When looking at traditional nicotine sources, we immediately think of cigarettes and cigars. Vapes, e-cigarettes, and nicotine patches are a recent addition to the mix. Even with these new sources, you were limited to one type of nicotine to consume: freebase. With the explosive popularity of vaping, it has created a nascent industry spurred on for new innovations. From all the hype and demand for new products to consume, the crazy garage scientists introduced to the world the next big hit: nicotine salts. What are they? How do they compare to ubiquitous freebase nicotine? Have we just supercharged the consumption of nicotine? Let’s find out.
Freebase nicotine has been the undisputed champion in terms of: potency, purity and concentration. Ancient techniques have been reinvented to process freebase nicotine. Using ammonia to strip the nicotine salt protons, scientists were able to boost its pH level to 9 which converts it to pure base nicotine, delivering higher potency in smaller doses.
This seems like the perfect way to optimize nicotine consumption but can we do better? Freebasing aided in the explosive growth of the nicotine industry. A popular campaign focusing on social wellness targeting cigarette smoking led to a strong uptick in vaping as a safer alternative. Sadly, this is where freebase nicotine’s weakness rears its head.
Let’s consider the downside: discomfort and irritability to the throat. Harshness rises parallel to nicotine content. This forces the vape user to consume smaller quantities of nicotine at higher intervals to activate satisfaction. Unfortunately, this leads to increased costs which reduces compliance, hampering sustainability of smoking cessation. Then again, all hope is not lost.
Enter nicotine salt, or nic salts to aficionados. Nic salts allow vapers to ingest higher doses while maintaining the smoothness achieved with freebase nicotine. More nic, less hits. By increasing the acidity of the nic salts, our bodies absorb the nicotine more easily imparting a smoother experience. This experience is due in part, thanks to benzoic acid, an additive that lowers the vaporization point, leaving the user a more mellow vapor to inhale. With this improved performance, more nic per hit, the clear experiential edge makes increased costs to cover R&D more palatable.
If it’s too good to be true, it probably isn’t true. Let’s look at some drawbacks to bring nic salts back into context. Some vapers enjoy being “in the clouds.” With nic salts, this will not be possible. Seems like a small price to pay for superior enjoyment and stronger hits, right? Really, at the end of it all, vapers are trying to quit cigarettes. Vile, harmful, odorous things full of tar and arsenic. Nic salts fit the bill to give that nasty habit a hit it can’t refuse. 🖐🎤