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​Is is PG or VG E Liquid Best for You?

​Is is PG or VG E Liquid Best for You?

7th Apr 2018

A PG Or VG Base?

You often ask Go Smoke-Free whether a PG or VG base is best. We can’t tell you whether a high VG e-liquid or one with more PG in it is what you need. Vaping is very individual, meaning one person loves what another loves, another is not keen on. The information below may help you narrow down the best choice.

What Are E Liquids?

An e-liquid is the flavoured liquid you use in your e-cigarette, which is then heated to produce a flavoured vapour that can be inhaled and exhaled. It doesn’t matter whether you have a pod mod, a box mod, a vape pen or a basic starter kit. None of these devices is good without your e-liquid being loaded and ready to go.

The beauty of vaping and e-liquid, in general, is the amount of choice you have. You can choose from hundreds of different flavours but also choose your nicotine strength and base type to suit your needs, hence this blog post!

How Do E-Liquid Bases Work

Your base liquid is usually made up of PG and VG. It is common to see a mix of the two but in different ratios. The ratio, i.e. whether you have a high VG e-liquid or a higher PG e-liquid (or a balance), will affect how your vaping vapour tastes and feels.

Are High VG E Liquids for Me, or Is PG the Best?

This is the £64,000 question; you are the only one who can answer it correctly. When it comes to food, we all have our likes and dislikes. Think of vaping similarly; what suits one person may not necessarily suit the next. Keep reading to determine whether a high VG e-liquid or PG e-liquid might suit you.

Are You New to Vaping?

Again, no rule states that when you start vaping, you should first look at high VG or PG. That said, many new vapers find that when switching over from tobacco cigarettes especially, a higher PG concentration works better for them. This is because PG is slightly harsher (in a good way) and therefore gives a better replication of the type of throat hit smokers are used to.

For many, a higher PG e-liquid is a good place to start; however, as with all things, our preferences change over time, especially when vaping allows you to experiment with different types of e-liquids and different devices.

Is Flavour The Main Attraction?

If an enhanced flavour is a big deal, a higher PG e-liquid than a high VG e-liquid could be for you. This is because PG carries flavours better, while VG has a slightly natural taste, which will affect the flavour of the e-liquid. That said, mixologists understand that about VG, and we’re sure they compensate when mixing the flavour strands they are so used to working with. PG is known as the flavour enhancer; however, with this one, it is a trial and error.

Are You a Cloud Chaser?

With a PG base (which tends to be thinner, by the way, than a VG base), you do still get vapour (of course), you don’t get as much, and it tends to be rather thin. Those who thoroughly enjoy a big thick vape cloud infused with flavour should look for e-liquids classed as high VG, so those with a minimum of 70% VG are listed in the ingredients.

All About the Throat Hit

A throat hit is an almost scratch-like sensation in the back of your throat when you take a draw of e-liquid. As unlikely as it might sound to those who haven’t experienced it, a throat hit may be very pleasurable, and for some, the harsher, the better. For this reason, PG-based e-liquids again tend to be more popular when people try to replicate tobacco smoking. That said, if you are a more experienced vaper who is used to the differences between a drag on a cigarette and a draw on an e-cig, the chances are that you won’t need as much PH to be satisfied throat-hit-wise and will experiment more with and enjoy more of a high VG e juice.

Choosing the Right PG/VG Ratio for Your Vaping Experience

When it comes to vaping, one of the key factors that can greatly influence your overall experience is the PG/VG ratio of your e-liquid. PG (propylene glycol) and VG (vegetable glycerin) are the two primary ingredients used in e-liquids, and their proportions can significantly affect various aspects of your vaping session.

Firstly, let's understand the characteristics of PG and VG. PG is a thinner liquid with a lower viscosity, which means it is easier to absorb by the wicking material in your atomiser. This results in a stronger throat hit and a more pronounced flavour delivery. On the other hand, VG is thicker and produces denser clouds of vapour. It has a slightly sweet taste and contributes to a smoother inhale.

Consider your vaping style and preferences to determine the ideal PG/VG ratio. If you are a flavour chaser and enjoy a prominent throat hit, a higher PG ratio, such as 70/30 or even 50/50, would be suitable. PG carries flavours more effectively and provides a stronger throat hit, making it a preferred choice for those seeking a sensation similar to smoking traditional cigarettes.

