If you have decided that it is time to try vaping or electronic cigarettes it's somewhat likely that you might be a bit lost in some of the terms that are associated with vaping and electronic cigarettes. If you're going to be making the switch over to these products, some of the ingredients in the terminology remains a bit confusing. Understanding some of the most widely used ingredients and the components that make up e-juice could help you request the right products for use.
The main difference between e-liquids is often the main component or carrier liquid that is vaporized in their bases. The two main types of e-liquid bases are VG and PG. These stand for Propylene glycol and vegetable glycerin.
VG VS PG
The terms VG (vegetable glycerin) and PG (Propylene Glycol) may sound like chemical components but these are extremely food safe ingredients that ultimately act as the carrier agent for the flavors that you consume in the vapor.
What are VG and PG made up of?
PG and VG are mostly made up of an odorless liquid and this can be combined with various flavoring agents and nicotine. When these agents are added into the main carrier oils these are considered to be E-Juice.
Although PG and VG are often referred to as an oil, their chemical makeup is actually closer to an alcohol. These food safe ingredients are produced almost like a sugar alcohol and they can be found in a large number of consumable products on the market today.
The reason that PG and VG are used as some of the main ingredients in E-juice, is they have a low vapor point. They can produce vapor when they are heated to just over 350°F making them easy to inhale. Inhaling actual oil based products and essential carrier oils could actually lead to a number of medical health affects.
VG and PG differ in the way that they taste in the way that they make your throat feel. The two fluids continue to feel different in the back of your throat and they have some fairly distinct flavors when they reach their vapor point. Most E-liquids use a combination of the two fluids but generally they will keep a heavy ratio of one in each E-liquid. Choosing the right ratio comes down to managing your equipment and making sure that you end up with a flavor profile that you enjoy most.
In order to discover what type of E-juices you might enjoy, we'll have to look a little bit closer into the chemical makeup of each ingredient:
What is PG Propylene Glycol
Propylene Glycol is a food safe petroleum byproduct that has no color and 0 odor. It tends to have a property that's far less viscous than VG and it's known for producing a stronger flavor in the back of the throat. The sensation with PG is considered to be an experience that is closer to smoking or a nicotine-based product. PG blends often tend to have much better flavor than other types of suspension liquids.
Propylene Glycol also has other uses including:
Additives in common household items:
- Found in nicotine inhalers
- Found in toothpaste and hygiene products
- An ingredient in pet food
- An ingredient in medical products that are used orally or topically
- A popular product in shampoo, baby wipes and beauty products
PG is a completely safe ingredient that you can ingest orally. It's been FDA approved for years and it's recognized as a food safe additive for a wide range of products. Most of the studies surrounding PG over the long term have to do with ingestion. No long-term studies on the use of PG or VG currently are available.
Comprehensive studies may be required to confirm that PG is safe for long-term inhalation but considering the product has been used in food safe ingredients and food processing, it is highly unlikely the toxic results would be found.
Some individuals do have a sensitivity to PG based blends. Those that have this allergy may experience more throat irritation. If you're trying it for the first time it's important to take shorter and shallow breaths. If you feel an ongoing sensitivity it may be wise to switch over to VG blends instead.
PG really has no side effects other than a potential sensitivity. Some individuals do experience symptoms like dehydration, a sore throat and dry mouth. As long as you continue to drink water as you vape, you can make sure that you can curb some of the side effects from the vape liquid.
VG also stands for vegetable glycerin. It's a chemical that's completely natural and is derived from vegetable oils. This is a product that safe for inhalation and it also completely safe for vegetarians as well. Vegetable glycerin can provide a flavor that is described as much smoother than PG blends. The mixture with a heavy VG blend is often much heavier or more viscous than a PG blend. VG also comes with a sweeter flavoring.
Ultimately this is a more suitable mixture for products like Sub Ohm vaporizers because VG blends can produce larger amounts of vapor without the harsh flavorings that can be found in PG. Many vendors are choosing blends that are 100% VG today because they can produce a better result for vapers that want to go for big clouds.
What is VG used in?
VG is a product that is used in more than E juices. It can also be found in a variety of personal care and food products as well. VG has uses as:
- Additives in pet food
- Additives in Baked goods
- A thickening agent for creams and gels
- An ingredient in toothpaste and dental care
- An additive for pet food
- An additive in beauty products
Is the product safe?
The FDA has ruled that VG is recognized as a generally safe product. Because it's derived from plant-based ingredients and because it's widely used in a number of food safe products, it's recognized as a highly safe substance. VG is often recommended for those that are sensitive to products like PG. VG is used in everything from food to medicine but there have been no long-term effect studies on the inhalation of VG with vaping.
The risks associated with irritation on VG are extremely low and this makes it a suitable alternative for individuals that have had problems with other types of vape juice before. If you have an allergy to coconut oil or palm oil, you may be at an increased risk for sensitivity with this product.
Risk factors with VG
With the thickness of the ingredients with VG, it's important that you have the right atomizer for your device. VG contains a much thicker liquid and as a result it can often clog up the coil quite rapidly. Older style atomizers are often quite susceptible to the clogging process with VG but using a newer style device that is able to use sub ohm vaping technology will make sure your device will be able to hold up through the liquid which can be more difficult to vape.
