If you’ve just entered the world of vaping, you’ve probably heard of PG and VG but don’t yet have a great understand of what these two things actually are.
It doesn’t take a vaping connoisseur to tell you that the ratios of PG/VG in your e-liquid can alter your vaping experience and having a basic knowledge of PG, VG, and how the two can interact could seriously enhance the way you vape.
Similarly, if you’ve recently started vaping and have found that you are experiencing symptoms like discomfort and throat irritation, don’t switch back to the cigarettes just yet, because this could stem from a problem with your PG/VG ratio and could easily be rectified through trial and error.
Because so many people have questions about PG and VG, we’ve detailed what you need to know about the two ingredients and how they can affect the way you experience vaping.
What Is PG?
PG (Propylene Glycol) is a form of alcohol which is colourless and almost completely odourless and is widely considered to be non-toxic and safe. Most of the e-liquids you’ll find on the market primarily contain PG and perhaps its most useful property is that it’s humectant, which essentially means that it keeps things moist – it’s also a great preservative and is a solvent.
PG is used in a whole host of products including human and animal food, cosmetics, medicines, and food colouring. Because it’s so easy to vaporise, PG is used in e-liquids, asthma inhalers, and fog machines.
For information on the safety of PG, check out this article which details its potential effects.
What Is VG?
VG (Vegetable Glycerine) is similar to PG in the way that it’s a colourless and odourless alcohol which is widely believed to be safe to consume, but it’s more viscous than PG and is often referred to as ‘glycerol’.
Because VG has a sweet taste, is a solvent and a preservative, and helps things to keep their moisture, you’ll find it in a variety of products such as cough syrup, ointment, toothpaste, and food colouring.
How Do The Two Differ?
Although PG and VG are very similar, there are some important differences between the two which can impact how you vape:
PG Holds Flavour Better Than VG
Because VG is sweet, it can interfere with the taste of your e-liquid more than the flavourless PG will. So, if flavour is an important part of vaping for you, e-liquids with a higher PG ratio is going to be better for you, but it must be noted that the difference in flavour with PG and VG is subtle.
PG Gives A Stronger Throat Hit Than VG
Depending on your preference, this could be a good thing or a bad thing, but e-liquids with a higher PG ratio will give a stronger hit to the throat which is more like smoking a cigarette.
This can be ideal for those who have recently quit smoking, but long-time vapers often opt for a higher VG ratio for a smoother feeling.
VG Is Better Than PG For Vapour Production
For people who are into competitive vaping (also known as cloud chasing) or like a lot of vapour, higher VG e-liquids are preferable as they produce the most vapour.
PG Wicks Better Than VG
Perhaps the biggest downside to VG e-liquids is that, because they’re so viscous, they take a fair bit longer to soak into the wick to reach the coil, which can cause problems for you when you’re vaping.
Each time you inhale your vape, you take away the liquid in your wick and it’s replaced by the liquid in your tank. VG e-liquids take longer to soak into the wick which can give you a ‘dry puff’ on your next inhale – ‘dry puffs’ tend to taste foul, so they’re not usually desired by vapers.
Some People Are Allergic To PG
There are people out there who have a sensitivity to PG, so e-liquids with a higher VG ratio will give them a much more pleasant vaping experience. The most common symptom of a sensitivity to PG is a feeling of irritation in the throat during and after vaping.
However, if you do suffer from a PG sensitivity, you may not have to remove PG from your e-liquid repertoire completely, a lower ratio should do the trick. When using a VG-based e-liquid, it may be worth investing in a better-quality tank and atomiser for the best vaping experience possible.
Feel free to browse our selection of e-liquids which features a range of PG/VG ratios.