As a vaper, you must know the two main ingredients of any vape juice which are Vegetable Glycerin (VG) and Propylene Glycol (PG) and VG vs PG. The VG vs PG proportion in vape juice can be the determining factor of vape juice texture and quality.
The internet is flooded with information on VG vs PG, but I observed that most of the data is scattered, disorganized and erroneous. So, I thought to write this article on VG and PG which will help you understand why VG vs PG matter in your vape juice.
Let me start with the basics of VG and PG. We are also going to know VG vs PG Vape Health Effects. If you are into making your own DIY vape juice, you must have already gone through some vaping terminologies, but in case not, here you go!
Just a small note before you read further, VG and PG may sound confusing, so just fit it in your head that VG = Vegetable Glycerin and PG = Propylene Glycol.
Hope this VG and PG thing does not need any repetition now!
What is VG and PG in E-liquid?
- Necessarily, VG and PG are two main ingredients of any vape juice. VG and PG, both federally approved liquids, are bases used in vape juice.
- Both VG and PG, together, constitute around 80-90% volume of the vape juice. It means their contribution in taste, flavor, and quality of the vape juice is huge.
- VG and PG both are odorless liquids. Upon heating through an E Cig mod, both these liquids get converted into vapors, which the user inhales.
- Most importantly, both the liquids have differential consistency and taste, and also distinct mouth and throat hit. And that is why VG vs PG matters.
- So, if both of them, after heating has more or less similar properties, then why do you need ‘both’ of them in your vape juice? Won’t a single liquid be enough? Are VG and PG safe?
- That is the interesting part. VG vs PG proportion can create miracles to vape juice. How??? You will read next, but before that, a bit of chemistry of VG vs PG won’t hurt!
Vegetable Glycerin (VG)
- VG is a plant-derived chemical, especially from vegetable oils. Vegetable Glycerin is a polyol compound.
- VGs are obtained from plants in the form of triglycerides, which are then converted to glycerol through a series of procedures such as hydrolysis, saponification, and transesterification.
- VGs can also be produced synthetically, but it is not a cost-effective method.
- VG has an intrinsic sweet taste and smell. Therefore, they make a very good base for dessert flavors such as ice cream e-liquid flavoring and gourmet dessert vape flavors.
- VG is also thicker as compared to PG, giving a unique texture to your vape juice.
- Because of its sweet taste, thickness, and production of thick vapor when heated, VGs produce a stronger mouth and throat retention as compared to PGs.
- How??? The logic of this is straightforward. Thicker vapor produced remains in the mouth or throat for a longer duration of time, giving a better sensation than thinner vapor produced by PGs.
Applications of Vegetable Glycerin (VG)
- Apart from its use in E-liquids, VGs have a wide application in several other industries such as food, pharmaceutical, cosmetic, and chemical industries.
- You will be surprised to hear that VGs are also used in the film industry in filming scenes involving water! VG works and delays drying of the water. Amazing, isn’t it?
VGs in Vaping
- As far as vaping is concerned, using a VG dominated vape juice can have its own advantages, but also remember there is a big role that PGs also play in the vape juice.
- VGs are responsible for thicker vape and E-liquid, but the thickness can be harmful to your E Cig mod. How is that possible???
- Vape juices containing high VG proportion clog up heating E-cig coils rapidly. Such E-liquids may not even work in certain E Cig mods.
- If you are using an older E Cig mod, there are higher chances that high VG liquid will not work in it.
- For high VG liquid to work, we at Vaping Zone- Vapes For Sale recommend E cig brands like SmokTech, KangerTech, and Innokin.
Effects of high VG E-juice on your health
- Apart from high VG E-liquid not working in some of the atomizers, there are some health hazards of the high VG E-liquid.
- High VG E-liquid can really affect the throat. Continuous usage of high VG E-liquid may lead to symptoms like dry mouth and throat, sore throat, and throat pain.
- With high usage of high VG E-liquid, you may feel thirsty time to time. An option to avoid this is to drink plenty of water and take breaks while vaping.
The US food and drug administration (FDA) categorizes VGs as generally recognized as safe food contents.
A scientific study appeared in the journal of Inhalation Toxicology suggest that inhaling VGs may not have serious health issues in study mice. Extending the results of the study to humans, it can be speculated that VGs in E-liquid may not have serious impacts on vapers.
Some still suggest using high VG E-liquids. After all, everyone has got an opinion!
Propylene Glycol (PG)
- Propylene Glycol, chemically speaking propane-1,2-diol, is an odorless, slightly sweetish organic compound.
- PG is a synthetic compound, a petroleum by-product. It is generally made from propylene oxide.
- PG is miscible with several solvents including water. It is hygroscopic in nature, meaning it attracts and holds water molecules.
- Because of such properties, PG can provide a better ‘throat hit’. Many vapers relate this ‘throat hit’ to the one you experience when ‘smoking’ tobacco.