However, a higher VG ratio is recommended if you are more inclined towards cloud production and prefer a smoother inhale. Ratios like 70/30 VG/PG or max VG (80/20 or 100% VG) will give you thicker clouds and a milder throat hit. VG's thicker consistency helps create billowing plumes of vapour, making it popular among cloud chasers and those who enjoy performing tricks.

It’s essential to note that the PG/VG ratio choice also depends on the device you use. Sub-ohm tanks and rebuildable atomisers can handle higher VG ratios more efficiently, as their larger wicking ports and coils can accommodate the thicker liquid. On the other hand, smaller pod systems or mouth-to-lung (MTL) devices may work better with higher PG ratios, as they have smaller wicking ports and produce less vapour.

Experimentation is key to finding the right PG/VG ratio for your vaping experience. You may start with a balanced 50/50 ratio and gradually adjust based on your preferences. Remember that changing the PG/VG ratio can affect the overall flavour profile of your e-liquid, so don't be afraid to try different ratios to find your sweet spot.

Coil Compatibility: PG/VG Ratios and Coil Lifespan

When it comes to vaping, understanding coil compatibility and how different PG/VG ratios can impact the lifespan of your coils is essential for a satisfying and long-lasting vaping experience. Coils are a crucial component of any vape device responsible for heating the e-liquid and producing the vapour. Properly maintaining your coils and choosing the right PG/VG ratio for your device can optimise their longevity and enhance your overall vaping experience.

PG (propylene glycol) and VG (vegetable glycerin) are the two primary components of e-liquids, each with its characteristics. PG is thinner in consistency and carries flavour more effectively, while VG is thicker and produces denser vapour clouds. Most e-liquids combine both, with varying ratios depending on the brand and flavour.

When it comes to coil compatibility, the thickness of the e-liquid plays a crucial role. High-PG liquids (those with a higher proportion of PG) are generally more compatible with coils, as the thin consistency allows for efficient wicking and prevents clogging. On the other hand, high-VG liquids (those with a higher proportion of VG) tend to be thicker and can lead to slower wicking, resulting in a shorter coil lifespan and potential dry hits.

To maintain the lifespan of your coils when using PG/VG liquids, it's important to consider a few key points:

Choosing the Right Coil:

Different vape devices have coils designed for specific PG/VG ratios. Manufacturers often indicate the recommended ratios for optimal performance. Make sure to select coils that are compatible with the e-liquid you intend to use.

Proper Priming:

Before using a new coil, it's crucial to prime it properly. Apply a few drops of e-liquid directly onto the coil's wicking material and let it saturate for a few minutes. This ensures the coil is adequately soaked and prevents dry hits.

Avoid Chain Vaping:

Chain vaping refers to consecutive puffs with little to no pause. This practice can cause the coil to overheat and reduce its lifespan. Take regular breaks between puffs to allow the coil to cool down.

Regular Coil Maintenance:

Cleaning your coils regularly can help prolong their lifespan. Remove the coil from the device and rinse it with warm water to remove any residue or gunk. Let it dry thoroughly before reattaching it to the device.

Optimal Wattage Settings:

Operating your device at the recommended wattage range specified by the coil manufacturer is essential. Running the coil at too low a wattage can lead to flooding and gurgling, while high wattage can cause the coil to burn out quickly.

Are You Sensitive to PG?

Being allergic to PG and sensitive to it are very different things. A PG allergy is very rare. Sensitivity is also rare but does occur. When you are sensitive to PG, you might find that instead of a scratchy throat hit, the experience is hotter (not as dramatic as it sounds), and you might find it less pleasurable and more like a sting. This irritation should disappear fairly quickly when stopping high PG e liquids especially. Given that PG is found in many food and cosmetic production processes, you would likely know if you were intolerant to it before vaping.

Allergies and Sensitivities: PG and VG as Potential Triggers

In recent years, the popularity of vaping has skyrocketed, prompting concerns about potential health risks associated with e-cigarettes and vaping liquids. One aspect that has garnered attention is the possibility of allergies and sensitivities to the main ingredients found in vape liquids: Propylene Glycol (PG) and Vegetable Glycerin (VG). While PG has been studied extensively, VG allergies have received comparatively less attention. In this section, we will delve into the potential allergies to VG liquids and explore the available information on this topic.

