If you’re at all familiar with the vaping scene, you’ve probably been intrigued by the relatively new arrival of nicotine salts. Nicotine salts pods are taking the vaping industry by storm right now, thanks to the popularity of devices like Juul and Myle. But what exactly are they? How do they differ from traditional e-juice and are they the right choice for everyone?
What are nicotine salts?
Nicotine salts are simply a different way of preparing nicotine for consumption. Nicotine is extracted from the tobacco leaf in its natural form, but then benzoic acid comes into play. This acid is used to modify the nicotine into a form that can yield high quantities of nicotine at relatively low vaping temperatures. Nicotine salts are available in pods for various vaping devices and can come in doses up to 50mg. But in order to fully understand why nicotine salts are different, we need to understand what the standard form of nicotine for cigarettes and vape mods actually is.
Cigarette moguls of the 20th century went all in on the use of freebase nicotine. This is nicotine in its purest form. Smoking cigarettes that make use of freebase nicotine yield a much higher quantity of nicotine than other methods. This was originally a means of keeping customers hooked on cigarettes. Today, most vape juices use this freebase nicotine, as well, in order to give the most accurate simulation of cigarette smoking to people looking to replace their tobacco nicotine hits with a smokeless alternative. E-juice is made by combining freebase nicotine with vegetable glycerin and propylene glycol.
So if freebase nicotine is the purest form of the stuff, then why would vaping chemists ever tamper with it? Why settle for anything less than pure? The answer is science. To put it simply, freebase nicotine has a high alkalinity thanks to its high PH. This is what’s responsible for those painful throat hits that vapers experience if there’s too much nicotine in a traditional e-juice. Because of this, many people are vaping lower amounts more frequently, which is less than ideal. The benzoic acid involved in nicotine salts production dramatically lowers the PH of the resulting solution. Thus nicotine salts are not nearly so alkalinic and consumers can intake larger quantities of nicotine at a time without feeling that uncomfortable, harsh throat feeling.
Are there disadvantages to nicotine salts?
Nothing in this world is perfect. There are always some downsides to any great thing. With nicotine salts, the main drawbacks are a lack of options and the high nicotine content. If you’re shopping for nicotine salts, you’re going to be mostly confined to vape pens, so if style and flair is your thing, nicotine salts might not be a very good choice. Nicotine salts are also too much for some people. If you’re not looking for a super strong hit of nicotine, you may want to look elsewhere. These disadvantages may be big draws for the right person, though. It’s important to know what you’re looking for in a vape device before you make the move from e-juice to nicotine salts pod.
Who are nicotine salts for?
Nicotine salts are a revolution for the vaping industry, but they’re not likely to replace e-juice anytime soon. That’s because nicotine salts cater to a specific demographic of vapers, but they aren’t right for everyone. Vaping nicotine salts might be the right choice for you if you meet any of the following criteria.
- You like to keep it discreetMost nicotine salts are for use with smaller, less flashy devices. Nicotine salts have earned a bit of a reputation as the “no-frills” version of vaping. You probably won’t be showing off too many fancy vapor cloud tricks with
your pod device. They’re deliberately built to be small and easily kept in your pocket or bag.
- You’re looking for a “smoking simulation”
The overall experience of vaping nicotine salts is much closer to traditional cigarettes than the fancier vaping mods. And for some people, the experience is just as important as the actual nicotine. If you’re not interested in all the added considerations that vaping can bring, and you just want a tobacco-free substitute for your cigarettes, then vaping nicotine salts can be the right choice. There are even companies now making nicotine salts at lower concentrations than the traditional 50mg, so they can be an option even for people looking to lower their nicotine consumption.
- You’re used to large quantities of nicotine
Nicotine salts are the only decent way to get a nicotine quantity much above 20mg. Many people are drawn to nicotine salts solely because they can get a 50mg pod.
- You’re a flavor aficionado
Nicotine salts have almost no effect on the flavor of the vape in general. Freebase nicotine does affect taste, so people who use nicotine salts usually get a richer flavor.