What Is The Difference between Freebase and Nic Salts?

What Is The Difference between Freebase and Nic Salts?

Starting off vaping, one of the best bits is the huge range of flavours you've got to choose from. However, before you get into that part, you need to make sure you're using the best type of e-liquid for your needs too. If you started off vaping with a mouth to lung vape pen or pod kit, chances are you were also using 50:50s or nic salts. If you’re still figuring out what’s what (and which one is best for you) we’re here to clear a few things up.

What’s in a 50:50 FREEBASE e-liquid?

The name 50:50 comes from the ratio of its two main ingredients - PG (propylene glycol) and VG (vegetable glycerine). PG is the ingredient that carries the flavour of your e-liquid and also gives you that “throat hit” feeling. VG is the part that creates more vapour and mellows out the throat hit a little too. Aside from that the other ingredients are just flavour and freebase nicotine. The strengths typically range from a very low level of 3mg and 6mg, to much higher levels like 12mg and 18mg. Freebase nicotine e-liquids are a little more slowly absorbed but also stay in your system a bit longer.

What’s in a nic salt?

Just like freebase, nic salts are also usually 50% VG and 50% PG. They also contain flavouring and nicotine but it’s the kind of nicotine here that’s different. Nicotine salts are a more neutral pH than the freebase nicotine found in 50:50s. Generally, they come in high nicotine strengths only - mostly 18mg or 20mg though more and more brands are offering a 10mg middle ground. They also absorb more quickly than regular freebase nicotine, meaning they’re great for ex-smokers who had a heavy habit.

Who should use nic salts vs FREEBASE?  

With the only real difference between the two coming down to nicotine type, it really comes down to what kind of experience you’d like from your vape. While PG offers a bit of a throat it, another factor to consider is the type of nicotine.

Freebase nicotine is more basic on the pH scale, meaning it feels more harsh to inhale on the higher end of the strength spectrum. Nic salts have been neutralised a little to still offer that high strength but with a more gentle sensation on the inhale. Basically, a 20mg nic salt feel more gentle to vape (as well as hitting faster) while an 18mg freebase nicotine 50:50 will feel a lot more scratchy. So, if you want a high strength and a strong throat hit, we’d recommend 50:50s for you. If you want the high strength but want a more mild inhale, nic salts are your new best friend.

Which one is best for me and my vape kit?  

Whenever you’re using 50:50s or nic salts, you’ll be wanting to use a pod kit or a vape pen that normally utilises a plus Ohm coil (1.0ohm or higher). The reason is, the lower your resistance the more power and vapour you get through. If you used either 50:50s or nic salts in a Sub Ohm device (less than 1.0ohm), you’d get an overwhelmingly strong nicotine hit and a very scratchy throat hit.

When it comes to your own mouth to lung kit, you’ll usually have a few coil options. Given that nic salts absorb so quickly into your system, if you’re using a 20mg nic salt for example, we’d recommend using the higher resistance coils. Anything between 1.2ohm to 1.8ohm is great, they’ll give you a smooth hit, the right amount of nicotine and won’t be too potent to enjoy. Those coils also offer the most comparable inhale to conventional cigarettes, meaning they’ll emulate the tight draw you’re used to.

If you’re using a more moderate nic salt strength like a 10mg or the higher strength freebase 50:50s, the best coils for you are around 1.0ohm - 1.2ohms. They’ll give you a little more vapour but won’t be so hot and powerful that you get too much of a nicotine headrush.

Finally, if you’re on a light nicotine 50:50 strength like a 3mg or 6mg, you can use anything between 0.5ohm to 1.0ohm. The 0.5ohm will give you more vapour and a looser inhale while the 1.0ohm is that just right balance of a tighter inhale while still giving you a decent amount of vapour.

Our top nic salt and 50:50 picks:  

If you’re looking to try nic salts or 50:50s (or both, to figure out which you enjoy most) we’ve got plenty of choice for you. Having said that, there are a few that particularly stand out as fan favourites. They’re all available in both nic salts and 50:50s meaning everyone can give these best sellers a whirl.

Nasty Juice Slow Blow

This one is our best selling nic salt, from one of Vape Superstore’s most loved e-liquid brands. Slow Blow is a vibrant and fresh flavour from the Nasty Juice Low Mint range. It pairs the juicy notes of pineapple with a squeeze of citrussy lime and served in a fizzy soda base with a sprig of herbaceous mint. The best part about this one? The Slow Blow nic salt is available in both a 20mg and 10mg strength, while the 50:50 freebase version of Slow Blow has three regular nicotine strengths to choose from.

Dinner Lady Lemon Tart

The one that made Dinner Lady famous, Lemon Tart is a beautifully delicate dessert inspired vape. It serves up a tangy note of lemon curd, crisp and sugary meringue and buttery flaky pastry. Complex and full of flavour, Lemon Tart has been made into every type of e-liquid available on the market these days - check out their nic salt and 50:50s (with four nicotine strengths to choose from) to try this top tier flavour for yourself.

Vampire Vape Heisenberg

One for menthol fans who’d like something a little more unique, Heisenberg from Vampire Vape whips up a secret mix of red and dark berries with a cool and minty note of menthol. Many brands have made something similar, but Heisenberg is the original and has catered it’s PG:VG ratio in its regular 50:50s and offers two strengths in its nic salt.

Whether you’re wanting to switch from nic salts to 50:50s or are a total beginner and need some help, we’re always happy to help you out with support or recommendations. There are plenty of ways you can contact us if you need a hand with your e-liquid selection. If you’ve already decided which one is right for you, don’t forget you can make the most of our 3 for £10 50:50s and 5 for £20 nic salts.

www.vapesuperstore.co.uk contains general information about vaping and vapour products. The information provided is not medical advice, and should not be relied upon unless explicity cited. We do not make any warranties surrounding the health benefits, reliability and accuracy of written copy across all pages on our website, including blog content and content posted on social media.

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Author Image: Dan Judd
About the Author: Dan Judd
Dan Judd, Head of Digital at Vape Superstore, has been a pivotal figure in the company since joining in 2018. Beginning his personal vaping journey in 2015 as a means to quit smoking, Dan not only understands the products but also the transformative power of vaping. Armed with a Bachelor's Degree in Business Management & Marketing from Leeds Beckett University, Dan seamlessly blends academic prowess with real-world experience. Dan is committed to educating the wider community about the benefits of vaping and its potential in leading a smoke-free life.

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