Understanding VG:

Vegetable Glycerin, commonly known as VG, is a clear and odourless liquid derived from vegetable oils, often palm or coconut oil. It is widely used as a food additive and sweetener and a key component in various personal care products. VG’s thick consistency and ability to produce dense vapour make it an essential ingredient in vape liquids, particularly in e-liquids prioritising cloud production.

Potential Allergic Reactions:

While VG is generally recognised as safe for consumption by regulatory bodies such as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), there have been reported cases of individuals experiencing allergic reactions to VG. The specific mechanism by which VG triggers allergies is not yet fully understood, and more research is needed to establish a definitive link.

Common Symptoms:

Allergic reactions to VG can vary from mild to severe and manifest in several ways. Some individuals may experience skin irritations, such as redness, itching, or a rash, particularly in areas of contact. Respiratory symptoms have also been reported, including coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath. Individuals may experience gastrointestinal symptoms like nausea, vomiting, or diarrhoea.

Differentiating Allergies from Sensitivities:

It is important to note that true allergies to VG are relatively rare. More commonly, individuals may develop sensitivities or intolerances to VG. These reactions differ from allergies as they do not involve the immune system but represent an individual’s inability to tolerate or process VG effectively. Sensitivities may lead to symptoms similar to allergies, but the underlying mechanism differs.

Seeking Professional Advice:

If you suspect that you may be experiencing an allergic reaction or sensitivity to VG liquids, it is crucial to consult a healthcare professional or an allergist. They can conduct tests and guide how to manage your symptoms or suggest alternative vape liquids that suit your needs.

All About Propylene Glycol (PG)

A commonly seen product, not just in e-liquid, but in food production and more, PG is colourless and odourless and carries the flavouring that expert mixologists add to e-liquids well. PG is often a firm favourite, initially at least, with new vapers who have recently moved over from smoking to vaping. The reason for this is that bases with more PG in them tend to offer a firmer, harsher throat hit. This is the “bitty”, “gravelly” feeling in the back of your throat when you inhale your vapour. It is a pleasurable sensation that smokers are used to with tobacco cigarettes. PG is a popular base with many different ratios alongside VG.

Very rarely (under 2% of people), irritation may occur due to sensitivity to PG. This presents a persistent cough (most new vapers cough a little at first, but it goes very quickly) and throat irritation. If you are sensitive to PG, consider high VG e-liquid instead.

Vegetable Glycerin Information

You need to know what is out there to choose the best for you, so let us introduce you to VG as an e-liquid base. Vegetable Glycerin is a natural ingredient with a slightly naturally occurring sweet taste. It is thick and offers a smooth vape that is popular with many. Those who love big vape clouds full of flavour may prefer a high VG e-liquid (where there is a higher percentage of VG in the base than PG). High VG e-juice is perfect for producing thick and smooth vapour and, as such, is also popular with sub-ohm vaping enthusiasts.

Sub-ohm vaping is where a vaper uses different coils (low resistance coils) to boost flavour production and amplify the amount of vapour the device produces. So, if you’re into big vapour and great flavour, high VG e-liquid could be another “A PG or VG base” question for you!

PG vs VG: Key Differences and Characteristics

Regarding vaping and e-cigarettes, two primary ingredients are crucial in determining the overall vaping experience: propylene glycol (PG) and vegetable glycerin (VG). PG and VG are commonly used as base liquids in e-liquids or vape juices but have distinct characteristics and effects. This detailed section will explore the key differences between PG and VG, shedding light on their unique properties and how they impact your vaping experience.

Composition and Origin:

Propylene glycol (PG) is a synthetic organic compound derived from petroleum. It is a colourless, odourless liquid with a thin consistency. Vegetable glycerin (VG), on the other hand, is a natural substance derived from vegetable oils such as palm or coconut oil. VG is also colourless and odourless but has a thicker and more dense consistency than PG.

Vapour Production:

One of the primary differences between PG and VG lies in their vapour production. PG is known for its ability to produce less dense and thinner vapour, which closely mimics the sensation of smoking a traditional cigarette. This characteristic makes PG ideal for those seeking a discreet vaping experience. On the contrary, VG produces thicker and denser vapour clouds, resulting in more noticeable and visually appealing vapour production. Vapers who enjoy performing tricks or cloud chasing often prefer e-liquids with a higher VG content.

