Why are there so may different PG and VG e-liquid options?

When vaping newbies makes their very first visits to an e-commerce store for the purchase of new flavors of e-liquid, they are often stopped in their tracks.  Ordering vape juice is not as easy as simply clicking a button.  In many cases, they must also choose among multiple variations of PG/VG percentages.   

After clicking on perhaps the safest option – the 50/50 selection - they anxiously wait for the arrival of their package.  Unfortunately, in many circumstances, the particular brand of e-juice often fails to live up to their high expectations.  So, the selection and ordering process begins all over again.

If only they had known that their decision related to the propylene glycol (PG) and vegetable glycerin (VG) content may have been to blame, perhaps they could have saved enormous amounts of frustration, money, and even temptations to relapse back into smoking.

Propylene glycol and vegetable glycerin’s effects on e-liquid satisfaction

E-liquids manufactured and sold in the USA are made with only four primary ingredients: Propylene glycol, vegetable glycerin, flavorings, and possibly liquid nicotine extract. PG is an odorless, tasteless substance that helps maintain an even mixture of the flavoring profiles through the entire bottle of e-liquid.  It’s also a key ingredient of many toothpastes, ice creams, and cake mixes for the same reason.

Related Article:  4 easy tips to avoid (or fix) a leaky vape

Vegetable glycerin or VG is a thicker, more gooey substance that acts as an artificial sweetener.  In fact, VG is an ingredient commonly found in vinegars, ciders, mustards, margarines, and lots of over-the-counter baked goods.  Meanwhile, both substances are FDA-approved, and vegetable glycerin does not even promote tooth decay.   With their very different consistencies and textures, blending the PG and VG ingredients at varying ratios will usually produce differing vaping experiences.

  • High VG for bigger clouds: The dramatically thicker texture of vegetable glycerin promotes the production of larger, more robust, more voluminous vapor clouds.  This can be a good thing or a bad thing.  High VG vape juices tend to require the vaper to draw deeper inhales, which also might mean that the bottle of e-liquid lasts for a shorter period of time before a repurchase is necessary.  Big clouds are fun, but if’ you’re a stealth or secret vaper who enjoys an occasional vape in the office bathroom, massive plumes of e-cig vapor may not be ideal.
  • High PG for a stronger throat hit. E-liquids that contain higher proportions of PG will automatically be more watery, which means that the intermixed nicotine solution packs a more powerful punch. Veteran vapers call this sensation the throat hit, and for newbies, High PG vape juices most closely mimic the throat hit of a conventional tobacco cigarette.  For newbies who want to avoid a relapse back into smoking at any cost, High PG e-juices are the preferred choice.
  • High VG for a smoother vape. If higher PG vape juices cause harsher vaping experiences, it only stands to reason that a High VG vape juice produces a smoother vaping experience. 
  • High PG for more flavor.  If that brand-new bottle of strawberry-watermelon vape juice tastes rather bland or otherwise unimpressive, consider purchasing a higher PG percentage on the next order.  While VG is the e-liquid’s artificial sweetener, it’s the PG that keeps everything – including the flavorings – mixed together consistently.  Who knows?  Maybe in the original bottle you sucked in all the strawberry-watermelon tastiness within the first few vapes which caused the e-liquid to become increasingly duller over time.

Related Article:  4 Little-known tips for vaping less e-liquid and saving loads of cash

(Image courtesy of Shutterstock)

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