Nicotine Salt E-Liquids: How To Spot The Best Nic Salt Juice
Nicotine salts (aka nic salts), occur naturally in tobacco leaves. Vapers use nic salts e-juice for a smoother hit of vapor, instead of regular freebase nicotine, which is harsher. Given the decreased intensity, inhaling nic salt vapor is easier and its chemical formulation allows quicker absorption into the body (note: nic salts are stronger than regular e-juices, so less amount is needed to get the same result). Any one of the below e-juices is sure to deliver the same satisfying flavor and clouds that vapers are looking for.
Mig Vapor Mr. Pod Menthol Blast
10/10 Review score
The liquid has a good consistency for pod devices
Good throat hit
Mig Vapor’s Mr. Pod line of salt e-juices are for refillable pod devices. Menthol Blast combines mint tastes with a refreshing icy ...
Mig Vapor’s Mr. Pod line of salt e-juices are for refillable pod devices. Menthol Blast combines mint tastes with a refreshing icy finish. This e-juice comes in either 30mg or 50mg varieties. It is compatible with all pod devices. Suitable for ex-smokers, and for people trying to switch to vaping using pod mods.
From NKD 100, a well-known salt juice maker comes the American Patriot e-juice that boasts strong tobacco flavors. This e-juice goes straight for the head. It features only tobacco notes for vapers to relive the days of cigarettes without actually smoking.
Icy Mango from Pachamama Salts extracts the juicy, unmistakable essence of ripe mangos to make this best salt nic e-juice.
Mango flavors are a dime a dozen, but this unique blend takes only the all-natural extract. Ripened, tropical mangoes are essential to creating this unforgettable vaping experience. This best flavor nic salt formulation also provides vaper’s a smoother, more satisfying hit. With a subtle menthol flavor profile mixed into this e-juice, vapers can be sure that they are getting a new twist on mango flavor. Straight from the factory of Charlie’s Chalk Dust, this new blend of nic salt e-juice features an even 50/50 split between PG/VG. Users can also choose from two nicotine strengths – 25mg and 50mg.
The Apple e-juice from Red’s Apple fills a vaper’s mouth with familiar flavors. The inhale saturates the taste buds with juicy morsels of apple flavor. While the exhale is a refreshing palate cleanser. The Apple variety of salt nicotine comes in two strengths, 35mg and 50mg. There is only one bottle size available, 30ml.
The Mad Hatter is up to it again with a new, mint-based salt e-juice. This e-juice comes from their I Love Salts line. The Spearmint Gum flavor recalls a well-known taste to many, and it delivers in its authenticity. The e-juice begins with a pop and does not stop until the exhale. The clouds are both refreshing, and a bit sour, while also cooling down any taste buds set afire by the menthol blast.
Having been producing some of the world’s best flavors, Solace Vapor will get you on a glorious sweet journey with their Neked Peach Rings — everybody’s favorite peach rings with a slight mango twist. You get an explosion of peach flavoring on the inhale and even more on the exhale, with a tad bit of a cool, mango undertone. The throat hit is smooth too, without any harshness that would leave you with burning sensation, coughing, or a scratchy throat.
Mr. Salt-E went all out with this blend of three exotic flavors in a salt-based formula. Orange, mango, and guava are great by themselves but combined they all manage to create something new. The citrus explosion of the first inhale becomes sweeter and more enjoyable with the aftertaste — the mango and guava complete the vape, as they take over in the end.
Lemon is about as citrus as it gets, and the blenders at Epuffer know this. They sought out only the most authentic, most refreshing lemon sorbent flavors to create this salt-derived e-juice. Like all master blenders though they took something new and blended it with something old.
Vapers will recognize the gentle sour profile of this fruit-based juice on the first inhale. There are also some bright fruity-based flavors thrown in for good measure.
The mysterious No. 5 by Beard Salts is not so strange when vapers inhale. There are strong notes of strawberry, as well as cheesecake, and shortcake. Vapers will for sure notice the sweet finish, as the cloud takes on the same taste as a crumble crust.