Throat Hit:

The term “throat hit” refers to the sensation experienced at the back of the throat while inhaling vapour. PG is known to deliver a stronger throat hit compared to VG. This characteristic makes PG popular among ex-smokers or individuals who crave a throat sensation similar to smoking. VG, being smoother on the throat, provides a milder and less pronounced throat hit.

Flavour Intensity:

Both PG and VG have different effects on the overall flavour intensity of e-liquids. PG is a better carrier for flavours and tends to enhance the taste of e-liquids, resulting in a more pronounced and vibrant flavour profile. On the other hand, VG has a slightly sweet taste, which can sometimes impact the overall flavour. It is less effective in carrying certain flavours, but it contributes to producing thicker vapour clouds.

Allergies and Sensitivities:

While rare, some individuals may experience allergies or sensitivities to PG. In such cases, switching to VG-based e-liquids can be a viable alternative. VG is generally considered safer and less likely to cause allergic reactions, making it suitable for sensitising vapers.

Coil Performance and Maintenance:

The higher viscosity of VG can lead to faster buildup on vape coils compared to PG. This means that VG-based e-liquids may require more frequent coil cleaning or replacement to maintain optimal performance. Thinner PG is less likely to cause coil gunking and may result in a longer coil lifespan.

The Pros and Cons of PG Base E-Liquids

Regarding vaping, e-liquids are crucial in delivering flavour and vapour production. Among the various components used in e-liquids, propylene glycol (PG) is a common base ingredient. PG base e-liquids have their own set of advantages and disadvantages that are worth considering. This section will explore the key information about PG e-liquids and their pros and cons.

Pros of PG Base E-Liquids:

Flavour Intensity: PG is known for its ability to carry flavours effectively. It has a neutral taste, which allows the true essence of the flavourings to come through. If you enjoy bold and pronounced flavours, PG e-liquids are a great choice.

Throat Hit: PG e-liquids provide a stronger throat hit than vegetable glycerin (VG) e-liquids. This sensation is often preferred by individuals transitioning from traditional cigarettes, as it mimics the feeling of smoking.

Vapour Production: Although PG e-liquids produce less dense vapour clouds than VG-based counterparts, they offer better clarity and visibility. This can benefit vapers who prioritise discreetness or require less dense vapour output in certain situations.

Consistency: PG is a thinner liquid, making wick and feed through an atomiser’s coil easier. This results in a more consistent and reliable vaping experience, with fewer dry hits or gunked-up coils.

Cons of PG Base E-Liquids:

Allergenic Potential: Some individuals may have sensitivity or allergies to PG. Symptoms can include throat irritation, dryness, or skin rashes. If you experience any adverse reactions while vaping PG e-liquids, it is recommended to switch to VG-based alternatives.

Hydration: PG has a drying effect, which can dehydrate the mouth and throat. This can lead to increased thirst or a dry feeling. To minimise discomfort, it is important to stay adequately hydrated when using PG e-liquids.

Vapour Production: While PG e-liquids produce a decent amount of vapour, they are less adept at creating thick, voluminous clouds than VG-based e-liquids. If large vapour production is a priority for you, a higher VG ratio or a blend of PG and VG might be more suitable.

Sweetness and Smoothness: Compared to VG, PG has a slightly sweeter taste which can contribute to a smoother overall vaping experience. Some vapers prefer the slightly thicker mouthfeel and sweetness provided by VG e-liquids.

The Benefits and Drawbacks of VG Base E-Liquids

VG (Vegetable Glycerin) is a commonly used base ingredient in e-liquids, known for producing dense vapour clouds and providing a smooth vaping experience. This detailed section delves into the benefits and drawbacks of VG base e-liquids, shedding light on crucial aspects to consider.

Benefits of VG Base E-Liquids

Impressive Vapor Production: VG's thick consistency makes it a favoured choice among cloud chasers. Vapers seeking voluminous clouds will appreciate VG base e-liquids, as they generate substantial vapour, adding to the vaping session's visual appeal and overall enjoyment.

Gentle on the Throat: One advantage of VG e-liquids is their smoothness, resulting in a milder throat hit than other bases. This makes them particularly suitable for vapers who may find high PG e-liquids too harsh or irritating. VG e-liquids offer a more comfortable experience for those sensitive to throat irritation.

