Most e-juices or e-liquids contain PG (propylene glycol), VG (vegetable glycerin), water, nicotine and food grade flavorings. There are several flavors of e-liquids to choose from, but there are also different blends of PG and VG on the market. Do you know the difference?
What is PG and VG?
PG, Propylene Glycol, is a slightly syrupy clear and colorless liquid that has little odor or taste. It is a FDA approved chemical used in a wide variety of products for more than 50 years including cough syrup, cookies, cigarettes, beer, shampoo, cosmetics, fog machines and asthma inhalers. Used as a stabilizer, PG holds things together, keeps items from evaporating and helps food stay moist. When PG is in the body, it is quickly converted to lactic acid, similar to sugar and eliminated through our urine. Clear here to learn more.
VG, Vegetable Glycerin or Vegetable Glycol, is a thicker liquid than PG, derived from plant oils (commonly soy, coconut and palm) and has a slight sweet taste. VG is also FDA approved and found in skin care products, pet food, bake goods, medication and dental products. Also, VG can be used as a sugar substitute. When in the body, VG quickly metabolizes into CO2 and H2O.
Why are PG and VG in electronic cigarettes?
Both PG and VG hold the nicotine and food grade flavors similar to the way carrier (cooking) oils hold herbs and essential oils. When the e-liquid is heated, the food grade flavorings and nicotine are released into the vapor. Most e-juices contain both PG and VG in varying amounts to get the benefits of both liquids. Some flavorings used in e-liquids contain PG as a carrier liquid before being added to the e-juice.
In electronic cigarettes, PG increases the boiling point of the water in the e-liquid, so the amount of heat needed to convert the water into a vapor is less than the heat needed to burn a cigarette. Due to the lack of flavor in PG, the flavorings added to it are not affected by the PG liquid, resulting in a stronger flavored e-liquid than VG based e-juices. Also, the thinness of PG makes it easier to draw the e-liquid into the wicks or polyfill fabric of the cartridge, and the e-juice doesn’t buildup on the heating coil as quickly as VG. The main affect of PG that most e-cig users enjoy is the strong throat hit that is similar to smoking a cigarette. Also, PG produces a less dense vapor cloud than VG.
Research since the 1940’s has found PG to be safe when inhaled. The most common side effects from inhaling PG are sore throat, increased thirst and dry mouth. These side effects usually last for a couple of days to a week as the body gets use to PG. However, there are rare cases of allergic reactions to PG.
Unlike PG, vaping VG results in less of a throat hit and produces a denser vapor cloud. The sweetness of VG dilutes the food grade flavorings and causes the e-juice to have a sweeter taste. However, due to the thickness of e-liquid, VG does buildup on the heating coils faster than PG e-juices, which reduces the life of the atomizers and heating coils. The thickness of VG requires high temperatures to convert the liquid to a vapor resulting in a shorter battery life and longer time for the e-liquid to be absorbed by the wicking materials.
Side affects to inhaling VG are similar to PG, but VG is hypo-allergenic and non-carcinogenic. If your throat is irritated when using PG based e-liquids, it is suggested that you change to a higher ratio of VG to PG based e-juice.
Not all e-liquids tell you the ratio of PG to VG in there bottles. This is due to slight ratio changes with the increase in nicotine and food grade flavorings, and/or the company wanting to keep their blend information secret from their competitors. However, you can always ask if the e-juice is PG or VG based.
Seeds of Wellness carries American made e-liquids by eVo and DuraSmoke to offer our customers both a PG and VG based e-juice. DuraSmoke offers VG based and 50/50 blend e-juices while eVo e-liquids are all PG based. Call or stop in to learn more.