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What is PG and VG?

What is PG and VG?

PG and VG are the two ingredients with science-y names that are found in every e-liquid bottle you’ve ever bought.

PG stands for Propylene Glycol and VG is Vegetable Glycerin. 

Don’t let the names scare you off. Both PG and VG are harmless, odourless, non-toxic clear liquids that give vaping the satisfying feeling that every vaper enjoys.

There are four basic ingredients found in every e-liquid;

  • Flavouring
  • PG 
  • VG
  • Nicotine (optional)

That’s it. There’s nothing more. Just four ingredients. 

The flavouring component is generally food-grade concentrates that are found in confectionery and baking, and nicotine provides that satisfying hit that many of us are addicted to.

What’s the purpose of PG and VG?

The reason e-liquids use both PG and VG is that they each serve a slightly different purpose. PG can be thought of as the flavour carrier and VG is better at producing vapour.

Combining these two ingredients results in a vape that is full of flavour and produces a nice satisfying vapour cloud.

Propylene Glycol (PG)

PG is a petroleum by-product which is odourless, tasteless and is colourless. It’s much thinner than VG and is much better at carrying the flavour in e-liquids. 

Vegetable Glycerin (VG)

VG is a natural chemical derived from vegetable oils. It’s a much thicker liquid than PG and has a slightly sweet taste. VG is responsible for the thick clouds that are produced when vaping.

50/50 or High VG? Which ratio is the best?

PG and VG are usually both found in e-liquids, but the amount of each can vary and it’s often a choice you’re presented with when buying e-liquids.

50/50 means that there’s an equal amount of PG and VG in your e-liquid. Sometimes you also might see this shown as 50PG / 50VG, meaning there’s 50% of each ingredient.

50/50 gives a nice balance between good flavour (from the PG) and vapour production (thanks VG). This ratio works best in smaller vapes, like pen style or pods. Generally any vape under 20 watts performs well with a 50/50 mix.

Due to the coils being smaller in these kind of vapes, the thickness of VG can become a problem, so a 50/50 mix means that the e-liquid is thin enough that it doesn’t prevent e-liquid being fed to the coil.

High VG or 70VG / 30PG contains around 70% VG and 30% PG. This results in a much thicker e-liquid due to the higher percentage of VG. This mix is usually preferred by vapers who use higher wattage devices. 

Generally when you’re vaping on those style of vapes, you’re no longer trying to get that throat hit, and instead you enjoy the nice thick cloud that gets produced so you’ll usually vape at a lower nicotine level too.

The lower ratio of PG means there’s slightly less flavour in this mix, but higher powered vapes are designed to produce more flavour anyway so it’s less noticeable.

Are PG and VG Bad for you?

Many studies have been undertaken to determine whether PG and VG are safe to ingest. The studies have concluded that both PG and VG are generally safe, but remember there’s always some risk when inhaling anything directly into the lungs. 

A very small percentage of people have mild allergic reactions to PG, which can present as a skin rash. VG hasn’t been found to cause this issue so it’s recommended for those people to find MAX VG juices, which are almost 100% VG.

Does PG and VG expire?

Both PG and VG are chemically stable and won’t break down over time. When purchased in large quantities for manufacturing, there is often a 10-year expiry date.

E-liquids on the other hand do often have an expiry date, which is around 2 years from the date of manufacture. The flavourings used in e-liquid can degrade over time, not the PG / VG base.

How do you store PG and VG?

Even though PG and VG won’t go bad over time, it’s recommended to store these e-liquids in an airtight bottle or container to prevent contact with dust and other contaminants.

I hope this has given you a better understanding of the two main ingredients in your e-liquids. 

If you’re still not clear or need some more information, send us an email with your questions or concerns to info@thevapestore.co.nz

Next article What are nicotine salts?

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