The vaping industry has become a huge hit in the last several years, so more and more people are switching to vaping. It may seem like products are constantly updating. A few years ago it seemed like everyone was toting around a big clunky mod. Then smaller, refillable pod-based systems seemed to take over. Coils have changed, battery life has gotten longer, and people have rightfully become more interested in the ingredients in their vape juice.
It seems like, in fact, all of those changes were leading us toward a better kind of vape with a better kind of vape juice. To that end, now we have nicotine salts. Also known as nic salts, this new type of vape juice is becoming increasingly popular throughout the industry.
Many people find that nic salts make for a more enjoyable experience, and this is especially true among people who want to get higher nicotine levels from vaping. It has a number of benefits, especially when compared to some of the old e-liquid options, so it’s definitely worth looking into.
What Are Nic Salts?
Simply put, nicotine salts are what you get when nicotine binds to an acid. This process creates salt nicotine, which is also how nicotine is found naturally in tobacco leaves. The name nicotine salt might sound intimidating or offputting to some people. After all, who really wants to vape salts?
Explaining that it’s nicotine combined with acid doesn’t necessarily make it sound any better. The good news is that these products don’t sound so scary once you understand one or two simple things about chemistry. In chemistry, a “salt solution” is just another way of saying that acid and a base have reacted together.
When it comes to nic salts, pure nicotine is a base that’s normally mixed with benzoic acid to create nicotine salts. Benzoic acid still may sound scary, but it’s actually an awesome ingredient because it helps the nicotine get vaporized at lower temperatures, creates smoother throat hits by balancing pH, and makes it easier for your body to process the nicotine.
Again, if you’ve ever smoked a cigarette or cigar before, you’ve already had nicotine salt. Knowing that helps make the chemistry terms behind this product a lot less scary for most people. Furthermore, it’s actually part of the reason nicotine salts are so popular. Since this product is closer to what’s in tobacco, most people find they like it more when they’re trying to make the switch from cigarettes to vaping. To fully understand everything that makes nic salts different, it may be helpful to compare it to freebase nicotine.
Freebase Nicotine Vs. Nicotine Salt
In the early days of vaping, everyone was using freebase nicotine. For the most part, that’s because freebase nicotine was the only kind of e-liquid available. To put it as simply as possible, freebase nicotine is essentially an isolated form of pure nicotine in a solution. Since pure freebase nicotine solution isn’t necessarily viable in vapes, it was suspended in either vegetable glycerin (VG), propylene glycol (PG), or some combination of the two.
Those liquids could be vaporized and inhaled, and they would carry the freebase nicotine solution into the lungs. At the time, it made sense to use freebase nicotine in these products. Some companies have been adding a combination of freebase nicotine and ammonia to cigarettes to deliver a larger dose of nicotine. The inclusion of ammonia makes this especially unappealing, but Phillip Morris started doing this for Marlboro more than 50 years ago, and the industry hasn’t really looked back since. Furthermore, freebase nicotine is in other kinds of nicotine products like nicotine gum, nicotine patches, nicotine lozenges, and more.
One unfortunate thing about freebase nicotine, though, especially when it comes to vaping, is that it has relatively high alkalinity compared to other things people are used to inhaling. It’s a base, in other words, and that can cause irritating feelings for some people even though the pH level of nicotine salts is normally slightly above neutral. Since vegetable glycerin and propylene glycol don’t do much to offset the alkalinity, the pH level of e-liquid would get higher the more nicotine was added.
Advantages of Nicotine Salts
Nicotine salts came about because people realized they could bind freebase nicotine with acid to reproduce a more neutralized form of nicotine like what’s found in natural tobacco. This form of e-liquid doesn’t feel as harsh on the throat. In addition, nicotine salts allow nicotine to be vaped at a lower temperature and to get into the bloodstream at a faster rate.
Those who want to vape as an alternative way to get the nicotine they’re used to getting from cigarettes often find that it’s easier to do that with nic salts than it is with freebase nicotine e-juice.
How to Vape Nicotine Salts
The chemistry behind nicotine salts allows them to come in much higher strength, and it also allows people to use them in less powerful devices. People who are used to vaping freebase nicotine e-liquid are used to needing powerful sub-ohm devices and producing massive clouds of vapor. When they make the switch to nicotine salts, they find that their devices actually deliver too much of the nic salts, especially unless the devices can be turned down to a much lower level. Nic salts are often good for systems with refillable pods– just make sure your e-liquid is a good fit for your device.
Pros and Cons of Nicotine Salts
The pros of nicotine salts are more apparent for most people. They enable higher nicotine levels and smoother hits. They can also be enjoyed discreetly from small devices and without producing enormous, noticeable clouds. People who want to vape a lot and produce huge clouds may still prefer freebase e-liquids with low nicotine levels. It’s really a personal preference.
Our Favorite Nic Salt Varieties
We have a massive selection of nicotine salts here at HQ Vape & Smoke, and here are just a few of our favorites:
- Straw-nana by Bodega Electric Elixers (a local Arizona company)
- Pure Fruit by Aqua Salts
- Arctic Cool Mint by TWST Salts
- Blu Raz by Salt Factory
- Fuji Apple by Pacha Mama Salts
Are Nicotine Salts the Better Option for Me?
As with everything else related to vaping, from which flavor of e-liquid you like to how you want your device to look, this is somewhat of a personal decision. That said, there’s also a good amount of science behind it that may indicate whether or not nicotine salts are the right option for you. If you agree with most or all of the following, then nicotine salts may be the best kind of e-liquid for you:
- You want smooth hits.
- You want a lot of nicotine.
- You don’t want to use a fancy mod.
- You’re trying to replace cigarettes.
Get Top Quality Nic Salts in Tempe, AZ at HQ Vape & Smoke
Visit us at HQ Vape & Smoke in Tempe for all things vape. Our staff will walk you through our full selection to make sure you find the product that appeals to you most. Come see us today to get started and pick your nic salts.