Difference Between VA & Burley Nicotine Effects

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Feb 2, 2019
Basel, Switzerland
I have gotten a nic buzz from some of the Gawith brown ropes and heavy DFK blends as well as HH Rustica. I tend to associate nicotine with burning nostrils. Depends on the blend as a whole though given I smoke for flavour. I don’t mind a milder VaPer but often the extra nic is pleasant, like in Bayou Morning Flake. Some blends like 1792 would not work as well if they were mild.

Ahi Ka

Feb 25, 2020
Aotearoa (New Zealand)
Another aspect of this discussion I find interesting is that I could say smoke 3 bowls of warhorse back to back while gardening and not have any issues, and then another day have to put the pipe down halfway through the first bowl while I’m sitting in a chair.

Obviously blends are not static, nor is our body’s chemistry on any given day, but in a similar vein to caffeine, are the affects of nicotine felt differently depending on what activity you are doing?

Also, one blend that always gets me is C&D Epiphany. I know this isn’t even that strong, especially since I can happily just smoke ropes all day, but for some reason it always catches me off guard.


Feb 13, 2013
I rarely feel anything with Virginia blends. Sometimes perique will have an effect, but never more than mild.

Burley I feel a lot more, but the effect varies considerably. Watch City Slices, very little. PS Cube Cut a little more. HH Burley Flake is felt, but not uncomfortable. I need to be careful with GLP Barbary, as that can hit me pretty good if I haven’t eaten recently. I have some mid-oughts Erinmore that hits me hard every time; definitely the full body buzz like someone dropped a weighted blanket on me.


Nov 28, 2023
Brasília, Brazil
This one is definitely not a straight Virginia. It definitely has Imperial Virginias as well, which are not technically flue cure varieties as we know them. They are technically a tangy Burley, and I have no idea why they are called Virginias.
FWIW, Virginias aren't even a technical category, flue cured varieties is more accurate. There are only maybe four or five flue cured varieties that are produced commercially. And, there are quite a few burleys with Virginia in their varietal name. So, when selecting seed stock, you have to do a lot of research on what you need, especially if you are only familiar with different varieties as used on Pipe tobacco labels. Those are marketing terms, not really agricultural terms. There is a vast difference.
That's a bunch of knowledge Cosmic! Makes me rethink a lot of what I thought I knew about tobacco. Would you care to explain a bit more about this stuff? Varieties, processes, the agricultural side of naming and sorting tobacco, etc.

I'm very curious to hear your thoughts.
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I can write short responses, but I am not very good at writing huge discourses on such a vast subject. I can just say that what we as pipesmokers know is based upon the marketing copy on tins and in reviews. However, the farming and manufacturing side of tobacco has a whole set of other jargon that doesn't represent what we know at all.

For example, go and ask someone who works a flue curing kiln about Red Virginias, and he will look at you like you are talking about Mars or Jupiter. Virginias is mostly marketing copy. Also... what if I told you that there was no difference between a burley and a Virginia? I'm not saying that there isn't, but there are many on the other side of the tobacco fence that says there isn't. The term is flue cured, not Virginias. There is one variety of commercial flue cured called VAGold25, but the rest of the flue cured varieties have vastly different names. What we call yellow Virginias is a whole other variety of tobacco. ...and so on and so on.

If interested, there are a lot of great books on the subject, most, if written by a smoking enthusiast will use terms we are familiar with. However, if you read books intended for the other areas of the tobacco industry, you may have no idea what you're reading. It took me a few years to start to understand the curing processes, because of the language and jargon we use as pipesmokers.

And, after you get "in" on the jargon, you start to realize that what is written on the tin of tobacco no longer makes any sense, ha ha.


Sep 17, 2023
I’m sure it has an effect but Ive never had what I consider a nic buzz from a pipe. I enjoy it and that is probably part of it. Maybe I need to smoke something really strong to recognize it. If i dont smoke for a while and I have a cigarette I can tell. Maybe the pipe is just too gradual to notice.


Jul 11, 2014
I sometimes get too much nicotine which causes me to get the hiccups. It usually happens when my pipe is not breathing properly and I'm sucking on it harder than is optimal, often at the end of a pipe, just trying to get all its contents changed into ash. I have yet to turn green or to hurl. Maybe by the 17th, I'll get green?