Freebase Nicotine vs Nicotine Salts
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.
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 are a more stable form of nicotine than freebase and vaporizes at lower temperatures.
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.