Choosing your ratio
If you are checking out the main differences between VG and PG and looking at the ratio that you should be using, it really comes down to the type of vaping experience that you would like to have. People often use VG and PG for different reasons. Here are some top qualities you can get with each:
If you would like a smooth experience:
VG is often one of the best styles of E-liquid if you value a very smooth feeling along your throat. Although you might get a thicker style of flavor in your mouth the flavor will be extremely muted in most types of VG blends and this means a smoother experience from your vape. Very important you stay within the wattage or voltage limit of your atomizer and that you use a device which is compatable with VG.
Getting an optimal throat hit:
If you want to enjoy the best throat hit with vaping, you have got to use PG. The flavor that you get in the back of your throat is perfect if you are trying to quit smoking and you want to have the great flavor. PG often delivers a far greater level of flavor than VG and this often leads to an impressive experience.
If you want to enjoy a stealthy experience with your vaporizer you have got to choose a high PG blend. This is one of the easiest ways that you can produce less vapor while exhaling. It still may not mean that you'll be able to vape in areas like public transit or in a non smoking area as this is still illegal, but it can help you vape responsibly and discretely.
If you value the idea of a massive cloud of vapor or you are going to be doing vape tricks, VG blends are the best way to succeed. A high VG blend will always produce the maximum amount of vapor clouds and when you set up your device to turn up the heat on these blends, it can help you generate massive clouds.
Checking your setup:
Compatibility can also be quite a determining factor on whether or not you should be using PG or VG blends. If you don't have the right equipment for using a certain blend, your device could clog and this could cause ongoing irritation or even a breakage in your device. Determine your compatibility by checking into your device and if it's compatible with each type of vape juice. Here are some tips to follow:
This is one of the most common styles of tank and they usually have a higher resistance coil on board which is designed for use with a PG blend. It would not be wise to use one of these devices with a blend that is high in VG. To the blend that has maximum of a 50/50 ratio with this type of tank.
Sub Ohm vaping:
VG blends thrive when they are used with Sub Ohm tank vapes. These styles of vaporizer often have a high battery strength and they can use up the e-juice quickly while producing large clouds of vapor. These are tanks which can be perfect for VG blends and for high-performance and competition level vaping.
If you would like to make your own coils you can have some extra flexibility with the ratio of e-liquids. It really comes down to the types of coils you are using but you can often have a greater flexibility with a rebuildable tank. These coils are set up to work with either blend but they often tend to thrive with blends that are higher in PG as well.
Making your decision:
Making a decision between a VG and PG blend really comes down to doing a bit of experimenting. You can try out several different types of E-juices, or if you have a tank that can be refilled, you could even work at trying some glands yourself. When mixing any type of e-liquid you need to make sure you check for some of these factors:
Some juice is made without flavoring:
There are some juices on the market that are designed as a base liquid. You can pick up these juices to make up the optimal viscosity of your liquid. Adding in some flavored juice can help to dilute some of the flavor if it's too powerful and you can have an E-juice which is highly compatible with your device.
Thinning out VG:
If you have a VG blend that you like that tends to group up your atomizer you may want to consider thinning it out with a heavy PG solution. Adding PG with some distilled water in your juice can really help to thin out any heavy VG blend and make sure that the Jews can be absorbed into the wick much faster. Choose a ratio of one drop of distilled water for every 10 mL of juice that you add in.
If you have one flavor that is dominant and one that offers a very subtle experience, you might want to consider mixing these two flavor concentrates together. Mixing PG heavy flavor concentrates can be a great way that you can add new flavors which are uncommon to your list of favorite experiences. By experimenting with a new flavors you can make sure that you never get bored of PG blends that you have on hand.
If you are placing a high VG juice into your vaporizer it's important to leave in enough time for steeping. If you have recipes that include multiple flavors you're going to want to let the VG mixture sit and steep over several hours or even several days to make sure that the flavors can be absorbed into the mixture well. It takes time to make sure that PG will absorb into VG, but the weight can definitely be worth it when you are able to produce a fantastic new flavor that's completely mixed.
If you are trying to choose between a PG (Propylene Glycol) blend and a VG (Vegetable Glycol) blend, you should highly consider doing some experiments yourself and potentially making up some of your own mixtures. Both of these products are extremely safe but they do work in different ways and have different compatibility issues with the number of devices.
It's usually a good idea for most beginners to get started with a blend that's around 50% to 50% and then continue trying out different combinations to find out what works best with their device and with their flavor profile.
Be sure to read your owners manual and make sure that your device is properly compatible with AVG or PG style of liquid. If you find yourself to be highly sensitive to PG style liquids you could also consider changing out to a VG heavy E-Liquid as well.
As far as flavor profile goes, many people that are trying to switch to vaping over smoking will enjoy PG style blends over VG because they have a sharpness of flavor. PG often produces flavors which are perfect for tart style experiences or even certain sweets. By restyle flavors or creamy flavors are often best done with a high VG blend because of their mouth feel and with the smooth flavorings that can be produced in these products.
Through some experimentation with your device and by using your taste buds, you can eventually work at finding a product that works well for your needs at VapeNico store!