Differences and Uses – Freebase and Nic Salt Vape Juices
When you’re looking for a smooth, relaxing nicotine vaping experience, the type of juice you use matters most. Not only does it contain all of the flavors and aromas, but it also determines the concentration of the draw, the initial punch you’re trying to get. For the most part, the challenge is deciding which brand works best for you since there are so many available online that it’s hard to compare and contrast without a lot of trial and error.
The good news is that we’ve done the legwork for you, so here’s a quick breakdown of the differences and uses of freebase and nic salt e-liquid.
What’s the main difference between freebase vape juice and nic salt e-liquid?
Basically, freebase vape juice is what most vape users are used to because it’s the easiest way to manufacture and ingest nicotine. The chemistry behind freebasing is pretty complex, so we’ll do our best to break it down for the layman.
The tobacco plant contains natural nicotine compounds, but you can't get the most use of them unless you cure the leaves and then "freebase" it. So, what does that even mean? Pure tobacco smoke doesn't absorb into the lungs as quickly as cigarette manufacturers in the 1960s wanted, so freebasing is a processing technique they discovered to alter the nicotine molecule and make it easier for the body to metabolize.
In other words, freebase nicotine is a way to increase the potency of vape juice without increasing the dose because the whole idea behind vaping is to replicate the smoking experience, not necessarily replace it altogether because vaping isn’t a treatment for nicotine abuse.
In fact, it’s quite the opposite: it’s a way to enjoy nicotine to the fullest extent without the harmful side effects of cigarettes that contain more additives than you can pronounce. But let’s get back to the science for a moment before we get into the finer nuances of each type of e-liquid.
Chemists consider the natural nicotine found in tobacco as salt, but that doesn't mean it tastes like table salt at all! It's only a way to explain scientifically how the molecules in certain compounds bond together and react to other substances. For example, baking soda is a salt, and no sane person thinks it tastes the same as table salt.
Having said that, freebase nicotine removes the salt characteristics for a more robust reaction in the body. If you've ever smoked a strong "red" cigarette, you already know how a large amount of nicotine feels after only one puff. Likewise, vape juice manufacturers understood that vape users might be looking for the same strong punch, so the nicotine in e-liquids uses the same processing methods.
When you want a strong nicotine draw, freebase juice is the way to go if you can handle the intensity and concentration of the pull at cigarette-like doses. Now, let’s talk about the difference between freebase and nic salts.
While still processed to a lesser degree, nic salt e-liquid keeps nicotine in its natural, salt form. It's not perfectly organic because you still have to suspend the nic salt in a medium (i.e., vape juice cartridges), but it's closer to ingesting natural nicotine than freebase vapes.
Nic salt vapes are less harsh in the back of your throat at higher doses, which is the biggest downside of freebase liquids. You can mimic the same intensity as a cigarette, but most vape users have a hard time tolerating it without switching to a nic salt instead.
Generally speaking, the ideal nicotine dose for a clean vape draw is about 50mg. When a nic salt vape reaches this level, it's much smoother and much easier to inhale, especially for those not used to smoking cigarettes. Not only that, but nic salts also absorb more readily into the lungs, unlike freebase nicotine, which requires additional processing.
How to shop for the right vape juice or vape cartridges
So, that's a crash course in the difference between the two types of vape juices on the market, but how do you shop for the right type? Is juice the way to go, or would buying a cartridge be preferable. The answers ultimately depend on the type of experience you'll be looking for because many vape users don't use it every day; some use it throughout the day frequently, so there are fundamental differences you need to keep in mind.
You can't confuse flavor with concentration, for starters, because they're different characteristics. You can essentially make any vape juice taste like anything, and that's what many vape users find most appealing. When you smoke a cigarette, you only have a choice between regular tobacco flavor or menthol, which isn't much of an option once you find a brand you like. As an alternative, e-liquids come in more flavors than you can count, and some of them you can only get with specific brands.
Likewise, the aroma doesn’t affect a vape juice’s potency because those particular compounds don’t react with nicotine or the suspension medium. A fruity aroma is popular with most vape users, but don’t forget about the different combinations available. Provided you stick with the same brand, you can mix and match vape juices as long as they’re of the same concentration.
Here's the bottom line – and the secret to selecting a great e-liquid. Nicotine levels around the 50mg mark will mimic a strong cigarette closely, so you can judge how strong a sensation you're looking for by the amount of nicotine. Thankfully, there's no shortage of potent products available online, and we only carry the top brands on the market.
Are you curious to see what we have in stock?
Shop AUGCBD to see the available selection of flavored vape juices and e-liquids.