What are Nicotine Salts and Why are They So Popular?
Nicotine salts have been making the media rounds lately, in ways both good and bad.
Like anything mired in media controversy, it's sometimes hard to track what the real information is.
There's no need for things to get diluted, especially if you're already a regular user of vapes. Indeed, for some users, it may just be the perfect next step.
Let's get down to the brass tacks and discuss the information you need to make the right choice for your own use.
What are Nicotine Salts?
The most common variety of nicotine used in vape liquid is freebase.
It's a very pure form of nicotine which vaporizes readily. It's actually purer than the variety which is in analog cigarettes in the first place.
Most salts are produced through a reaction with benzoic acid. This results in the formation of nicotine benzoate.
Scientifically speaking nicotine is an alkaloid. Most alkaloids contained in plants occur in a salt form due to their ready interactions with acids.
Due to our body's sensitive nature to chemicals, the freebased nicotine produces a different feeling than the salts contained in tobacco.
Nicotine salts have been making the rounds, primarily promoted by Juul due to their similarity to regular smokes. They've only recently been making the rounds in vape juice available for standard vaporizers and mods.
Nicotine salt has different properties than freebase nicotine, particularly where it comes to the effect for the vape user.
Freebase vs. Salts in Practice
In practice, freebase nicotine has been widely used in juices since e-cigarettes began making the rounds. It's also been used in the chemically altered tobacco which makes up most analog cigarettes.
Nicotine liquids which are based on freebase nicotine have a noticeable throat hit. The higher the concentration of nicotine the rougher things get on the back of the throat, which limits the amount of nicotine many people can tolerate in their vaporizers.
The throat hit which happens with freebased nicotine occurs because it alters the pH of the nicotine liquid. It also vaporizes at a higher temperature than salts.
This means two major things for someone using nicotine salts.
The vapes designed to deliver them can be much smaller and the nicotine amount much higher.
It's a common misconception that the nicotine salts absorb faster. Freebase alkaloids are much more readily accepted by the body. The difference is that nicotine salts can be used in higher concentrations without being as rough on the user.
In Direct Comparison
If you're just wondering if nicotine salt juice is what you're looking for then all this information might be a little bit overwhelming.
Here's what you really need to know.
First, high nicotine concentrations are much easier to hit with nicotine salts. In fact, freebased nicotine absorbs faster. However, it's not as viable for those who want to use high-dose nicotine, particularly with sub-ohm vaporizers.
While the Juul system popularized nicotine salts recently, it's not the only way to utilize them.
Despite the media hype, nicotine salts are really no more dangerous than liquids which contain freebased nicotine. And if you're already comfortable with your lower nicotine, freebased liquids you probably don't need to switch things up.
With that in mind, anything over 18mg fluid with freebase is just too hard to hit for the average person. If fluids at that level aren't keeping the cravings at bay then the only viable way to go stronger is with nicotine salts.
Should You Use Nicotine Salts?
Nicotine salts are relatively new so they're still making waves in the vaping community. They're definitely here to stay but once the hype dies down they're more likely to end up being a niche product.
That said, you may want to evaluate them for your own use before you make the investment.
The following people will find benefit from them:
- Those who are just quitting smoking, particularly heavy smokers, will enjoy the greater nicotine content and lesser throat hit.
- If you're finding that a regular vape just isn't cutting it for your nicotine cravings.
- Those who want to experiment with higher nicotine levels than are viable with a regular vaporizer.
If you fall into any of the above categories, then you may want to give a nicotine salt juice a shot.
On the other hand, they're not without drawbacks.
They're not recommended for those who have already weaned themselves down to a low nicotine level with the intention of quitting entirely. It's possible to end up requiring more nicotine on a regular basis by using the high concentration juices offered.
If you're switching to vaping for the first time, you may also want to skip them. Being able to do so with a lower nicotine content makes it easier to quit in the future.
With the current concentrations available it's not quite as viable to taper down your nicotine levels without careful dilution of nicotine salt liquids.
For the most part, if you're happy with your current liquids there's no hurry to switch to nicotine salt based liquids.
They're definitely worth a shot for those who are looking for something with a higher concentration or who have trouble using vape juices which have a higher nicotine content.
Readily Available if You Want to Make the Switch
If you're looking to switch over to nicotine salts then you're in luck: you don't have to invest in a whole new system. Instead, there are several brands of e-juice which will allow you to use them in your existing setup.
If you're convinced that they're the right choice for you, why not pick some up and try them out today?