PG E-Liquids vs. VG E-Liquids – Which One Is Right For You?
One of the most exciting parts of a rapidly growing industry is the speed and consistency at which new products are introduced to the market on a regular basis. The electronic cigarette industry is no exception. In fact, according to Forbes, electronic cigarettes are one of the fastest growing industries in the world today. However, along with the excitement of all the new products comes confusion and uncertainty as to what each product is, and which one is right for you. One of the factors that puzzle electronic cigarette users, particularly those new to them, is the determination as to which e-liquid is the best. Although establishing the “best” e-liquid for a specific user depends on several factors, including flavor, smoothness, quality, and vapor production, one of the biggest variables rests in the base of the liquid itself.
E-Liquid, or e-juice as some call it, is generally made by using one of two bases: Vegetable Glycerin (VG) and Propylene Glycol (PG). As of late, some e-liquid manufacturers have been combining the two bases to form a custom base that seeks to find the ideal blend. Nicotine and flavoring is then added to the base to form the finished e-liquid product that can then be used in a given electronic cigarette device. In determining which form of e-liquid base is best for you, it is important to first understand what each base is, as well as their respective the pros and cons.
Generally, PG-based e-liquids tend to be more widely used than VG-based ones. Propylene Glycol is a tasteless and odorless substance, and therefore doesn’t affect the taste of the e-liquid whatsoever. PG-bases are substantially thinner in consistency than the VG bases; so on one hand, they don’t clog cartomizers and atomizers as rapidly, but on the other hand produce lower density vapor. That is, VG-based e-liquids produce a thicker cloud of vapor than their PG-based counterparts. Other than the need to change cartomizers more often due to clogging, the major pitfall of PG-based liquids is the propensity to cause allergic reactions to some users. Although relatively rare, Propylene Glycol can cause allergic reactions ranging from dry/scratchy throat, to sinus congestion, to headaches, to swelling in the face and tongue. For those who do experience allergic reactions to Propylene Glycol, you must make sure that you use 100% VG-based e-liquids. Another minor, yet common, side effect of PG-based liquids is their tendency to cause dry mouth, especially when used frequently throughout the day.
Conversely, Vegetable Glycerin-based e-liquids do not tend to cause allergic reactions the way PG-bases do. The major drawback of VG-bases is the thicker consistency of the liquid itself. Although this thickness results in a denser and richer vapor cloud, it also poses some minor drawbacks. One of the disadvantages is that cartomizers with a filament on the inside has a harder time absorbing VG-based e-liquids than PG-based ones. More importantly, due to the thicker texture, VG bases also tend to clog cartomizers and atomizers much more rapidly than VG-based liquids. That is, cartomizers and atomizers (or their heads) must be replaced in a shorter period of time when using VG-based liquids. Another downside to VG bases is the potential for the taste of the liquid to alter slightly. Although technically tasteless, Vegetable Glycerin does have a very subtle taste to it, which may alter the intended flavor of the liquid faintly.
In response to the advantages and disadvantages of each base, several e-liquid manufacturers use combinations of both VG and PG. Although combination bases still cannot be used by those who experience allergic reactions, they do help in fusing the benefits, while eliminating the downsides of the two bases. The most common combinations are 33% VG/67% PG or 20% VG/80% PG. However, more recently, a growing number of e-liquid manufacturers allow the customer to customize the combination of liquid to his/her preference. The combination bases generally result in smooth, rich, flavorful, and dense vapor production, without decreasing the life of the cartomizer or atomizer in any substantial way. Both of the current lines that Vapor Authority carries offers a wonderfully balanced combination of VG and PG bases, that allows for the most pleasant vaping experience possible.