PG and VG are the two main ingredients of any e-liquid. Regardless of the flavor or nicotine content, these two ingredients determine the true nature of the e-liquid. Important e-juice characteristics like throat hit, taste, flavor concentration, and shelf life depend on the PG/VG ratio.
This is why, as a vaper, you need to know just how these two ingredients affect your vape juice, and what concentrations will be perfect for you.
What Are The E-liquid Ingredients?
- PG (Propylene Glycol): This is one of the base ingredients of any e-liquid. It is the main carrier of the e-juice flavor/nicotine. It is also responsible for the harsh throat sensation or throat hit experienced in some e-liquids.
- VG (Vegetable Glycerin): Vegetable Glycerin is the next base ingredient after Propylene Glycol. It also acts as a carrier for vape flavors, but it’s majorly responsible for creating vapor.
- Nicotine: Nicotine is an addictive chemical substance gotten from the tobacco plant. It is responsible for the intoxication or “high” you get from a vape. The higher the nicotine concentration in an e-liquid, the quicker you’ll get intoxicated.
- Flavors/Flavorings: These are the different substances or chemicals added to vape liquids to give them a unique taste, color, or aroma. Popular vape flavors include tobacco, menthol, vanilla, banana, and strawberry.
- Water: E-liquids may also contain water. However, it’s not a necessary ingredient, so it’s rarely used in manufacturing unless there is a need to dilute the e-juice.
PG Vs. VG – What’s The Difference?
PG and VG are the two base ingredients for any e-liquid, and they both play a critical role in carrying e-juice flavors. It’s important to know what these two chemicals are, how they differ from each other, and their unique uses.
VG/PG Meaning: This simply refers to the combination ratio of vg and of in any e-liquid. A 50VG/50PG means 50℅ vg and 50% pg.
What Is PG (Propylene Glycol)?
Propylene Glycol is a petroleum byproduct that is odorless, colorless, and less viscous than VG. It is a very common additive in cosmetics and skincare products, as well as foods and beverages. PG is mostly produced synthetically in the laboratory, although it can also be derived from propylene oxide or extracted as a byproduct of biodiesel. PG that is gotten from biodiesel isn’t considered edible, so only synthetic PGs are used for e-liquids, foods, and beverages.
What Is PG used for?
- Emulsification: PG can act as an emulsifier, which is one of its main roles in e-liquids. Ingredients mixed with Propylene Glycol will not separate, even if they sit for a long time. This emulsification ability of PG makes it very useful for bottled beverages.
- It attracts and retains moisture: PG prevents substances to which it is added from drying out. This is why it’s a necessary ingredient for lotions, moisturizers, and some wet consumables like vape liquids.
- It is a powerful solvent: The solving ability of PG is what makes it such a good flavor carrier. Most powders and compounds will easily dissolve Propylene Glycol.
- It prevents microbial growth: Vape liquids can stay for long without getting spoilt, thanks to Propylene Glycol. PG prevents the growth of bacteria and is also used in products that kill bacteria.
Is Propylene Glycol Safe For Human Consumption?
Yes, Propylene Glycol is safe for human consumption, whether through inhalation or as a food additive. It has the FDA’s (Food and Drug Administration) approval for use as a food additive.
What Is VG (Vegetable Glycerin)?
Vegetable Glycerin is a natural chemical derived from vegetable oils. It is a very viscous liquid, thicker than PG. VG is generally odorless and slightly sweet. Ordinary Glycerin can be extracted from any fat (both plant and animal fat). However, in the vaping industry, only Glycerin gotten from plants is used. That’s why it’s called “vegetable fat.”
What Is VG Used For?
VG plays the same role as PG in any substance or product to which it is added. In other words, it can be used as:
- An emulsifier
- A humectant (to trap and preserve moisture)
- A solvent
- An antimicrobial agent
In addition, Vegetable Glycerin can be used as a sweetener due to its unique sweet flavor.
Is Vegetable Glycerin Safe For Human Consumption?
Yes, Vegetable Glycerin is totally safe for human consumption, and FDA approved as well. It is one of the most harmless substances known to man, so it’s safe, whether inhaled or ingested orally.
VG/PG Ratio – How To Choose The Best One
Although Vegetable Glycerin and Propylene Glycol play the same roles, they perform a little differently in e-liquids. This is why different VG and PG combination ratios produce different effects in vape liquids. These effects can be noticed in the taste, flavor, or harshness of the e-juice.
Different VG/PG Ratio For Different Purposes
- Max PG or 10VG/90PG: These ratios provide the strongest flavors and throat hits, but come at the expense of cloud production. It is recommended for people seeking to quit tobacco smoking.
- 20VG/80PG: These types of e-liquids produce minimal vapor but powerful flavors and throat hits.
- 30VG/70PG: Although it isn’t too popular, this ratio is good for flavor chasers. It produces good vape clouds, yet gives a phenomenal throat hit and flavors.
- 40VG/60PG: Perhaps the perfect blend of vape cloud production and flavor intensity, this ratio works just fine for both MTL and DTL vapers and vaping devices. It is also very common.
