You've probably been hearing a lot lately about nicotine salts and wondered what all the fuss was about. (It'd be weird if you were reading this, otherwise!) In short, nic salts allow you to get a smoother hit, a quicker rush, with higher nicotine levels, out of lower-powered equipment.
What is Freebase Nicotine?
Most e-liquid today is made using freebase nicotine: while "freebase" might sound like a scary drug term, it's just a chemistry term that means a chemical has been turned from a salt into a base. In vape juice, this allows the nicotine to be more potent, per unit volume: it's purer, and thus stronger - at least per milliliter!
However, converting nicotine to a base increases its pH, making it more alkaline. Without getting too down the chemistry rabbit hole, this makes it harsh, so it becomes impossible to increase nicotine levels beyond a certain point and still leave the e-liquid smooth and vapeable.
What are Nicotine Salts?
In the tobacco plant, nicotine is naturally found in the chemical form of a "salt". A "salt", chemically speaking, is just a compound formed when a base reacts with an acid.
Now, let's keep in mind that just because something is "natural" doesn't mean it's better; hemlock is all-natural and will all-naturally poison you! So just because nicotine salts are found in nature doesn't inherently make them safer than their freebase equivalent.
Similarly, while "acid" usually sounds a little scary, remember that vinegar is an acid, too, and orange juice is acidic. Acids are just chemicals that react with bases, not magical alien blood that dissolves steel.
What is Nic Salt Vape Juice?
By adding benzoic acid or citric acid, the pH of the nicotine can be reduced, making the vape smoother. That's why nic salts e-liquid have higher nicotine concentrations like 25 mg or even 50 mg, levels that would be impossible to vape with freebase nicotine.
Advantages of Nicotine Salts
The biggest advantage of nic salts is also the biggest caution: it can be used in smaller, lighter, lower-power devices, while offering the same or greater "rush" as freebase nicotine vape juice.
But that's also the caution: nic salt e-liquid should never be used with powerful devices like sub-ohm tanks and high-wattage box mods! This would be way, way too much nicotine, and would make you very, very sick.
Since the nicotine salts have less of a throat hit than the freebase nicotine, even with higher nicotine levels, it allows you to increase the nic level dramatically without having a coughing fit!
Vaping at higher nic levels means nicotine salts are well suited for lower-power devices. As you may already know, "lower-power" can mean "lower-cost" devices as well. Which also means simpler devices too! Instead of needing a huge box mod with all the bells and whistles, people using nic salts can just rock a tiny, pocketable kit that doesn't break the bank or require a bunch of extra accessories — see below for our suggestions!
Why Vape Nic Salts?
If you've got a smaller device, you can get a rush much more like you're used to from an analog cigarette. You might also find you’re vaping less often, as that bigger punch gives you the hit you need without constantly going back for more.
And that smaller device means drastically lower vapor consumption: because you’re not using quite so much vape juice you're getting more bang for your buck! That means that even if your nic salts vape juice costs a little more, you’ll likely save money overall, because of the lower vape juice consumption.
What Devices Should I Use with Nic Salts?
All of the devices we sell in our Beginner Starter Kits are excellent choices for nic salts vape juice, particularly including the Suorin Air, though the Atopack Penguin SE has very low-resistance coils, so lower nicotine concentrations (like 25 mg) would be best to start with.
The new Aspire AIO - coming soon - is extremely well-suited to nicotine salts, and even has a new BVC coil specifically designed for nic salt vape juice. Keep your eyes open for our release of this hot new device!
Let’s Wrap This Up
Nicotine salts are not for everyone. For those who want big clouds, and lower nicotine levels on larger, high-powered devices, nic salts aren't a good fit. They're designed for people looking for that analog cigarette experience, on a lower-powered device. Think: maximum hit with minimum fuss!
No time for reading? Prefer words you can hear out of a face you can see? Check out the video version of this lesson below!
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