What is PG and VG in E-Juice?

26 April 2016

Buying e-juice can often feel like a challenge – odd flavour combinations and different nicotine strengths can easily confuse you. But nothing seems to befuddle people more than PG and VG.

What are They?

PG stands for Propylene Glycol. It’s an organic compound often used as a food preservative (in products such as ice cream & fizzy drinks) as well as an aircraft de-icing fluid thanks to its ability to lower the freezing point of water. 

Obviously it’s also used as an ingredient in e-juice. In fact, it’s used as a base for e-liquid, taking up anywhere from 10% to 93% of the liquid depending on the composition.

VG, on the other hand, stands for Vegetable Glycerine. It’s a sweet compound derived from plants, and is also used as a food preservative, as well as a sweetener and as antifreeze. It too is used as a base in e-juices, and provides a sweet flavour. 

Getting the Balance Right

Both PG and VG are used together in e-juice and the different ratios provide different effects. Like a chef may tinker with a recipe until it is just right, E-Juice manufacturers will slave over their PG/VG mixes until everything is perfect.

A higher PG concentration provides a stronger flavour and a more noticeable throat hit, ideal for tobacco smokers who prefer a deeper hit with their vapes and for more savoury flavours. It also enables faster nicotine absorption, but a higher PG content can lead to throat and tongue irritation so it is best avoided if you're having adverse affects from vaping.

On the other hand, a higher VG concentration gives a sweeter taste, ideal for sweeter flavours. Its most sought-after characteristic, however, is the incredibly large vapour clouds it enables you to produce. This makes it the concentration of choice for cloud-chasers who want a more spectacular vape, but it does cause slower nicotine absorption.

A lot of e-juices feature a 50/50 VG/PG ratio, striking a good balance between the two extremes.

Choosing the Right Ratio

The VG/PG ratio is a matter of taste, so it’s important to decide what you want from your e-juice and shop around.

Because VG and PG have different consistencies, they can each cause you some problems with your devices. VG is much thicker than PG, so higher VG concentrations can cause tank clogging in your vaporiser. PG is thinner, which makes tank flooding a risk with e-liquids with a higher ratio of it. If you find that either of these are a common issue for you, it may be worth switching to a more balanced ratio.

Want to take advantage of this new knowledge and start checking out what you can get at different ratios? At Vape Mountain we’ve got a huge range of different e-juices organised by VG/PG mix so you can start shopping smarter.

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