When you're just starting out with vaping, you'll probably be enamoured with all the available flavours at your disposal. However, there's more to these e-liquids than just the flavouring. You should also be looking at their PG and VG content. If all that sentence brings are questions, don't worry. This article aims to teach you about what exactly propylene glycol (PG) and vegetable glycerin (VG) are and what they're for.
Propylene glycol is one of the most prevalent ingredients in e-liquids in the market due to its low toxicity and ability to carry flavourings. PG is a clear, odourless liquid made by chemically treating propylene – a hydrocarbon found in petroleum. It's often used in the pharmaceutical industry to create inhalers. It's generally safe to ingest and is commonly used in food products, medications and even cosmetics.
PG's Role in Your E-Liquid
Being the base of most e-liquids, PG is usually responsible for the throat hit and "feel" of your vape. Huge vape clouds can be created due to PG's ability to create massive plumes of vapour when heated. It also serves as a suitable carrier for other flavours and ingredients, allowing your e-liquid to have a good taste and be free from any "off-tastes."
PG is generally considered to be a safe substance. The contention is whether or not it's safe to breathe in. Although PG is a safe ingredient to ingest and comes naturally in many foods, it's still debated whether or not inhaling it is a good idea. Because of this, it's highly recommended that you don't vape while pregnant or breastfeeding and that you don't use it where the vapour can spread to those around you.
Vegetable Glycerin is a clear, odourless liquid derived from plants such as palm, coconut, soybean and canola oils. It's widely used in the commercial food and cosmetics industries and is a common ingredient in e-liquids. It is considered safe for consumption, and it's been approved by the FDA as a food additive.
VG's Role in Your E-Liquid
Unlike PG, VG has a much thicker consistency and is naturally sweeter, so it's often used in fruit-flavoured e-liquids. It makes for a smoother vaping experience, as it has a higher viscosity than PG.
In terms of throat hit, it produces a softer hit than E-liquids that contain mainly PG. VG produces ten times more vapour than PG due to its higher viscosity, and it also leaves less aftertaste.
Being a safe, non-toxic substance, VG is safe to inhale in e-cigarettes. However, there are a few things to keep in mind. When used in larger amounts, VG is more susceptible to bacterial growth and will cause more gunking up in your coils.
It might also mess with your e-liquid's taste, as it has an uncanny ability to draw unusual flavours out of certain ingredients. Nevertheless, it does not have any other known adverse health effects.
PG and VG Ratios
As a general rule, e-liquids with a 70-30 (PG to VG) ratio are usually the driest to inhale, while those with a 50-50 or 30-70 are the smoothest. In terms of flavours, juices with high levels of VG tend to taste better with dessert-flavoured juices, while tobacco e-liquids contain high levels of PG.
You now have a better understanding of the ingredients in your e-liquid. Most beginners go for high-VG liquids, while those who prefer the "cigarette feel" go for high-PG liquids. Overall, your choice will depend on your personal preference.
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