Freebase Nicotine vs. Nicotine Salt: What's the Vaping Difference?

Freebase Nicotine vs. Nicotine Salt: What's the Vaping Difference?

Ever since the first electronic cigarette to become commercially successful hit the scene in 2003, vaping has continually become a commonplace activity in the modern world. While electronic cigarettes have been using freebase nicotine for years, a new era may be upon us with the introduction of nicotine salts, and it raises questions about which is better or more suited towards specific groups.

What Is Freebase Nicotine?

Freebase nicotine is the purest form of nicotine found in tobacco leaves, in contrast to nicotine salts. It has a higher pH level, making it more alkaline and harsher on the throat when vaped. Freebase nicotine is commonly used in traditional e-liquids and early e-cigarettes.

What Is Nic Salt?

Salt nicotine, often referred to as "nicotine salts" or "salt nic," is a type of nicotine used in e-liquids for vaping. It is a modified form of nicotine that is chemically altered to be smoother and more readily absorbed by the body compared to freebase nicotine. 

Nicotine salts are known for providing a quick and intense nicotine hit, even at higher concentrations, without the harsh throat sensation typically associated with freebase nicotine. This characteristic makes them popular among smokers transitioning to vaping and those who prefer higher-nicotine e-liquids in smaller, low-power devices like pod systems.

Freebase Nicotine VS. Nic Salts

Here are a list of reasons how freebase nicotine is different from nic salts.


Freebase nicotine is what has been traditionally been used in e-cigarettes. This is nicotine in its purest form and has been used by tobacco companies for over 50 years to make their products more potent and addicting.

On the other hand, nicotine salts are a naturally occuring form of nicotine found in tobacco plants. Nicotine is much more stable and much less volatile in this form. As it is a more natural form, this form of nicotine also has longer shelf-life.

Nicotine Bite

One of the biggest allures of nicotine salts is that they do not have the nicotine bite that freebase nicotine is known for even at higher levels. This means that you can get more nicotine into your system comfortably and is much more comparable to a regular cigarette compared to freebase nicotine.

Bodily Absorption

An arguable weakness of nicotine salt is that it does not absorb as well into your body as freebase nicotine. However, benzoic acid has been added to most nicotine salts, creating a formula that is more easily absorbed by the body and more comparable to freebase nicotine. While still not as easy as freebase, the ability to go at higher nicotine levels due to lack of nicotine bite means that your body can absorb more nicotine in this new form.


Nicotine salt devices are much less powerful than traditional vapes. This is because, due to the addition of benzoic acid, nicotine salts need less heat to vaporize. It is not recommended that you use the more powerful devices with nicotine salt as it will give you unpleasant amounts of excess nicotine. Converting from traditional vapes to nicotine salts would mean the purchase of the new systems.


The jury is still out on nicotine salts on whether or not they will be as accepted by the community. While they are many benefits to switching to nicotine salts, such as simpler devices and less nicotine bite, the freebase nicotine devices are tried and true. It is up to the discretion of each individual which form of nicotine is more suitable for their lifestyle.

10th Aug 2018 Perfect Vape

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