In this guide, we're looking at what is in e-liquid and specifically PG and VG as this is what makes up most of what's in our e-liquid, their characteristics, differences and most importantly the role they play in the world of vaping. A lot of new vapers may get a little confused about what exactly PG and VG are, so I thought it would be good to look into both of these in as much depth as possible to clear up any questions you may have.
Propylene Glycol (PG)
Firstly, PG stands for Propylene Glycol and VG stands for Vegetable Glycerin.
Propylene Glycol is an artificial mixing agent which is used in a lot of food and medicinal products such as cut ointments, body creams, makeup and even your favourite red condiment which makes chips taste so much better!
It is non-toxic and safe for human consumption which made it the perfect liquid to be used in e-liquids. PG is odourless when heated and when mixed with nicotine, it gives a simulated throat hit as well as being the flavour carrier. If you are looking for a stronger flavour and a more harsh throat hit from the nicotine then a higher PG based e-liquid would be my recommendation for you.
I have made a short list of products containing Propylene Glycol for your consideration, which can be found below.
- Asthma Inhalers
- Beauty Products (Shampoo and Baby Wipes)
- Fizzy Drinks and Coffee Based Drinks
- Ice Cream
Vegetable Glycerin (VG)
Vegetable Glycerin is a natural mixing agent which will control the amount of vapour production within an e-liquid. It has its roots embedded in vaping, long before vaping was actually a thing, as the liquid used in smoke machines, movies, stage sets and others.
VG’s vaporisation properties make it a perfect ingredient for use inside e-liquids as it is non-toxic. The higher the ratio of VG, the denser the vapour production will be. In addition to this, e-liquids which have a higher VG content will mix less with the nicotine giving a smoother throat hit which makes them the perfect choice for use with sub ohm vape kits.
I have made a short list of products containing Vegetable Glycerin for your consideration also, which can be found below. You may find VG is in more products than you might expect:
- Dairy and Protein Foods such as cheese, yoghurt and powdered milk or cream.
- Processed Vegetables and Fruits. Vegetables and fruits generally don't contain glycerin unless they're processed. ...
- Grains and Baked Goods.
Now we know what the basis of each e-liquid is, what ratios can I get e-liquids in and how will they affect my vaping experience?
This will all depend on the manufacturer as they will create e-liquids with the best ratio of PG/VG for their flavours. You can get a variety of e-liquids with ratios of 80% PG/20% VG all the way up to 0% PG/100% VG.
As mentioned above, various mixing ratios of PG and VG will give different results such as a harsher throat hit, denser vapour and even stronger flavour. We recommend visiting one of our stores in Wembley, Camden and Fleet Street as our juice bars are fully stocked with juices and are available for you to try.
How safe is PG / VG?
Both Propylene Glycol and Vegetable Glycerin are non-toxic mixing agents which as mentioned before are fit for human consumption. If you use an e-liquid which contains a high ratio of PG, then you may find some mild side effects which can include a sore throat, dry mouth or increased thirst. These symptoms will only last for a short while as your body is adjusting to vaping but it is always a good idea to stay hydrated.
What is PG intolerance and how might it affect me?
PG intolerance is something natural, as it is simply an allergic reaction to PG. If you suffer from a Propylene Glycol intolerance then it is advised to use an e-liquid with a ratio of as much VG as possible. I personally suffer from a mild PG intolerance which means I cannot have any e-liquid with lower than a 70% VG content.
Some of the most common issues people with a PG intolerance can have is a very dry throat or mouth ulcers. PG intolerance can be mild or severe depending on the person but if you are ever in doubt, stop using the e-liquid immediately and see your local GP. We advise taking the bottle of e-liquid with you to show the doctor.