Starting Out What is PG and VG

Published on October 8th, 2013 | by George Jacobs


What is Propylene Glycol and Vegetable Glycerin (PG and VG)?

If you’re just getting into vaping you’re probably wondering what PG and VG is in your e-juice.  PG is Propylene Glycol and VG is Vegetable Glycerin and those are the 2 main ingredients to e-juice.  Other things found in e-juice is nicotine and flavoring.

What is Propylene Glycol?

Propylene Glycol is vicious liquid with the chemical formula of C3H8O2.  The main use of PG is in chemical reactions to produce plastics.  But before you think you’re vaping plastic, PG is also commonly used as a food preserver and also commonly found in orally taken pharmaceuticals and beauty products.  PG is Generally Considered As Safe (GRAS) by the US Food and Drug administration for human intake.

What is Vegetable Glycerin?

Vegetable Glycerin is another vicious liquid with a slight sweet flavor.  The chemical formula for VG, also called Glycerol, is C3H8O3.  VG is also used in pharmaceuticals and personal care products similar to PG.  It is also used in many food applications to keep things moist, as a sweetener, and to preserve food.  VG is also approved by the FDA as a food additive and classified with other sugar alcohols.

What is the PG / VG ratio?

So, PG and VG make up most of what e-juice is.  You will often see ratios of PG/VG when browsing e-juice.  In a nutshell, PG is generally contributed to producing the throat hit when vaping.  You know that feeling in your throat when you vape or smoke, that you can actually feel?  That’s what PG provides.  VG on the other hand, produces a lot of vapor.  So when you exhale you get that beautiful feedback that you took a nice hit off the vape.

Of course, everyone has a preference of how much throat hit they prefer and the “standard” e-juice is generally 80% PG and 20% VG.  I personally like a good amount of PG, and if I don’t get the throat hit, I am left un-satisfied, but I would suggest you try it yourself.  I know a lot of people who like  a 50%/50% mix as well.  I also notice that the nicotine strength found in the e-juice is responsible for throat hit strength as well, so it may take some time to figure out the optimal mix is for you.

For the most part PG and VG are FDA approved as food additives, but nobody really knows the long term effects of inhaling the vapors produced from them.  The guess is that it is probably a much healthier combination then what is found in analog cigarettes.


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