When Should a Vaper Use 100% PG or VG?
For the serious vaper there is a serious question: 100% PG or VG? It is the Pepsi vs Coke question of the vaping world, and just like the soda wars, it has its partisans. In order to figure out if a pure PG or VG vaping experience is right for an individual, many factors must be taken into consideration. To understand why it matters, we take a closer look at the ingredients of e-liquid.
What Makes a Vape Juice?
E-liquid is the delivery system the device uses to produce vapor that simulates smoking. It is usually composed of 4 distinct ingredients:
- Vegetable Glycerin (VG)
- Propylene Glycol (PG)
Virtually, all juices are some mixture of these four components, although a mixture can omit any of them (including zero nicotine). Some mixtures can be cut down with distilled water to reduce thickness.
PG vs. VG
The purpose of PG (Propylene glycol) and VG (Vegetable Glycerin) are to provide the actual vapor in the vaping experience, and are generally considered to be an inactive ingredient like the distilled water that is sometimes used to reduce their percentage in a mixture.
- PG: A colorless synthetic liquid that has been used mostly in food products over the years, although they have also been used in cosmetics.
- VG: Made from vegetable oil and has a more thick and viscous property to it. When deciding between them, there are some properties of each that we need to analyze.
- Vapor Production: This is the volume of visible vapor that is produced upon exhaling, and if often prized by vapers for a variety of aesthetic reasons. Some vapers prefer less visible exhales, however.
- Throat Hit: The sensation in the throat when the vapor is inhaled is a vital part of the experience. Some prefer a stronger throat hit while others are more concerned with the nicotine buzz.
- Flavor: The taste and smell, up to and including the aftertaste, of the vapor.
Considering these factors, it is easier to determine if a MAX PG or VG mix would be more appropriate for an individual. PG bases provide a much stronger throat hit, while VG creates a higher volume of thicker vapor than the PG based liquids. In general, those who are concerned with a strong flavor swear by PG as providing a fuller palette and longer aftertaste.
In addition to experiential considerations, there are some practical differences that should be additionally considered.
VG typically outstrips PG in its ability to resist extremes in temperature, which may be important to consider in very hot or cold climates as well as how much battery power is needed to vape. On the other hand, PG bases often can be stored for longer periods of time without thickening or hardening.
100% VG or PG?
So now that the main differences have been outlined there are four main factors that you need to consider to determine which is right for you.
How Long Have You Been Vaping?
Depending on how experienced a vaper you are, you may find that you have a preference for one or the other. In general, an inexperienced vaper may want to start slow with a pure VG base for a less intense throat hit. Over time, PG can be mixed in and slowly increased if the mild sensation becomes insufficient for their preference.
Intensity of Sensation
The importance of both throat hit and taste are something that is going to vary wildly from one individual to another, and this may require a great deal of trial and error to find a proper mix.
Matching Flavor to Throat Hit
Some more florid or mild flavor mixtures do not match well with PG mixes, such as lemon or vanilla. While you may not find this to be the case, making an exception for the artificial flavor being introduced into the mix may affect whether you wish to utilize a PG mix. VG may be more appropriate as to not overpower the flavor you are looking for.
The final factor is the tank and device that is being vaped with. Different devices and setups are equipped to handle a max VG or PG vape juice.
Choose What Works for You
The ongoing debate of VG vs PG may never truly be resolved, but now that you’re armed with this vital information you can hopefully weigh the pros and cons and come to a decision that is right for you.