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Where Does Nicotine Come From?

Where Does Nicotine Come From?
Posted in: Science & Research

Those who use products like nicotine pouches know that there’s something unique about nicotine. Whether you are a casual user or like to catch a nicotine buzz several times a day, the concept behind how this naturally-occurring chemical works is still the same.

Here is a quick guide to understanding where this compound comes from and what we can look forward to in the coming years for products that contain nicotine.

What is nicotine?

Nicotine is the main chemical ingredient in tobacco products that creates the pleasant sensations associated with products like nicotine pouches. It’s a stimulant, and depending on how often or how much it is used, different people may have different experiences with nicotine. 

You can become more tolerant to nicotine when you use it more frequently, so those who can consume a lot of nicotine have likely been using it for some time. Nicotine is the most notable ingredient in products like the nicotine pouch.

Where do we get nicotine?

Manufacturers can obtain nicotine, such as what’s used in pouches and tobacco-free products today, in two very different ways.

Natural nicotine

Natural nicotine comes from the leaf of the tobacco plant. Tobacco is a plant in the nightshade family, which also includes tomatoes and potatoes. Does that mean that there is nicotine in some of the plants that we eat? Yes, but the amounts are so minimal that you wouldn’t even notice.

Tobacco, on the other hand, is loaded with nicotine and is thought to benefit the plant and help it to thrive over time. As you may know, tobacco isn’t exactly a new plant in terms of humans harvesting and using it. In fact, tobacco has been used over history as a stimulant by many different cultures, and our use of tobacco in chewing tobacco or smoked products is just the latest in a long line of ways people have enjoyed nicotine.

So that brings us to how we get nicotine from the tobacco plant to enjoy in those products that have nicotine but that are considered “tobacco-free” — like the nicotine pouches. It is usually steamed from the leaf or stripped chemically, combined with a resin, and made into the material that’s put inside tobacco-free products.

Synthetic nicotine

There’s another way manufacturers obtain nicotine, and it’s a completely synthetic process. Labs take the chemical compounds that make up nicotine and mix them together to make a nicotine that involves no tobacco leaves at all. The chemical properties are the same, and it works in the same way as nicotine derived from plants. You probably could never tell the difference between the two.

How is nicotine used today?

Nicotine is found in a lot of products, including:

  • Nicotine gum
  • Nicotine pouches
  • Nicotine patches
  • Vaping liquids
  • Tobacco products like cigarettes, cigarillos, snuff, snus, and cigars

Just because something has nicotine does not mean it has tobacco. That’s why products like nicotine pouches are considered “tobacco-free.” There are many options out there for people who want to keep using nicotine but hope to avoid the smell or other negative effects of tobacco.

What can we look forward to from nicotine?

Nicotine has had quite the evolution since the days when smoking was more socially acceptable. That's partly due to regulation, which has made it harder to smoke in public places. With many workplaces and even entire cities making it illegal to smoke or use tobacco around others, consumers who enjoy nicotine have had to switch to other options.

One early option was the vaping products or "e-cigarettes" that use high concentrations of nicotine in liquid that is vaporized or “vaped.” Since vapes have started to follow in the footsteps of cigarettes, however, and are being banned, it may be desirable to use a nicotine product that’s more discrete and not likely to get the attention of anyone.

Nicotine pouches are the clean, smoke-free future

Nicotine pouches truly are the future of nicotine. Not only are they clean, smoke (or vapor cloud) free, and hard to see, they come in a variety of strengths and flavors and are made by reputable manufacturers. These manufacturers have high-quality standards to ensure each tin of pouches has consistent nicotine amounts and provides a predictable experience.

As more people abandon vapes and vaping products, as well as socially stigmatized tobacco products, the market for nicotine pouches is expected to grow. Nicotine pouches are perhaps the only way to deliver nicotine in a subtle manner while also getting the benefit of coffee, cherry, wintergreen, and other flavors. They are portable, private, and created for those who have made nicotine a part of their lives but don’t want to have their lives interrupted by the mess or stress of tobacco, vapes, and other products.


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