- Another advantage of PG is that its miscible nature. PG can carry certain vaping flavors much better than VGs. This releases the flavors effectively so that the vaper can enjoy.
Applications of Propylene Glycol
- Just like VGs, PG is used in several industries such as chemical and medical industries.
- It can be even found in some of your household items such as Asthma inhalers, pet food, several orally or topically administered medicines, and cosmetics such as shampoo and soaps.
PG in Vaping
- While the VG vs PG debate can go on, let us see what PG can offer in vaping.
- The most important qualities of PG in E-liquid are ‘throat hit’ and ‘flavor release’.
Effects of high PG E-juice on your health
- Just like VGs, PG also has some disadvantages if used in a higher quantity. The most common symptom is throat irritation.
- Some vapers may also experience high PG E-liquid related allergies, but the incidents are rare.
- Interestingly, the other common effects of PG on human health are similar to that of VG – a sore throat, mouth and throat dryness, and increased thirst.
Just like VGs, the US food and drug administration (FDA) categorizes PG as generally recognized as safe food contents.
A rather old study appeared in The Journal of Pharmacology & Experimental Therapeutics indicated that PG in E-liquid can be harmless to human health.
What’s with VG vs PG ratio in E-liquid
I hope it is crystal clear to you now that either high VG or PG E-liquid can be disadvantageous, but if you maintain a ‘good’ proportion of VG vs PG in E-liquid can make the best vape juice you ever wanted.
What is VG PG ratio proportion best for vape flavor?
There is definitely not a unique magic number for this VG vs PG proportion. You will realize your VG and PG number only after gathering some experience with DIY vape juice.
To ease your work, here are some pointers for achieving that ‘good’ VG vs PG proportion.
VG vs PG Pointer #01 Throat hit – Strong, Mild or No?
- High PG E-liquid will give you a strong throat hit.
- You can adjust the throat hit by changing the PG content, reducing it from higher to lower step by step.
- High PG E-liquid will also have somewhat better flavor release, but remember, only marginally!
- If you want milder to almost no throat hit, high VG E-liquid is what you should go for. If you are a beginner vaper maybe you will choose to go from high VG to high PG.
VG vs PG Pointer #02 How smooth the vape can go?
- High VG E-liquid is the key to smoothest vape juice.
- If you do not like strong throat hit but rather want to enjoy vape in mouth then high VG E-liquid is what you should go for.
- With high VG E-liquid, the problem could be ‘flavor locking’. However, there is a smart way of dealing with this – compensate the quality with the quantity. If you use a high power atomizer to produce more vapors, you compensate for ‘flavor locking’.
- While using high power, remember to keep it in standard limits, just to be on a safer side!
VG vs PG Pointer #03 What VG PG ratio is best for clouds?
- If you enjoy cloud-chasing, the art of making dense clouds of vapor, high VG E-liquid is the only option you have.
- Cloud-chasing can be a fun activity and it can really be sporty. For all sorts of dense vape, always consider having a high VG E-liquid.
- If you are cloud-chasing in a competition, do not forget this high VG pointer. This will make sure you do not lose just because you did not get your VG vs PG proportion right!
VG vs PG Pointer #04 Vaping under the hood
- Many of you like to vape while in public. This may be a trend or just a unique behavior. Vaping in public could be fun but if you are stealth vaping then you have to revise your VG vs PG proportion.
- High PG E-liquid produces only low-density vape but in a lower quantity.
- For stealth vaping, high PG E-liquid is your only savior. Stealth vaping can be bad for health but can also have some serious social complications.
- My recommendation is to avoid stealth vaping.
Summarizing VG vs PG
- Vegetable Glycerin (VG) and Propylene Glycol (PG) are two important components of any vape juice.
- VG and PG have unique properties, although most of their chemical properties are similar.
- Understanding, the VG and PG proportion in your DIY vape juice, is essential if you want to achieve some great vaping experience.
- High VG content produces thicker E-liquid, denser vapes and more vape retention in the mouth. At the same time, it may lead to ‘flavor locking’.
- High PG content produces thinner E-liquid, lighter vapes and less vape retention in the mouth. At the same time, it enhances ‘flavor release’ but strong ‘throat hit’.
- Both VG and PG in high proportions can have several symptoms such as mouth and throat dryness, sore throat and increased thrust.
- In certain cases, allergies due to PG have been reported. However, scientific studies show that VG and PG are harmless to human health.
- VG and PG proportion can severely affect throat hit, vape density, and flavor release.
- There is no magic number for VG and PG proportion. Only after several attempts to DIY vape juice, you will get an idea of what fits your requirements better.
I hope this article adequately summarizes information on VG vs PG. You should definitely try changing VG vs PG proportions in your DIY vape juice to see what is best for you. Good luck out there!