The two most common ingredients in vape juice are vegetable glycerine (VG) and propylene glycol (PG). These are the base of e-liquids and to which the nicotine and flavourings are added.
Most vape juices are made up of a combination of VG and PG, with the ratio stated on the juice bottle. But what exactly are VG and PG?
Read on to learn everything you need to know about VG and PG, as well as which ratio works best for your vaping device.
What Ingredients Are in E-Liquid?
Vape juice consists of four basic components:
- Propylene glycol (PG): This clear, odourless liquid has a slightly sweet taste. It is made from organic compounds.
- Vegetable glycerine (VG): A thicker liquid made from vegetable oils. It is clear and odourless.
- Nicotine (optional – up to 20mg per ml): This tobacco extract is distilled into a clear liquid and added to the vape liquid. Two different types are used, nic salts and freebase nicotine.
- Flavourings: Artificial flavourings made from synthetic chemicals (known as esters) are used to mimic natural flavours.
VG and PG – What Are They?
Both PG and VG are odourless, clear liquids that are combined with artificial flavours and often nicotine to create the base of e-liquid.
VG and PG are both sugar alcohols and are included in many processed foods and medicinal products.
Once PG and VG are heated in a vape, they produce vapour which can then be inhaled. Despite VG being derived from vegetable fats, neither PG or VG are oils and cannot cause medical issues commonly associated with inhaling oils.
VG and PG have different consistencies, with VG being slightly thicker and varying slightly in taste. Each contributes to a unique mouth and throat feel when vaped.
Most vape juices combine VG and PG in a specific ratio which is indicated on the juice bottle.
VG stands for vegetable glycerine. This component is milder on the throat and results in large vapour clouds.
VG is the thicker of the two components and requires a higher power setting to vaporise the liquid.
A high VG e-liquid is typically a liquid with 70% or more VG in the ratio. Although some juices have more than 90% of VG, these juices will typically be less flavourful.
A ratio of 70% VG to 30% PG is usually perfect for vapers seeking a mild throat hit while still enjoying a strong flavour.
PG stands for propylene glycol. It is the main component which delivers the flavour intensity to the vape juice.
PG is a thinner liquid than VG, meaning the flavouring can easily blend with it.
PG is also responsible for the “throat hit” – that often sought-after feeling that is commonly associated with smoking tobacco.
Liquids with a high PG ratio typically have a rich flavour but do not deliver a big vapour cloud. Higher PG e-liquids also require less heat to vaporise the liquid.
Typically, a 50% PG ratio is perfect for vapers who want a decent throat hit and rich flavour.
What VG/PG Ratio is Right for my Vape Kit?
The right ratio will come down to your vape device and personal preference.
A different VG/PG ratio will result in a different vaping experience:
- Sharp throat feel: If you enjoy that sharp sensation in your throat, then you should opt for a high PG e-liquid that also contains nicotine.
- Smooth sensation: Looking for something smoother? Then high VG liquids are the way to go. They result in a “thicker” feeling in your mouth; however, the flavour in high VG vape juices is milder.
- Sneaky vaping: If you don’t want to be seen in public exhaling cumulonimbus clouds, then high PG e-liquids are the better option as it results in less vapour being exhaled.
- Puffy clouds: If you are into cloud-chasing and enjoy exhaling large, beautiful clouds of vapour, then a higher VG ratio is the way to go.
Let’s take a look at the requirements for the different types of vape pen kits.
MTL vape kits
Mouth-to-lung (MTL) vape kits work well with a 50:50 e-liquid and are best suited for a juice with 60% or less VG. Anything more than that, and the vape will become clogged.
These kinds of vapes typically have less power, meaning they work better with juices with a higher PG component (thinner viscosity) as well as a high nicotine level to deliver that throat feel you are looking for.
Sub-Ohm vape kits
Sub-ohm devices work best with high VG e-liquids. This is because these vapes have more power and can vaporise the thicker liquid.
Sub-ohm pens work best for liquids containing 70% or more VG.
When you couple the powerful, low-resistance coils with the higher VG content, you’ll enjoy a smooth feel and large vapour clouds.
Which ratio of PG/VG is the best?
The vape juice you choose comes down to personal preference. If you are new to vaping, then a 50:50 ratio is your best bet, as it balances flavour intensity, cloud production, and throat hit.
Is more PG or more VG better?
It really depends on what you prefer. More PG means more flavour, a sharp throat hit, and less dense clouds. PG works best for MTL kits.
Higher VG e-liquid results in a smoother throat hit and produces thicker clouds but are better suited for stronger devices.
Do the PG/VG ratios affect the nicotine strength?
Generally, an e-liquid with a higher PG component has higher nicotine strengths. This is because when you smoke high VG e-liquids, you inhale more vapour (and more nicotine) than you would when you smoke higher PG liquids.
Once you understand the basics of PG and VG, you can enhance your vaping experience.
We recommend that you start off with a 50:50 PG/VG ratio when you are new to vaping until you can determine if you prefer a stronger throat hit, a rounder mouth feel, more intense flavour, or larger vapour clouds.
Feel free to experiment with the ratios until you find one that works for you, but keep the capabilities of your vape kit in mind! And if you are not sure where to begin, contact us to have all your vape questions answered.