PG vs VG E-Liquid: What Do The Ratios Mean?
E-liquid consists of three primary ingredients: A base, nicotine, and flavoring. The base of e-liquid is made from Vegetable Glycerin (VG), Propylene Glycol (PG), or a combination of the two. The most common e-liquid base is a combination of PG and VG; however, different producers have various ratios of PG-to-VG.
Propylene Glycol is a colorless, tasteless, and odorless viscous liquid that is used in a number of food products that we consume on a daily basis. Examples of foods that contain propylene glycol includes ice cream, coffee, whipped cream, beer, and soda. Compared to vegetable glycerin, propylene glycol is much more fluid and not nearly as thick. As a result, it produces less vapor, but also does not clog atomizer coils as quickly as vegetable glycerin does. Additionally, a small percentage of electronic cigarette users will find that they are allergic to propylene glycol, and must therefore use e-liquids that are a much high percentage vegetable glycerin based, such as the "High VG" line by Space Jam
Vegetable Glycerin is a simple sugar alcohol (polyol) compound. It is an odorless, colorless, and slightly sweet substance that is found in a plethora of commonly used products, such as foods, pharmaceuticals, and personal care products. Vegetable glycerin can be found in such foods as low-fat desserts, frosting, cupcakes, and liqueurs. It can also found in products such as cough syrup, laxatives, mouthwash, toothpaste, and soap. Compared to propylene glycol, vegetable glycerin is much thicker in texture, and therefore produces substantially more vapor. However, due to its thicker consistency, vegetable glycerin tends to clog atomizer coils more rapidly than propylene glycol.
Due to the pros and cons of both propylene glycol and vegetable glycerin, most e-liquid producers combine the two substances to establish the base of their juices. However, each manufacturer has a different ratio of PG-to-VG. Some producers, such as Mister-E-Liquid, uses a blend of 67% PG and 33% VG, while others, such as Five Pawns, use blends of 50% of each. The most common ratio among popular e-juice producers tends to be in the range of 70% PG to 30% VG. These combinations provide thick vapor clouds while limiting the effect of the liquid on atomizer coils.
What’s Right For You?
So which blend is the one best suited for you? This is a highly personal question that is based on preference. If you are looking for immense vapor clouds, and don’t mind needing to change your atomizer coils more often, then a higher VG consistency will be better for you. Somewhere in the range of 50/50 should satisfy your desire for thicker vape clouds. On the other hand, if you are content with thick vapor clouds, but would like to extend the life of your atomizer coils, then something closer to a 30% VG to 70% PG will be the better option for you.
Of course, the equipment you have also plays a critical role in determining the best PG-to-VG e-juice ratio for you. If you are using a standard-resistance tank with smaller atomizer coils, such as the Aspire Nautilus or Kanger Protank 3, then a PG-dominant e-juice is most suitable for you. However, if you are using sub-ohm tanks with massive atomizer coils, such as the SMOK TFV12 or the SMOK TFV8, then a VG-dominant e-juice would be the best choice for you.