PG vs VG e-Liquid — What are they?

PG vs VG e-Liquid — What are they?

Whether you are a smoker seeking a healthier lifestyle with a switch to e-cigs or a hobbyist looking to jump into the vaping community for fun, you might be more than a little interested in what you’re about to be putting into your body. Smokers already know that inhaling cigarette smoke is unhealthy. They know that there are serious health risks involved from the tobacco; the pesticides used to cultivate it and the myriad additives big tobacco inserts into cigarettes. If you’re new to vaping, you might wonder if the same risks apply to e-cigs and vaping. Its a new world, and can be confusing. This article is help you learn about the components of PG and VG based e-liquids, their effects and the differences between the two.

Most e-liquids are comprised of four elements – a base, nicotine, water, and flavoring. The PG and/or VG makes up the majority of the liquid and is the carrier – it suspends the nicotine and flavor your e-cig uses to make clouds of vapor. Non-toxic compounds of propylene glycol and/or vegetable glycerin are generally considered safe to put in your body and are already widely used as additives in a wide variety of commercially available foods, medicines and other consumable products.

The first base we will be talking about is propylene glycol or PG based e-liquid. Generally more popular than VG based or vegetable glycerin, propylene glycol is thinner in consistency and as such will help you get maximum performance out of your cigalike or minitank- style e-cig. The thinner viscosity of PG based e-liquid also means that your heating coil will have less buildup over time, requiring less maintenance and a cleaner-tasting, more consistent vape. Another benefit of propylene glycol-based e-juice is that it does not alter the flavor in any way. PG based liquids also more closely mimic the throat hit of a traditional cigarette. One possible concern of propylene glycol is that roughly 10% of people have a sensitivity to it. This can present in a few different ways, most common being headache and skin irritations on the body. It is best to stop using electronic cigarettes immediately or switch to VG based liquid if unusual symptoms happen. Please consult your physician with any concerns*.

VG, or vegetable glycerin based, e-juice has more viscosity when compared to propylene glycol. Vegetable glycerin on its own will have a sweeter taste compared to PG based liquids. This can cause the flavors of your favorite e-liquids to have a lighter, more subtle taste than other types of liquid. Some benefits of using vegetable glycol-based liquid are bigger, thicker vapor clouds and a lower risk of allergic reactions or irritations than found in PG based. One of the drawbacks of VG liquid is that it naturally gives less of the throat hit – popular with ex-smokers – that some users prefer. Luckily, customization via a higher nicotine level and/or variable wattage of a VV mod can compensate for this.

The following examples are what you can expect from the different PG and VG ratios. Keep in mind that each experience is unique and different people will experience the varying liquids in their own way. Combinations of flavors and strengths are used differently and vary greatly from one manufacturer to the next as well, this list is to provide general idea of what to expect.

100% PG: Very strong throat hit, clean flavors and lower vapor production.
80/20 (PG/VG): Still little vapor production, with a moderately strong throat hit.
70/30 (PG/VG): More vapor, slightly less throat hit.
60/40 (PG/VG): Decent vapor with a noticeable, but not too overwhelming throat hit.
50/50 (PG/VG): An even mix: satisfyingly bigger vapor clouds and a soft throat hit.
40/60 (PG/VG): Noticeably larger vapor clouds and a reduced throat hit.
30/70 (PG/VG): Great vapor production and a minimal throat hit.
20/80 (PG/VG): Excellent vapor production and a very small throat hit.
100% VG: Noticeably sweeter flavor undertones, massive vapor production and very little throat hit.

Now, the vaping community is generally split into two different – though not necessarily exclusive – camps.

On one side, you have people either looking to quit smoking or who have already quit smoking by using electric cigarettes. They prefer propylene glycol as a base in their liquid as it more closely echoes the smoking experience. Decent smoke production, good throat hit and lower equipment maintenance all make the transition from smoker to vaper much, much easier.

On the other side you have the hobbyists – the people that love to blow the huge clouds of vapor only possible with VG based liquids. In the end though it all comes down to personal preference. Most shops -including Offbeat and Unique – recommend starting with a PG based liquid and expanding from there. If you don’t want to lose the throat hit of PG based but would love to have the huge vapor clouds that some vapers enjoy, then one of the many propylene glycol/vegetable glycerin mixes available would certainly give the best of both worlds.And if smoking cessation is of no concern, but you find yourself wanting to chase the biggest, fattest clouds there are, then VG is your key. You may even find yourself switching amongst all of the options from time to time as a lot of people do.

Whatever you choose, we hope you’ll choose Offbeat and Unique for all of your vaping needs.


Offbeat & Unique, LLC

235 E. Warner Road, Suite 101
Gilbert, AZ 85296




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