In the past 10 years, the way people consume nicotine has changed dramatically. The western world has seen a huge shift from cigarettes being the main method of nicotine consumption to vaporizers taking the center stage and allowing users to get the same effects with less damage to their body.
The innovation involved to create the effects of a cigarette without any combustion or carcinogens has paved the way for a variety of products. From flavored vape liquids to nicotine salts, we’re looking at a new era of vaping gear.
One of the most inventive products to hit vape store’s shelves and vaper’s mouths is tobacco-free nicotine or S-isomer nicotine.
What Is S-isomer Nicotine
Tobacco-free nicotine has the exact same effect and chemical makeup as tobacco-derived nicotine but it’s created instead of extracted. Conventional nicotine that’s extracted from tobacco leaves either comes in freebase nicotine, which is the purest form of nicotine or nicotine salts. Nicotine salts are created when nicotine and other compounds are extracted from tobacco leaves.
The key difference between tobacco-derived nicotine and S-isomer nicotine is that tobacco-free nicotine is created in a laboratory setting. The nicotine molecule still has exactly the same structure of C10H14N2 which is comprised of 10 carbon atoms, 14 hydrogen atoms and 2 nitrogen atoms.
Benefits of S-isomer Nicotine
Not only does tobacco-free nicotine provide users with the exact same effects as if it were extracted from the plant but it has other benefits too. Laboratory made nicotine has an incredibly high purity at 99.9%, making it even purer than freebase nicotine when manufactured correctly.
There’s also the planet to consider; it takes around 1 gram of tobacco to create a single cigarette. S-isomer nicotine is highly scalable and has less of an impact on the environment due to no tobacco plants being involved. That means no growing, harvesting and processing tobacco for nicotine.
Another huge benefit is that tobacco-free nicotine is virtually tasteless, which means when it’s combined with VG/PG e-liquid, the true flavor profile can be tasted by the user. A lot of tobacco-derived nicotine that’s available today has a cinnamon taste that’s often masked by artificial sweeteners introduced by the manufacturer. It’s important to note that artificial sweeteners and sucralose can cause fatigue and a weird aftertaste.
The Science Stuff
When nicotine molecules are created, there are two stereoisomers that are mirrors of each other. They’re called S and R isomers. In nicotine that’s derived from tobacco, the S isomer is most prevalent and that’s what gives people the desired physiological effects when they consume nicotine products. The R isomer is also found in nicotine derived from tobacco but only in small amounts and researchers believe that the R isomer has no effect on the body at all.
Manufacturers of tobacco-free nicotine have different sources and processes when creating their products. Some brands sell nicotine products that contain only the S isomer, some with only the R isomer and other brands with both S and R isomers included.
As previously mentioned, researchers and scientists believe that the R isomer has no physiological effect on the body when consumed. That means it’s important to look out for tobacco-free nicotine products that contain high quantities of the S isomer. Even if you purchase products containing both S and R isomers, it’s still important to ensure you find the most suitable amount of S isomer to produce the desired effect. For example, if you usually vape 6mg nicotine, you’ll have to double that to 12mg because tobacco-free nicotine products that contain S and R isomers will need to be twice as potent.
When shopping around the tobacco-free nicotine products, it’s important to read the labels and packaging clearly. Even though tobacco-free nicotine or S-isomer nicotine has the exact same chemical properties as tobacco-derived nicotine, it’s still important to know how much S-isomer nicotine is going into your vape juice.
Also, another important thing to note is that not all tobacco-free nicotine is made the same. Even though purity levels can be as high as 99.9%, some products contain R-isomers, which don’t produce any effects. Other products contain R and S-isomers and some only contain S isomers. For the best vaping experience, it’s essential to look out for products that contain only S-isomers so that you get the most enjoyable vaping experience that’s exactly like tobacco-derived nicotine.