What is the difference between freebase nicotine and nicotine salt

Whether you are a novice vaper or an experienced vaper, things may get a little bit confusing when it comes to choosing e-liquids-should I choose a freebase nicotine e-liquid or a nicotine salt e-liquid? Although through the situation of present vape market, nicotine salt e-liquid seems more popular than freebase nicotine e-liquid, for instance, the most common seen disposable vapes and pod vape e-liquids are filled with nicotine salt e-liquid, but why? Fear not, today we are going to have a brief breakdown on freebase nicotine and nicotine salt-what is the difference and how do we choose?


What is free base nicotine?

Freebase nicotine is the purest nicotine form compared to other nicotine derivatives. The term "freebasing" has been more commonly associated with cocaine addiction, where users, seeking a more intense effect from the drug, convert it from a salt to its base form. Therefore we can put it in this way, freebase nicotine can be absorbed faster into your blood and brain, delivering a much more potent effect to your body.

Freebase nicotine is used in many of our tobacco alternative products such as nicotine gum and nicotine patch. It is worth mentioning that the method of freebase nicotine is found by Philip Morris, a multinational tobacco company that owns Marlboro, with products sold in over 180 countries. By freebasing the nicotine(It’s a way of increasing potency without increasing the dose at the same time), they could make their tobacco and cigarettes purer, therefore, more addictive, that’s one of the reason why Marlboro won such a big market shares in tobacco industry.

Since freebase nicotine is the purest form of nicotine, the nicotine is much more potent when heated and it can be absorbed much faster in your lungs and in your blood. What’s more, freebase nicotine e-liquid brings a much more harsh and intense throat hit than nicotine salt e-liquid does. For example, a 20mg nicotine salt feels more gentle to vape while an 20mg freebase nicotine will feel a lot more scratchy. Therefore freebase nicotine often appears in low concentration e-liquids like 3mg, 6mg, 9mg, max at 18mg and 20mg in the UK vape market according to the TPD Compliance.

Freebase nicotine e-liquids require high power vape devices to be heated and they are often used with sub-ohm mod vapes due to its fast body-absorption feature, but low nicotine concentration is not likely capable of satisfying those heavy nicotine cravings, while digesting excessive freebase nicotine in a short time can lead nicotine poisoning symptoms easily(as I mentioned above, freebase nicotine is absorbed faster by our body), then what? Then nicotine salt appeared.


What is nicotine salt?

Nicotine salt is definitely not the table salt that flavour our foods, it is the natural state of nicotine in tobacco leaves. However, nicotine salt here is not what we use in our present vape products. Nicotine salt that we presently use has been improved by Pax Labs.

In simple terms, nicotine salt that we presently use owns more positive features for users. When using a nic salt e-liquid, the most distinct aspect is that you can take several puffs without feeling any throat soreness and it can be heated by low wattage vape devices. The vapour that comes from it also makes it ideal for subtle and discreet vaping. Therefore compact disposable vapes and convenient pod vapes are mostly used with nic salt e-liquids and they are rather popular on the vape market nowadays.

Nic salt vaping comes in higher concentrations, meaning it has more nicotine content than freebase nicotine. Since nic salt brings much smoother throat hit and absorbed faster than freebase nicotine under same dosage, with nic salt you can increase the nicotine strength in the vape juice to fulfill your nicotine cravings without getting any harsh throat hit.


Difference between freebase nicotine and nicotine salt

Freebase nicotine Nicotine salt
  • Freebased from nicotine salt, the purest form of nicotine;
  • Absorbed slower compared to nic salt;
  • Is harsh and intense at high doses;
  • Can handle high flavour complexity;
  • Supports large cloud production;
  • For MTL(mouth to lung) or DTL(direct to lung) vaping styles with high VG e-liquids;
  • Less expensive by large volume;
  • Works best at medium or low nicotine strengths;
  • Suited for vapers who have lower nicotine requirements;
  • Works with higher power mod vapes for heating the nicotine and vaporizing the flavour;
  • Consumes more e-liquids due to the high power;
  • Faster oxidation means shorter shelf life;
  • Extracted from tobacco leaves, improved via Benzoic or Citric Acid;
  • Absorbed faster into the bloodstream;
  • Is smoother at high doses;
  • Poorer performance at delivering complex flavours;
  • Discreet cloud and mild flavour;
  • Suited to MTL(mouth to lung) vaping style;
  • More expensive;
  • Suitable for high nicotine strengths
  • Ideal for new vapers, smokers who want to make a switch, and mixed users;
  • Works best with pod vapes and lower power vape devices;
  • Consumes less e-liquids due to the lower power;
  • Slow oxidation means longer shelf life;

How do you choose - nicotine salt or freebase nicotine?

Nicotine salt e-liquid is for those

  • Heavy smokers who want to quit and make a switch to vaping;
  • Who prefer a smooth vaping experience in a high nicotine concentration;
  • Who is looking for a compact and convenient vape;
  • Who likes a discreet cloud production vape;

Freebase nicotine e-liquid is for those

  • Who loves fluffy cloud production;
  • Who pursues complex flavour analyzing;
  • Who plans to have a long vaping journey, freebase nicotine is cheaper in volume;
  • Who wants a more powerful and more functional mod vape;

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