As if choosing from the hundreds of e-liquids available to you is hard enough, there are also other things to consider. Whether you’re a first-time vaper or an experienced one, the terms ‘PG’ & ‘VG’ may sound very familiar to you. You may have noticed these acronyms before on the side of a bottle of e-liquid, usually represented as a percentage or a ratio.
To put it simply, PG and VG are the basic ingredients found in nearly all e-liquids. The ratio of PG to VG can tell you a lot about the e-liquids flavour, consistency and what kind of vapour it will produce. You should be looking at these two ingredients before deciding on your next e-liquid. Choosing the wrong PG/VG ratio can put first time vapers off, so you should seek advice when shopping for your first e-cigarette.
What is PG & VG?
PG (Propylene Glycol) is a colourless, almost odourless alcohol. It is used in lots of different, everyday products. For example, it’s used in shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste and even ice cream. It’s also used in some medications such as inhalers for asthma.
Because the liquid is mostly tasteless, it’s known to produce the purest, best-tasting flavour. The liquid also has a stronger ‘throat hit’ when compared to VG, which some vapers may find unpleasant as it can have the same sensation of smoking tobacco cigarettes.
VG (Vegetable Glycerin) is similar to PG as it too is a colourless, odourless alcohol. However, the difference between the two is that VG is sweet. VG is almost like a syrup, especially with the sweetness. It is often used in herbal remedies, low-carb foods and cough syrup. As it is made from plant and vegetable oils, it is considered very safe for human consumption.
Although VG has a lighter ‘throat hit’ than PG, because it is a very thick liquid, it tends to clog up e-cigarette tanks and coils. Therefore, it’s recommended that those who use e-liquids high in VG, clean their coils often. High VG liquids are also the perfect option for ‘cloud chasers’ as it produces the biggest, thickest vape clouds.
Key Differences Between PG & VG
–>PG carries flavours better – There’s not much in it, but because VG is so sweet, it interferes with the flavour that’s added to it. PG is simply plain, so will take the flavour better. Although the effect is not easy to spot, if you tried the same PG versus VG-based e-liquid you would notice the difference.
–>VG produces more vapour – For the ‘cloud chasers’ in your life, high VG e-liquid is for them. As VG is thicker, more vapour is created when it is vaporised. For a first-time vaper, clouds are not your main focus, giving the cigs a miss are. But as your vaping journey progresses, you might want to dip your toe into some clouds.
–>Throat hits – As mentioned, if you’re looking for that tobacco cigarette like throat hit then PG is the better choice. Stronger PG in an e-cigarette may be a good option for those who have just started vaping as it makes the feeling of vaping more like the feeling of smoking, easing the transition.
On the other hand, if you find PG too irritating on the throat, you may wish to choose an e-liquid with a higher content of VG instead. Longer-term vapers usually opt for this choice as the throat hit becomes less important the longer you’ve been vaping.
–>Potential issues & sensitivity – The harsh throat hit of juices high in PG can irritate and dry out your mouth. Many individuals are also even sensitive or allergic to PG. Although this is fairly rare, you should still bear it in mind if you are starting out your vaping journey.