Especially when you have just started with the vape, there are often some uncertainties, especially concerning the e-liquid used. When it comes to smoking, it’s even easier. At least one had the impression of knowing exactly what was in a cigarette, even if burning tobacco produced thousands of by-products, some of which were highly toxic and posed a major health risk. But there is no tobacco in the e-cigarette. Instead, you fill in a mostly clear liquid, which is usually also odourless. It is from this that the last steam is produced. But what is this so-called e-liquid made of, and what are the differences in composition? Especially if you had a rather uneasy feeling during the first vape attempts and are unsure whether the scratchy throat you may have felt is normal, it is worth gaining a deeper understanding of the matter to win. Knowing what causes a change in the mixing ratio when vaping and what you should pay attention to, you can also save money and avoid bad investments. It’s simple: E-Liquid is made up of 95% two substances: Propylene Glycol (PG) and Vegetable Glycerin (VG). In this article, we took a closer look at these two liquids. How are they obtained, and why are they used in e-liquids? What effect do they have on the vapour, and what difference would changing the mix ratio make? Our goal is not just to create general educational work. While it always makes sense to be familiar with the substances you put into your body and a greater wealth of knowledge about vaping gives you many good arguments with which you can defend yourself against critics, more knowledge about e- Liquid can do even more. In addition, you can understand which e-liquid is best for you or why the products you have tested so far have not been as satisfactory as you would have hoped.
Propylene Glycol (PG)
When you stumble across the term propylene glycol or even the abbreviation PG for the first time, the first question is what is behind this substance. Is it a safe substance that can be easily inhaled? Can a carcinogenic effect be expected, similar to inhaling cigarette smoke? Does Propylene Glycol Increase the Chance of Another Disease? Is it secretly antifreeze or acid? Fortunately, these questions can be answered with a resounding ‘no’. PG is safe to breathe. It is also used in the pharmaceutical industry, where it is used, for example, in solutions for asthma patients. Even in high amounts and over a longer time, the intake of propylene glycol is classified as safe and harmless. In e-liquid, PG is the preferred carrier for flavouring. This has to do with the properties because PG is relatively tasteless, inexpensive and rather dense and is therefore particularly suitable.
For this reason, a large proportion of all flavorings on the market are available on a PG basis. PG is obtained as a by-product of petroleum production, although no conclusions should be drawn. It is harmless and suitable for inhalation, and there is a risk of explosion from the substance. PG is colourless and odourless. Compared to vegetable glycerine (VG), PG is less dense and gives you a stronger throat hit. In addition, PG supports the taste intensity, and a larger proportion of propylene glycol ensures a purer taste experience. Many vapers who like to have a high percentage of PG in their e-liquid aim for a better flavour experience or a throat hit. Ex-smokers, in particular, may have a craving for a throat sensation similar to that experienced when smoking unfiltered cigarettes. This can be mimicked with a high proportion of PG. Another advantage of liquids with a lot of PG is the comparatively low viscosity. The mixture flows better and is more evenly distributed in the vaporizer, making it easier to consume.
Vegetable Glycerin (VG)
Vegetable glycerin is found in several foods that we eat every day. This naturally occurring substance is obtained as an extract from vegetable oil. VG is safe for oral ingestion. In e-liquid, this substance causes the resulting vapour to become dense and sweet. The larger and denser the resulting clouds and the more impressive the vapour, the more we have to thank the vegetable glycerin responsible for this.
In contrast to the PG, the throat hit with the vegetable glycerin is much less and gentler. Because of this, self-mixers tend to use a higher percentage of VG in their mix. Such a liquid is much easier to inhale and is particularly user-friendly. Even people who find the throat hit more of a hindrance and want to vape more gently are well advised to add more VG to the mix. The probability of being allergic to vegetable glycerin is extremely low. This is another reason why mixtures with more VG are more user-friendly. However, if you are naturally allergic to many vegetable oils or react sensitively to them, you should consult a doctor before attempting a vape for the first time. People with diabetes should also consult an expert before vaping, as VG can affect metabolism. In any case, e-liquid with an increased VG percentage is recommended for those who want to create dense and large clouds or enjoy trying out vaping tricks.
Which mixing ratio makes sense?
When we talk about the mixing ratio of an e-liquid, that is exactly what is meant. It describes the relationship between VG and PG, i.e. what percentage of the two substances is contained in the Liquid. As a vaper, the choices here are almost unlimited. But this variety on the market often makes it difficult for beginners to find the right product right away and you can quickly feel overwhelmed when confronted with such a selection. For this reason, it is important to always find out before buying a large amount of e-liquid whether this corresponds to your wishes. Unfortunately, there is not one optimal ratio between the two substances. Instead, it quickly became apparent that every vaper has their preference and prefers a different mix. As a general rule, ex-smokers tend to enjoy a product with a higher percentage of PG, and more experienced vapers are more likely to be drawn to a higher percentage of VG over time. The mixing ratio also results from the different vape methods, namely direct inhalation or mouth-to-lung inhalation.
The vaping method
Mouth-to-lung is a method of vaping in which the vapour is first inhaled into the mouth only and only reaches the lungs with the next breath. This simulates a method that many smokers also use. There are devices specifically designed for this vaping method, which tend to have higher resistance and use more liquid e-liquid. If you inhale the vapour directly, a higher PG percentage is ideal. New vapers, in particular, often use this method. Here an e-liquid with a proportion of at least 50% PG should be chosen.
Anyone who looks at vaping will quickly realize there is a lot to learn here. In any case, knowing the composition of e-liquids can help you a lot. You can make purchasing decisions based on personal preferences and understand why one e-liquid is more scratchy on the throat while the other tastes smooth and sweet. If you, as a beginner, have no idea what tastes best, you should slowly try it out and adjust the ratio until you achieve the optimal vaping experience. Once you have found this, you can always buy your e-liquid in such a way that it perfectly suits your needs. Many vapers also enjoy a variety or vaping different flavours with different liquids as a base.