Everything you need to know about freebase and nicotine salts

by Melissa Greenlaw on Oct 23, 2021

Everything you need to know about freebase and nicotine salts - 888 Vapour

How long has vaping been around?

The world’s first marketable vape product was first conceived in the early 2000s, when a Chinese pharmacist called Hon Lik started experimenting with nicotine replacement therapies to try and help his father quit smoking. He quickly realised that the only way to satisfy his cravings was to smoke cigarettes, so he decided to create a safer alternative. 

In 2003, Hon Lik built a device that looked like a traditional cigarette, but used ultrasound to vaporise a nicotine solution. This is the earliest form of the basic e-cigarette, which you can still pick up in convenience stores and supermarkets today, but vaping has come a long way since then. 

As demand grew for better flavour and more choice, the industry responded with advancements in technology and new types of e-liquids that produce huge vapour clouds and bold flavours. 

Nicotine Salts are a relatively new trend. In the mid-2010s, it was predominantly being used in prefilled pod devices by big brands like Blu and Juul. It’s 50VG/50PG solution offered a quicker nicotine release than freebase e-liquid and a smoother inhale, even with a 20mg nic strength. 

But what is nicotine salt? How is it different from freebase? What are the pros and cons of freebase and salt nicotine? In today’s blog, we’re going to take a look at each type and compare them to help you work out which would be best suited to your vaping needs.

What is freebase nicotine?

As the original e-liquid recipe, freebase nicotine e-liquids are the most common type of vape juice. They use the same type of nicotine that's used in cigarettes and replacement therapies, including gum and patches. 

Ex-smokers usually choose freebase e-liquids as they deliver a harsher throat hit than nicotine salts, closely replicating the sensation of smoking tobacco. Compared to nic salts, freebase nicotine is absorbed by the body more slowly, so it'll take slightly longer to feel the effects. Freebase nicotine e-liquids are compatible with all mouth-to-lung vape kits and are available in four nic strengths - 3mg, 6mg, 12mg and 18mg.

What are nic salts?

Salt nicotine e-liquids contain a purer form of nicotine found in the tobacco plant leaf. If you’re looking to avoid a harsh throat hit, then nicotine salts are the perfect choice. They are pH neutralised, resulting in a much smoother inhale. 

New vapers who have just quit smoking are well suited to nic salts, as the nicotine is more easily and quickly absorbed into the bloodstream. They are usually higher strength e-liquids, made with a 50VG/50PG ratio.

How to use nic salts

Nicotine salts come in 10ml bottles, and their VG/PG ratio means they’re best suited to mouth-to-lung kits. Due to their higher nic strengths, they’re perfect for former smokers who are used to getting through a pack of cigarettes a day. They’re also the best choice for anyone who doesn’t enjoy the harsher throat hit you get from freebase nicotine vape juice. 

You vape them the same way you would any other 10ml e-liquid, it’s just a smoother mouth-to-lung inhale that delivers a faster nicotine hit. Less powerful vape devices, like the Iore Lite or Eleaf iCard, are really well-suited to nicotine salts. 

Pros and cons of nicotine salts

One of the main reasons nic salts became popular is because of their smooth inhale. Vapers can draw on them all day and avoid a harsh throat hit. They also produce a relatively small amount of vapour compared to high VG e-liquids, so they’re great for stealth vaping too. 

However, if your customers are trying to cut down on nicotine, then they might not be the best option. Nic salts come in higher strengths than freebase vape juices, so if your customers are trying to vape less, then it’s a good idea to point out that nic salts might keep them hooked for longer. 

Pros and cons of freebase nicotine

Freebase e-liquids contain less nicotine than nic salts, so they’re a good choice if you’re trying to decrease your intake. They’re also suitable for all MTL vape kits, so they’re perfect if you aren’t looking to invest a lot of money into vaping. Many vapers actually enjoy the throat hit you get from freebase e-liquids, so it’s a great vape juice for anyone looking to closely replicate the sensation of smoking a cigarette. 

This can be a con to freebase e-liquids though, especially for those used to nicotine salts, this harsh throat hit can cause irritation with excessive use. If you feel like your vape is making you cough, consider trying nic salts.

What is the best nicotine salt?

As our best-selling vape juice, the V4POUR collection is always a popular choice for former smokers. Well known for its great flavour, the V4 salt range offers unbeatable value for money, with 15 super-smooth blends to choose from. 

One of our favourite flavours is Melon Ice Salt. It’s a tasty fruit blend that serves up the perfect balance of sweet melon with a refreshing blast of ice on the exhale. This super-smooth nic salt is available in three strengths - 5mg, 10mg and 20mg, so it’s perfect if you’re a new vaper looking for something delicious to satisfy your nicotine cravings. 

What is the best freebase e-liquid?

With over 50 best-selling flavours to choose from, our V4 freebase range offers something to suit all tastes!

V4POUR Fruit Gummies is the ultimate ‘basic’ e-liquid, perfect for use in starter kits, pod systems and MTL tanks. This tasty candied fruit blend is perfect for anyone with a sweet tooth, offering unrivalled flavour with a satisfying nicotine hit. 

Throughout the month of October, we’re offering three free e-liquids with every vape kit purchase, including both the V4 Salt and Freebase range! If you’d like to get your hands on some delicious vape juice to help you quit smoking for good this Stoptober, pop into one of our stores or shop our amazing deals online! Remember, all orders over £25 qualify for free next day delivery, so there’s really never been a better time to make the switch to vaping!

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