When you shop online for e-liquid, you’ll often see the terms “PG” and “VG” along with percentages expressing the PG/VG blends that various e-liquids contain. Do you ignore those terms when shopping for e-liquid and simply buy the flavours that appeal to you at the moment? If so, you’re missing out on one of the easiest ways to enhance your vaping experience. Changing the PG/VG blend of your e-liquid allows you to optimize your vaping setup for bigger clouds, faster wicking, richer flavour or stronger throat hit – so it’s worthwhile to understand how PG and VG affect the vaping experience. Most vaping tanks have no problem handling whatever e-liquids you care to use. In this article, though, we’re going to show you how understanding the intricacies of PG and VG can help you take your vaping experience to the next level.

What Is PG and VG?

Propylene glycol and vegetable glycerine are the base ingredients in any e-liquid. When you buy a bottle of e-liquid, you’re buying mostly PG and VG. An e-liquid containing only nicotine and flavours would be far too strong. PG and VG are necessary to dilute the other ingredients and create a palatable product. When you exhale a vapour cloud, what you see is mostly PG and VG. It’s the remaining 5 percent or so of an e-liquid that differentiates one product from the next – but changing the blend of VG and PG in an e-liquid can drastically alter the vaping experience.

How Does PG Affect an E-Liquid?

PG is a common additive in food and cosmetics. It retains moisture, keeping products fresh longer. It also keeps liquid ingredients mixed to eliminate the need for constant bottle shaking. It’s likely, in other words, that you already ate propylene glycol on a regular basis before you started vaping.

PG Creates Thin Vapour Clouds

PG is thin and almost flavourless. During the formative years of the vaping industry, e-liquids contained mostly PG – or no VG at all – because the tanks and other vaping accessories of that time were quite small and would only work with thin e-liquids. Because PG is so thin, the vapour it produces is also thin. In the mouth, PG feels almost like water vapour. In the air, PG-based vapour forms small clouds and disappears quickly.

PG Helps Flavours Come Through

Although PG isn’t the ideal e-liquid base ingredient for those who want to blow the biggest clouds, people who prefer e-liquids with complex flavour profiles love it because it adds a little flavour of its own to an e-liquid. Today’s gourmet e-liquids are more complicated and nuanced than ever. Some contain more than a dozen distinct flavouring compounds. Creators of complex e-liquids often use a bit of PG in their blends to ensure that each of the individual flavours will come through.

PG Contributes to a Strong Throat Hit

For new e-cigarette users, throat hit – the feeling that you get in the throat when you inhale nicotine – is one of the most important factors contributing to overall satisfaction with the vaping experience. Most vapers report that a high percentage of PG in an e-liquid helps to contribute to a strong, satisfying throat hit.

How Does VG Affect an E-Liquid?

VG is a thick, viscous liquid that tastes somewhat sweet. Like PG, it retains moisture and keeps foods fresh. It’s also used as an alternative sweetener. Most of the world’s VG supply is a product of the soap making industry. When you add lye to a fat, you get soap and glycerine.

VG Is for Cloud Chasers

If you’ve ever been in a room in which people were vaping – and you noticed a haze in the room that seemed to linger for ages – it’s likely that high-VG e-liquids were in use. VG creates thick, white clouds that often take several minutes to disappear completely. You can feel the difference in your mouth when you switch from PG-based e-liquids to VG-based e-liquids. VG has a full mouthfeel that some call “creamy” or “silky.” Because VG is so viscous, it doesn’t work well with the smallest e-cigarette tanks because it doesn’t flow through the wick openings quickly enough.

VG Makes E-Liquids Taste Sweet

The fact that VG tastes sweet makes it a perfect choice for adding a bit of sweetness to fruity and dessert e-liquid flavours. On its own, VG makes an e-liquid taste mildly sweet. Used in combination with an artificial sweetener such as sucralose, VG helps to create a flavour profile that’s as sweet as candy. That’s great if the e-liquid in question is supposed to taste like candy. VG may not, however, help the flavour profile of an e-liquid that’s supposed to taste like something savoury such as tobacco. Some people find that the sweetness of VG tends to muddle complex flavour profiles.

VG Delivers a Smooth Vaping Experience

Most people who are new to vaping want their e-liquids to deliver a strong throat hit. Throat hit helps vaping feel like smoking, and recreating the sensation of smoking is what makes it possible for many people to switch to vaping. Once people have vaped for a while, though, they often find that throat hit is no longer as important to them as it once was. As smoking becomes a memory of the distant past, flavour becomes the key aspect of the vaping experience. People find that a high-VG e-liquid often produces a less pronounced throat hit, which allows the flavour profile of the e-liquid to take centre stage.

Find the PG/VG Blend That’s Right for You

Almost every e-liquid on the market contains both PG and VG. E-liquid makers select blends designed to work with the widest possible variety of equipment and present their flavour profiles in the best possible light. Now that you understand the benefits that PG and VG bring to an e-liquid, take the time to examine the PG/VG ratios the next time you shop for a new vape juice. You’ll have a better idea of whether the e-liquids you see will suit your taste and work well with your equipment.