What Does PG & VG In Vape Juice Mean?

PG & VG are food-safe liquids that make up the bulk of an e-liquid or vape juice. PG stands for 'propylene glycol' and VG stands for 'vegetable glycerine. Almost all vape juices will contain a ratio of both ingredients, though you may see some e-liquids marketed as 'max VG' which means they contain only very small amounts of propylene glycol.

Keep reading to find out more about PG & VG and what the different ratios in vape juices mean. But first, here's some more information on the ingredients that make up most e-liquids and e-cigarette refills.

E-Liquid Ingredients

There are three base e liquid ingredients that you'll tend to find in most vape juices.

These consist of:

1. Propylene glycol (PG)
2. Vegetable glycerine (VG)
3. Flavourings

E liquids can also contain various strengths of nicotine, from completely nicotine free, up to 20mg. This is the highest legal nicotine content in e cig refills or vape juices, set by the EU TPD E Cigarette Regulations.

Cigalike e cig refills (otherwise known as cartridges or cartomizers), contain small amounts of e-liquid which is produced from the same ingredients as listed above. Likewise, pre-filled pod cartridges also contain up to 2ml of e-liquid.

Nicotine in E-Liquids

Molecular structure of nicotine - nicotine in e liquid ingredients
Nicotine is a stimulant substance which is considered to be addictive. It is a naturally occurring chemical found in the tobacco plant and it can also can be found in small amounts in some fruits & vegetables!

There are lots of e liquids available without nicotine, however many vapers choose vape juices with nicotine as this can help with the transition from smoking tobacco to vaping.

Types of Nicotine

Freebase Nicotine

Freebase nicotine is the most common form used in the majority of e liquids. Unless an e liquid specifically indicates that it contains nicotine salts (more on these below), you can be sure that it contains freebase nicotine. It provides a strong throat hit which some vapers find more satisfying, however it can sometimes be a little too harsh at higher nicotine strengths.

Nicotine Salts or 'Nic Salts'

Nicotine salt e liquids, or 'nic salts' as they are otherwise known, provide a faster, smoother nicotine hit. They have little to no throat hit at lower strengths so are popular with vapers who don't like the scratchy throat sensation. They are also an excellent option for those first making the switch from smoking to vaping as they allow higher strengths to be used and provide faster satisfaction for cravings.

Find out more about freebase nicotine and nicotine salts.

What Are PG & VG?

Hover over or tap on the images below to find out more about PG & VG.

PG

Propylene Glycol

Propylene Glycol

Propylene Glycol or PG is commonly used in the food industry as a preservative. It is also used in the UK medical industry and can be found in asthma inhalers. It's a colourless liquid with a slightly sweet taste. Primarily used as a 'base' ingredient in vape juices, it has a lower viscosity than vegetable glycerine.

VG

Vegetable Glycerine

Vegetable Glycerine

Vegetable Glycerine or VG is also a colourless liquid used in the food industry, mainly as a sweetener & thickener. Like PG, VG is also used as a base for e liquids, as well as acting as a sweetener.  It can either be synthetic or derived from plants or animals. It has a thicker consistency than PG and therefore helps to produce a more dense vapour.

What Does the PG/VG Ratio in E-Liquids Mean?

E liquids are produced with different levels of PG & VG. Differing ratios of these two ingredients will alter the throat hit, strength of flavour and amount of 'cloud'. These mixes are displayed in percentages, often as '80/20 PG/VG' or '80VG/20PG', for example.

See the chart below for an idea of what effect the different ingredient levels have.

PG/VG Ratio Throat Hit Flavour Vapour or 'Cloud' Production
High PG
(usually 60%+ PG)
Strong Strong Low
50PG/50VG Medium Medium Medium
High VG
(usually 60%+ VG)
Low Medium High

Which PG/VG Ratio Do I Need For My Vape Kit Or Tank?

We don't recommend trying to use high VG e-liquids in classic or 'MTL' kits. VG has a higher viscosity than PG and therefore atomises at a different rate. This can quickly cause coils to burn out and taste pretty nasty!

Likewise, we don't recommend using high PG e-liquids in sub ohm or 'DTL' kits as the thicker liquid can clog up the coils and cause a burning taste.

It's for the reasons above that all of our OK Vape E-Liquids contain a 50/50 PG/VG ratio. This balanced ratio means that the e-liquid is versatile and will work well in the majority of vape kits and tanks, regardless of whether they are designed for mouth-to-lung or direct-to-lung vaping.

You can find out more about MTL & DTL vaping styles and how each type of kit differs in this guide.

What Is The Best E-Liquid For Different Ohm Coils?

Although we have made some recommendations for which vape juices to use with different types of devices above, it's worth bearing in mind that the resistance of the coil you are using can effect which type of e-liquid you should use.

Coils with a lower resistance, for example below 1 ohm, will be best-suited to higher VG liquids. Coils with a resistance above 1 ohm will be better suited to higher PG vape juices. See the table below for our recommendations for which e-liquid to use with different coil resistances.

As above, if you're not sure which ratio to go with, you can't usually go wrong with a balanced 50/50 eliquid.

Coil Resistance (in ohms Ω) Best All-Round PG/VG Ratio Other Suitable Ratios Extra Information
1.5 to 2.5 ohm 70% PG 50/50 PGVG
60% to 70% PG
We do not recommend any higher than 70% PG - this would be very thin & harsh on the throat
1.0 to 1.4 ohm 50/50 PGVG 70% PG
60% VG
Slightly higher PG will give stronger flavour & more throat hit. VG will be smoother & create more vapour
0.5 to 1 ohm 50/50 PGVG 60% to 70% VG E-liquids with more than 50% PG may cause leakage or a burnt flavour
0.1 to 0.4 ohm 80% VG 50/50 PGVG
60% to 100% VG
50/50 e-liquid will work with these coils, but thicker, higher VG liquids will produce bigger, thicker clouds

If you are using a device with variable wattage or voltage, bear in mind that you may need to adjust the settings depending on the e-liquid and coils that you're using.

OK Vape 50/50 E-Liquids

Our 50/50 e-liquid range is highly versatile and suitable for use with most e-cigarettes, tanks and coils. Available in a wide range of nicotine strengths and flavours to suit all tastes.

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