Freebase vs. Nic Salts – What’s the difference?

From pods, mods, tanks to E-liquids, the vaping industry has truly revolutionized during the past decade. In the face of this rising popularity and ergo demand, things can get a little confusing and even overwhelming. Vape devices are one thing, e-liquids on the other hand, can get tricky too. In this entry, we will be discussing the core differences between the types of e-liquids available today to help you make informed decisions.

What is e-liquid?

As the name suggests, e-liquids are juices you fill your vape devices with. While there are multiple types of e-liquids, choosing the right kind is of utmost importance. Firstly, however, to clear the air, e-liquids go by many names that may include:

  • E-liquid
  • E-juice
  • Vape liquid
  • Vape Juice

So don’t stress, all of these terminologies refer to the same thing. Often, people get confused and end up asking, “What is the difference between e-liquids and e-juices?” or something to that effect. And the short answer is simply none; there is no difference whatsoever! However, the type of vape juice you should be using primarily depends on the kind of vape device you have. And of course your own personal preference.

What are Vape juices made of?

Fundamentally, e-liquids are made using four essential ingredients that include:

  • VG (Vegetable Glycerin)
  • PG (Propylene Glycol)
  • Flavoring
  • Nicotine

The combination of VG and PG is responsible for the amount of flavor and vapor you get. Different ratios are used to get the desired effects. Whereas VG is a thick liquid meant to produce those vape clouds, PG, on the other hand, has a thinner viscosity and is intended to give you a richer flavorful hit.

Food-grade flavorings are used in e-liquids to give you those different flavor profiles and are entirely safe for human consumption.

Types of E-liquids

You may have heard terms like freebase or salt nics (salt nicotine) and now are wondering, what on earth does all that refer to! Well, to clarify matters, freebase and salt nics are two kinds of e-liquids. Let’s now delve into what sets them apart!

Freebase vape juice:

Freebase first came into existence in the 1960s when Phillip Morris International (the Marlboro people) discovered that ‘freebasing’ tobacco nicotine gave way to a purer and more pleasurable product. It is the same kind of nicotine used in gums and patches. So, what is freebasing, you ask?

Freebasing refers to a process that transforms nicotine from its ‘salt state’ into its purest form. Doing so increases the potency of the product without compromising or changing the dosage. To spare you all the science-y riffraff, in a nutshell, freebase e-liquids offer nicotine in its ‘freebase’ form, making it more bioavailable to your lungs and body. As it’s easier for the nicotine to bypass the different membranes in our bodies. This makes freebase vape juices more potent.

Freebase e-liquids also give a more robust throat hit, which is why it is so famous amongst age-old smokers. However, freebase vape juices tend to give harsher hits as you increase the nicotine strength. Now, this is where salt nics come in!

Salt Nics:

Nic Salts, Salt Nics or commonly known as Nicotine Salts, have been around for quite a few years now. To further clarify matters, Nicotine Salts contain NO salt, as some people might expect. The nicotine found in Salt Nics is in exactly the same form as it is found naturally in tobacco leaves. Since these Salt Nics are in a form that is better compatible with the human body, vapers using them end up with an improved nicotine absorption rate.

What sets Nic Salts apart is their faster absorption rate and smoother throat hits. They are a distilled form of nicotine. Salt Nics are also infused with benzoic acid, enabling them to be vaped at lower temperatures without compromising on potency.

For further guidance, refer to the table below:

Parameters Nicotine Salt Freebase Nicotine
Form of Nicotine Organic Pure
Kind of Throat hit Mellow & Smooth Strong, Harsh at higher dosages
Absorption Rate Even Rapid
Nicotine Concentration High Low
Device Wattage to use Low High


Who should use Salt Nics?

If you are considering going for Salt Nics, you may want to check and see if the following applies to you:

  • Wish to quit smoking or are an ex-smoker
  • Tried vaping before but relapsed back on to traditional cigarettes
  • Don’t like those big box mods that look like power banks
  • Need higher nicotine strengths

If these statements resonate with you, you may want to skip freebase e-liquids altogether and go for Salt Nic.

In a nutshell

Since Salt Nics are supposed to be used with low-wattage devices, you can opt for sleek little pods or disposables if you are new to vaping. Freebase vape juices, on the other hand, are better when paired with large box mods. They are also an excellent choice if nicotine is not all that you are looking for and are in need of larger vape clouds. Feel free to let us know about your vaping experiences using different types of e-liquids. And remember, you must only buy products from reputable vape shops and renowned brands in the market. There are many counterfeit products that may spoil your vaping ventures altogether and even make you sick.