| Andy Staples
Freebase is the purest form of nicotine, and is the most commonly used form of nicotine in e-liquids. Freebase nicotine is created by adding ammonia to pure nicotine. This must be done because nicotine by itself would not be very potent in the body at all; nicotine is made up of negatively charged particles which essentially means that, when it enters the body, the particles cannot move across organic membranes very well.
So, we must ‘freebase’ the nicotine in order to make it more effective in the body and increase the bioavailability. (Bioavailability refers to the amount at which a substance is absorbed by the body). The vast majority of e-liquids on the market contain freebase nicotine.
The alternative form of nicotine used in e-liquids is nic salts. These are found naturally in the tobacco leaf, meaning you will have already experienced them if you have smoked a traditional cigarette! Nic salts can cause a softer, smoother throat hit even at high doses.
When To Use Freebase Nicotine
If you have been vaping for a while, or you do not vape for the pure purpose of quitting smoking (i.e. you simply vape for your own pleasure), then you may prefer to use freebase nicotine.
Freebase nicotine e-liquids are more suitable for higher powered, high wattage, mod or sub-ohm devices. If you are a cloud chaser looking for a powerful, more ‘advanced’ vaping experience, then we would recommend you opt for freebase nicotine.
This can provide a harsher throat hit and a slower nicotine absorption than nic salts. For many people, these factors are less important than being able to use powerful mod devices with their e-liquids. Additionally, there are often more unique flavour combinations available in freebase nicotine e-liquids.
When Not To Use Freebase Nicotine
Freebase nicotine is less appropriate for those who are simply looking for an effective way to quit smoking. Nic salts may be more effective here: these can provide a faster nicotine absorption rate, and a softer throat hit even at higher doses. This means they replicate the experience of a traditional cigarette more closely, and can provide more satisfaction to those who require more nicotine in their system.
If you use a smaller, lower wattage device such as a vape pen or pod system, then nic salts may be more appropriate for you than freebase nicotine. You can, of course, still use freebase nicotines, but you should aim for a PG/VG ratio of 50/50.
Usually, nic salts will have a PG/VG ratio of 50/50, but this is not always the case. Freebase nicotine will usually have a ratio of 70/30, but again this can vary between different brands.
E-liquids with a PG/VG ratio of 50/50 tend to be best for smaller, less expensive devices such as pod systems and vape pens. This is because they do not require much power in order to get a good amount of flavour.
E-liquids with a PG/VG ratio of 70/30 or 80/20 tend to work best with more powerful mod devices. These e-liquids will create larger clouds, but require more power from the device in order to get a strong flavour profile.
The Best Freebase Nicotine Brands
If you are using a smaller, lower wattage device then one brand that offers a wide array of freebase nicotine flavours with a PG/VG of 50/50 is Simple Essentials. Check out the Simple Essentials range here.
If you are using a more powerful device, then here are some of our favourite brands that you should try:
These brands will offer ‘shortfill’ bottles: these are bottles larger than 10ml that contain no nicotine at all. This means that, if you want nicotine in your e-liquid, you will need to add separate nicotine shots to it.
You can get both freebase nicotine shots and nic salt shots here.
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