High VG Juice Brands – What is the difference between PG (Propylene Glycol) vs. VG (Vegetable Glycerin)
In this guide, we will explore the difference between PG and VG base ingredients that are typically found in High VG Juice Brands. E-liquid is made using two base ingredients, PG (propylene glycol) and VG (vegetable glycerine). Whilst we like to enjoy our e-liquid without having to worry too much what is inside it, we feel that it is extremely important to know exactly what we are vaping and at The Eliquid Boutique, as an e-liquid manufacturer, we take precautions to ensure full traceability of all ingredients used to make our e-liquid as well as full compliance with standards and laws. If you take a close look at the bottle of e-juice that you are currently vaping, you will notice that two terms usually crop up: PG and VG. Here is our overview of PG and VG.
In simple terms, VG and PG are mixed with flavourings and nicotine to create e-liquid. PG and VG produce vapour when heated by a personal vapouriser. PG and VG have different consistency to each other. Both fluids produce different tastes and have distinct throat and mouth sensations. Most e-liquids use PG and VG in different proportion, although there are 100% VG e-liquid lines for connoisseur drippers. It is important to ensure that your vaping device will work with your chosen VG:PG proportion. We will now examine PG and VG separately.
What is PG (propylene glycol)?
PG is a petroleum by-product and has no colour or odour and is much thinner and less viscous than VG. PG is used in e-liquids to provide a “throat hit” which helps to emulate the experience of smoking traditional tobacco cigarettes. PG is also a flavour carrier that carries the flavouring and nicotine that are added to e-liquid. To put it simply, PG gives e-liquid its flavour and a throat hit. PG is commonly found in many household items such as pet food, asthma inhalers, beauty products and medical products.
Is PG Safe?
According to various studies, it has been shown that PG is safe for oral ingestion and FDA has deemed it as “generally recognised as safe” to be used as a food additive. It is important to point out that most studies look at PG at ingestion rather than its consumption in aerosol form. An experiment in 1947 concluded that inhaling PG was “completely harmless”. Another study in 2010 which looked at PGEs (mixture of glycol ethers and PG) suggested an increased risk of hay fever, asthma and eczema in children. It was maintained that glycol ethers and not PG are the more likely cause. By looking at the existing evidence on PG, it is sensible to assume that PG is safe for inhalation. However, more evidence is required to support this premise. You may have come across misinformed scaremongering stories in the press that purport that PG is used in anti-freeze. In fact, these writers could not be further away from the truth, as they are mistaking ethyl glycol, a chemical that is closely related to PG but not used in e-liquid.
Some things to note before vaping PG
Some vapers find high levels of PG irritating to throat and are allergic to PG, although the number of allergy cases is relatively low. If, however, you experience any unpleasant reaction after using PG-based e-juice, you should probably look at 100% VG juice lines, which are gaining popularity, especially in the Sub Ohming community.
When vaping PG-based e-juice, you may find yourself with a dry mouth, sore throat or increased thirst. These symptoms can last anywhere from a couple of days to a few weeks as your body becomes used to PG. It is advisable to drink plenty of fluids when vaping, especially during your first few days of vaping.
What is VG (vegetable glycerine)?
VG is a natural chemical that is derived from vegetable oil. It is used in e-liquid to give a “thick” sensation and is the chemical responsible for the vapour production. VG has a sweet taste and is much thicker and more viscous than PG. The hit that vapers get from VG is a lot smoother than with PG. Whilst PG is used as a carrier for nicotine and flavourings, some e-liquid companies provide VG alternatives to provide 100% VG mixes. VG is generally used for sugar and sweeteners, medical products, personal care products and food.
Is it safe to Vape VG?
VG is classified by FDA as “generally recognised as safe” and is regarded as one of the most benign substances. VG has a low toxicity when consumed and is less likely to irritate eyes or skin. Given that VG is commonly used in food and medicine, suggests that it is safe for human consumption. Nonetheless, there are limited studies on the effect of inhaling VG.
Unlike with propylene glycol, there is a very slim likelihood of being allergic to VG. This makes VG-based juice a great alternative to vapers who are otherwise allergic to PG. There are some e-liquid companies and vape stores that provide 100% VG e-liquid.
Some things to note before vaping VG e-liquid
VG is known to reduce the life of atomisers quicker than PG-based e-liquid simply because VG is more viscous and much thicker than PG. High VG has a propensity to clog up coils quicker and some VG e-liquids, depending on VG proportion, will not work with certain tanks. Be sure to read the instructions and ensure that your electronic cigarette is compatible with your e-liquid.
When vaping VG based e-liquid, ensure that you consume plenty of fluids as VG, just like PG, can cause a dry mouth and increased thirst.
What PG to VG Ratio should I use?
This question will depend on the kind of vaper you are, your electronic device and your aim of vaping. If you are a beginner and are looking to use e-cigarettes as an alternative to smoking, e-liquid with a greater PG content may be more suited to your needs as you are likely to be using a more basic e-cigarette that cannot handle high-VG e-liquids. If, on the other hand, you enjoy Sub Ohming, then e-juice with a higher VG content may be more appropriate. Usually, Sub Ohmers go for a 70:30 VG to PG ration. However, this ratio is not hard and fast and can even go up to 100% VG e-liquid with no PG. At The Eliquid Boutique, we stock leading High VG Juice Brands that contain at least 70:30 VG to PG ratios and are most suitable for advanced vapers and Sub Ohmers alike. Please browse our online vapor store to find your favourite High VG Juice Brands.