Cats or dogs. Baked or mashed potatoes. 2 door or 4 door. Blonde, brunette or redhead. These are some of the burning questions that have been debated for over a millennium but the biggest question still hasn’t been asked — PG or VG?
When it comes to e-cigarettes, what you vape is what goes inside your body and some people have differing opinions on what’s best. PG or VG — let’s find out more on the 2 competitors.
Propylene glycol, or PG, is one type of carrier liquid used in e-juice. It’s a colourless and slightly viscous liquid, which has almost no taste and no odour. Technically it’s an alcohol and has been deemed safe for human consumption — it’s used in a huge range of consumer products thanks to its properties.
PG helps foods and medicines retain moisture, it’s a good solvent, it’s used to soften and smooth moisturizers and other creams, it’s used as a cheap source of carbohydrates in dog food, and it’s used for its moisture-retaining and softening qualities in cosmetics. Whether you vape or not, we all consume PG.
The main reason PG is used for e-liquid is that it can produce a vapour easily and it’s near odourless and tasteless nature means that it’s excellent at carrying flavourings, and when inhaled it produces a throat hit very much like smoking a cigarette. PG’s thin viscosity helps it soak into wicks very well.
Vegetable glycerin, or VG, is a colourless, viscous liquid with no odour but a fairly sweet taste. VG is another alcohol and technically, glycerin is a term for high-purity glycerol and it’s vegetable part tells you where it comes from. VG is generally recognized as safe for ingestion.
VG is used in pharmaceutical creams and cosmetics because it imparts the same soothing, softening skin-feel as PG does. It helps retain moisture, it’s used as a solvent, it helps to keep baked foods moist and it’s used in many applications for its sweetness. Just like PG, we all ingest VG whether you vape or not.
While VG produce great vapour which is thicker and more dense, it doesn’t produce a throat hit like PG. The sweetness of VG means that it’s not as good at carrying flavours but in many mixes this extra sweetness can improve the flavor. With VG being more viscous than PG, it doesn’t soak into wicks as effectively.
Sounds like there’s a benefit to uses both PG and VG but do you only have to choose just one? Mixing the two together can produce excellent results in regards to flavour so the ratio of PG and VG become important at this point. What IS the best PG/VG ratio? The best answer is honestly whatever you enjoy the most. Personal preference definitely plays a big role with the most important factors being flavour, the amount of vapour produced, throat hit or smoothness and wicking ability.
Flavour is easy — if you like the taste then you continue. Vapour production is mostly a situation of location because a lot of vapour out in public places may not go over too well. Smoothness can be attributed to your need for an actual cigarette — a harsher throat hit can ease you away from tobacco. Wicking ability is key because if your e-juice can’t soak into the wick, you may experience dry puffs or your liquid not working at all with your atomizer.
Usually, vapers start at a 50/50 ratio and go from there so it could any ratio that works for you — it’s up to you to find it.