular of the types of nicotine in the vaping world, it does have drawbacks. Because the Ph levels have been increased, nicotine levels within e-liquid can’t be too high (6mg is about as high as one would want to go when using a sub-ohm tank for most vapers) otherwise there is a very harsh throat hit that occurs that can be extremely unpleasant.
Furthermore, because nicotine levels have to remain fairly low, this could be a difficult transition for a new vaper trying to quit cigarettes, it just might not be satisfying enough for them to make the switch completely.
Another key difference with freebase nicotine is that it does not hit the bloodstream as fast as nicotine salts.
Nicotine Salts, what are they?
In the hunt to create a product that mimics the same feeling of smoking a cigarette, people found that the best way to do that is to deliver more nicotine while still maintaining a smooth throat hit. They soon came up with nicotine salts which is much closer to nicotine in its natural state.
Instead of increasing the Ph levels of the nicotine, the Ph level was decreased making the nicotine more acidic which in turn has the effect of a less harsh throat hit while being able to maintain high levels of nicotine like 35mg or 50mg.
This is a great option that the vaping industry now has for anyone who wants to quit smoking cigarettes and needs that extra nicotine to help them get over the hump.
Which one should you use?
This is not a hard question to answer but it does depend on a couple of variables that come into play.
If you love your box mod and sub-ohm tank or rebuildable dripping atomized (RDA) and you’re really low ohm coils and coil heads, then it is best that you stick with freebase nicotine. More power is required which means there is actually more e-liquid and nicotine being vaporized with every puff, so nicotine salts are just not meant for these types of devices. You will potentially have to have a longer vape session with this option to get the satisfaction that may be sought after, but most of us have been vaping this way for years and we recommend sticking with what works.
Nicotine salts typically have higher nicotine levels, so you really want to be using them in a device with a higher ohm coil that puts out less power. There are a ton of pod systems out on the market that were specifically designed to be used for nicotine salts and there are a lot of pros to having one in your rotation. For one, they are small and compact, they do not require you to carry around extra batteries, and very simple to use right out of the box. This could be the perfect solution for someone wanting to quit smoking.
Really the choice is yours to make but there is no rule that says you can’t use both. We find that mods and sub-ohm devices are great to have at the house, and pod systems are wonderful when you are out and about or taking a trip. Leave your comments down below and tell us about your favorite setup and e-liquid.