top of page
  • Writer's pictureNative Salts

The Contrasts of Smelling Salts vs. Poppers, Caffeine, Drugs, and Other Stimulants!

Updated: Sep 26, 2023

Smelling salts are frequently compared to various other substances due to their shared purpose of stimulating the senses & generic bottle. However, it is important to delve into the specifics and explore the contrasting features and commonalities between smelling salts and these substances in order to gain a comprehensive understanding. By doing so, we can discern the unique qualities and potential benefits that smelling salts offer in comparison to other substances.

Smelling Salts vs Poppers

Many people are asking “are smelling salts poppers?”... Well, the simple answer is No. Smelling salts and poppers are two different substances with different uses and effects. Here's a comparison between the two:

Smelling salts, also known as ammonia inhalants, are a combination of ammonium carbonate and perfume. They have been used for centuries to revive people from fainting or to stimulate consciousness. When you sniff smelling salts, the ammonia vapors irritate the mucous membranes in your nose and stimulate the sensory nerves, triggering a reflexive inhalation response. This can help to wake you up or restore alertness.

Poppers recreational & sex stimulant drug
Small Bottle which is used for numerous reasons, smelling salts, poppers and more

Source: Poppers are sold in small bottles used as recreational drugs or for sexual enhancement

Poppers, on the other hand, are a type of alkyl nitrite chemical compound. They are usually sold in small bottles and produce a strong, distinct odor when opened. Poppers are typically used as recreational drugs or for sexual enhancement purposes. When inhaled, poppers dilate blood vessels and relax smooth muscles, resulting in a rush of blood to the head and a warm, lightheaded feeling. Some people also experience a sense of euphoria and heightened sensory perception.

Smelling salts are primarily used for their stimulant properties to awaken or revive a person, while poppers are used for recreational or sexual purposes, providing a temporary rush and sensation of relaxation. It's important to note that both smelling salts and poppers should be used with caution, as their misuse or overuse can have adverse effects on health. If you have any concerns or questions about the use and effects of poppers, read more here.

Smelling salts vs Caffeine

Smelling salts and caffeine are both substances that can stimulate the central nervous system, but they differ in their mechanisms of action and effects.

Coffee beverage as caffeine stimulant

Caffeine is frequently ingested through popular beverages such as coffee, tea, or energy drinks

Caffeine, an inherent stimulant, is naturally derived from a variety of botanical sources, including coffee beans, tea leaves, and cocoa beans. It acts as a central nervous system stimulant by blocking adenosine receptors in the brain, which helps to promote wakefulness and reduce fatigue. Caffeine can increase mental alertness, enhance focus and concentration, and temporarily ward off drowsiness.

While both smelling salts and caffeine can provide a stimulating effect, they differ in their mechanisms and duration of action. Smelling salts provide a more immediate and short-lived effect due to the reflexive inhalation response triggered by the ammonia vapors. On the other hand, caffeine is typically consumed orally, and its effects can last for several hours, depending on the individual's sensitivity and the amount consumed.

It's worth noting that the use of smelling salts is generally limited to specific situations like sports or medical emergencies, whereas caffeine is commonly consumed in beverages like coffee, tea, or energy drinks for its stimulating properties.

As with any substance, it's important to use caffeine in moderation and be aware of your individual tolerance and potential side effects. Excessive consumption of caffeine can lead to jitteriness, increased heart rate, digestive issues, and other adverse effects. If you have any concerns about using smelling salts or caffeine, it's always a good idea to consult with a healthcare professional.

Smelling salts vs Energy drinks

Smelling salts and energy drinks are two different substances that have different effects on the body.

Energy drinks are beverages that contain high levels of caffeine, sugar, B-vitamins, and other ingredients like taurine and guarana. These drinks are marketed to provide a temporary increase in energy, focus, and alertness. The caffeine content in energy drinks acts as a stimulant, promoting wakefulness and reducing fatigue. Other ingredients, such as sugar and B-vitamins, may contribute to a perceived energy boost.

Energy drinks beverage for energy boost

Energy drinks are high-caffeine beverages enriched with sugar, B-vitamins, and other ingredients, delivering a short-term energy boost

While both smelling salts and energy drinks can provide a temporary increase in alertness and arousal, they differ in their mechanisms and duration of action. Smelling salts primarily work through the inhalation of ammonia vapors, which produce a brief stimulant effect. Energy drinks, on the other hand, are consumed orally, and their effects can last for several hours due to the caffeine content. The sugar in energy drinks can also provide a short-term energy boost, but it is followed by a potential energy crash once the initial effects wear off.

It is essential to emphasize that excessive consumption of energy drinks can yield adverse health consequences. The high levels of caffeine and sugar can lead to increased heart rate, elevated blood pressure, dehydration, and other potential issues. Additionally, energy drinks should not be consumed by individuals who are sensitive to caffeine or have underlying health conditions.

As with any substance, moderation is key, and it's always advisable to consult with a healthcare professional if you have concerns about using smelling salts or energy drinks or if you have any pre-existing health conditions.

Smelling Salts vs Drugs

Smelling salts and drugs are significantly different substances, both in terms of their composition and their effects on the body. Here's a comparison between the two:

Drugs refer to a wide range of substances that can have various effects on the body and mind. Drugs can be categorized into different classes, including but not limited to stimulants, depressants, hallucinogens, opioids, and cannabinoids. Each class of drugs has its own specific effects and risks.