Flavour Enhancement: VG has a natural sweetness that can enhance the overall flavour profile of e-liquids. It effectively carries and preserves flavours, giving vapers a more pronounced taste experience. This benefit is especially appealing to individuals who appreciate vibrant flavours.

Hydration Support: VG possesses humectant properties, meaning it attracts and retains moisture. Some vapers report experiencing less dehydration when using VG e-liquids than those with higher PG content. This potential hydration benefit is advantageous for those who are more sensitive to the drying effects of vaping.

Drawbacks of VG Base E-Liquids

Reduced Throat Hit Sensation: While VG's smoothness is appreciated by many, some vapers prefer a stronger throat hit. VG e-liquids may not provide the same level of satisfaction as high PG e-liquids in terms of throat hit intensity. Individuals transitioning from traditional tobacco products might find the throat hit less pronounced.

Viscosity Challenges: The high viscosity of VG can pose challenges, particularly for certain vaping devices. Thick e-liquids may have difficulty wicking properly, leading to slower absorption and potential coil buildup. Users of pod systems or older devices should be mindful of this issue to ensure consistent performance.

Flavour Intensity Variation: While VG is known for its flavour-carrying capacity, it may reduce the intensity of certain flavours. Some vapers might find that delicate or subtle flavour notes are less pronounced when using VG base e-liquids than e-liquids with higher PG content. Flavour enthusiasts should consider this variation.

Vapour Residue and Film: Due to the denser vapour clouds produced by VG e-liquids, there may be a higher likelihood of noticeable residue on surfaces such as windows, mirrors, and car windshields. Regular cleaning or maintenance might be required to maintain a clean vaping environment.

Hydration and Moisture: Effects of PG and VG on Vapers

Both PG and VG are commonly used as base liquids in e-cigarettes and play a crucial role in creating vapour. However, they can have different effects on the body's hydration, and vapers should pay attention to their hydration needs while using these substances.

PG and Hydration:

Propylene glycol is known for its ability to attract and retain moisture. When vapers inhale PG-based e-liquids, it can contribute to a drying effect on their bodies. PG has hygroscopic properties, meaning it can absorb water from its surroundings, including the respiratory tract. As a result, vapers may experience symptoms such as dry mouth, dry throat, and increased thirst.

To counteract the dehydrating effects of PG, vapers need to prioritise hydration. Drinking adequate water throughout the day can help replenish the body's moisture levels. Experts recommend consuming at least eight glasses (64 ounces) of water daily, but individual hydration needs may vary based on factors such as activity level, climate, and personal health.

VG and Hydration:

In contrast to PG, vegetable glycerin has humectant properties, attracting and retaining moisture. Vapers using e-liquids with a higher VG content are less likely to experience pronounced drying effects. VG can help retain moisture in the throat and respiratory tract, leading to a smoother vaping experience.

However, it's important to note that while VG may not have the same drying effect as PG, proper hydration is still crucial. Vapers should maintain a balanced intake of fluids to support overall well-being. Incorporating water-rich foods into their diet, such as fruits and vegetables, can also contribute to hydration.

Advice on the Importance of Hydration:

To ensure a healthy vaping experience, vapers should keep the following tips in mind:

Drink Sufficient Water: Hydrate regularly by drinking ample water throughout the day. Staying hydrated can help counteract the potential drying effects of PG-based e-liquids.

Monitor Vaping Habits: Consider your body's response to different e-liquid compositions. If you notice increased thirst, dry mouth, or dry throat, consider adjusting the PG-to-VG ratio or opting for e-liquids with higher VG content.

Balance Hydration Sources: Apart from water, incorporate other hydrating sources like herbal teas, coconut water, and electrolyte-rich beverages into your routine. These can provide additional hydration benefits.

Be Mindful of External Factors: Climate, physical activity, and medication usage can affect hydration needs. Adjust your fluid intake accordingly to maintain a healthy balance.

Choosing a PG or VP Base

Both base liquids offer great-tasting vapour and an awesome vaping experience, especially with our extensive range of e-liquids! Choosing a PG or VG base depends on what you want to get out of your vaping hobby. Explore the ranges, think about flavours and experiment a little. That’s part of the fun!

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