Nicotine salts: Throat Hit and Head Rush
Nicotine Salts are of course the latest vaping craze right now, in case you hadn’t already noticed. Nicotine salts contain a new formulation of nicotine that is extracted in a more natural way. Nic Salts are designed to ensure a smoother, stronger throat hit, more satisfaction even in liquids with lower nicotine levels…and even a cigarette-like head rush. But what are the actual effects of nicotine salts, and do they really improve your vape? I’ve been using nicotine salt base e liquid for a few weeks now – here’s what I think!
Nic salts throat hit?
It seems that less is more when it comes to throat hit with nicotine salts. When I first got my first few bottles of 18mg nicotine salts (flavourless) base e liquid, I poured the stuff neat straight out of the bottle into my SMOK Spiral tank and tried vaping it at my usual 20 watts just to see what would happen.
The first thing I noticed was a noticeably stronger, thicker and slightly sweeter flavour. When vapour reached my throat, I got the hit alright, but this was a smooth but powerful, slow-spreading ball of vapour, rather than the usual short, sharp slap on the tonsils that you’d normally expect with 18mg e liquid at this wattage. Yes, I was awestruck by the power of the mighty salt, but I’m afraid, at that concentration the throat hit was too heavy for me. I tried dropping the power, but below about 16watts I wasn’t getting much throat hit at all. Back up to 18watts but within three minutes or so, I felt my lungs starting to constrict and I decided I needed a break. Oh dear…
Rather than give up the salts as a bad idea, I tried diluting with (standard supermarket) VG to about 30%, whizzed for a couple of seconds in the microwave and then added a few drops of water to thin it out a little. Throat hit was a lot better (now at around 12mg) and the glycerine made a big difference to the vapour, which was now cooler, smoother and very rich. With a regular base e liquid, I would not get much satisfaction with so much VG dilution, but with the nicotine salts, it seemed to work. Throat hit was now much better than before dilution, and because it was so much smoother, now, I could take longer, deeper puffs. Now, the rolling fireball of vapour had become a warm, soft, and much friendlier marshmallow. After diluting down to 50% VG, I was still able to get a decent throat hit and depth of flavour at 20 – 22 watts on my very basic device. So far, so good.
Head rush with nicotine salt e liquid?
Head rush is an inevitable part of the nicotine salt experience. With such rich-tasting vapour and easy inhaling, it’s very easy to overdo it with nicotine salt e liquids, however much you dilute – and a head rush is what happens. The whole point of nic salt formulations is to improve nicotine uptake so that it reaches the bloodstream (body and brain) more quickly. After a couple of minutes vaping on salts, ex-smokers will recognise that old familiar warm glow between the eyes. If you’re already feeling satisfied, you’ll decide you’ve vaped enough for the time being, and put down your wand for half an hour or so. If you carry on vaping, there’s a considerable risk of getting the dreaded “nicotine headache”, which can affect some people more than others.
Are nic salts more expensive?
Nicotine salts are easier to produce than regular nicotine, and so should not cost you much more to buy. The quality of nic salt vapour is impressive, though I would recommend playing around with dilution ratios until you’re happy with the mix. I avoid adding PG (Propylene Glycol) in any form with Nicotine Salts, as I find they detract from the smoothness of the throat hit. I would also try mixing nic salts with a small amount of your usual nicotine liquid to see what works best.
The head rush from nic salts is very noticeable, depending in the device you’re using, power level, nicotine strength, etc. This is probably a great comfort to those trying to give up smoking, though long-term vapers (and especially those who’ve never smoked before) might not appreciate the buzzy effect.
Final verdict: go for an 18mg UK-made nicotine salt e liquid, dilute if you need to (it will go further), vape at no less than 18 watts, and stop vaping as soon as you start to feel the buzz!