The landscape of the e-liquid industry has changed dramatically over the past few years. In the not-too-distant past, all vape juice used one type of nicotine. All that you had to do was choose your strength and flavor, and you were all set.
Today, though, the situation is very different because there’s no longer just one type of nicotine available. Along with the freebase nicotine that has always been on the market, you can also buy a new type of e-liquid that uses nicotine salt. It can be a pretty confusing situation if you’re new to vaping, and this article is going to clear things up for you.
Reading this page, you’re going to get the scoop on nic salts straight from eCig One, the experts in vape SEO. You’ll find out what nicotine salt e-liquid is and why it exists. Most importantly, you’re going to learn whether nic salt juice is the right choice for you – which is probably the case if you’re new to vaping. Let’s jump in and learn more.
What Are Nic Salts?
We’ll begin with a quick primer on what nicotine salt e-liquid is. As we mentioned above, there are two types of nicotine that can be used in vape juice: freebase nicotine and nicotine salt. Until a few years ago, all e-liquid used freebase nicotine because that’s the type of nicotine produced in the process of extracting nicotine from tobacco leaves.
In its original state within the tobacco leaf, nicotine exists as a salt. In that state, nicotine is fairly stable. It isn’t easy to extract salt-based nicotine from tobacco and achieve a high yield, so a solvent – typically ammonia – is used in the extraction process. The solvent raises the pH of the nicotine and converts it to a free base, which is more volatile and easier to capture. Freebase nicotine is what’s used in the majority of nicotine replacement products such as gums, lozenges, patches and e-liquids.
Nic salt e-liquid contains a pH adjuster – typically a food-grade acid such as benzoic acid – that reduces the alkalinity of the nicotine and converts it back to its original salt state.
So, what’s the point? If the vaping industry was completely fine with freebase nicotine e-liquid for so many years, why was there a need for nicotine salt?
What Are the Benefits of Nic Salt Juice?
Freebase nicotine is very useful, but it does have one problem: The alkalinity gives it a somewhat harsh edge. The harshness isn’t evident in low-strength e-liquids. If you use an e-liquid with a low nicotine strength, you’re using freebase nicotine and are most likely completely happy with it.
Problems begin to arise, though, with e-liquids that have higher nicotine strengths. If you’re new to vaping, chances are that you want to use a higher-nicotine e-liquid because you want vaping to feel as similar to cigarette smoking as it possibly can. Many people find, however, that high-strength freebase nicotine e-liquids give them sore throats or make them cough.
The reason why nic salt juice exists is because the more neutral pH of the nicotine makes it smoother. People who are new to vaping and need to use higher-strength e-liquids typically find nicotine salt e-liquid easier to inhale and less likely to cause coughing or a sore throat.
What Types of Vapes Work Best with Nic Salts?
As you’ve learned from reading this article, the benefit of nic salts is really only evident if you use an e-liquid with a high nicotine strength. With a low-strength e-liquid, there isn’t enough nicotine to cause harshness regardless of the nicotine type. For that reason, you generally won’t find nicotine salt e-liquid with low nicotine strengths; there’s no real benefit.
Because nic salt juice generally only comes in high nicotine strengths, you should only use it if you have a vaping device that’s designed to work well with high-strength e-liquids. It’s most common to find nicotine salt e-liquids in strengths ranging from 25 mg/ml to 50 mg/ml, and even the lower of those strengths will give you far too much nicotine if you use a sub-ohm vape mod or pod mod.
The ideal vaping device for nicotine salt e-liquid is always a small, low-wattage device that has tight airflow and is designed for mouth-to-lung inhaling. If the airflow resistance of your vaping device feels similar to the tight airflow characteristics of a tobacco cigarette, it’ll probably work well with nic salts. A small pod-based vaping device or vape pen is usually the best type of device to use with nicotine salt vape juice.
Who Should – and Shouldn’t – Buy Nic Salts in the UK?
So far, you’ve learned that you need to use a high-strength e-liquid if you want to experience the improved smoothness that is the main benefit of nic salts. You’ve also learned that nicotine salt works best with the smallest and simplest vaping devices. With those two things in mind, you’ve probably come to the conclusion that nicotine salt e-liquid is usually best for beginning vapers – and you’re absolutely correct.
If you’re currently using freebase nicotine vape juice and are already completely satisfied with your vaping experience as it is, there’s no reason for you to switch to nic salt e-liquid because it’s not going to solve a problem or improve anything for you. If you’re currently using a low-strength e-liquid, there’s no need to switch to nic salts and increase your nicotine intake. If you’re using a high-strength freebase nicotine e-liquid and are happy with the intense throat hit, you’re probably not a good candidate for switching to nicotine salt in that case either because nicotine salt greatly reduces the sensation of throat hit.
The two types of people who should consider nicotine salt e-liquid are those who have never vaped before and those who are currently using freebase nicotine and find that it causes throat irritation. The reason why nicotine salt e-liquid exists is because it helps people who need higher-nicotine e-liquids switch to vaping successfully without experiencing the throat harshness that caused some new vapers to revert to smoking in the past. If this sounds like your situation, you’ll probably be very happy with nic salts.