Drugs effects are serious & need caution

Caution is advised when dealing with drugs due to their diverse effects on the body and mind, requiring responsible and informed use within legal boundaries

The effects of drugs can vary greatly depending on the substance and how it is used. Some drugs may alter perception, mood, and cognition, while others can induce relaxation, sedation, or heightened energy and euphoria. However, it's crucial to note that drug use can have serious health consequences and legal implications, and the risks associated with drug use can vary significantly depending on the specific substance, dosage, and individual factors.

It's important to highlight that the use of drugs should always be approached with caution, and any use should be informed, responsible, and comply with applicable laws and regulations. If you have concerns about drugs or drug use, it is strongly recommended to seek guidance from a healthcare professional or a specialized substance abuse counselor who can provide appropriate support and information.

Will smelling salts show up on drug tests?

Smelling salts typically do not contain substances that are commonly tested for in standard drug screenings. They are primarily composed of ammonium carbonate and perfume, which are not substances typically screened for in drug tests.

Standard drug tests typically focus on detecting specific drugs or their metabolites, such as cannabis, opioids, amphetamines, cocaine, or benzodiazepines. Smelling salts do not contain these substances, so they should not trigger a positive result on drug tests specifically designed to detect these drugs.

However, it's important to note that individual testing protocols may vary, and there are specialized drug tests that can target a broader range of substances. If you have concerns about a specific drug test or are uncertain about the components of a particular smelling salt product, it's best to consult with the organization or entity conducting the drug test for more accurate and specific information.

Smelling salts vs Bath salts

Smelling salts and bath salts are two entirely different substances with distinct uses and effects. It's essential to differentiate between them:

Bath salts are harmful synthetic drugs

Bath salts are synthetic cathinone-based designer drugs with psychoactive stimulant effects resembling amphetamines or hallucinogens, available in powder or crystal form

Bath salts refer to a group of designer drugs that contain synthetic cathinones. These substances often come in the form of powders or crystals and are not intended for use in the bath. Bath salts are psychoactive stimulants with effects similar to amphetamines or hallucinogens. They can induce intense euphoria, increased energy, hallucinations, agitation, and even psychosis. Bath salts gained notoriety for their potential to cause severe adverse reactions and dangerous behavior.

To summarize, smelling salts are used as a mild stimulant to revive consciousness, while bath salts are a type of synthetic drug associated with illicit use and significant risks to health and well-being. It is crucial to note that the use of bath salts as recreational drugs is highly discouraged and illegal in many jurisdictions due to their potential for harmful effects. If you have concerns about any substances or their effects, it is advisable to consult with a healthcare professional. For more information about bath salts, you can read more here.


In conclusion, smelling salts offer unique qualities and benefits compared to other substances with similar purposes. They should not be confused with poppers, which are used for recreational or sexual purposes and produce a different set of effects.

Smelling salts primarily work through the inhalation of ammonia vapors to awaken or revive individuals, while caffeine provides a longer-lasting stimulant effect when consumed orally. Energy drinks, on the other hand, contain various ingredients including caffeine and sugar, which can have both positive and negative effects on energy levels.

It is important to differentiate between smelling salts and drugs, as drugs encompass a wide range of substances with diverse effects and risks. Smelling salts are typically used in specific situations like sports or medical emergencies, while drugs should always be approached with caution due to their potential health consequences and legal implications. Additionally, smelling salts generally do not contain substances commonly tested for in drug screenings.

Finally, it is crucial to distinguish between smelling salts and bath salts, as the latter refers to synthetic drugs associated with significant risks and adverse effects. The use of bath salts for recreational purposes is highly discouraged and illegal in many jurisdictions. Consulting with a healthcare professional is always advisable when considering the use of any substances or if concerns arise.

Choose Natural Smelling Salts

Choose natural aromatic smelling salts

Native Salts are natural aromatic smelling salts for medical and recreational use

Through our examination, it becomes apparent that smelling salts differ significantly from poppers, caffeine, energy drinks, drugs, and bath salts. The versatile application of smelling salts in both medical and recreational contexts is evident, with many individuals reaping their benefits. Nonetheless, it is crucial to exercise caution when dealing with highly potent ammonia smelling salts to ensure the preservation of health and safety.

For those seeking smelling salts that prioritize health and safety while incorporating the added benefits of natural essential oils for aromatherapeutic effects, Native Salts is the ideal choice. Produced and distributed from Chicago, Illinois, Native Salts offers a wide range of options and can conveniently ship nationwide within the United States. Discover the unique experience that Native Salts smelling salts have to offer by visiting their online shop today.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Are poppers and smelling salts the same?

No, smelling salts and poppers are different substances with distinct uses and effects. Smelling salts are used to revive consciousness or stimulate alertness, while poppers are commonly used for recreational or sexual purposes.

How do smelling salts differ from caffeine?

Can smelling salts show up on a drug test?

What are the differences between smelling salts and energy drinks?

Are smelling salts considered a drug?

What is the difference between smelling salts and bath salts?

1,766 views0 comments
bottom of page