Nic salts usually have concentrations of anywhere between:
Whereas, regular e-juices have between 3 and 24mg of nicotine, which gives vapers a wide range to choose their preferred nicotine strength. These nicotine strengths though may not be effective in providing a vaper the hit they want from their vape.
The nicotine in regular e-juices does not have any additives. It uses the purest form of nicotine available. E-juice makers, of course, do blend it with all the essential ingredients to any e-juice, like PG, VG, and flavorings.
Those additives do not affect the chemical composition of nicotine though. They deliver the nicotine as is, without increasing or decreasing its potency. High VG-e-juices usually contain lower levels of nicotine.
The low content is because VG juices produce more considerable clouds because vapers use them in high-powered devices. Box mods and other high-wattage devices use power to create a tremendous amount of vapor, to satisfy vaper’s nicotine cravings. High nicotine content in VG e-juices would overwhelm most vapers, as there would be more of the chemical to absorb.
Nicotine salts cut down all that.
People who do not use box mods or top-performing devices can still enjoy vaping, because of nic salt e-liquids. Pod devices are perfect for nic salt e-liquids. The nicotine still vaporizers but at much lower temperatures than with box mods. Users can enjoy a satisfying vape, with an easier-to-use, more discreet unit than they would with a cloud-chucking, tank and mod setup.
Many makers of vaping devices and e-juices have already started catering to this new trend. Pod devices, both pre-filled, and refillable, are about as popular as box mods, and vape pens were when they were popular. They have increased in popularity because of nicotine salts.
Since nicotine salts form by bonding to a specific acid, the acid used in the process creates a different type of product. The most popular bonding agent now is benzoic acid.
When benzoic acid bonds to a nicotine base, it acts as a neutralizing agent. This neutral type of nicotine makes the end product more palatable, and easier to inhale. Benzoic acid is not the only additive that is possible to use with nicotine.
Bonding nicotine to lactic, citrus, or any other type of acid results in a different kind of salts than what would come from using benzoic acid. Right now, the only differences between salt nicotine e-liquids are their concentration. These different content levels though are standard, and the only way they differ is through the devices used or the flavors with which they are combined.
Pros and Cons of Salt Nicotine
One reasonable concern that people have about nicotine salt e-juices is that they would addict more people to nicotine, and faster, because of their high concentrations.
They are not wrong to be worried. Cigarette companies have an awful history of blending nicotine with other chemicals to make their products more addictive. They realized that adding an alkali, like ammonia, “transforms nicotine from a bound state to a free one, where it can be more rapidly absorbed by the smoker.”
With these new e-juices though a higher concentration of nicotine can have benefits:
A higher nicotine concentration means that smokers would use less of the e-juice, rather than more, as they would with standard formulations
Users can lower their nicotine consumption gradually, but still feel satisfied by their intake
Nic salt devices take the emphasis off of the tech, so users can go straight to vaping without having to change coils, find the right setting or buying replacement parts
Since they are more stable, the nicotine in salt e-juices lasts longer and does not go bad as quickly as other forms of e-juice
Despite these benefits, there are some downsides to nicotine salt:
They may be too intense for people who have already gone nicotine-free
People who have never smoked should not try them, as they may become habit-forming
They do cost more than standard nicotine solution e-liquids
The Science and Origin of Nic Salts
First off, there is no actual salt in these types of e-liquids. A “salt” can be any compound that combines an acid with a base. For example, table, or edible, salt is the result of sodium bonding to chloride, which creates sodium chloride.
The same applies to nicotine: an acid or alkali bonds to it to create something new, which is salt nicotine. In standard e-juices, manufacturers use “free-base” nicotine, which is responsible for the unmistakable “throat hit” that vapers want.
In standard nicotine solutions: the chemical is not chemically bonded to anything.
It is isolated, and, literally, free from its base. There is no combining of acids or other additives to bring down the chemical’s acidity. The nicotine solution in regular e-juice is the purest version possible. It is also not natural.
