Whether you’re new to the world of vaping or a vaping veteran, e-liquid is always changing and evolving. Since the ingredients of e-liquids can often be technically complicated to understand, it’s good for you to brush up on vape liquid basics every once and a while to make sure you’re getting the most out of your vaping experience.
E-liquid, also referred to as vaping liquid, vaping juice or e-juice, is a liquid that’s most commonly used in electronic cigarettes or personal vaporizers. How it works is actually quite simple. When you use your personal vaping device, it heats up the e-liquid and turns it into a vapor which is then inhaled. E-liquid comes in thousands of flavors and are made with or without nicotine.
Now that you have the basics down, let’s delve into the various considerations to take when choosing your e-liquid flavors from Global Vapors.
Propylene Glycol vs. Vegetable Glycerin
E-liquid most often contains four key ingredients: nicotine, water, flavorings and a base. The two most popular and commonly used e-liquid bases are propylene glycol (PG) and vegetable glycerin (VG). PG and VG are used to help distribute the flavoring and nicotine throughout the e-liquid. But what’s the difference between the two and why does it matter?
Propylene Glycol (PG)
PG e-liquid is the most popular of the two and is a petroleum by-product. Features of this vape liquid base include the following:
- Runny consistency
- Can be easily absorbed by polyfill and cotton wicks
- Creates less gunk buildup on the heating element
- Tasteless and odorless
- Stronger throat hit, similar to tobacco cigarettes
- Can dry the throat and mouth out when used consistently
- Can cause allergic reactions in some
Vegetable Glycerin (VG)
VG e-liquid is a natural chemical derived from vegetable oils and creates large billowing stacks of vapor. Features of this base include the following:
- Thicker consistency
- Slower absorption rate for wicks and cartomizers
- Tends to gunk up and clog vaporizers more
- Offers a slightly sweet taste, but can be difficult to detect
- Can cause phlegm in the throat after use
- Less allergenic
- Less of a throat hit
One of the more important things you need to consider when purchasing your e-liquid is the flavoring. If you don’t like the flavor, nothing else matters – the e-liquid simply won’t get used. But thankfully, e-juice comes in almost every flavor imaginable. From cheesy pizza and fresh fruits to blended cocktails and decadent desserts, there’s literally something for everyone. You can even purchase vape liquid with special infusions, like caffeine or vitamins.
If you’re new to vaping, you may opt for a tobacco blend that mimics the flavoring of your favorite cigarette brand at first. But as you become a little more accustomed to your vape device, you can start to experiment with different flavorings and e-juice combinations. When choosing your flavors, start out with something you’re confident you’ll like and then you can branch out from there.
Now that you’ve landed on a flavoring, you’ll need to choose your preferred nicotine strength. E-liquid nicotine levels are most often labeled in milligrams per milliliter (mg/ml) or as a percentage. The following is a breakdown of the available e-liquid nicotine levels and how they compare to traditional cigarette nicotine levels:
- Nicotine Free: 0 mg/ml or 0%
- Light: 6 mg/ml or 0.6% (comparable to ultralight cigarettes)
- Medium: 12 mg/ml or 1.2% (comparable to light cigarettes)
- Strong: 18 mg/ml or 1.8% (comparable to regular cigarettes)
- Very Strong: 24 mg/ml or 2.4% (comparable to full-flavored cigarettes)
- Super Strong: 36 mg/ml or 3.6% (comparable to unfiltered cigarettes)
Keep in mind that getting the correct nicotine strength is important. If you get too little, it will force you to vape more to compensate, while using an e-liquid with too much nicotine could give you a headache.
Understand that finding the right e-liquid is going to involve a lot of experimenting. By testing out various e-liquids, you’ll gain first-hand experience about what you like and what you don’t. Not all e-liquids are created equal, but in time, you’ll find the perfect type for your needs.
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