Recently purchased 2 litres of nicotine base just in case the laws change in Australia and we can no longer legally import nicotine. Oh yes, there will ALWAYS be nicotine available, but just like drugs on the black market, it will be priced according to supply and demand. If it happens, we will NEVER be able to buy a litre of 100mg/ml nicotine base for $50USD again!
So, I have read scores of articles as to how to store nicotine, what base last longest, and got so many different opinions I came to my OWN conclusion.
If it DOES eventuate that the nicotine I buy NOW from the USA is the only one I will ever have, I figure the 2 litres of 100mg/ml will make 20 litres of 6mg/ml juice.
How long will that last?
It will make 2,200 x 10ml bottles of juice using 10% flavoring ratio. If you assume 10ml will last a day, that means I have enough nicotine to last 6.04 years! And it only cost me $100 USD plus shipping! I am sure by then I could have weaned myself off at 0.005 ml per day, so does it REALLY MATTER?
There are only TWO things I require of my nicotine base. To taste okay and to relieve whatever nicotine cravings I have at the time! Anything else is completely IRRELEVANT!
However, if I use common sense and my chemistry/microbiological background, I know I can eliminate or minimize the FOUR that can degrade nicotine.
1/. Oxygen (necessary for oxidation of any molecular compound).
2/. Light (catalyst that accelarates oxidation and/or photo-synthetic breakdown, if any, of the free-form nicotine).
3/. Heat (also a catalyst that does similar to above plus promote growth of bugs).
4/. Minimize the presence of bacteria, yeasts, fungii and any other microbial flora.
So if I minimize or totally eliminate all FOUR factors my stored nicotine will last virtually forever. I read a blog by a <a href="http://www.vapinkiss.com/eliquid_c_7.html”>vaper/chemist called KURT that molecular compounds such as nicotine do NOT breakdown all on their own – they need something to CAUSE the breakdown.
Theoretically if you stored nicotine base in orbit around the earth shielded in a black box to prevent exposure to light and other radiation, it will last forever. But we are not in orbit. So this is what I think for what it is worth …
1/. store in sterilized amber glass bottles filled to the brim to help eliminate light and exposure to the air (oxygen) as the little O2 that is already present in the base and any residual bubbles of air at the top of the bottle will eventually be used up in an insignificant amount of oxidation. Once that O2 is used up we have NO MORE oxidation.
2/. Steam sterilize the glass bottles prior to filling to minimize presence of bacteria and other flora such as yeasts and fungi. There will be background flora present in the nicotine base as it comes from the supplier as I doubt they use sterilized base and/or nicotine concentrate, but this will minimize the addition of any newly introduced flora.
3/. store in the refrigerator at or below 5 degrees celsius, which is the same as storing meat in your refrigerator – it will last much, much longer than leaving it lying on the footpath outside in the sun! Refrigeration will slow down the oxidation process and bacterial growth significantly.
4/. store in amber glass bottles in a dark place (refrigerator) to minimize exposure to light.
I am reluctant to FREEZE the nicotine base in case freezing may have an effect on the molecular structure, although I am open to it considering PG or VG does not freeze to a solid, hence no crystallization which could degrade the nicotine and held at or below the freezing point of water, bacterial growth is completely halted.
Storing in the refrigerator in amber glass bottles means least exposure to light thereby reducing the third possible breakdown factor.
Then, at the end of the day, if in three years I pull out my refrigerated nicotine base and it has turned yellow, I am certain it will still taste like nicotine (bitter and not really a pleasant taste anyway), and I am absolutely confident it will take away any nicotine cravings I might still have by then.
Even if it has degraded by say 25% (highly unlikely) that just means I need to adjust the amount I put in to compensate for it as when all is said and done, it is what the nicotine DOES to us that is important, not whether it has changed colour or passes any chemical assay test results!
It’s a bit like buying a good stereo or guitar. A $300 guitar usually sounds good, plays well and you can take it on stage with you and make it sound pleasant. If you want a better one, the increase in quality is exponentially reversed in price increases. That is you spend 100% more to get a 5% improvement and so on. I recently spent $1650 on a guitar that does NOT sound four times better than my $400 chinese clone. It sounds better and is better engineered, but I can still play my cheapie and it sounds pretty damn good.
Same goes for stereo. I know audiophiles who spent tens of thousands of dollars on equipment JUST because the specs say it has the least distortion, or has the most flat frequency response, but I am still happy to have my ghetto blaster on the beach cos it still sounds quite OK!
I remember an acquaintance from my "hippy days" who managed to acquire ampoules of morphine circa 1940 and remarked on how it was just as potent as anything he had tried that had been made today. If I was on a desert island and had a headache coupled with nicotine withdrawals, I would bet if I used 5 year old paracetamol tablets and nicotine base stored in the above way it would relieve the symptoms from BOTH!
In summary, I feel it is just going extremely overboard to discuss to the nth degree what is best and how to do it RIGHT – if my nicotine is yellow in 2 years but it tastes ok and it looks yellow, do I really give a ….? NO!!
So, are we chasing the dragon here or if it comes to it, will my fridge stored nicotine do the job I want it to in 3 or 5 years. That is to taste ok and take away my nicotine withdrawals?
Chasing the dragon ???