If you’re new to the world of vaping then chances are you’re confused by some of the jargon you’ve inevitably come across. Don’t worry, you’ll soon know your cloud chasers from your squonk mods, we promise!
When it comes to shopping for e-liquid, two phrases you’re likely to come across are VG and PG. If you’re unfamiliar with these, they stand for vegetable glycerin (VG) and propylene glycol (PG) which are the two most abundant ingredients in your e-liquid.
So now you know what they are, you might be wondering how they differ and what difference they can make to your vaping experience. If so then you’re in the right place as we’ve put together this guide to answer all of these questions and more…
What Is Vegetable Glycerine (VG)
VG is one of the two ingredients that form the base of your typical e-liquid. This natural substance is derived from plant oils – usually coconut or soybean – and it’s commonly found in skincare products due to its moisturising benefits and ability to lock in hydration.
VG is also found in various foods as a sweetener and preservative, and even in medications for its ability to improve solubility.
With all this in mind, you might be wondering why it’s found in e-liquid. Well, the main reasons are it’s safe to consume, produces clouds and has a mild, slightly sweet taste which makes it perfect for carrying flavour. All of this makes VG the ideal e-liquid ingredient!
Propylene Glycol (PG)
The other most abundant ingredient in most e-liquid is (PG). This versatile compound is commonly found in cosmetics, food products and pharmaceuticals.
Its wide-ranging applications mean it plays a surprisingly crucial role in our everyday lives, and without it, many of the products we use would be vastly different.
When it comes to e-liquid, PG is used as a base for a few reasons. First, like VG, it’s an approved, safe product that produces vapour when heated up which obviously makes it a great candidate for e-liquid! It’s also flavourless, so it carries the juice’s taste well.
The last reason we manufacturers use PG in our e-liquids is it helps provide a throat hit, similar to the one you’d get when puffing on a cigarette. Many vapers enjoy this throat hit, especially those who have recently quit smoking, so PG is an important ingredient for e-liquid manufacturers.
Differences Between VG And PG
So now we’ve got a good understanding of these ingredients and why they’re used in e-liquid manufacture, let’s take a look at how they differ. Once you know the key distinctions, you’ll understand why some e-liquids use different ratios to achieve varying vaping experiences.
The main difference between the two ingredients is VG is much smoother on the throat and produces significantly thicker clouds compared to PG. Moreover, PG produces a heavier throat hit akin to the sensation of puffing on a cigarette.
VG’s smoothness and PG’s throat hit mean that e-liquids with higher concentrations of either ingredient are better suited to certain devices, coils and vaping styles. This is why you’ll find e-liquid being offered in different ratios of VG:PG, which we’ll explain in detail below.
Types Of E-Liquid Ratios
E-liquids come in a range of different ratios. Each of these ratios provides a slightly different vaping experience from the rest.
With a higher proportion of PG, this 70:30 e-juice places an emphasis on flavour, delivering a toothsome vape with a heavy throat hit.
Due to its harder kick, this e-liquid should only be used for mouth-to-lung (MTL) vaping that’s carried out with a lower-powered device. MTL vaping is when you inhale the vapour into your mouth before breathing into the lungs, hence the name!
If you were to use this juice in a powerful, sub-ohm device would make even the most experienced vaper cough!
This type of e-liquid is more popular and is the go-to ratio for many direct-to-lung (DTL) vapers. If you hadn’t guessed, DTL vaping is when the vapour is taken straight to the lungs, which requires smoother liquid.
Due to the higher proportion of VG, this liquid is smooth and produces an abundance of vapour, making it perfect for those who like the big clouds.
The increased thickness due to the VG means this device is not suitable for devices with higher resistance coils as they would struggle to heat up the liquid, causing blockages and faults with the device. So only use this ratio of juice with powerful kits.
Take everything we just said about the 70:30 and increase it by 10 percent! This one is thicker, cloudier and requires even more power to vape optimally. Use a low-powered device and you’ll have issues.
This one provides a perfect middle ground, providing excellent flavour and decent cloud production. With 50 percent PG, you probably wouldn’t want to DTL vape this e-liquid, but if you’re an MTL or even RDL vaper then this ratio should provide the tasty vape with just the right amount of throat hit
What VG:PG Ratio Should I Use
Once you’re clued up about the different ratios and how they provide their own unique vaping experience, which one should you use? Well, as you might have guessed, it all depends on the style of vaping you want to achieve.
If you’ve just started vaping then you’re still finding your feet. So chances are, you’re using an MTL device. In this case, a 50:50 would be perfect, as this strikes the perfect balance between flavour and throat hit, which you’ll no doubt crave as an ex-smoker!
If you’re more experienced and you want to try out some DTL vaping, then opt for a ratio that’s higher in VG. A 70: 30 would be perfect, as these liquids tend to be smooth and flavoursome but not too thick where they’ll block up your device!
For DTL vaping, you may go for something even higher in VG such as an 80:20 VG:PG. This will produce even more vapour than a 70:30, although you’ll need to ensure you’re vaping at a high enough temperature otherwise you’ll run the risk of clogging up your device.
If this happens it’s not the end of the world, but you’ll have a less-than-optimum vaping experience and you’ll be cleaning out your device more than you’d like!
Which Kit Do You Need?
If you’re new to vaping then getting to grips with the different devices on offer and knowing which one to choose can be a little confusing. Throw the various types of e-liquid and vaping styles into the mix and it can start to get bewildering!
But fear not as we can guide you through the different types of devices, as well as pointing out which types of e-liquid they pair up the best with.
Starter Kits/Vape Pens
Many people start their vaping journey with a starter kit. These usually come with a small, pen-style vape device. These kits are typically low-powered and provide a simple MTL vape.
If you’re using a basic vape pen or you plan to use one, you should ideally be vaping a 50:50 VG:PG liquid with this type of device.
For those who used to be extremely heavy smokers who want a harsh throat hit, a 60:40 or 70/30 PG:VG may do the trick, although these may be too harsh for some new vapers.
Pod kits come in different shapes and sizes and some are more powerful than others, but most are low-powered, user-friendly kits that are designed to deliver a simplified vape in a pocket-sized unit.
Like pen devices, most pod kits tend to be low-powered, so if you’re using one of these devices, again a 50:50 liquid would work best.
If the pod kit you’ve got packs a bit more of a punch and it’s designed for DTL or RDL vaping with sub-ohm coils, you should opt for a high-VG juice.
If you’re using a high-powered mod that’s designed for sub-ohm vaping, this is built for high-VIG only. Whether you opt for 70:30 or 80:20 VG:PG is up to you. But be sure to choose a liquid with a higher proportion of VG. Using a thinner liquid could result in leakage and the higher PG content could be harsh on the throat.
So hopefully that answers any questions you had about VG and PG. After reading this guide, you should have all the info you need to make an informed choice on your liquid, vaping style and type of device.
If you still have some questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to us as we’d be happy to help.