Nic Salts Vs Freebase – What’s The Difference?

When you’re browsing our 10ml range you’ll see a bunch of strengths available, typically from 3mg to 18mg. But many of our brands have juices with another option – nic salt versions. Why? What’s a nic salt? why are they in different strengths? what do you use them in? Does it effect the vaping experience? Let’s find out!

We’ll start this off with an example to illustrate our point. Vampire Vape have their Heisenberg juice in a normal version, which has 3mg – 18mg options, and a shiny version of the bottle, which has 10mg and 20mg options. The shiny bottle is the Nic Salt version.

Freebase Nicotine

Let’s start with the normal, common version of 10ml vape juices, the 3mg – 18mg ones. These regular nicotine juices are what’s known as “freebase” nicotine juices. This is because nicotine in its naturally occurring form is a salt state, and in the 1960s a man from Marlboro cigarettes discovered that by refining nicotine into its pure, base form, it was stronger and therefore more addictive.

Since then it’s been the norm in cigarettes, patches, gum and then vape juice. It’s basically a way of increasing its potency while not increasing the quantity of it. Originally, this method of refining nicotine was used to drive cigarette sales, but this isn’t the ideology behind including it in patches, gum or vape juice though. It’s used in these Nicotine Replacement Therapies (NRTs) because to get away from cigarettes, you need to get the fix you would from them. The idea of vaping is to simulate smoking in a healthier way, and in a way you can slowly ease out of to quit smoking for good. Because of this, the nicotine delivery had to be identical – the nicotine had to hit you in the same way.

Freebase nicotine though, being an alkaline, makes it harsh to vape at the higher strengths. For example if you go from a 3mg to an 18mg you’ll definitely notice not only the nicotine rush, but the taste will be different even in the same juice, and the throat hit will be much stronger.

Nicotine salts however, aren’t as harsh.

The harshness of high freebase nicotine content can put new vapers off, and lead them back to smoking – this is why we now offer nic salts. With nic salts, because they aren’t as harsh to vape, you can hit the higher strengths without it being unpleasant, which will encourage you to stay away from the tabs.

Nicotine salts do not contain salts. There’s no table salt mixed in, they wont increase your salt intake for the day. Don’t worry, your macros are fine.

In chemistry, a salt is made up of a chemical reaction that has a positive charge (an acid) and a negative charge (a base). That’s all it is, that’s why they’re called salts. Tobacco leaves in fact, only contain nicotine in its salt form, so nicotine salts in a way are the most authentic nicotine version, if you want to look at it like that.

The problem with nic salts though, are that it’s harder for the nic salt to get to your brain, so going from smoking to vaping nic salts can be a bigger change than it needs to be. Freebase nicotine is much quicker to find your brains receptors and hit that “nicotine achieved” button, so we always drive people towards freebase first. Once you’re used to vaping, you can then make the decision to move to nic salts if you want to – you could even go up a strength, because it wont be as harsh. This is why nic salts typically come as 10mg or 20mg – 3mg and 6mg freebase vapers typically go to 10mg, and 12mg and 18mg vapers typically go up to 20mg.

If you’re all about slowly bringing that nicotine content down though, stick with freebase and work your way down to 6mg, 3mg then 0mg. We would recommend vaping 0mg for a while before cutting it off all together, just to maintain the habit while you kick the addiction – no need to sever all ties immediately.

We hope that answers your nicotine questions! If you’re left wondering still though, drop a question in the comments and we’ll get back to you asap! Cheers!

While you’re on our blog, you might find these articles helpful!
Nicotine Numbers and Which Strength You Need
How to clean your vape tank
How coils work and when to change them
How to make juice last longer
How to make Coils last longer
Why vape juice turns dark
MTL and DTL – What’s the difference?
Nic Salts vs Freebase: The difference and benefits
What happens when you quit smoking
Vaping: Twice as effective as patches and gum?
Using E-cigs to stop smoking
How to choose your first vape/e-cig
The Problem with Home Crew Vape Shops

Or you may like our new kit breakdown series “OUTTHEBOX” where we give in depth explanations of vape kits and an unboxing experience.

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