What You Need to Know about VG and PG in E-Liquids

What You Need to Know about VG and PG in E-Liquids

Do you know what the difference between VG and PG is?

21 September 2022 | Hannah Rubery

What You Need to Know about VG and PG in E-Liquids (Image)

Two of the main aspects that make up E-Liquids, also known as vape juice, these two ingredients make more difference than you think. It’s easy when first getting started with vaping to overlook ratios and the differing amounts of VG and PG, but once you know you’ll never vape the same again.

Those little numbers on the bottle/packaging play a large part in your vaping experience – it’s not just about the nicotine strength and flavouring, even the nicest flavour in the wrong ratio for you can be a bad time.

What is PG and VG in vape juice?

So, what is PG and VG? Let’s break them down…

Propylene Glycol (PG) is a thin liquid that helps to carry the flavour of your vape, allowing for stronger and more complex flavours. Not only this but PG acts as the ‘throat hit’ that smokers recognise. Some ex-smokers crave that dry and scratchy feeling when they inhale but many don’t enjoy too strong a throat hit, that’s why watching your PG ratio is important.

As PG is thinner than VG, it gives off less vapour when vaped and requires less heat and power to evaporate.

Vegetable Glycerine (VG) is a thicker liquid that helps to make a milder inhale and, as a bonus, creates big and fluffy clouds, unlike PG. It’s for this reason that cloud chasers tend to prefer high VG E-Liquids as their optimum for vaping competitions.

One of the important aspects of VG though is how it helps make your vape smooth. Not everyone enjoys a harsh throat hit and a good balance of VG helps to avoid that. Too much VG though can impact the flavour as your vape juice will have less PG, meaning there is less flavour in your vape.

Is PG and VG safe?

Obviously, when someone hears chemical names there may be some hesitancy and worry about their safety. But the truth is these chemicals are already present in a lot of things you have probably already used or use regularly, without even noticing.

PG can be found in:

  • Foods as a preservative
  • Solvent for medical products including topical & oral formulas & asthma inhalers
  • Used to create fog/artificial smoke in theatrical productions
  • A solvent in beauty products
  • Oral hygiene products
  • Pet food

Health and safety bodies around the world including the FDA, WHO and FSA have agreed that PG is generally safe for human consumption. Although it hasn’t been tested as widely for vaping usage, there haven’t been any reported problems due to inhaling PG vapour.
VG and PG in E-Liquids (Image)
Due to its moisture absorption properties, new users may experience a dry throat and mouth, but it is easily remedied by remembering to stay hydrated. There are some who are sensitive to PG and if this is found to be the case, it is advised to avoid vaping PG and choose a 100% VG E-Liquid instead.

VG can be found in:

  • Food as a sweetener
  • Solvent for food colourings and flavouring
  • Used in cough syrups, medical creams, and capsule pills to provide thickening
  • Moisture retainer in beauty products and medicine
  • Used in beauty products such as deodorant, bubble bath, aftershave, mousse & make-up
  • Used in the baking industry to increase moisture
  • Soap & hand cream
  • Pet food
  • Dental care products

VG is a completely natural compound and is deemed totally safe for human consumption by the WHO and FDA. It is possible for people to have allergies to plant oils and therefore should avoid VG if this is the case.

Despite both compounds being safe to use, there is still much deliberation on their safety in vapes. It is still generally believed that vaping these compounds is much less harmful than smoking traditional cigarettes but still has some harm involved especially for those who have never smoked.

Which PG/VG ratio is for me?

Finding the key ratio for you to vape with is important as it makes the difference between having an enjoyable vaping experience, and not.

For newcomers to vaping, especially those who smoked heavily, a 50VG/50PG ratio is ideal and one of the most common around. They feature a perfect balance between flavour and throat hit, perfect for Nicotine Salts. It also creates less vapour which is ideal for those who feel self-conscious about vaping out clouds. Because of this, these sorts of vape juices are better suited to lower-powered kits as they are easy to vaporise.
50/50 VG/PG E-Liquids (Image)
High VG vape juices are thicker than other ratios meaning you’ll need a higher-powered kit and tank. They give little to no throat hit but produce whopping clouds, perfect for Sub-Ohm vaping. These sorts of E-Liquids are not suited to Nicotine Salts as you can get too strong a nicotine hit when using high-powered devices.

If you’re looking to still enjoy the flavour then you’ll enjoy a 70VG/30PG ratio, but for those looking to puff our more clouds, an 80VG/20PG is better.
70/30 VG/PG E-Liquids (Image)
High PG vape juices are more suited for discrete vapers as they create less vapour when you exhale. But you are more likely to get a stronger throat hit from these sorts of E-Liquids so know what you’re setting yourself in for.

If you already have a device, then you may need to cater your choice of ratio to your kit. Those with low-powered kits will want to use E-Liquids that have a good amount of PG to help thin the VG and make it vaporise easier (50/50 or 70/30). If you have a variable kit, then you can choose whichever you prefer!

The common ratios are:
• 50VG/50PG – good balance of flavour and throat hit.
• 70VG/30PG – more vapour but still enjoy flavour & nicotine hit.
• 75VG/25PG – perfect mix for bold clouds without sacrificing flavour, nicotine or throat hit.
• 80VG/20PG – popular with cloud chasers with a subtle throat hit but less flavour.
• 90VG/10PG – for those looking to create massive clouds with a hint of flavour.
• Max PG – strongest throat hit and most amount of flavour but with little to no clouds.
• Max VG – ideal for sub-ohm vaping, create massive clouds with barely a throat hit, for those not interested in flavour.