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?

Simply put, freebasing is the term used when converting bound nicotine molecules into free nicotine molecules, this process allows for the nicotine to be effectively absorbed into your body. 

Freebase nicotine is usually found in lower strength e-liquids; this is due to freebase nicotine having a high pH level, making it harsh in higher strengths. A key benefit of freebase nicotine is the ability to vape it in a high-powered, sub-ohm device which maximises the flavour you receive from each hit while producing larger clouds.

What is salt nicotine?

Salt nicotine combines freebase nicotine with an organic acid, typically benzoic acid - this reduces the pH level, making the e-liquid smooth in higher strengths. When vaping an e-liquid that contains salt nicotine, you will experience a similar effect to smoking a cigarette as the nicotine is released into your bloodstream quickly.

What are the differences between freebase and salt nicotine?

Freebase nicotine is typically found in low strength e-liquids (ranging from 1.5mg - 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 - 60mg) 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 such as the UWELL - Caliburn G Pod Kit , Vaporesso - Luxe PM40 Kit , or Geekvape - Boost Plus Pod Kit

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 such as the Vaporesso - Luxe 2 Kit, Geekvape - Aegis X Kit w/ Zeus Tank, or Voopoo - Drag X Plus Pod Kit 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!

June 10, 2021 — Cleo Bennett