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VG vs. PG E-Liquid: How to Choose?

Vapingbase / VG vs. PG E-Liquid: How to Choose?
vg vs pg e-liquid

Every beginner (including me) has been through it.

You hear some terms and names, have no idea what they mean, nod your head, and feel like a complete newbie.

The same may happen when you hear people compare VG vs. PG.

So, today I will share all the necessary info with you, which might help you move to the next experience level. Let’s dive right in!

What Are PG and VG?

When shopping for your e-juice, the first thing you are going to hear are the words VG, PG, and their ratio. But what do these abbreviations mean? And why do you, a vaper, need to understand them?

The answer is simple. You must familiarize yourself with these terms because they are the most prevalent, the base components of any e-liquid. Hence, every time you vape, you vape on the VG and PG. But what are they exactly? What is PG and VG?

Let’s start with PG. The full name of this component is Propylene Glycol. It is a colorless and odorless fluid that is used as a base for e-juices. Being a petroleum by-product, Propylene Glycol may be added to numerous products we use every day, not only e-liquids. For instance, you might find PG in your toothpaste, in beauty products like makeup or shampoos, or even in your pet’s food. PG can also be a component of some medical products, especially those that are supposed to be taken orally.

You can see now that you may consume Propylene Glycol not only with your e-juice. Therefore, you might start wondering whether this component is safe. Let me calm you down: PG is recognized as a safe substance to ingest orally. However, the majority of studies are concentrated on the ingestion of PG and not on inhaling it. So, just keep in mind that more research needs to be done in order to be 100% sure that PG is completely safe for vapers.

The number of vape juice flavors is overwhelming these days. You are definitely going to find something suitable for your needs and preferences

Now, moving on to VG, or Vegetable Glycerin. This substance is a natural chemical component, which is derived from vegetable oil. It is used as a base for e-juices and adds more thickness to them. VG can also be found in numerous day-to-day objects, for instance, makeup, deodorants, soaps, pet food, toothpaste, pastry (yep, there too, to make the pasty moist), sweeteners, pills, etc.

Is VG safe? Generally, yes. It is considered to be a safe substance to be ingested. However, just like with PG, there are not enough studies concerning inhaling Vegetable Glycerin. Just keep in mind that VG may cause allergies in some people. That’s probably the most serious issue we know of so far.

VG-Based Vape Juices

Here’s the deal:

Whenever you buy your e-liquid, it will have both VG and PG in it (in the majority of cases). The concentration and the amount of one of those will influence a lot of features of your vape.

So, it seems like it’s important to understand what a VG-based e-juice is capable of and what peculiarities it has. Let’s take a look at them:

  • It is super thick. This means it will take some time for it to get absorbed by the wicks. However, the thickness of Vegetable Glycerin allows it to produce thicker vapor and huge clouds, which so many of us enjoy when vaping.
  • It has a slightly sweet taste. Therefore, it might make your e-liquid taste sweeter than it should be. It’s not such a big deal, to be honest, especially if you prefer fruity or pastry-like flavors.
  • It results in more gunk on your coils and inside your atomizer tank. Because VG is quite thick, it will gunk up faster and may even clog your vaporizer. This may turn into a rather challenging cleaning process, but there are always tricks you can use to get rid of that nasty gunk.
  • It may give you a dry mouth or cause an allergy (however, the chances are really low, so don’t be alarmed).
  • It allows for a smoother vape. A VG-based juice is an ideal option for people who don’t like a strong throat hit and prefer smooth, soft inhales.

It allows for a larger amount of vapor, which is perfect for cloud chasers. The rule is simple: more VG in your vape juice = more vapor. It get’s better: the vapor turns out to be super thick, like an impenetrable fog.

Some manufacturers allow you to pick the VG/PG ratio yourself, according to your preferences

PG-Based Vape Juices

In this PG vs. VG comparison, it is important to understand that the difference between VG and PG will also be reflected in the e-juices that have one of these components prevailing. I suggest we look at the PG-based e-liquids and their peculiarities to get a full picture:

  • It has a less dense consistency than VG. This allows the wicks to absorb the e-juice faster, which consequently influences the flavor quality.
  • It results in less gunk in your vaping device. Because PG has a bit runny consistency, it doesn’t build up on your atomizer parts that fast, resulting in less gunk and an easier cleaning process.
  • It offers a stronger throat hit on each inhale. A PG-based liquid may make your mouth feel a bit dry, but it will also provide a strong throat hit, which a lot of vapers really like.
  • It doesn’t have any taste, so it won’t affect the flavor of your e-liquid. While Vegetable Glycerin is sweet on its own, Propylene Glycol is flavorless and won’t compromise the purity of your e-juice flavor.
  • It may cause an allergic reaction. This is probably the only downside, but some people experience allergic reactions to Propylene Glycol.

