One of the first things beginners notice about vaping is the number of different e-juice options there are. Besides all of the various flavour combinations and nicotine levels, there’s also the ratio of PG to VG a vaper must decide upon. How can you know what ratio is right for you and your device? Let’s explore what each of these liquids are and the benefits/drawbacks of each.
What are PG and VG?
PG is short for propylene glycol and VG is short for vegetable glycerin. Both are used as ingredients in a variety of products, not just vaping related. PG can be found in toothpaste, medication, pet food, and beauty products. VG is commonly used as a sweetener in different candies, in baked goods to retain moisture, and even in soaps and lotions. VG is a bit thicker than PG, but both are used in vaping as solutions to carry flavouring and nicotine. Although some users refer to these liquids as “oil”, they are really an alcohol. Don’t worry, they aren’t the intoxicating or dangerous-if-ingested kinds of alcohol!
Safety of PG and VG
The FDA has recognized both of these liquids as “generally safe” for consumption, and numerous research studies have also proven this fact, both with ingesting and inhaling these liquids. Some people can be allergic to VG if they are allergic to palm oil or coconut oil, but this type of allergy is very rare. Allergies to PG are even more rare, but users can use pure forms of VG if they experience rashes or other abnormal reactions to PG. Keep in mind, some reactions may be due to cigarette withdrawals, so it’s best to consult with a doctor before determining the presence of an allergy.
PG can be toxic for pets in vapor form, especially for cats, so take care and don’t vape around your pets. It is a safe ingredient for dog food, however. Non-toxic antifreeze is made with PG rather than the toxic form of ethylene glycol. For this reason, some people have the idea that PG is dangerous to use in a vaporizer since it is used in antifreeze. However, it is used as a non-toxic ingredient to make antifreeze safer for kids and pets.
Choosing the Right E-Liquid for You
Vaping takes some experimentation to find the right VG/PG combination and nicotine level that’s right for each unique user. Vapers may find that higher PG levels give them a throat hit similar to smoking cigarettes, which can feel more familiar and make the transition easier for some. On the flip-side, VG offers a smoother hit and can bring out the flavour of cream or custard flavours. Many devices pair well with a 50/50 PG to VG blend of e-juice.
If you have an older device, high VG juice may slow down your session or get gummed up in the wick. Sub-ohm vaporizers require higher VG juices in order to work with the intense battery levels. Sometimes the juice is used up faster with sub-ohm vaporizers, but the clouds are much larger. If you have a regular vaporizer, we suggest starting with a 50/50 blend and changing the ratio based on the effects you’re trying to achieve.