In tobacco plants, nicotine interacts with many different compounds. It is only through extraction and chemical manipulation that manufacturers create “pure” nicotine. Adding benzoic acid is one way to return the chemical to its natural state, wherein it combines with other molecules and results in salt e-liquid.
If the nicotine in standard e-juices is the purest form possible, why change it?
The innovation that the Juul pioneered is not only the device itself but the liquid inside the pods, “wherein an acid is used to formulate said nicotine salt,” as the patent states. It would be incorrect to say that Pax Labs “invented” nicotine salts since they occur naturally, but they were the first company to do so in the age of electronic cigarettes.
The goal of nic salts was to package a satisfying amount of nicotine into a tiny vessel. Most vapes with nic salt pods use a small amount of voltage to create less vapor that has a higher concentration of nicotine.
Where do nicotine salts come from?
Nicotine salts occur naturally in tobacco plants. The product most e-juice makers use in their e-juice is pure, isolated nicotine, free from any other molecule. E-juice makers that make salt varieties of vape juice re-introduce acids into the nicotine base to stabilize it. This process makes the e-juice: smoother, lasts longer, allows for purer flavors to be added. Are nicotine salts addictive?
Any product containing nicotine is addictive. It takes only ten seconds for the body to absorb the addictive stimulant. Vapers who are making the transition from smoking should start with a high nicotine dose to replicate their intake from cigarettes. Afterward, they should begin to lower their consumption, so they eventually take no nicotine at all.
Do nicotine salts have diacetyl?
Salts do not contain diacetyl.Diacetyl is the chemical responsible for “popcorn lung” when it is heated and inhaled. There were fears that vapers were using e-juice that included diacetyl, but the industry has moved away from its use. Nicotine salts are no different. Diacetyl is an organic substance, but it, like VG or PG, needs to be added to juice. It does not occur naturally, and e-juice makers have replaced it with other, safer ingredients, or have stopped using it altogether.
Can I use nicotine salts in my vape?
Depends on what a person means by “vape.” Salt-e-juices are especially useful when they work with low-power pod devices, which is how most all-in-one devices intended them to be used when they came up with the formula. Sub-ohm tanks and mods can vape nic salts, but only if the content is lower than average.
A 3-5mg nic salt juice would be suitable for a sub-ohm device. Any higher would result in an unpleasant nicotine high, as the amount of vapor produced by a high-wattage unit would deliver too much of the stimulant.
Where to get nicotine salts?
Nic salts are everywhere now. Vapers can buy them online, or they can buy them in stores, where an expert can choose an ideal strength.
Every major e-juice maker has either a dedicated salt line or has added new nic formulations to their existing products. There are also brands that sell only nic salt e-juices, like Beard Salts. Not only that, vape companies have flooded the market with salt-friendly devices that match the precision and small size factor of the Juul.
Can I make nic salts e-juice?
It is possible to make salt e-juice at home, although there are risks involved. It will be difficult to replicate a formula that tastes and feels like something the Juul offers. There are pre-mixed nic salt liquids available to mix with flavorings, PG and VG.
Making a nicotine salt formula from scratch will be difficult unless someone has the right tools and background in chemistry.
Conclusion: Nicotine Salts, Here to Stay?
Nicotine salts, although new to vapers, stay true to the way nicotine occurs in nature. They also remain in the spirit of innovation that pioneered e-cigarettes in the first place. If e-cigarettes were the solution to the problem of smoking, salts are the solution to finding a more effective way to consume nicotine.
The new composition allows for a stronger, smoother intake while using less liquid. The devices for these new liquids are also easier-to-use and handle. People have not given up on regular e-juice though.
Like with every new advance in vaping, people have absorbed nic salts into the larger culture. The industry has adjusted by making more salt-friendly devices, and new e-juices. Vapers have also embraced nic salts, and do not seem likely to let go anytime soon.
Published: January 22, 2019Updated: September 1, 2020
My way of understanding the significance of vaping came not only through the disruption of smoking but its effects on society as a whole. Now I bring people to vaping and bring vaping to people. I love using new gear, writing in-depth reviews and generally nerding out about vaping to like-minded people.