Don’t get me wrong:

I’m not saying that PG is extremely dangerous and will cause you to have a rash or something worse. However, there’s still a chance you might be allergic to this component.  

What Is the Best PG/VG Ratio?

Figuring out the best ratio may be quite a challenge. You see, simply studying this matter isn’t enough. You also need to think about your personal preferences, tastes, and characteristics you expect your vaping experience to have. If your vaping budget is limited we recommend reading this guide.

Now, let’s look at the main vape features and see, which ratio can provide them for you:

  • Thick vapor and huge clouds. If you are into cloud chasing or simply enjoy exhaling large dense clouds, you should go with a VG-based e-juice. The higher the VG percentage in your e-liquid, the better. The most common and popular ratio for cloud chasing these days is 80% VG and 20% PG. However, there are manufacturers who offer 99% VG vape juices. Those will make the task of cleaning your atomizer more challenging, but I feel like such an inconvenience is totally worth it.

Smooth inhales. If you are not a fan of a strong throat hit, a VG-based e-liquid will be your best friend. Such e-juices allow for a smooth, gentler vape and soft inhales. You can start with 60% VG and 40% PG, for example.

There are pure VG or PG juices, but you may also get a mix of both and experiment with different ratios in order to find out what works best for you
  • Stealth vaping style. If you prefer a low-key vaping style (whatever the reason is), going with a PG-based juice is an ideal option for you. You see, PG-concentrated e-liquids don’t allow for huge clouds. Don’t get me wrong, the vapor production is still decent (and bigger than when smoking regular cigarettes). However, when compared with the VG-based juices, it offers smaller clouds and a less dense vapor.
  • Throat hit. There are many vapers who enjoy a strong throat hit when vaping. If you’re one of them, you should get yourself a PG-based vape juice (80/20 PG/VG ratio, for instance). Propylene Glycol makes every inhale very distinct and allows the vapor to hit the throat quite noticeably.

Strong nicotine hit. This feature is linked to the previous one. Vaping on a PG-concentrated e-juice and receiving that strong throat hit will also allow you to feel the harsh and distinct nicotine taste with each inhale.

The Best VG/PG Ratio for Flavor

When comparing PG vs. VG, you might start wondering what the best PG/VG ratio for flavor is. I mean, flavor is probably the number one reason why we all love vaping so much. Therefore, picking the proper ratio for the best taste and quality of flavor is extremely important.

If you prefer a larger could production, you should pick a VG-based e-juice

And here’s the kicker:

It’s not that difficult to find the proper VG/PG ratio, honestly.

You see, the secret to a great flavor is simple: the more Propylene Glycol there is in your e-liquid, the better flavor quality you will be able to enjoy.

How come, you may ask? Well, Vegetable Glycerin, being super thick, allows for huge clouds but doesn’t let the flavor develop its notes in depth. Plus, it’s a sweet substance, which may make your vape juice taste funny or simply too sugary. PG, on the other hand, is flavorless and less thick, which allows it to release the flavor better when it’s being heated up. Moreover, having a runny consistency, Propylene Glycol gets absorbed by the wicks better and faster, providing a better, richer flavor.

Difference Between VG and PG

To figure out their main dissimilarities, let’s compare PG vs. VG side by side:


Characteristics

VGPG
ConsistencyThickNot too dense
Flavor/tasteSweetFlavorless
Allergy Possible (low risk)Possible (low risk)
Flavor qualityDecent flavor but could be betterAllows for an excellent flavor
Cloud productionHuge, thick cloudsA decent amount of vapor
Vaping style Perfect for cloud chasingIdeal for a stealth mode
Ease of cleaningResults in more gunk, a bit harder to cleanRelatively easy to clean
Vapor temperatureRegular (in the majority of cases)Allows for warm inhales
LongevityTends to spoil faster than PG-based e-liquidsTends to last longer than VG-concentrated e-juices
If you want an intense flavor, a PG-based e-liquid would be ideal for you

Conclusion

When trying to pick between VG vs. PG, you should really listen to yourself only. Your friends or guys on the Internet may shout out loud about how much they love VG or PG-based e-juices, but you should think about your personal preferences. After all, you are the one who is going to be stuck with the e-juice you pick (unless you decide to throw it away, of course). Thankfully, now you know what PG and VG are, and what combination is perfect for each vaping style. Just pick whichever you like the most and enjoy!

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