In this article we will have a closer look at the nicotine in eliquid, and the difference between Freebase Nicotine and Nicotine Salts from a vaping perspective.
Freebase Nicotine in Eliquid
Eliquid for vaping has been manufactured using freebase nicotine since the inception of the e-cigarette. In the early days of vaping, lower powered equipment would require a high nicotine level in eliquid. Typically +-18mg/ml nicotine was used by those vapers that were just quitting smoking in order to give them a satisfactory nicotine hit that did not leave them craving a cigarette.
The vaping equipment available at the time was for MTL (Mouth to lung) vaping – you draw the vapour into your mouth like with a traditional cigarette then inhale to lungs from there.
As vaping equipment developed, higher power vape equipment delivered a greater nicotine hit to the vaper. Sub-ohm vaping – lower coil resistance (below 1 ohm) and high wattage mods became very popular. These sub-ohm e-cigarette devices are designed for DTL (Direct to lung) vaping, the vapour is drawn into the lungs directly.
The increased nicotine hit resulted in eliquid manufacturers reducing the level of the freebase nicotine in their eliquids, and the standard became 3mg/ml to 6mg/ml.
Lately, MTL vaping has seen an increase in popularity again, which meant that freebase nicotine levels of 3mg/ml to 6mg/ml wasn’t sufficient to stop the craving for cigarettes. Increasing the nicotine levels also increased the throat hit considerably, something many vapers were not happy with.
Enter nicotine salts.
Nicotine Salts in Eliquid
Because nicotine salts have a lower ph level than freebase nicotine, the throat hit experienced by the vaper is much less – the vape is much smoother – than the throat hit from freebase nicotine at the same level (mg/ml)
This makes it tolerable for the first time in e-cigarette history to vape up to 50mg/ml in MTL equipment.
As the throat hit is much lower with nic salts, you may be able to tolerate very high nic content in DTL sub-ohm equipment from a throat hit perspective. However, you will probably get way too much nic, resulting in feeling lightheaded and nauseous.
DO NOT SUB-OHM eliquid with nicotine salts at high levels. These are to be used in MTL equipment/Pod systems.
Nicotine Salt and Benzoic Acid
In order to achieve the smoother nicotine hit most nicotine producers add benzoic acid to reduce the ph level of the nic in eliquids.
There is some controversy about using benzoic acid in eliquid for heating up and inhaling the vapour, although the science is not yet clear on it.
At All Day Vapes we take great care in producing eliquids that do not contain components that have any question marks surrounding them for heating up and inhaling. Many components are safe to ingest (GRAS – generally recognised as safe) and widely used in foods and drinks, but may not be very safe to inhale. The science on them as far as inhalation is still sketchy.
For this reason we use nicotine salts that do not contain benzoic acid in our Nic Salts e-liquid.