Vape juice or e-liquid is the fluid used in vape devices to create vapor. The vape juice options provided by manufacturers have increased exponentially in the last few years, and now we have something for nearly everyone.
There isn’t just one type of e-liquid on the market–vapers can buy mint or fruit-flavored vape juice and even get one resembling their favorite beverage! To find an e-liquid most suited for your vaping habits and needs, you’ll need to know the ingredients, ratios, and nicotine content.
To avoid confusion and shopping mishaps, we’ll discuss everything vape-juice-related and guide you to your e-liquid of preference.
Main Ingredients: PG vs. VG
Before you go out on a limb and buy vape juice online–let’s discuss the know-how of e-liquids.
The two primary ingredients in vape juice are:
- Propylene glycol (PG)
- Vegetable glycerin (VG)
Other ingredients include water, flavors, and nicotine (unless it is a nicotine-free e-liquid).
Propylene glycol is odorless, colorless alcohol that may taste a bit sweet. It often appears in pharmaceutical products, such as asthma inhalers and cosmetic products.
Interestingly enough–PG also plays a role in foods like whipping creams and powdered toppings due to its emulsifying effects.
It’s used in vape juice for the same reason–to keep the ingredients mixed together.
VG is a clear, viscous liquid found in cough syrup and ointments. It is typically made from palm, soybean, or coconut oils.
VG is much stickier than PG, and that’s why it’s used as a thickening agent in vape juice. It is the secret ingredient behind the huge, thick clouds you get when vaping–who would-ve known!
PG vs. VG
PG is responsible for the familiar throat hit. The vapor also feels warmer, which resembles traditional combustible cigarette smoking.
VG makes everything smoother. It produces a weaker throat hit but delivers a massive vapor cloud. If you are looking for giant and dense vapor clouds, look for a higher VG ratio on the bottle.
PG and VG come in different ratios, and all reputable brands have this info printed on the back. You can see 50:50, 60:40, or 70:30, with PG always listed first.
The main difference the ratios bring is cloud size and density. Vape juices with more considerable PG content produce thinner clouds, preferred mainly by smokers or ex-smokers. The harsh throat hit reminds them of regular cigarette smoke.
Cloud chasers and recreational vapers prefer vape liquid with a higher VG ratio. More VG means more vapor and a smoother throat hit.
Nicotine: Freebase vs. Nic Salts
Nicotine in vapes doesn’t just take on one shape. Based on the nicotine type, you can find the following options:
This is the original, pure form of nicotine in e-liquids. We don’t recommend this one for rookie vapes, as the throat hit is unlike any other.
Therefore, freebase nicotine suits vapers who expect vaping to be akin to smoking a cigarette. In addition, the pure form of nicotine delivers more complex flavors–which is always a plus if you like to experiment.
Nicotine salts are an innovation in vaping. Nic salts are made by reversing the process of creating freebase nicotine and returning it to the original one extracted from the tobacco plant.
Therefore, these products produce a softer throat hit and more neutral flavors. However, nic salts can deliver much more nicotine so that vapers can enjoy a nicotine hit without a harsh throat hit. They are perfect for low-wattage vaporizers like vape pens or pod vapes.
You can calculate the amount of nicotine you need based on your current or previous smoking experience.
You can use the info-packed bullet list below as a guiding point:
- 24 mg = two packs a day
- 18 mg = one to two packs a day
- 12 mg = half to one pack a day
- 6 mg = half pack or less a day
- 3 mg = merely a few cigarettes a day
Vaping can help you wean off cigarettes and nicotine addiction by gradually reducing the amount of nicotine in your vape juice. You can adjust the throat hit to be stronger and keep nicotine levels low.
Only vaping allows you to control everything about your vaping experience.
Vaping Device vs. Vape Juice
Basically, there are two types of devices–open-system vapes and closed-system vapes.
Mods, or open-system vapes, are best suited for recreational vapers. An open system allows you to customize your vape to the tiniest detail.
Mods are ideal for freebase vape juice with a higher ratio of VG for producing dense clouds. They are the go-to device for cloud-chasers. The possibilities for adjustments and personalization are unlimited, attracting younger and occasional vapers.
Closed vape systems (take pod vapes, for example) are much easier to handle. They come with a set of features that you can’t toy with.
The minimalist design resembles a combustible cigarette and produces a vaping experience similar to tobacco smoking. Pod vapes are unsuitable for massive clouds, so the right vape juice to use here would be e-liquids that can burn at lower wattages, like nic salts.
PG-heavy juices also work well, as flavor and smoothness trump vapor amount.
Vape Juice Flavors
Another ingredient in vape juice is concentrated flavoring, which is food-grade flavoring approved by FEMA. Usually, it’s a mix of natural and artificial flavorings that replicate the taste of a certain food or drink.
Flavors are a matter of personal preference. There are thousands of flavors to choose from, and usually, vapers narrow it down to about a dozen that really hit the spot.
The biggest perk of candy-scented vape juice is that it can make you smell better and say goodbye to the putrid smell of tobacco lingering in your living space!
Understanding the ingredients, nicotine level, and the right juice for your device will help you choose the e-liquid when you next hit the vape shop.
Be mindful of nicotine intake and enjoy mixing and matching the ingredients to get the perfect vape juice for you. And then do it again!