The Difference Between PG and VG Eliquid

The two bases are mentioned all the time but what’s the difference between propylene glycol (PG) and vegetable glycerin (VG) e-liquid?

The difference between PG and VG is an interesting debate. In terms of electronic cigarettes, PG and VG both play a vital role in the production of vapour produced by your e-cigarette, in this article we will go over PG, VG, and the differences between the two. 

What is Propylene Glycol (PG)?  
PG is an organic compound that belongs to a group of non-toxic compounds called polyhydric alcohols. PG was originally derived from the processing of mineral oil, however, nowadays PG is organically synthesised through the fermentation process. PG has been widely used in various products for decades due to it being tasteless, odourless, and having a low toxicity. 

What is Vegetable Glycerin (VG)?  
VG is also an organic compound that belongs to a group of non-toxic compounds called polyhydric alcohols, like PG. VG is widely used in the food industry for sweetening and moisturising cakes and pastries, it can be found in soaps, toothpaste, and even some beauty products. 

PG vs VG - What are the differences? 
PG has a slightly higher vapourising point than VG (190°C vs. 160°C) however, it also has the ability to produce more flavour by offering better flavour retention resulting in a stronger taste. PG is thinner in consistency which results in faster absorption when vaping E-liquids that are PG-based. PG creates a harder throat hit than VG, which is great for people who are looking for that traditional smoking experience. 

VG is thicker in consistency than PG and it doesn't absorb as quickly, meaning that vapers will feel the flavour of the E-liquid for a longer period of time. PG can cause some irritation to those with sensitive throats, VG is often used in higher PG concentrations to add a little thickness and create a more satisfying throat hit. VG produces slightly more vapour than PG but it also gives off better flavour and taste. 

VG is great for vapers looking for an authentic experience, if you would like to lower your nicotine strength and still receive a satisfying throat kick PG is the way to go. PG is also a better choice for those who are looking to quit smoking cigarettes and make the switch to vaping, as it replicates the throat hit and smoking experience that smokers are looking for. 

PG provides a stronger throat hit 
(PG) PG is a non-toxic substance that has been used for over 50 years in foods, medicines, cosmetics, and e-cigarettes. PG is odourless and flavourless and produces a great throat hit, unlike VG. PG has a larger molecular structure than VG which means it can carry more flavour as well as produce larger clouds of vapour with less chance or residue left behind due to evaporation. PG also helps keep your atomizer from gunking up so quickly! Vegetable Glycerin 

VG provides a smoother throat hit 
(VG) VG is a natural, sugar-free, thick liquid that comes from vegetable oils. VG has a sweet taste and is less harsh on the throat than PG. VG produces more vapour than PG but it can also leave residue behind due to its thicker consistency. VG is known to help produce richer and more flavoursome e-liquid as well as increase the lifespan of your atomizer. 

VG creates denser vaping clouds 
VG creates denser vaping clouds due to its consistency. PG is thinner, with a smaller molecule structure than VG. PG can carry more flavour and produce larger clouds of vapour than VG due to its size. PG also helps to prevent gunking in your atomizer quicker than VG does. PG can create an unpleasant throat hit but this goes away if you put less PG in your e-liquid. 

VG has a sweeter taste 
VG is a natural, sugar-free, thick liquid that comes from vegetable oils. VG has a sweet taste and is less harsh on the throat than PG. PG is odourless and flavourless so PG e-liquids require more chemicals to create a taste that can sometimes leave an unpleasant aftertaste. VG helps produce richer, fuller flavours with less effort than PG e-liquids.PG is thinner, with a smaller molecule structure than VG. 

VG creates more clouds 
Vegetable glycerin, or VG, is a natural product made from vegetable oils. One of the benefits of VG is that it is thicker than PG, meaning that it can produce more vapour. PG has a smaller molecule structure than VG, meaning that it cannot carry as much flavour or produce as many clouds. 

Why do you need PG in your E-Liquid? 
PG is important in e-liquid because it helps to produce more vapour, carries more flavour, and prevents gunking in your atomizer quicker than VG does. PG can also create an unpleasant throat hit but this goes away if you put less PG in your e-liquid. 

How to choose between PG and VG E-liquid?
PG e-liquid tends to give you a better throat hit and a lot more flavour. On the other hand, VG e-liquid allows your atomizer to produce a lot more vapour for thicker and more impressive clouds.

The vaping community is evenly divided when it comes to e-liquid preference. One half enjoys the intense throat hits more than flavour and vapour, while the other half enjoys the sweet, thick plumes of vapour.

Mixing PG and VG
You are likely to find some e-liquids that combine both PG and VG together. If this is the case, the ratio is usually along the lines of 60 VG / 40 PG as this produces greater vapour and more flavour.

If you like, you can tend to use a mix of both PG and VG in particular ratios, such as 70 VG / 30 PG. This is the optimum ratio for most each uses as it provides a nice throat hit, good flavour as well as tons of vapour production.

Are PG and VG safe?
As we have seen by the ketchup example, both VG and PG are used in a variety of foods that are consumed on a daily basis and are deemed safe by the FDA, making them both safe to use.

It isn’t as simple as deciding on a high VG or PG vape juice and hoping for the best. It all comes down to your vape equipment. If it isn’t suitable for the job, it can lead to unpleasant throat irritation or wicking problems resulting in dry hits.

These are one of the most common styles of tanks for vaping, such as the Aspire Nautilus series. Clearomizers take higher resistance coils and are usually vaped below 15 watts.

They are not suitable for high VG fluids, as their coils cannot cope well with the thicker fluid.

If you are thinking of using a clearomizer, stick to PG.

Sub-Ohm Tanks
Some of the best mods for vaping use sub-ohm tanks. Unlike clearomizers, sub-ohm tanks are much more capable of dealing with high VG juice. Requiring high battery strength, these tanks use up e-juice a lot quicker but make up for it with more intense flavours and better clouds.

If you prefer to make your own coils, you have a lot more flexibility in your e-liquid ratio. It still depends on the coils you use but you don’t have to worry as much about your cotton wicking properly. As always, the ratio boils down to personal preference, but the norm for coil resistances of premade coils works out the same for rebuildable – sub-ohm coils for high VG, higher resistance coils for 50/50 or high PG.

There any many differences between PG and VG eliquid and choosing one really all depends on what experience you’re after when it comes to choosing between PG and VG bases. In general, if you want the flavour, use PG bases. If you want the thicker clouds, go for VG.