The Chirality of Nicotine – Another Challenge for Synthetic Nicotine Production”
Although the above discussion gives a basic definition of Synthetic Nicotine, there is one additional issue that should be mentioned.
Nicotine is a “chiral” molecule, which basically means it exists in two forms that can’t be superimposed on each other.
It’s often described as “handedness” for chemicals: in the same way that your right hand is a mirror image of your left, (S)-nicotine is a mirror image of (R)-nicotine.
Despite the fact that your left hand has all of the same components as your right, the arrangement of the fingers and thumb means you can’t possibly rotate, flip or otherwise reorient your right hand to make it indistinguishable from your left.
The same is true for (S) and (R)-nicotine.
The problem for makers of Synthetic Nicotine is that (S)-nicotine is the type created by tobacco and the type that has the desired effect on users. This means it’s really the only type vapers would want.
In practice, though, a mixture of both versions of the chemicals is the easiest to make, and from then it would have to be further purified to produce a usable sample of (S)-nicotine. If this last step wasn’t completed and a mixture of both types was used, the finished e-liquid would only have half the strength advertised.
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