E-liquids come in a variety of different formats which can make it a tricky process to work out which is the best for you!
You can find out more about how to match different vaping products to your needs in our comprehensive guide, How to Vape properly.
In this quickfire guide, we will give you the run-down about the longest-standing and most popular e-liquid types: 50-50 vape juice.
50-50 Vape Juice
50-50 vape juice is one of the most common varieties of e-liquid you will find out there, and it offers the most flexibility in terms of flavour and strength, as well as typically being more accessible for those on a budget.
Sometimes called ‘standard’, ‘normal’, ‘traditional’, or ‘core’ vape liquid, 50-50’s have been around since vaping hit western shores from China over a decade ago, and still make up the backbone of the industry today.
Almost all 50-50 type vape juices will have the following properties:
- A balanced ratio of Propylene Glycol (PG) and Vegetable Glycerol (VG) which accommodates a wide variety of nicotine strengths
- A thinner consistency than HVG e-liquids, better suited to lower powered devices
- They contain the same four main ingredients as most other types of e-liquid: PG, VG, Nicotine and Flavourings (learn more about those here!)
- They strike a balance between flavour deliver, vapour production and nicotine hit which makes them suitable for a far wider variety of vapers than more niche e-liquids like shortfills
While the above is true, the nicotine aspect is where 50-50’s become a little more complex, with the more ‘traditional’ examples utilising freebase nicotine, and more specialist juice using salt nicotine – we’ll explain the difference below.
What is Freebase vape juice?
Freebase nicotine is so-called because the actual nicotine molecules are freely suspended in a base material, which for vaping products is most commonly PG. We use PG because it is an excellent carrier, meaning it lets us mix different ingredients together to create a more stable mixture like a finished e-liquid.
All nicotine is naturally alkali, this is why it can have a ‘throat hit’ when vaped. With freebase, this throat hit is more pronounced and increases the further up the strength range you choose to vape. Throat hit is preferred by some vapers as it is closer to the experience of smoking a cigarette, which can help transition as a new vaper.
freebase e-liquids are usually available in a wider range of strengths such as our range of:
- 3mg – low strength, minimal throat hit
- 6mg – mild strength, low throat hit
- 12mg – mid strength, more throat hit
- 18mg – high strength, harsher throat hit
Freebase is where many people start their journey and in many cases end it, never needing to try another e-liquid type, as with freebase there is more freedom to stick with one flavour and move down through strengths if you are after a nicotine free lifestyle.
What is Nic Salt vape juice?
Nic Salt e-liquid is very similar to freebase 50-50s, but with modified nicotine that hits cravings hard, but spares your throat.
Some people want a vape that can keep strong cravings at bay, but don’t want the harsh throat hit typical of freebase nicotine.
When it is being manufactured, the nicotine molecules are combined with an ‘organic salt acid’ – that just means a naturally-occurring acid is used to neutralise that naturally alkali pH we mentioned earlier. By neutralising the taste of the nicotine, higher strengths become much smoother.
Not only do they become easier to vape, but the nic also hits harder and typically keeps cravings at bay for longer. This smoothness has actually worked in a negative way thanks to disposable vapes, as underage children who have been reportedly getting their hands on these vapes have been fooled into thinking they aren’t so strong because they are so smooth.
Despite the above, nic salts remain a great way for those struggling to get into vaping to start their journey, although you might find them a little restrictive if you want to drop your strength, as they offer little variety beyond 20mg or 10mg.
50-50 Vape Kits
If you want to use 50-50 vape juice, you will need to find a kit that is designed for it. This is quite simple as most devices out there accommodate this common vape juice type.
While there are many to choose from, set a budget, and aim for any device that uses coils rated above 1.0ohm – this will almost guarantee you are choosing a 50-50 device.