If you’re new to vaping, you have probably gone online to check out all the different vape juices. After all, this is one of the major benefits of vaping rather than smoking. However, there are thousands of different flavor profiles mixed with a range of PG and VG ratios. So what do these numbers mean to you? This guide will walk you through the basics.
What is VG?
VG is an abbreviation for vegetable glycerin, which, along with PG, is one of two base liquids used to carry the flavor and nicotine in your e juice. Today, most e juices are made with a higher VG content than PG for a variety of reasons. Typically you will see 70% or more VG in your e-liquids, and up to MAX VG E-liquid or 100% VG e-liquid if you are searching for those products specifically.
Vegetable glycerin is a vegetable byproduct that is safe for human consumption according to the FDA. It has a slightly yellowish color and a mildly sweet taste. It became especially popular because the mild sweetness works well with the range of dessert and candy-flavored juices on the market. It plays an essential role in vapor production because it is thicker and heavier than PG.
When it is heated and turned to vapor, it produces denser vapor clouds. For this reason, high VG liquids have become a staple in the cloud chasing game, but many non-competitive vapers also enjoy high VG vape juice because of the full effect it gives to vapor clouds. Additionally, VG serves to balance out some of the harsher effects of PG and makes it easier for vapers to find a comfortable throat and mouth feel in their products.
What is PG?
PG is the counterpart to VG and stands for propylene glycol. This is another chemical that is generally safe for human consumption. It has found its way into many medical technologies because it is easy to vaporize and carries nicotine and flavors well. It is also used to carry medications in breathing treatments among other things. PG is virtually flavorless and clear, so it keeps flavors from getting distorted.
PG is a thinner liquid that helps dilute the viscosity of the VG. It is also a key ingredient in carrying and blending flavors. Nearly all commercially available flavorings come already suspended in a PG solution, which is why 100% VG e-liquids are hard to find, as any added flavoring will add a hint of PG to the mix. However, PG also plays other significant roles in the vaping process. It is responsible for creating the throat hit feeling that is familiar to smokers. Without this feeling, many smokers feel like vaping is not giving them the effect they are seeking. By adding just a little bit of that harsh throat hit, vaping feels more familiar and is easier to adjust to. It makes you feel like the vapor is “working,” for lack of a better term.
PG also helps to ensure that the e-liquid flows smoothly through your vape tank. VG is too thick to be quickly absorbed by the wick material in most coils. By adding a little bit of PG into the mix, the liquid can flow smoothly, and you can avoid nasty dry hits. PG also helps prevent the buildup of old gunk on your coils that could cause your coils to go bad quickly.
While PG is an integral part of the vaping process, some people report mild sensitivities to this base liquid. Vapers who experience irritation to the throat, lungs, or tongue may be reacting to the PG. This can usually be remedied by changing liquids for a few days until your body recovers. You should always pay close attention to the content of your e-juice so you can be sure that you are not having a reaction to anything else in the liquid.
Finding the Right Ratio
One of the most common ratios today is a 70/30 mix of VG to PG. However, you can always experiment to find the right level for you. If you are sensitive to PG, you should consider going to a higher VG level, but you should be aware of the effects this may have on your coils and wicks. However, it is also possible to go in the other direction with a 50/50 mix if you like the PG flavor and feel.
Can I Mix PG and VG Liquids?
There are plenty of ways to mix PG and VG bases to your heart’s content. Many people buy a variety of VG or PG-heavy products to experiment with and then mix them to reach a comfortable level.
Gianna Del Monte is the Brand Manager at VaporFi. She has been in the vaping industry since June 2015 and has extensive experience in successfully managing and marketing a variety of new vapor product launches. Originally from New Jersey, Gianna has lived in the Miami area for the last 5 years.