When looking at different e-liquids, the first question that many vapers ask is what is the difference between PG and VG? This short guide will explain what these two ingredients are, how they are used in vaping, and what mixture of PG and VG is right for you and your vaping setup.
Propylene Glycol, or PG for short, is a by-product of petroleum.
Aside from vaping, Propylene Glycol USP/EP (pharmaceutical grade) is an ingredient in many household items:
Studies have demonstrated that PG has a very low toxicity when ingested orally. The FDA has ruled that it is generally recognized as safe when used as a food additive. Limited studies exist on the inhalation of Propylene Glycol. One long-term study from 1947 concluded that inhalation of PG was “completely harmless”. Propylene Glycol should not be confused with Ethylene Glycol, a structurally similar chemical. It is commonly used in anti-freeze and is toxic to humans.
There is a link between consumption of PG and development of Heinz body anemia in cats. At the moment there are no studies specifically targeting airborne PG and cats. But if you have cats at home, it may be wise to switch to a high VG blend – or vape outdoors. Some people may experience throat irritation from PG. A small percentage of people report an allergic reaction. If you are transitioning from smoking to vaping, you may experience dryness and increased thirst as your body gets used to PG. Some side-effects may be a result of giving up cigarettes too. Be sure to drink plenty of water and stay hydrated. However, if you experience any unpleasant symptoms or body rashes, then try out a max VG e-liquid as an alternative to PG.
Vegetable Glycerin, also known as VG, is a non-toxic chemical derived from vegetable oils, and is therefore safe for vegetarians.
Vegetable Glycerin has many applications outside vaping. These include:
Vegetable Glycerin is generally recognized as safe by the FDA. The SIDS Initial Assessment Report, published in 2002 by the IPCS found Glycerol to have low toxicity when ingested, inhaled or in contact with the skin. As with Propylene Glycol, limited studies exist on inhalation of VG.
The chance of an allergic reaction to Vegetable Glycerin is very low. Actually, if you are allergic to VG then you probably know already, as it’s present in so many household products. Thick, gloopy e-liquids with a high VG percentage can clog up coils. It is important to prime your coil properly before vaping when using high VG e-juices to avoid dry hits.
In the early days of e-cigarettes, it was common to vape using a 100% PG e-liquid. As technology has advanced and vaping preferences have changed, it’s now possible to get e-juices in a variety of mixing ratios. Which VG/PG blend is right for you? Here are the most common ratios and what you can expect from them:
The device you’re vaping on will also determine what PG/VG blend is right for you. Finding the right blend is a matter of personal preference and experimentation. Here are some basic guidelines:
With so many different blends available, it is also rewarding – and cost effective – to mix your own e-liquids. Some factors to consider:
There are no strict rules when it comes to blending PG and VG in e-liquids. Each have their own pros and cons. We recommend starting out with a 50/50 PG/VG blend and experimenting from there. Make sure your gear can handle the mix you’re using. Too much e-liquid can lead to flooded coils. Too little and you get a dry hit, every vaper’s worst nightmare. The huge variety of flavors is one of the most exciting things about vaping. Follow your tastebuds and have fun mixing it up!