What are nicotine salts? Are they appropriate for sub-ohm devices?
We've been hearing a lot about nicotine salts providing a smoother hit and an overall better and more enjoyable vaping experience, but why?
Traditional e-Juice is made using freebase nicotine, which, as the name suggests, is a base. Salts are formed when an acid and base react with one another. The product of an acid-base reaction is a salt.
Seeing as our bodies are mostly made of water, which itself has a neutral pH of 7, it makes sense that consuming substances that are also neutral in pH will result in less unpleasant and negative side effects.
The prime example that we can all relate to is heartburn. Eating spicy foods (which are acidic) will lower the pH of our stomachs and add to its overall acidity. Once your stomach content gets too acidic, we experience the painful symptoms most of us are accustomed to post chicken-wing frenzy! By that same logic, having an overly basic environment in our stomachs can also result in unwanted side effects.
Salt nicotine and freebase nicotine are compatible with the same devices, assuming you’re comparing similar concentrations (e.g. A 3mg/mL of salts versus freebase will both be compatible with a sub-ohm device and a 20mg/mL will be compatible on a mouth-to-lung style device for both cases). The difference between the two, from a chemical standpoint, is their relative pH – Freebase Nicotine is an alkaline, meaning a base, whereas nicotine salts are much closer to a neutral pH.
Nicotine salts, however, are the form of the chemical as found in natural tobacco leaves. The salts are more stable than their freebase cousin; allowing them to be more safely vaped as well as making it across the blood/brain barrier at a rate which matchs the nicotine blood absorption rate of a traditional cigarette. Furthermore, when the salts are combined with acids such as Benzoic Acid (which is commonly used in the food & beverage industry, skin care as well as pharmaceutical industries with years of scientific research regarding its effect in terms of human ingestion), they approach the pH level of your mouth and throat which is what makes the vapor much smoother on the inhale and exhale on top of allowing it to be vaporized at a lower temperature.
The reason that we’re seeing salt nicotine used in most part by pod-juice manufactures, is that since pod-systems produce much lower volumes of vapor, they require higher concentrations of nicotine to achieve a satisfying hit. Given this, it becomes all the more important that the nicotine used is as smooth as possible to avoid throat and lung irritation.
The main difference vapers will note with salt nicotine is in the throat hit -- There will be less irritation and you will also find that it carries more flavor without needing to be vaped at a higher temperature. Lower temperatures essentially mean a (generally) safer and more enjoyable and satisfying vaping experience, as well as a more consistent taste as well. On top of that, there are the added benefits of having your coils AND e-juice last longer seeing as each mL will contain a higher nicotine content( which is why you see most nicotine-salt based e-Juice floating between the 20-50mg/mL marker).
The same is true for sub-ohm vaping; however the amount of nicotine will be far lower for sub-ohm e-Juice (generally between 3 & 6 mg/mL). Smoother hit, better flavour and less consumption!
It’s a win, win, win!
So why isn’t all e-juice made with salt nicotine? The answer is that salt nicotine is still new to the market. Many of the larger e-juice manufactures have not yet adjusted their manufacturing processes for salt-nicotine. Additionally, many vapers are still not fully educated on the benefits of salt nicotine over freebase; and for this reason, companies are wary to make the switch so as not to provide cause for concern to their loyal customers who are happy with what they are already vaping.
Our e-Juice takes full advantage of this and really sets itself apart from a vast majority of juice on the market today! Just to be clear, our e-juice has a nicotine content that is appropriate for sub-ohm use. Most salt-nicotine e-juice on the market will contain concentrations which are tenfold of what would be considered safe or appropriate for sub-ohm vapes. We URGE you not to mistake this blog post to imply that all salt-based e-juice is appropriate for sub-ohm use. Your sub-ohm salt-nicotine should still be at a concentration similar to that of its freebase counterpart to prevent consuming too much nicotine all at once.
Use less, get more! We hope you found this second entry of our Warped Blog insightful, and we encourage to leave a comment with any questions you may have, or to leave a commentary on YOUR experience with our sub-ohm nicotine salt e-juice!