What Is the Difference Between Freebase Nicotine and Salt Nicotine?

What Is the Difference Between Freebase Nicotine and Salt Nicotine?

We get a lot of questions from our customers about the differences between freebase nicotine and salt nicotine. Below we’ve compiled a quick run-down of the key differences so you can feel confident you are choosing the right nicotine type to suit your preferences and needs the best.


What is freebase nicotine?

When nicotine is harvested from tobacco leaves, it is extracted in its purest “freebase” form. Freebase nicotine is commonly found in traditional e-liquids ranging from 3-12mg/mL in strength. 

Freebase nicotine has a naturally high pH level (7-8). As a result of this, vaping a freebase nicotine e-liquid higher than 20mg will likely result in a harsh throat hit and a generally unpleasant vaping experience.


What is salt nicotine?

Salt nicotine is the more natural state of nicotine - closer to the form of nicotine found inside the tobacco leaf before it is extracted as freebase nicotine, and can be comfortably vaped in higher concentrations than freebase nicotine. Salt nicotine is a mixture of freebase nicotine, bonded with one or more organic compounds, typically Benzoic acid, to create a more stable form of nicotine for vaping.

Salt nicotine is available in higher nicotine strengths than freebase nicotine; as the addition of organic compounds lowers the pH level to a more comfortable level for vaping.


What are the differences between freebase and salt nicotine?

Freebase nicotine is typically found in low strength e-liquids (ranging from 3mg- 12mg) and is best suited to high-powered, sub-ohm vape devices. In comparison, salt nicotine is usually found in high strength e-liquids (ranging from 10mg - 50mg) and is best suited for low-powered, mouth-to-lung (MTL) vape devices. 

Another key difference between the two nicotine types is how your body absorbs these - freebase nicotine is slowly released into your bloodstream, whereas you can feel the effect of salt nicotine almost immediately after vaping.


What nicotine type is best for me?

If you are looking to make the switch from cigarettes, we recommend starting out with a low-powered vape device and a salt nicotine e-liquid. This is due to the higher nicotine strengths and faster absorption rate, which will give you a similar hit to smoking traditional tobacco, ultimately reducing your cravings for cigarettes. High strength salt nicotine e-liquid should be used in low-powered devices.

If you consider yourself more of a hobbyist vaper, or you’re simply looking for more flavour and larger clouds, we recommend using a high-powered vape device paired with a freebase nicotine e-liquid. Using a high-powered, sub-ohm device will produce larger clouds and give you much more flavour with each vape. 

Here at VAPELAB NZ, we have a huge range of high and low powered vape devices as well as freebase and salt nicotine e-liquids available. Browse our online store or come see us at one of our two Wellington locations to find your perfect vape and e-liquid combo today!