PG vs. VG e-liquids
In the world of vaping, there are numerous terms that may seem confusing to new vapers from all around the world. When it comes down to e-liquids, vaping enthusiasts are constantly talking about whether they prefer PG, or VG-based juice, yet these terms are indeed quite confusing.
Having knowledge on these two e-juice ingredients will not only improve your vaping experience, but it will also better guide you when deciding what type of e-liquid you wish to purchase.
To kick things off, we’ll do an in-depth analysis on what PG and VG stand for as ingredients, and then continue with their safety, things you should be aware of while vaping, and last but not least, what VG/PG ratio you should use, according to preferences.
Propylene Glycol (PG)
PG represents a petroleum by-product, which has no colour or odour, and is also considered as less viscous when compared to VG. In the vaping community, the ingredient is mostly used to produce e-liquids that offer a stronger throat hit, similar to those of analogue cigarettes. Not only this, but it is also bound to carry flavour somewhat more effectively when compared to its common part. Right now, PG represents the most commonly used suspension fluid, meant for both nicotine, but also flavour concentrates.
Some have often debated whether PG is safe, considering the fact that the substance is also present in asthma inhalers, pet food, orally-used or injected medical products, alongside with beauty products. Numerous safety case studies that have been carried out so far, have determined that the substance is safe when ingested orally, especially as a food additive. A study carried out back in 1947 has determined that inhaling PG is harmless. However, recent studies have concluded that continuous exposure can lead to immune disorders, especially for children, such as asthma, eczema or hay fever.
In fact, studies have shown that the substance can be quite harmful to some pets, especially cats. With this in mind, try to avoid vaping too much in the presence of your pets, to avoid causing them to develop various health conditions. At this moment in time, some of the most common secondary effects to vaping PG-based e-juices include a sore throat, dry mouth and increased thirst.
Vegetable Glycerine (VG)
This substance is a natural chemical that is easily derived from vegetable oil, thus it is generally safe. The substance is normally used in vape juices to give the vapour a thicker sensation. With this in mind, the throat hit resulting from a VG-based e-juice is almost always smoother when compared to its counterpart. This is why VG liquids are often recommended for those who want to try out sub-ohm vaping.
At this moment in time, VG is generally found in a wide variety of products, and is used as a sweetener or sugar replacement, in beauty products, such as after shave or deodorant, in soap and hand creams, in pet food, in baked goods to help increase moisture, but also in toothpaste, and in capsule pills or medical jellies.
Just like PG, the studies have determined that VG is generally safe, as it has a low toxicity upon consumption, and doesn’t show an increased potential or irritating either the skin or the eye. There are, however, limited studies into the safety of the substance, which is why there are still questions about the general health safety of vaping. Yet, both types of liquids are indeed safe.
Do keep in mind the fact that this increased thickness that VG juice has, is also bound to reduce the lifespan of your coils, as it clogs them up more quickly. In terms of the side effects, these are fairly similar to PG juice, as people often report a dry mouth, increased thirst or sore throat.
The ideal ratio for vaping use
If you don’t yet know, most e-juices consist of a mixture of both VG and PG, in different rations, to provide various vaping experiences. Choosing the right one can considerably improve your vaping sensation, depending on what you are looking for.
With this in mind, different types of vaping experiences are sought after:
The Smoothness: For people who enjoy a smooth vaping experience, purchasing a e-juice high on VG will offer a considerably smoother feeling in your throat. While the flavour may be diminished, ramping up the power on your mod will get it back up again.
Throat Hit: If you’re looking for a strong, cig-like throat hit, then you may want to purchase e-juice that is higher in terms of PG. Based on this, a high ratio of PG will ensure that you get that kick at the back of your throat upon inhaling. Flavour will also be somewhat improved, especially when vaping at lower temperatures.
For the cloud chasers: Cloud chasing has become extremely popular in the vaping world. The ability to produce thick, vapour clouds, then high VG is basically your only option. The higher the VG in the e-liquid, the better the clouds you’ll be able to form while vaping.
Stealth Vapers: If you are not fond of creating massive clouds, and would rather keep your vaping experience discrete at all times, then you may want to go with a high PG e-liquid. It is bound to improve flavour while also decreasing the amount of vapour being created. In case you don’t want a strong throat hit, then simply lay down on the power.
Based on everything that has been outlined so far, the basics with both VG and PG liquids are fairly easy to understand. It’s often advisable to start out with a 50-50 ratio, and then proceed to move your way up or down from there, depending on what you like best. Most e-liquid manufacturers don’t make their ratio clear, which is why it’s best to ask your local vape shop for advice, especially if you’re just starting out.