- 50VG/50PG: This is the normal ratio. It has a fair vapor production and a good throat hit, suitable for MTL and sub-ohm Vaping.
- 60VG/40PG: This mixing ratio results in vape liquids with strong cloud creation, good flavor, and a slight throat hit. It also works well for MTL and DTL Vaping devices.
- 70VG/30PG: This ratio is one of the most popular. It’s a perfect combination of dense vape clouds and good flavors. This VG/PG blend is ideal for cloud chasers or sub-ohm vapers.
- 80VG/20PG: A likable ratio for many sub-ohm vapers, e-juices with this ratio produce immense vapors, but still have noticeable flavors and a very subtle throat hit. This ratio doesn’t work for MTL vaping devices.
- 90VG/10PG or 100% VG: PG/VG ratios of 90% and above are for vapers who could care less about the flavor and solely seek vape clouds. These types of juices give a smooth vaping experience with little or no throat hit. It is only ideal for high-wattage devices.
What Are The Most Popular VG/PG Ratios Of An E-liquid?
- 50VG/50PG: The 50% VG and 50% PG are very common among vapers, owing to their good balance between flavor, cloud production, and throat hit. This ratio also works very well with most of the standard vaping devices in the market today. It’s a good starting ground for vapers who are new to combination ratios and their effects.
- 70VG/30PG: This combo is very popular among cloud-chasing vapers. It gives thick clouds but still has enough flavor and nicotine rush for vapers to enjoy.
- Max VG: Max VG is a trend in the vaping world because of the huge, lingering vape clouds it produces. When used with sub-ohm devices, these fluids give cloud chasers a joyride.
- Max PG: Having the highest possible amounts of Propylene Glycol, these e-liquids have very intense flavors and throat hits but negligible clouds. They’re loved by flavor chasers and those who are quitting smoking but still love to have a throat hit experience.
High VG/PG Ratio – When Will It Work Best?
High VG/PG ratios work best for:
- DTL vaping: The nature of high VG fluids make them suitable for DTL vaping. It’s easy on the throat and lungs, unlike high PG juices.
- Cloud chasing: High VG/PG fluids are the recommended kind of vape liquids for cloud chasers as they always produce big and lingering vapor clouds. The higher the VG concentration, the thicker the cloud.
- Smoothness and sweetness: The sweetness of VG enhances vape fluids with very sweet flavor profiles, even when little or no sweeteners are added. A high VG blend also masks the throat hit sensation, resulting in a smooth e-liquid.
- High powered devices: The extremely thick nature of high VG fluids makes them best for sub-ohm and high wattage devices with complex coils. Regular vape devices may burn out if high VG fluids are used in them.
Low VG/PG Ratio – When Will It Work Best?
Low VG/PG ratios work best for:
- MTL or regular vaping: High PG fluids are the best for mouth to lung vaping. This is why they’re the recommended type of vape liquids for people trying to quit tobacco and cigarettes. They provide quick satisfaction and intoxication.
- Flavor chasing and throat hit: PG fluids bring out the flavor of vape fluids to the fullest and also give that harsh throat burn that so many vapers love. The sweetness of VG masks the real flavor of vape liquids. The higher the PG concentration, the stronger the flavor and throat hit.
- Small or regular vaping devices: High PG fluids are ideal for vape pens, vape pods, and other simple vape devices. High VG juices will damage the atomizer coil of vape pens.
Useful Tips For Finding The Perfect VG/PG Ratio
Finding the perfect ratio you’ll love anytime, any day can be very difficult: There is no one-cap-fits-all. However, here are some tips to guide you in choosing the perfect ratio.
- Your vaping style: Are you an MTL vaper or a DTL vaper? A cloud chaser or a flavor chaser? This is the first question you should answer before picking a suitable blend. If you love chasing clouds, you have no business with e-liquids below 60% VG.
- Subtle vaping: If for some reason, you need to keep your vaping as discrete as possible, then high VG juices are a big no.
- Health considerations: Some folks are allergic to the harsh throat burn that high PG fluids cause. If you fall in this category, then high VG ratios are best for you.
- Device: Whatever e-juice you opt for must be compatible with your devices.
Which Devices Work For Which VG/PG Ratio?
High Powered Devices
High-powered devices with low resistance coils are ideal for high VG fluids. For instance, an 80VG/20PG e-liquid will work superbly with a device that has an atomizer of 0.5 ohms or less. Also, a 70% VG e-liquid will only work with sub-ohm devices, while a 60% concentration will work with some MTL tanks. Max VG fluids are only recommended for vape devices with massive coils that can wick thick juices.
Simple Vape Devices
Devices with low wattage and high coil resistance work best for high PG fluids. For instance, vape devices with coils of 1-2 ohms are perfect for 50-70% PG juices, while those with 2.5 ohms and above will serve for Max PG vape juices. A device that uses a clearomizer is only good for PG juices (50% PG and above)
Vaping an e-liquid with the perfect ratio can bring a whole new joy to your vaping experience. It’s best to take your time and experiment with different combinations until you find what you love. If you have a favorite ratio but it’s becoming old, you can change your vaping device or steep the juice to improve your vape sessions.