E-juice is made with two liquid ingredients, Propylene Glycol (PG) and Vegetable Glycerin (VG) used together with flavors and nicotine (optional). Though they belong to a chemical class of alcohol, they are not toxic. The solvents differ in taste and consistency. A clear understanding of these ingredients will help enhance the vaping experience, especially for beginners. They are heated to produce a vapor that once inhaled, gives a specific sensation to the mouth and throat. It is advisable for any user to know the vaping set-up ratio suitable for them.
Propylene Glycol is a colorless and odorless petroleum by-product. It’s a solvent used in vaping, for a throat sensation that resembles tobacco smoking. It absorbs flavors and nicotine better than VG. Studies show that it is safe to be used orally by humans but dangerous to pets. Some people, though seldom, have allergies to it while others get irritations when using it in high proportions. PG has side effects that include dry mouth, sore throat, and increased thirst. The symptoms disappear once the body familiarizes with it.
Vegetable Glycerin is a chemical derived from natural vegetable oils making it safe for vegetarians. It is useful in making e-liquid to create a vapor with a thick feel. It is thicker and smoother than PG with a mild sweet taste. Apart from vaping, it is used as a sweetener that replaces sugar, to increase moisture in baked foods, in pet foods and personal care products like toothpaste, deodorants, soap, aftershave and much more. VG is not toxic, rarely causes irritation and therefore safe for consumption. There is the only little possibility for VG allergies unless for those allergic to coconut or palm oil. Individuals allergic to PG vaping can consider VG as an alternative. Vaping e-liquids with high VG levels can cause a sore throat, dry mouth, and increased thirst. Drinking plenty of water is necessary as well as breaking occasionally.
The ratio to be used for PG/VG levels varies depending on individuals' purpose and vaping experience desired. There are several effects that vaping give which as explained further.
- First is a throat-hit, High PG is used since it gives a throat sensation better than VG. The flavor will also be felt with PG where they dissolve effectively.
- Second is smoothness. A high VG vape provides the user with a smooth and thicker feel on the throat. VG fluids have less pronounced flavors but can be increased by using more power on the atomizer.
- The third effect is stealth vaping and is obtained by using a high PG level. It is convenient to use in public as it makes the user exhale minimal vapor. As much as vaping has fans, they should be careful to do it responsibly only in allowed areas. Its use is illegal in specific places like in waiting areas.
- Lastly, it has a cloud chasing effect that attained by exhaling a thick vapor that resembles dense clouds. Some vapers compete to see who creates the thickest clouds. The thicker the VG in the juice, the denser the vapor.
The PG/VG ratio is critical, but the MOD and atomizer plays a significant role in producing the desired effects. Suitable equipment prevents irritation in the throat. For a 50/50 or high PG, a clearomizer is the best equipment with the best tank. When the liquid requires more power, use sub-ohm MODs and tanks that work well with high VG juice, although the high power uses up the juice faster. For a more flexible ratio, RDAs are drippers that boil the liquid to personal preference which is usually 30/70 PG/VG ratio or higher.
Once a vaper is aware of how PG and VG work, it is advisable to start with a 50/50 mixture. Use the best device for the PG/VG ratio that you desire. Then adjust according to effects realized and personal preferences.