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Freebase vs Nic Salt: What's The Difference?

Intense vs freebase

With such a variety of flavour options to choose from these days, you may be surprised to know that traditional tobacco flavours still rank highly amongst vapers, with our 2020 survey of the most popular e-liquid flavours finding tobacco to be the second favourite flavour after menthol.

However, one thing that has shaken up the vape industry is the introduction of nic salts. Many people are now making the transition from freebase nicotine to nic salt-based flavours, with all of our blu 2.0 flavours made from nicotine salts. But, what’s all the fuss about? Here we look at the differences between freebase and nicotine salts.


The liquid in vape devices that you may be familiar with contains freebase nicotine. Used since the '60s and purer than any other nicotine derivative, it is very potent when heated and is absorbed quickly into your system, producing a throat sensation similar to when you smoke a traditional cigarette.

The reaction from introducing a special acidic compound to the freebase nicotine results in the creation of nicotine salts. It’s important to know that nicotine salt is not based around sodium chloride, more commonly known as table salt. So, you shouldn’t worry about there being a salty taste or increasing your daily sodium intake. Salt is nicotine's natural composition in tobacco leaves.

Unlike freebase, nicotine salt is not chemically altered, meaning it is more stable and requires higher temperatures to vaporise. The lack of chemical alteration contributes to the fact that, when using salt-based liquids, you can vape higher nicotine percentages without as much harshness. Nicotine salt remains in the inhaled e-cigarette aerosol until the aerosol reaches the lungs, where it is absorbed, giving a more satisfying nicotine hit.

From a vaping perspective, the difference between using freebase and salt-based e-liquid is simply how it affects your vaping experience. Chemically, the key difference between the two options is that nicotine salts contain more benzoic and citric acid for optimised flavour.

Which one should you choose?

If any of the following points align with your situation, then you may want to give salt-based a try:

  • You have tried vaping before but unsuccessfully.

  • You want a smoother, less harsh vaping experience.

  • You want a faster, more efficient nicotine hit.

Sound familiar? Then we would recommend our new blu 2.0 range, which contains 6 different flavours made with nicotine salts for a smooth and satisfying vaping experience. Choose from Polar Menthol, Berry Mix, Fresh Mint, Golden Tobacco, Blueberry Ice, and Fresh Mango.

Hopefully this guide has cleared up any confusion you may have had when choosing what product to go with. As always if you’re looking for more information on vaping, make sure you follow our blog where we publish all the latest vape news and insights.

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