If you’re new to vaping, vape juice might be a mystery to you. With different vape liquid concentrations, you might find yourself asking questions like what are PG and VG e-liquids? Are PG and VG safe? What are the differences between vape juices? And when should you use them? All of your questions about vape liquids are answered here in our Guide to PG/VG.
WHAT IS PG and VG?
E-Liquid consists of both PG and VG, which are abbreviations for propylene glycol and vegetable glycerin. So what are they? Propylene glycol and vegetable glycerin are colourless and odourless food-grade additives used in vape liquids. Propylene glycol has a thin consistency and is subtly sweet in taste. Vegetable glycerin has a thicker and denser consistency and is also significantly sweeter in taste. All in all, vape juice is made from PG and VG, food flavourings, water and sometimes nicotine (depending on the type of e-liquid).
ARE PG AND VG SAFE?
Both PG and VG e-liquids are considered to be safe according to ASH and the World Health Administration. PG and VG vape liquids can be found in products you already use on a daily basis. PG is found in a vast variety of medical products, pet foods, beauty products and oral hygiene products. VG is commonly used as sweeteners, in beauty products, creams and even dental products thanks to its hydrophobic properties and thick consistency.
PG AND VG WORKING TOGETHER
Both PG and VG play an important role when it comes to vape liquid. Since PG has a thinner consistency, it heats up at lower temperatures. This is what gives you a pronounced amount of vape flavour, warm throat hit (if you’re a smoker you will be familiar with the sensation experienced at the back of the throat when inhaling smoke into your lungs) and modest amounts of vapour.
VG on the other hand will provide you with a large amount of flavour since it’s naturally sweeter than PG e-liquids. VG is more tolerant of higher temperatures which means you can experiment with different temperatures and tailor the flavour you receive from your vaping experience. Since VG is thicker, it heats up at higher temperatures giving you less flavour compared to a high PG vape juice. High VG will offer a large amount of vapour on your exhale making it perfect for vapers who want to chase clouds. If you’ve ever seen vapers exhale vapour in different shapes like O’s, jellyfish or breathe out large amounts of vapour, those fearless and colossal vape clouds are produced when using a high VG ratio.
WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF VAPE JUICE CONCENTRATIONS?
Vape juice can come in a variety of PG and VG concentrations. There are high PG, high VG and nic salts e-liquids. The number of the ratio will give you insight as to which vape juice you’re dealing with. High PG vape juices are classified as 50/50, 60/40 and nicotine salts (also known as nic salts). High VG vape liquids are 70/30 and 80/20 VG/PG ratios. In simpler terms, a 60/40 PG/VG has a ratio of 60 PG and 40 VG, which means it is a high PG vape liquid. Vise versa, an 80/20 VG/PG ratio means there is 80 VG and 20 PG ratio with the concentration being higher in VG. And if you’re wondering if a PG or VG typically comes first in a vape liquid ratio, there is no right or wrong way — a 70/30 VG/PG can also be written as 30/70 PG/VG.
- High PG
High PG vape liquid concentrations consist of 50/50 and some variations of 60/40 PG/VG e-liquid concentrations. PG vape liquids give off a warm throat hit and a balanced amount of flavour. 50/50 PG/VG concentrations are thin in consistency and widely used by new vapers because of its similar inhale to smoking. On the contrary, a 60/40 PG/VG vape liquid concentration is slightly thicker than a 50/50 vape liquid thanks to its higher concentration of VG and will give you a more noticeable kick at the back of the throat upon firing up your vape. You’ll also notice a stronger throat hit with 60/40 PG/VG vape liquid due to its higher PG concentration. A general rule to remember about PG is the more PG in a vape liquid, the stronger the throat hit and the more flavour you’ll receive from your vape. All in all, the difference between a 50/50 and 60/40 vape liquid is the fluidity of your inhale after firing the kit as well as the intensity of vape juice flavour and throat hit experienced.
- High VG
High VG vape liquids consist of 70/30 and 80/20 VG/PG ratios. 70/30 VG/PG vape juice concentration will produce large clouds whilst also providing a balance of vape juice flavour. Because of the balance of vape flavour and vapour production, 70/30 vape liquids are popular in the vaping community because you can enjoy the best of both worlds. A 80/20 VG/PG ratio will give you slightly less flavour since it's lower in PG, but will provide you with a loose inhale accompanied by the largest amount of vapour production. If you want to produce monstrous vape clouds and perform vape tricks, this is the best vape liquid for you.
- Nicotine Salts
You might be thinking nic salts are salty in taste — this is not true. The base of nic salts are made from acid that creates a salt nicotine solution and differs from your household table salt. The word nic salt rather relates to the scientific name of the liquid and contains the same type of nicotine that is found in cigarettes. Nic salt shots come in two different ratios - 50/50 and 60/40 PG/VG and provide smoother and more subtle throat hit than standard high PG vape juices without compromising the dose of nicotine in your kit. If you’re not interested in mixing nicotine shots with a high VG or high PG vape liquid and are looking for a quick solution to getting a quick dose of nicotine, you’ll fancy nic salts.
WHEN TO USE PG AND VG VAPE JUICES?
The decision as to which vape juice to use is based on the kit you’re using. You’ll first want to figure out what you want to get from your vaping experience. Do you want a tighter draw and a prominent throat hit? Or perhaps a looser draw and tremendously cloudy exhale. High PG vape juices (50/50 PG/VG and nic salts) work best in kits with a high resistance level (coils that are 1.0ohm and above). Nic salts are also high in PG but give you a smoother more subtle throat hit than high PG vape liquids because nic salts are less alkaline. All in all, if you’re transitioning from smoking to vaping, you’ll find a kit with higher resistance coils paired with a high PG vape liquid or nicotine salt to be the perfect partner in crime.
High VG liquids (70/30 VG/PG and 80/20 VG/PG) do their due diligence in lower-resistance level coils (coils that are less than 1.0ohm) which means 86’ing the throat hit and swapping it out for monstrous amounts of vapour instead. If you choose a vape kit with lower level resistance coils, you’ll reach for high VG liquid and reap the benefits from an extremely cloudy exhale. If you want a balanced amount of vape flavour and vapour clouds, choose a 70/30 VG/PG vape liquid. Otherwise choose an 80/20 VG/PG ratio to produce a massive screen of vapour.
With that being said, some vape kits allow you to interchange coils in which you can utilise both high PG and high VG liquids. Choosing a vape kit that allows you to use all vape liquids is nice if you want to experiment with direct to lung and mouth to lung vaping styles. Just make sure you swap out the vape liquid with the compatible vape juice.
We hope this explanation of PG and VG has helped you understand what PG and VG liquids are and what they’re used for. At the E-Liquids Superstore, we aim to deliver exceptional customer service and vape products at the best prices. If you have any questions about vape liquids or need help picking out the best vape liquid for your vape kit, contact us via our online contact form. Get your vape kits, vape liquids and vape accessories from the E-Liquids Superstore, the UK’s number one online vape retailer.