Published on January 5th, 2020 | by Rich65
PG vs VG – How They Affect E Juice Flavor, Clouds & More: The Ultimate Breakdown
PG (Propylene Glycol) and VG (Vegetable Glycerin), combined with flavoring are the only ingredients in e juice, so it’s actually pretty important to know the differences (and the ratios they are used in) when shopping for e juice.
In a nutshell:
- PG creates less clouds than VG, as it’s a generally less viscous fluid. But is completely tasteless, meaning e juice flavors with higher ratios of PG have sharper, more defined flavors.
- VG creates way more vapor than PG, especially a flavor contains higher than 70% VG. However it also has an inherent ‘sweet’ taste to it, which can overwhelm the subtleties in a juice, especially for non-dessert flavors.
Having a wide variety of flavors is one of the best perks of vaping. But it’s not just the flavor and nicotine level you have to account for, and you should always be looking what the PG VG ratio of your juice is.
In fact, I’d say it is just as important as flavor. By that I mean if you had two vape juices with the same flavor, but very different PG/VG ratios you’re likely going to notice a difference.
It can can go as far as making a fruity lime flavor either taste tangy and crisp like the fruit, or mellow and decadent like a dessert.
What Exactly is PG and VG?
First things first, let’s go over what PG and VG actually are. PG stands for Propylene Glycol and VG stands for Vegetable Glycerin.
Both of these substances are already used in thousand of products we use every day.
Propylene glycol (PG) is an organic glycerol made from propylene oxide, a petroleum byproduct.
It is used in a wide variety of products including solvents, chemical additives, and many medical and pharmaceutical personal care products.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has classified PG juice under the “Generally Recognized As Safe” designation.
Vegetable glycerin (VG) is a natural organic glycerol that is made from vegetable oil, which comes from palm and/or coconut oil.
The vegetable glycerin is mixed with water, then heated to a high pressure and temperature. The glycerin dissolves from the fatty acids and is then absorbed by the water.
Food grade VG is 99.7% pure, and 0.3% water. Vegetable glycerin can be found in pharmaceutical, medical and personal care products, and of course e liquids!
Difference Between PG and VG
PG juice is tasteless and clear, which presents the added flavor from your e juice very well.
PG juice also has a thinner, less viscous consistency than VG juice.
This means it tends to build up less gunk on the coil of your atomizer then VG juice.
It also has a thin consistency, which makes PG heavy juices it more likely to leak in vaping or sub ohm tanks.
VG on the other hand has a naturally sweet flavor, which can sometimes be noticed when vaping VG juices.
Unlike PG liquids, the thicker, more viscous VG juice can sometimes clog up the coil on your tank or RDA leading to flooding, requiring you to clean it more often.
On the flip side, the extra thick VG juices are less likely to leak from your tank.
PG vs VG Vapor Production?
If you are interested in huge clouds of vapor, then VG is the way to go.
100% VG e liquid flavors have great vapor production and a very smooth feel.
Great for impressing your friends or doing cool smoke tricks!
If producing thunderz clouwdz has no particular appeal to you, you should definitely consider some PG juices.
Many enjoy the combination of light vapor and clean taste.
Plus, PG flavors are useful when you’re vaping in public and don’t want to draw attention with large vapor clouds.
Which Has More Throat Hit?
While nicotine has the biggest affect than PG/VG ratios, it’s important to note that PG juices will have a stronger throat hit then VG flavors.
There are many vapers who started vaping to help them quit smoking traditional cigarettes.
These vapers tend enjoy a stronger throat hit, similar to what you experience when smoking cigarettes.
If you don’t like a throat hit, then you should look for VG e juice flavors.
100% VG juices have extremely little if any throat hit, and have a very smooth feel when you are vaping.
How to Find Your Perfect Ratio
If you’re new to the vaping community, I suggest starting with some 50/50 (PG/VG) ratio juices.
This will give you a baseline flavor profile to work with and get a feel for the differences between VG and PG.
After vaping some 50/50 juice, you can start adjusting your mix to hone in on your tastes.
After awhile, you’ll get a better idea of the flavors, VG/PG ratio and nicotine levels of juice you enjoy.=
The following explains what to expect from different PG and VG ratios.
These aren’t absolute laws, and are just to give you a general idea of what to look for.
- 100% PG: Very strong throat hit, with clean flavors and not much vapor production.
- 80/20 (PG/VG): Still very little vapor production, and a moderately strong throat hit.
- 70/30 (PG/VG): A little more vapor, a little less throat hit.
- 60/40 (PG/VG): Decent vapor with a noticeable, but not to overwhelming throat hit.
- 50/50 (PG/VG): An even mix, with quality vapor clouds and a soft throat hit.
- 40/60 (PG/VG): Noticeably larger vapor clouds and a reduce throat hit.
- 30/70 (PG/VG): Good vapor production and a minimal throat hit.
- 20/80 (PG/VG): Excellent vapor production and a very small throat hit.
- 100% VG: Very little throat hit, with noticeably sweet flavor undertones and massive vapor production.
Our Vendor Recommendations
If you’re looking for places to buy e juice with a good selection of flavors and PG/VG ratios, check our 2020 E Juice Guide, where we rate and review some of the most popular US based e juice vendors available online.
If you’re from a more remote area of the country like Alaska, we’ve provided an informational guide on vaping in Alaska.
Let’s Sum It Up
PG and VG are the two primary components that go into e juices. PG juice is thin, clear and tasteless, and provides a more of a throat hit.
VG juice is thicker, and has a naturally sweet taste that can blend into the flavor of the juice. VG has less throat hit, but a much higher vapor (cloudz) production. So while you never want to see your lawn mower puffing out smoke, VG is the way to go if you want huge vapor clouds.
That said, you really need to try some different ratios yourself to really get a feel for the difference.
So be sure to experiment with your e juice every once in awhile so you can expand your pallet and become a more informed buyer, especially when shopping online where there aren’t any taste test available (duh!)
Share Your Thoughts
What’s your favorite PG and VG ratio?
And maybe a better question; would you pass on buying a particular flavor of e juice if it didn’t come in the right PG/VG ratio?
Let us know your thoughts in the comments section down below!
As always, take care and vape on homies!